Welcome back, intrepid science fiction fans.
This week I want to introduce you to a movie that puts Molly Ringwald in a whole different light (and smell).
This movie, is the story of a salvage operator who is desperate for money. So desperate that he courts death by going to a planet to rescue three women who are the only survivors after their space cruise liner slams into a meteor.
“Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone“ stars Peter Strauss as Wolff, a down on his luck salvage operator whose only companion is an android named Chalmers (Andrea Marcovicci). They intercept a message offering a reward for the safe return of the three women. Broke and without prospects, Wolff decides to take the job.
They land on Terra XI, a truly messed up, desolate planet rife with plague and civil war. Here they run into Zoners (land pirates with serious issues), Scavs (nomads), a bounty-hunting ex-soldier named Washington (Ernie Hudson), the Overdog (Michael Ironside), weird blobby mutant things, killer mermaids and their pet water dragon.
When Wolff lands on the planet, he and Chalmers locate the women and attempt to rescue them. That doesn’t go well. Chalmers kicks the bucket during a fire fight with Zoners and soon after Wolff meets the dirty, teenage Scav, Nikki (Molly Ringwald) and things get real interesting from there.
Meanwhile, the women are taken to The Chemist, who is the right hand dude for the Overdog. He in turn takes them to his master. And boy is he rough looking. The Overdog has a deadly maze from hell. Prisoners are forced to run through this gauntlet of death. If (and that’s a giant if) they make it to the end, they are free to go. Needless to say, no man ever gets out alive.
The Overdog has kidnapped the women for a nefarious purpose. I won’t spoil it by telling you the reason. You’ll just have to rent the movie and find out.
I absolutely love Molly Ringwald in the role of Nikki. She has some of the best lines (and insults) in the movie–“…you scrawny earthbag!” And the interaction between Wolff and Nikki is priceless.
This movie was directed by Lamont Johnson and the screenplay was written by David Preston, Edith Rey, Daniel Goldberg and Len Blum. The budget for the movie was $14.4 million and it grossed just over $16.6 million US (remember, this was 1983).
As a matter of fact, when this movie first came out, it was lauded as having the best 3-D effects to date. Here’s the trailer.
Join me next week when I introduce you to another of my childhood favorites, “Ice Pirates”, staring Robert Ulrich, Angelica Huston and Mary Crosby.
Until next week,
“Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.”
― Brian W. Aldiss
Giant Robot Cheese (yiwashington.com)