- Movie Rating -

Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)

| May 20, 1983

I will start my review of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone by making a note about the 3D; I can’t comment on it.  My right eye is so myopic as to be completely non-functional.  That means that the image that I saw on the screen was completely red thereby making the movie completely red to me, the result of which made the characters in the movie look like they were running around the inside of an active volcano.  Removing the glasses of course, meant that I was subjected to a image that was blurry and confusing.  For me, there was no hope.  Your experience may vary.

Fortunately, I have since seen a 2D print of the movie which removed the confusing blur and the need for the glasses and I could enjoy Spacehunter as God intended.  Well, ‘enjoy’ is a strong word.  This is a moderately entertaining Z-grade space adventure with sets and props made out of spare parts and characters constructed mostly the same way.

The story is fun in a half-assed sort of way.  It concerns a Han Solo-type named Captain Wolff (Peter Strauss) who travels to the plague-infested Planet Terra 11 where he will rescue several fellow humans – called Earthers – who have become the prisoner of an very unappetizing creature called The Overdog (Michael Ironside) who has both a mean-streak and a God complex.  For this mission to work, Wolff enlists his buddy Washington (Ernie Hudson) and a cute prepubescent girl named Niki (Molly Ringwald).

It is hard to put Spacehunter into a category.  The movie has a lot of things going on and a lot of characters to get through.  Aside from the filmmakers wanting to make use of the 3D, I also got the sense that they wanted the movie to feel like a fully-packed world, one in which you could see the population.  Well, it doesn’t really work.  Most of the scenes feel pull together out of things found in the trash bins and the performances are anything but 3D, but you know, I sort of enjoy it all.  The movie has a cheeky charm and the cheesiness was part of the fun.  At least there was something under the 3D to behold.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1983) View IMDB Filed in: Sci-Fi/Fantasty