Not long after Star Wars hit it big, everyone wanted their own version of an epic SciFi Space Opera. Universal quickly put into production the original Battlestar Galactica, and famous B-movie producer Roger Corman began work on his own. The result was Battle Beyond the Stars and while it may be cheesy and its low budget can be seen everywhere on screen, it’s a science fiction classic that just hit DVD and Blu-Ray in an awesome special edition.
While he had worked on movies for Corman in the past, Battle Beyond the Stars could be seen as a preview of the future scifi epics that James Cameron would create. Cameron was the art director and worked on the special effects, James Horner did the soundtrack, and Aliens producer (and future wife/ex-wife of Cameron) Gale Ann Hurd was also involved. Now, with the movie being a Corman production and made with a budget that basically consisted of pocket change, it isn’t Avatar, but the movie has its own charm.
Battle Beyond the Stars is basically Star Wars crossed with The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai, but with the sort of 80s fun that scifi movies had back then. Think The Last Starfighter, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what you’re getting into. And again, with it being a Corman movie you can expect a lot of innuendo including a spaceship with massive breasts.
In these days of massive CGI epics, sometimes it’s nice to go back and watch a science fiction space opera with actual models. It may be cheesy and people who grew up in the CGI era may laugh at it, but Battle Beyond the Stars is a classic and the new Blu-Ray special edition is spectacular. Not only has the film been fully restored so it looks better than ever, but there’s a ton of features on the disc including two commentary tracks. One is by the writer and Roger Corman, and the other is with Gale Ann Hurd. There’s also new special features (in full HD) including an interview with Richard Thomas and a thirty-minute documentary. There’s also the film’s trailer, radio spot, poster, and stills; and all of the special features are in full HD.