Director: David Winters, Neal Sundstrom
Writer: Maria Dante, Ian Yule
Producers: John De Kock, Hope Holiday, Debi Nethersole, David Winters
In the far, far future, the humans, looking for a solution to Earth's overcrowding, built a starship called "The Southern Sun." This ship would carry them in their quest to find a new and uncolonized world. While some have come to call the ship their home, the rest have grown restless and impatient.
Flight Commander Elijah Kalgan (John Phillip "Barbarella" Law) is one of them. Leading the ship's security crew, the creatively-named "Enforcers," he is in prime postion to stage a mutiny. WIth plenty of manpower and dispatching of any dissenters, he's also in league with MacPhearson (James Ryan), the right-hand man to Capt. Alex Jansen (Cameron "Andersonville Trial" Mitchell), he plots to do just that. All he needs is a way for the ship not be able to evacuate the passengers and crew and a way to ensure no help can come in.
That's where Dave Ryder (Reb "Yor: Hunter from the Future" Brown) unwittingly comes in. When the power controlling the docking bay's guidance system is cut off (in an act of sabotage by Kalgan), Dave has to eject using the pilot's "emergency beam-down" system. Unfortunately, they haven't developed it for the passenger side yet, so Professor Spooner, his passenger, dies in the explosion.
The explosion achieves its purpose: with the docking bay under repairs for the next couple of weeks, Kalgan executes his mutiny plan and once he takes over, he'll force the ship into the constellation Courora Borealis, where the space-pirates are. He will then sell the rest of the crew into slavery in exchange for wealth, power, and a chance for him, as well as his cronies, to set foot on a real world. MacPhearson has a score to settle with Ryder: he caused the injury that left him needing the use of a cane. Ryder and the captain's daughter, Lea (Cisse "Didn't Do Much After This Film" Cameron), who initially hated Ryder for the death of Spooner, team up to thwart Kalgan and his cronies.
Boy, this sounds like a real good plot for a sci-fi epic, right?
It could have been, but the writer who came up with it had to have been a descendant of Ed Wood. With a budget of what seemed to be $10,000 dollars, low-budget DTV legend David Winters helmed this soon-to-be bad movie classic.
Let's start with the performances. John Phillip Law, in a "here-for-the-check" role, gives one of his hammiest performances yet. It seems at times that at any moment, his skull will just pop out of his skin with how tightly he stretches his facial muscles.
Reb Brown, as the hero, does a campy job. Ryder's battle cries come out sounding like cries of a woman who had just had her purse stolen. He delivers his dialogue, however bad it is, with enthusiasm in place of talent. Where's the promise he showed in "Death of a Soldier?"
Cameron Mitchell, as the captain, does a straight job, not hamming it up like Law. Just a stilted, monotone delivery of badly-written dialogue. It's like watching a Paul Walker movie, only no good looks to distract people from the shitty job he does.
The writing, as stated several times, is bad. Not "bad" bad, but cheesy bad. Some examples below:
"Can a woman buy a man a drink in your galaxy?"
"Surrender, or be blown to astro-dust!"
"I'm being undermined by my own disciples!"
"Take this, you space b*tch!"
Also, the script introduces a race of aliens called the Bellarians. They are brought aboard the ship before the docking bay fiasco and seem to be psychically inducing the efforts to stop Kalgan. However, the script never really makes this clear, leaving many people utterly confused.
Skimming by the poorly choreographed fight scenes, the bad set design (the ship's brick-walled basement should make the ship a bit bottom-heavy, don't you think?), the stealing of footage from "Battlestar Galactica," and the insane amount of people falling over railings as they are shot and die (called "railing kills"), we come to the section no review of this film would be without...
...the climactic FLOOR WAXER CHASE!
Yes... a floor waxer chase. Ryder and Kalgan pursue each other in vehicles resembling floor waxers, going at speeds of what seems to be 2-3 MPH. It's just as ridiculous as it sounds.
Then again, look "ridiculous" up in the dictionary and this film will be listed right next to Uwe Boll's career.
It is severely tempting to give this movie a straight 10. All of the elements come together to make one of the best 80's comedies, albiet an unintentional one. With the bad acting, poor writing, and the FLOOR WAXER CHASE, this is a must-see for any lover of 80's cheese and cheesy sci-fi films as well, in either it's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" or normal versions. Hell, I would have given it a "10" for the FLOOR WAXER CHASE alone!
User Dex quite rightly adds: I'd like to mention that in addition to its general awfulness, that the continuity is rubbish. In one scene a guy who was killed reappears at his console.
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