Star Slammer (1986) Poster


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Entertaining, if Silly, Low-Budget Picture
Michael_Elliott6 July 2018
Star Slammer (1986)

** (out of 4)

Taura (Sandy Brooke) is sentenced to serve some time on a prison ship that floats around in outer space. As soon as she arrives she has to deal with not only a nasty warden but also the other women including one who plans on making Taura's life a living Hell.

STAR SLAMMER, also known as PRISON SHIP, is an ultra low-budget movie from director Fred Olen Ray, which might not be the most original thing you'll ever watch but it's at least slightly entertaining as long as you're not expecting something like Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

The film is basically just a lot of silly action scenes as the film wants to not only cash in on the sci-fi genre but also the women-in-prison one. The two work quite well with one another but as I said, there's certainly nothing original going on here. You've got the lesbian and mean warden, you've got outsiders causing trouble, there are the ladies fighting one another and you get the idea.

I will say that Brooke was a lot of fun in the lead role and she certainly helps push the film along. Suzy Stokey, Marya Gant and Dawn Wildsmith are all entertaining as well. You've also got Aldo Ray in a small role and one of the final apperances by John Carradine whose total screentime is around a minute. In fact, Carradine shot a bunch of scenes in one day several years earlier and those were scattered throughout several Ray pictures including JACK-O, which was released years after the actor's death!

STAR SLAMMER is pretty much low-budget junk but it's certainly fun enough to where fans of the genre should enjoy it.
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Typical Fred Olen Ray Film
nogodnomasters2 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is a prison girl movie in space, a prison without a shower. One bad guy wears pink, another had Fabio hair. Sandy Brooke changes her top twice. Expected cat fight was lame, special effects were camp. 2017 Edition has a Fred Olen Ray commentary option.

Guide: No swearing or sex. Nudity
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Fun sci-fi variant on the babes-behind-bars genre
Woodyanders18 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A handful of convicts plot to escape from a prison ship where they are treated like pieces of meat by the sadistic staff. Director Fred Olen Ray keeps the enjoyably silly story zipping along at a snappy pace, maintains an amiable tongue-in-cheek tone throughout, and adds amusing touches of deliberately campy humor. However, Ray doesn't deliver much in the way of gratuitous female nudity and keeps the sleazier aspects of the premise to a minimum.

Fortunately, we still get nasty mutant rats, a few lively cat fights, and a welcome appearance by the big toothy monster from "The Deadly Spawn." Moreover, it's acted with zest by an enthusiastic cast: Sandy Brooke and Suzy Stokey make for feisty and appealing heroines, Ross Hagen has an eye-rolling histrionic field day as the evil and unhinged Bantor, Marya Grant vamps it up nicely as the wicked Warden Exene, and Dawn Wildsmith contributes a deliciously hammy turn as mean head trustee Muffin. Aldo Ray alas isn't given much to do as a grotesquely disfigured inquisitor while John Carradine pops up in a quick bit as a doddery judge. The funky old school practical effects and copious use of stock footage from several Roger Corman flicks add a certain endearingly tacky charm. The spirited score by Anthony Harris hits the stirring spot. A schlocky blast.
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Corny and cheesy space adventure...
paul_haakonsen4 May 2019
Right, well I knew that this was most likely not going to be massive gem in cinema history that had somehow eluded me since 1986 and up until 2019.

But still, I decided to watch "Star Slammer" because I had the chance. And I must say that the movie definitely is cheesy for sure. But underneath all that cheesy and low budget posture beats a heart with a vision and the drive to make something out of said story despite the budget might not be the biggest.

The storyline in "Star Slammer" was fairly straight forward, and very reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960 sci-fi adventures. And throw in some elements of fantasy and you get "Star Slammer". Yup, this movie also had fantasy elements to it.

The special effects and make-up effects weren't grand, that's for sure. But they served their purposes well enough and actually were fun enough to watch on the screen.

As for the acting, well let's just say you get what you can expect from a movie such as this. Enough said and no fingers pointed.

"Star Slammer" was adequate enough for a single viewing albeit it being somewhat below mediocre. And keep in mind that the entire movie is just covered with pseudo-sexual undertones. Not sure why, but it was a little bit corny and cheesy for sure.

Hardly a movie that I will be returning to watch a second time around now that I have managed to sit through it the first time.
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There are demons all around us! And they take the form of women!
Hey_Sweden1 May 2018
The appealing Sandy Brooke plays Taura, an Amazonian miner who is targeted by a bad guy named Bantor (Ross Hagen), a sadistic government agent. She is sentenced by a judge (John Carradine, in a VERY quick cameo) to prison time on a spaceship, the "Star Slammer" of the title. She earns the respect of fellow inmates such as "Mike" (Suzy Stokey), and gets on the bad side of the kinky warden (Marya Gant) and her eyepatch wearing henchwoman "Muffin" (Dawn Wildsmith).

There's definitely something to be said for movies by the likes of Fred Olen Ray, the director here. There's a complete lack of pretension, as Ray seeks to do no more than entertain the viewers, albeit in a low budget, cheesy way. He's essentially doing a W.I.P. (Women In Prison) exploitation feature, transposed to a science-fiction environment. There's unfortunately no shower scene, but there are the expected catfights, and the attractive female cast shows some of the goods while dressed in stylized, skimpy costumes. The gore and creature effects are wonderfully tacky; be on the lookout for a cameo by the monster in "The Deadly Spawn". Sets, special effects and music all do a suitable job of maintaining interest for a cult-movie loving crowd. Also look for a quick shot from John Carpenters' "Dark Star" and space battle footage bodily lifted from "Battle Beyond the Stars".

Stokey (who does her own harmonica playing at one point) and Brooke are engaging heroines, while Hagen, Gant, and Wildsmith all relish the chance to tear into the scenery. Aldo Ray is kind of wasted as a mutated sadist dubbed The Inquisitor, but at least he gets more screen time than Carradine. Screenwriter Michael Sonye (a.k.a. Dukey Flyswatter) also plays the supporting role of Bantors' flunky Krago. Johnny Legend gives a positively goofy performance as the wandering priest Zaal. Director Ray and Jack H. Harris, who produced the picture with him, have voice-only cameos.

While not one of Rays' best, "Star Slammer" (a.k.a. "The Adventures of Taura: Prison Ship Star Slammer") shows fans of schlock a good time.

Seven out of 10.
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Let me slam this movie
Wizard-84 October 2009
Although I enjoy watching drive-in style movies, I have to confess that there is a genre in this genre I have never particularly enjoyed, and that is the women-in-prison genre. I like the *sound* of what the genre promises to offer, but I have always found the actual execution to be dull and boring. And all of these movies seem the same after a while. When I heard about PRISON SHIP (better known as STAR SLAMMER), I was intrigued. A women-in-prison movie taking place in the future, and in space? I decided to give it a chance.

The fact that Fred Olen Ray directed this movie should have warned me. In fairness, not everything in the movie is bad. The sets and spaceship models, while definitely low budget, are not as bad to the eye as you may think. There is the occasional in-joke that made me smile (a planet is called "Arous", there's an alien that looks like one of the aliens from the movie THE DEADLY SPAWN). And there are a few unintentional laughs, like when the musical score sounds very much like the musical score for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

Aside from those bright moments, I found the movie tough to sit through. It's incredibly slow-moving - there is simply no plot advance for long stretches of time. The female heroine is poorly sketched, with a lot of the focus surprisingly not on her. And while you may expect the movie to be sleazy, it feels more like a PG-rated movie - there's almost no nudity, no real sex, and light violence.

Thank goodness they didn't make the sequel that's announced at the end of the movie.
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Good low-budget fun if you like sexy & tough girls
gridoon9 May 2007
The beginning is awful: trying to convince us that we are on an alien planet, Fred Olen Ray shoots everything through a red filter - it worked in "The Angry Red Planet", it's a pain on the eyes here. But soon enough the action moves in the Prison Ship of the title, and the film turns into a cross between sci-fi and WIP - and furthermore, the kind of WIP I like: less focus on torture and humiliation, more on catfights (there are 2, both very good) and the final escape. The special effects are enjoyably cheesy, though I, for one, would prefer to see as a climax a hand-to-hand fight between the heroine and the female warden instead of the laser space battles we do get (some of them apparently lifted from other sources). The girls are pretty sexy and put a lot of spirit and energy into their roles, especially Sandy Brooke who should have had a longer B-movie career. (**1/2)
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Awful! Good and Awful
shark-4315 February 2004
This is a cheesy,low budget late 80's piece of crap. The opening score is a direct rip-off from Raiders/Lost Ark but changes every few notes so as not to be sued. Awful acting, some good gore, always threats of lesbianism but nothing to show for it, some strange costumes and "little people" running around with awful speeded-up voices. A mess, but my friends and I love to get together and watch "bad" movies and we really hooted and hollered at most of this. It's No Star Crash or Space Mutiny (true low budget cheese sci-fi disaster classics) but it has some fun moments.
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fun matinée movie
vampi196027 September 2006
i don't care what critics say about Fred Olen ray,he makes fun movies. prison ship is very campy and fun sort of like the flash Gordon serials. i love the opening music for the sounds similar to the raiders of the lost ark theme.anyway its a science fiction women in prison flick.with some of my favorite actors;Aldo Rey,Bobbie bresee, ross hagen,dawn wildsmith,and even johnny legend.some of the space battle scenes were stock footage from battle beyond the stars.its not star wars but its still a fun movie to watch.i believe this was inspired by flash Gordon and buck rogers.i wish i could find this on DVD i rented this from a video store about 10 years ago on ancient VHS. but i think it would be far much better in widescreen.all i can say is Fred Olen ray keep making them fun movies,ignore the movie critics,they are sheep.i know this is crazy but i give prison ship 8 out of 10.
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Silly,hokey,but fun to watch
johnc214127 February 2009
As a fan of Fred Olen Ray films i have to say prison ship is quite entertaining.i know it has a shoestring budget.John Carridine in one of his next to last films as a space magistrate who sends a beautiful sexy fiery blonde babe(Sandy Brooke)to a prison ship full of by a busty tough warden played by Marya Gant,and her sadistic one eyed trustee played by Dawn Wildsmith(a olen ray regular)of course there's a twisted sadistic lunatic(Ross Hagen)who wants revenge.because he lost his hand in a fight with the heroine.also on hand is Johnny Legend as a space rabbi,the great Aldo Ray as the a master of torture,and cameo by the beautiful Bobbie Bresee.there's aliens robots,Jagger rats(don't ask)and a space battle lifted from Roger Cormans;battle beyond the stars.and a good opening score that sounds like raiders of the lost ark.granted i saw this movie on ancient VHS so the picture quality is not very good.some critics will think I'm crazy for liking this and giving it 7 out of 10,but remember the critics Siskell and Ebert admitting they enjoyed;invasion of the bee girls and infra man.I'm hoping to see prison ship on a good quality DVD.prison ship is a killer-b movie,i found it enjoyable.
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Fun Movie That Keeps Moving Along
mikecanmaybee14 December 2019
Taura (Sandy Brooke) is quite likable as the co-leader of the space prison girls who rebel against their ruthless captors including Warden Exene played pitch perfect by Marya Gant. Ross Hagen once again proves he can be the glue that holds a "B" movie together with his over the top role as the hot hand Bantor. All the scantly clad ladies make for great scenery in this fun movie that does not take itself too seriously, but doesn't devolve into goofy camp either. One of director Fred Olin Ray's best low budget offerings. A must see for all female space prison fans.
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Cheap and relentlessly stupid, PRISON SHIP is out of bucks, Rogers
silentgpaleo1 June 2000
OK. So the line above is kinda silly, but so is this film.

Fred Olen ray is a master at spending no money, and somehow always having a film to show for it. Granted, most of his films end up being very static due to lack of monies for alternate takes and complex editing.

OK. So Ray isn't what you'd call Speilberg. His films concentrate on borrowed sets and costumes(this one's got them), has-been actors( Sid Haig, John Carradine, Aldo Ray, ect.), and some of the most stiff and lifeless dialogue this side of Ray Dennis Steckler.

PRISON SHIP( I saw this as STAR SLAMMER) is a piece of junk, filled with borrowed effects from BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA and BUCK RODGERS. There is some skin, but not enough. Mostly, there is talk, and as many a reviewer likes to point out, Fred Olen Ray makes very chatty pictures. That's because he either doesn't have the creativity, or the perspective, to realize that you don't need a ton of money to make a good film. You just need talent.

Why should I continue? PRISON SHIP is cheesy, and painful. Don't watch this unless you must see every film that John Carradine is in (or you really like train wrecks).
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"Five the hard way"
smittie-128 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
SEE. . . John Carradine, in a cameo even more pointless than the one from ICE PIRATES. SEE. . . footage from DARK STAR and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS repetitively incorporated into the proceedings. And DON'T see any T&A, beyond the lovely Ms. Brooke's two (just two?) topless shots. Yep, it's a 'women-in-prison' flick, in space no less, that doesn't work in the communal shower, or the kinky pecking order, or any degrading 'initiation' rites. What a shame. What a shame indeed.

At least Ross Hagen's in it, wearing Jared-Syn's old body armor. And I got a kick out of the 'episode' titles... a junky below-B-movie that gives its self dramatic structure, now how often do you see that? About as often as promised but undelivered sequels, which is to say often enough.

"See the continuing adventures of Taura in- CHAIN GANG PLANET!"

Or not.
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pretend it's a spoof if you want to survive
dindrane26 February 2004
There is a leech-eating scene.... need I say more? At one point, during the requisite prison cafeteria food-fight scene, several of the actresses literally crack up and start giggling during their lines.

One of the actresses, a doctor, was actually not half bad (in comparison), and I felt very sad for her; the rest of the actresses didn't seem to take the script seriously at all, and who can blame them? They were probably coeds promised free beer if they showed up and read from cue cards.

This movie is so very bad that it's actually hysterically funny.
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Good 'B' movie
purcilia27 November 2019
Ah to be 1986 again, extra cheese on the acting & props
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jonrb1 June 2000
I saw this film when I was a student back in 1988 or 1989. A friend and I hired it on video.

It has got to be one of the most dire films I have ever seen. Totally derivative, unoriginal, cheap, tacky, badly acted, buttock-clenchingly bad.

The special effects for the space battles are lifted directly from Battle Beyond The Stars. Strangely enough, I've seen another film that has done this, so maybe the makers of BBTS sold the rights to that footage to make some money.

Bearing in mind that I am writing this review 11 years after seeing the film, I'd give it a huge thumbs down at 1/10.
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Not bad fun
nsbmwarmachine1 March 2019
The sort of movie you want to find on the TV in the early hours of the morning, when you just got back from the pub but are not going to bed anytime soon.
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What happened to the Sequel?
benbabco13 September 2006
The space fighting scenes are right out of Roger Cormens classic "Battle Beyond the Stars". (Like cut and paste out of it that is)Then for those of us who actually survive this epic to the end and make it to the credits, we seem to be misled, because at the beginning of the credits we are told to look for the next adventure of Tara in "Chain Gang Planet". What happened??? I realize this movie is bad, but hey, just for a good laugh I would pick up the next one on DVD. If you are a serious sci-fi fan, you might be better off to look to something else for your collection. If you are into low budget c-movies (I don't think of this as even a B movie) and are looking for a good laugh then look no further.
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