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The last time I saw this movie, I was 10... hence the high rating. If I
were to go back, I'm sure I'd find plot inconsistency, A horrible
budget. and a touch of B acting.
The stuff most classics are made of right?
Not for the serious movie watcher. But a diamond in our scifi portfolios for those who love sci fi in all of its shame and glory.
As a kid I watched this movie with films like Ice Pirates, The Last Unicorn, ET, Battle Beyond the stars (which was made by the same company), Star Trek 1-3, Indian Jones, Old School Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, and even VOLTRON!
This movie is a part of my childhood. I played with Lego's and built spaceships to have battles not unlike those in the movie right in my back yard five out seven days a week, the other two I was watching movies like this one.
It's good stuff. Right up there with the animated version of Lensman.
The premise of this movie is that a band of space pirates ends up stealing a kid by mistake. This group of "Space Raiders" is led by a man named Hawk, a once honorable soldier, -- or so the story goes, ironically, with Hawk struggling to look good in front of the kid and eventually promising to get the kid home rather than ransoming him. This story has a little bit of everything in it from the exciting action of Star Wars to the warmth and comfort of E.T. It's not technically the most SFX movie in Sci-fi, even for its time, but I would say to rival it against some of the earlier Seals and Croft TV series in the '70's that had that special inspiration of adventure and impossibility that kids love to contemplate. Think of that special after school movie and that's what I'm talking about. I give this film a high rating mostly because it is a movie for kids (the battle scenes are great and the cheesy effects make the gunfights practically non-violent). Younger kids can identify with the boy and preteens can identify with the speed of the story. Give it a try -- it's great family entertainment.
Most who worked crew on this film came from around the world, all given a shot at working on a Corman film. There were some talented people involved. Vince Edwards ("Ben Casey") had a great time with all this. Much of the foam latex make-up was quite involved. The purple scarf worn by the alien 'Flightplan' is a great comic book touch. Like all Corman films, he always manages to get the job done, and have a good time doing it ...
This is the ultimate second-hand movie. Music, props, special effects and sets from Corman's world of movies are assembled to create this coming of age tale. There are a few moments in the film that are kinda cool, though. The escape scene in the beginning of the movie is heightened by a crew member tossing a beer to the captian while he fights off attacking space ships. There were also other cinematic moments in the film that were ALMOST good but are not executed as well as they could. I guess you have to hire leftover actors when making a leftover movie. It is interesting that James Horner did the music to this movie, (actually Battle Beyond the Stars), because he is now a top film composer in Hollywood. Its good to know someone came out of this film alive.
This is, after all, only a fantasy, but I liked it. The idea that a
was given to a boy by a man who was once an honorable officer, and was
even though it meant death to Hawk, was special to me. What a memory
young boy must have had all his future life for this man. These
lived on the edge of excitement all the time, facing death throughout
adventurous lives. I found it good, but perhaps a little hokey at times.
Fun to watch anyway. I would rate it at least 6 or 7. It had a good
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is a classic. I own it and still watch it. Any Sci-Fi fan
will love the cheesy fight scenes and graphics.
The characters are timeless, with the tough but vulnerable chick, bad but soft middle aged man and the token alien that help comprise the crew of the ship. People who have done nothing but steal and cheat then find themselves running around to get a kid home, fighting "The Company" and other "bad" guy's along the way. "Run Peter!"
And if you are a true fanatic you will notice that some of the spaceships and scenes are direct from "Battle Beyond the Stars", which just adds to the movie.
For real fans I highly recommend it!!!! If you don't like classic Sci-Fi don't watch it, but don't knock it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great 80's B movie. Its NOT a star wars rip off its a cash in. Yes the music and special effects are taken from battle beyond the stars, but this movie succeeds where that film and many other star wars cash ins failed. Like star wars it wasn't about the special effects it was about the characters. In this film you actually like and care about the characters . The pirates are all well defined. Ray Stewart is fantastic as the sadistic Zariatin and Vince Edwards is charismatic as the leader Hawk. Yes its got a star wars-esquire bar scene but every other film and TV show in the genre at this time did.Yes there are continuity errors, ( Hawk gets shot on his right side then later the wound is on the left). Yes it seemed that the future looked remarkably like the 80s with their 80s shirts and hair do's but this film was also ahead of its time in the respect that it had no problems with killing off nearly all the main characters. In short is this a massive summer blockbuster - no, is it an Oscar winning space epic -no, what this film is a rare 80's b movie treasure that you can file with Trancers and Explorers.
Okay, picture it: a ten year old boy has nothing better to do but to mope around the house. He turns on the TV and BOOM! It's a Star Wars rip-off! HOORAY! I was that ten year old kid and I so loved Star Wars (and still do) that anything with space battles, robots and smart-arse heroes was immediately watched with great suspension of disbelief. I really thought that Space Raiders was, along with Battlestar Galactica, the mutt's nuts, as it were, of Star Wars-type films. It was duly taped on a later broadcast and said tape did wear out because said kid watched it so much. I still watched it while I was a secondary school, and I'd even get up at some hideously early hour so I could watch it before going to school. After the tape went the way of the dodo I fortunately found a second-hand copy in a cash converters store and was able to keep watching it, though more out of habit that for a fix of space hokum. It will never earn the mantle of greatest sci-fi flick ever as that honour will go to the original Star Wars, but it's still watchable if you are a member of the kid-young-teen bracket. It's fun, it doesn't get too heavy and bogged down in volumes of exposition and it's got some very good ideas. The problem is that the budget didn't do justice to those ideas. The effects are very cheap, but I have seen worse. The robots were pretty well done, even if it is obvious that they're men in plastic suits. The acting isn't brilliant, but then this is an escapist b-movie, not Shakespeare, and to be honest, the level of acting is about right for the film - the actors are all pretty competent in their own way but they won't be winning any awards. Space Raiders - not great, but not rubbish either.
I can't help it, I love this film. Yes all the FX, sounds music etc are
pinched from Battle Beyond the Stars, but they are expertly pinched!
The music is actually a combination of the scores James Horner wrote
for "Humaniods from the Deep" and "Battle ...", scores which
incidentally got him hired to do Star Trek II .. so he owes a lot to
Frankly this is the kind of film the entertains me, it's not clever but it's not trying to be it's simple an adventure and I personally think the editing and reuse of shots from Battle Beyond ... are very well done. Also you might be interested to know that all those FX shots, and the ships themselves were built and filmed by James Cameron !!, back before he'd done his directorial debut of "Piranha". So they're shots that deserved a bit of reuse. For sure only Roger Corman's company could get away with this .. but lets face it we all get a kick out of seeing the 'ship with the boobs'!
Personally I hope this comes out on Blu-ray with a tonne of makings of and extras .. I'd be happy to watch that. I want more films that are in this vein of adventurous fantasy! And the reused stuff in this film is testament to the fact that Corman's company produced awesome material for previous films.
Loved it, watched it and will be watching it again no matter how much it's trashed by everyone else.
Yet another rip off of StarWars in the early 80's, but who cares. The movie has space battles,cool pirates, some good acting,a great score by james horner which has been used countless times but still effective, and some comic moments(intentional and some not). Dont start watching this movie thinking its going to be a big budget, sci-fi flick, because its not. just sit down and have fun for an hour and a half. Do not take the movie seriously.
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