This seminal cult classic was inspired by Seven Samurai. Directed by Akira Kurasawa in the early 50's, Seven Samurai told the story of a group of villagers who elisted the help of the said seven to fight off a gang of bandits, intent of looting the town every so often. Long, awesome and full of fighting, UA decided to do a Westernised version in the early 60's, called The Magnificent Seven. Starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn, it told the same story, but transplanted the setting from fuedal Japan, to the wild west, and was a bloody good film, with Charles Bronson as another of the seven (who starred with Coburn and McQueen a few years later in The Great Escape, also a classic). Fast forward a few more years, to 1980. Roger Corman has just made Pirhanna, and was looking for another project. Along comes John Sayles with his story entitled 'Battle Beyond The Stars', which was modelled after the Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven, but this time, the setting was Space. The village was on another planet called Akir (named after the Seven Samurai's acclaimed director). And the end product was a movie that launched a certain directors future career.
|If that doesn't look like genitalia, then I don't know what does!|
|Apparently, 4 clones isn't enough. They always carry a spare. Just in case.|
|The second poster. Used on the German dvd. Just as cool as the original.|
The script does seem cheesy in contrast to todays scripts, but that just adds to it's charm. But that was part and parcel of movies back in the 80's, and to think that the movie was made with a small budget (most of which went to George Peppard and Robert Vaughn). Still, it did make $11 million in it's first weekend, and thats something not to be sniffed at. It also had James Horner's awesome soundtrack to accompany it which, as with Star Trek II, has Horner's trademark theme running through it, and added punch to the film at it's key points.
A film that has attained it's cult status, along with Flash Gordon, deservedly, and wears it on it's chest proudly. Like a birthday boy badge. Only it doesn't flash. And isn't crap. And doesn't sing happy birthday at the wrong moment.