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Synopsis:

He’s an interstellar adventurer. She’s a young rebel. Together they set out on a mission to rescue three stranded women, from a planet no one has warned them about. Because no one has ever returned.

In the year 2136, Wolff (Peter Strauss), a wily salvage pilot and intergalactic bounty hunter, answers a distress signal on Terra Eleven. Agreeing to pick up three women who’ve been shipwrecked, he lands on the planet only to discover they’ve been kidnapped. Following their trail, Wolff soon encounters Niki (Molly Ringwald), a spunky orphan who agrees to guide him across the Forbidden Zone, a vast wasteland populated by plague-infested mutants. After many battles, Wolff and Niki finally reach the lair of Overdog (Michael Ironside), the planet’s half-man/half-machine ruler. Discovering the women are held captive in Overdog’s slave pens, Wolff’s rescue mission finally begins.

What We Thought;

Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone is a movie I should have definitely seen by now. I might have seen it in the 1980s when it was first released, but I do not remember it whatsoever.

It stars a pre-Sixteen Candles/The Breakfast Club Molly Ringwald and Peter Strauss. Strauss is Wolfe, a bounty hunter who’s in debt and goes to a planet to rescue three women who crash landed. Ringwald guides him on the planet as they fight creatures and rough terrain during their rescue mission.

The film is very 1980s. What I mean by that is it uses practical effects and models instead of today’s standard CGI. It looks a lot different by today’s standards, but the over use of CGI today makes me wish we still did a lot of effects this way. Films like this saw the success of the original Star Wars films and wanted to cash in on space adventures.

It reminded me of other 1980s space/adventure films like Krull, The Ice Pirates, The Last Starfighter and more. Most of them aren’t very good and the script is irrelevant. You watch most of them for the action and effects than the dialogue and story.

This one is more dystopian like a Mad Max in space. The vehicles and setting are very Mad Max-ian despite it being very far into the future. The vehicles on the planet are big and mechanical with big wheels and lots of metal.

I’m sure Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone has a cult following and there are a bunch of people looking forward to getting it on Blu-ray. After watching it I can see why it could have a cult following. It’s not exactly good for a movie today, but it’s campy and retro. I’m sure I’ll be discussing it with friends who remember it soon.

Cast & Crew:

  • Peter Strauss
  • Molly Ringwald
  • Ernie Hudson
  • Michael Ironside

 

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