Peter Strauss plays Wolf, a bounty hunter who’s got a lot of problems and has a lot of sex with an android. When three young women are stranded on a derelict planet, they go in search of the girls for the prize of three thousand space-dollars. But this planet is more brutal than he could expect: marauding gangs, mutants, killer amazon women, dragons, fat woman creatures and the supreme evil that is the Overlord. With the help of a young teenage girl Nikki (Molly Ringwald) and soldier Washington (Ernie Hudson), they go in search of these three girls.
This is one of the classics of my childhood, a movie I would watch again and again without ever getting tired. And who could blame me? One part Star Wars, one part Road Warrior, this movie is entertaining as hell and has everything: action, romance, comedy, cool monsters and hot women! So I just saw it for the first time since I was a pre-teen (this is late 90’s right here) and I have to say I still got a kick out of it. The best part of the film is the production design, which out-does Road Warrior by giving it a more fantastical take but while still keeping the kickass grim look. The locations are incredible and seem to be endless, like something out of a John Ford movie. And of course, I love the camp storyline. It’s obvious that Ivan Reitman and Co. were interested in harking back to, not just the classic serials that inspired Star Wars, but also the pulpy science-fiction novels that were released during the 20’s and 30’s, where macho men heroes and scantily-clad heroines fought aliens and monsters in far-away planets. The villains are also pretty cool. When I was a kid, the fat creatures that came out of cobwebs were pretty scary, and so was the dragon that lived near the Amazons. Hell, why didn’t this movie have more Amazons? They’re hot! The two main villains, The Chemist and the Overlord (played in full cheese mode by Michael Ironside) are so awesome that they look like living action figures.
If I have one beef with this film, is the lead, Peter Strauss. Han Solo he ain’t: he’s dull as hell, has the same face all over the movie and can’t seem to emote. He reminds me of James Franciscus (Beneath The Planet of the Apes, Valley of Gwangi) and he’s just as dull. But other than that, this movie is pretty damn awesome, and is better than most of the crap that passes for big-budget sci-fi these days. And if you think it’s cheesy, it’s only because it is.