Introducing: Spacehunter: Adventure into the Forbidden Zone (1983)

spacehunter posterAs I was growing up, my brother and I were in awe of and loved the Star Wars movies, and wanted to watch them any chance we could. It was during this time, that Hollywood decided to ride the success of the Star Wars trilogy and pop out several low-budget space adventures. Along with my dad, we always rented any space movie that we felt had that same kind of science fiction vibe that those early Lucas movies did, obviously without much luck. However, this did bring us movies such as The Ice Pirates (that I LOVED growing up) and Battle Beyond the Stars, there were also a bunch of bad space adventures. This is why I was excited to see the 1983 film, Spacehunter in the list of films on Crackle. As I began watching it, I started to wonder if I had made the right decision or not to devote 90 minutes of my time to this film. You can take a look at the notes below to see some of the highlights of this space adventure that lacks a little time in space.

Streaming on: Crackle

Directed by: Lamont Johnson

Starring: Peter Strauss, Molly Ringwald, Michael Ironside, Ernie Hudson

Rated: PG

Tagline: Journey with Wolff and Nikki, an interstellar adventurer and young rebel. On a mission to rescue three stranded women from a planet no one has warned them about. Because no one has ever returned.

Number of Parallels to Star Wars movies: 10 – anything from the pointless “Sand People” to the android villan

A space traveling vagabond desperately in need of money comes across a distress signal to save three Earth women who have landed on a planet named Terra Eleven, when their luxury starship is attacked. When Wolff arrives on Terra Eleven he is finds that the natives of the planet have just as much interest in the three women as he does. While chasing down the Earth women, Wolff meets an orphaned Molly Ringwald who invites herself to help in his search. The hero then finds out that the women were taken to the “Forbidden Zone” that is ruled by the evil and animatronic leader, Overdog.

What you will see:

  • Opening sequence jumps right out at you. Too bad we can’t see it in 3D.
  • Do not be alarmed, you are about to see a Death Star like explosion.
  • Wolff has R2D2 hidden in his ship’s console.
  • Emergency repair procedure #1 usually works for me too.
  • Cool pirate ships can sail across sand, too bad it’s so easy to knock it out of commission.
  • Twisting a neck so that it cracks renders Earth girls unconscious instead of death.
  • Hang gliders tend to sweep girls off of their feet.
  • Hope Wolff kept the warranty on his hot android chick.
  • Spacehunter’s version of Tusken Raiders
  • Washington is lucky that his gun is the floating kind.
  • Overdog wants the girl undressed. His name should be Horndog. Does he have another piece of metal that the audience can’t see that he feels the need to satisfy?
  • Boobs!! Oh gross. Now we know what it would look like if the Michelin Man went on a diet.
  • Amphibious women are nymphomaniacs and are looking for breeders.
  • Water women are scared to death of water dragons.
  • Watch out for the mutated children, they throw bombs.
  • The maze is the Forbidden Zone’s equivalent to the TV show, Wipeout!
  • You can kill the villain’s right hand man by squeezing his baggie of toothpaste.
  • Plastic piping is always good for enclosing electrical wiring.
  • Bet it was fun blowing up that scale model.

Award Winning Dialogue:

“The police called from the 42 Sector you’ve got 105 parking tickets. I think you should take care of that.”

“Find them yourself Earther, we have blood loss here.”

“If you give me some nibbles and take me for some wheels, I’ll take you to them.”

“You, your like fly shit on a window…”

“They call me Nikki the Twister because I wriggle into small places.”

“Second bath in two days, I ought to be good for the next year.”

“Are they missing limbs? I just hate it when they are missing limbs.”

“They sure have come a long way from Monday Night Football.”

The Final Word:

I am going to confess right off the bat, that I did find this movie to be pretty enjoyable. It wasn’t anywhere close to my favorite movie by any means, but considering the other garbage I’ve seen and reviewed in earlier blog posts, this could be considered “the best of the worst.” The plot is serviceable. It tells a pretty straight forward and easy to follow story. As the film progressed, I couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of things borrowed from prior science-fiction and adventure movies, most notably Star Wars. There were hints of Mad Max and even Indiana Jones thrown in as well. The film started off rather interesting, but seemed to get lost in it’s own ambition and need to pile in a plethora of creatures and peril to give the film a purpose. Other than the people, there are a total of five different alien beings living on this planet that the group comes in contact with. The creatures could be intriguing and interesting however the characters interact with them for a total of about three minutes, not each, but in total. I wished there would have been more interaction between the two. However, obviously not as good as the Star Wars films, the sets weren’t god awful. The “Forbidden Zone” seemed to be a bit cramped and trashy. The futuristic vehicles I thought were really well done too. My main turn off of the film was it’s villain, Overdog. Played by Michael Ironside, Overdog never really seemed like much of a threat. He was hanging cyborg who was kept alive by some breathing apparatus. While encased in a large body suit with large long metal claws, Overdog oddly was able to move quickly and freely around the zone without effort. His most threatening feature was the long claw-like arms that he didn’t really use to put others in danger with. He most intimidating feature was his gravely voice that he used to yell at everyone.

While not a must see action/adventure film, Spacehunter: Adventure in the Forbidden Zone, was mildly entertaining and I felt just fell short of something really fun. So it is with that reason that I give this film 1.5 turds out of 5 dreaded turds.

spacehunter villan

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