Battle Beyond the Stars

Year: 1980

Production: New World

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami

Starring: Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Sybil Danning, Morgan Woodward, Steve Davis

Screenwriter: John Sayles

Based on a story by John Sayles and Anne Dyer

103 minutes; Color

New World, never slow to capitalize on a trend, hoped - with partial success - to woo the Star Wars market with this space-opera replay of The Magnificent Seven (1960). It follows the pattern of its Western original right down to Robert Vaughn's reprise of his role as a world-weary gunslinger. Sayles' script is entertaining, as are Danning as the huge-breasted Valkyrie, Woodward as the reptilian mercenary, and the heat-eating twin "Kelvin", but the emphasis is on space battles which, while better than expected, leave the story treatment perfunctory. Murakami's heavy direction muffles the lightness of the script. The special effects were recycled in the Corman-produced Space Riders (1983), of which they are the raison d'etre.

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