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Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978) - Blu-ray Review

5 beers

Rock‘em schlock‘em grooviness returns!

There’s something really strange growing on Billy’s chest.  It’s silver, metallic, and looks very, very alien.  His girlfriend (Cheryl Smith) is concerned about his growing dark side and his doctor (Roddy McDowell) doesn’t know what to think about it.  Strange things are happening in this small Californian desert town.  And one of them might be this little film. {googleads}

Poor Billy (Kim Millford) is not having the best of days.  He’s had a nightmare; his mother has abandoned him for Acapulco; his girlfriend’s crazy grandfather won’t let him see her; he gets bullied by some other teens; and then he gets a speeding ticket.  And that’s all in one morning.  Wow.  Go back to bed, dude. It isn’t worth it.

Except Billy doesn’t go back to bed.  He goes exploring in the desert and, after tossing an empty Coke can into the desert, he stumbles upon a fully loaded laser gun.  What?!  And when he puts on the bottle-looking medallion next to the gun, he discovers that, yeah, he actually can fire the weapon.  What fun!

Something, of course, begins to worm its way into his facial expression.  He suddenly finds enjoyment in doing bad things.  It begins slowly enough, with an occasional laser blast here and there, but, soon enough, his very soul is at stake and people start dying.  It is, of course, the consequence of enjoying one too many shots from this space gun. 

"as loopy as it is, the movie works to deliver a haunting message about the futility of revenge…even on a B-movie budget"

And now the aliens are targeting him.  Billy, wanted by the police and the aliens, is quickly in over his head. 

Directed by Michael Rae and produced by Charles Band, Laserblast – a forward-thinking flick about one teenager’s laser cannon fueled revenge against those who he thinks are out to do him harm – is, and I kid you not, a b-movie blast.  It is low in budget but high in spirits and, honestly, that makes all the difference in appreciating this Joel Goldsmith-scored gem of science fiction bliss.  It doesn’t always hit those high-water marks but, for a movie this cheesy and awesome, it grins its way across the finish line.

The squishy-looking (but well-armed) aliens are pretty damn cool looking.  Obviously, they are concerned about the weapon enough to hunt down a man carrying the exact same laser cannon that Billy later finds abandoned in the beginning part of the movie.  I guess you can figure out what happens to this unlucky green-skinned fellow.  These stop motion effects for the aliens, completed by animator David Allen (of Equinox fame), cement this science fiction tale firmly in matinee land (which isn’t a bad place to be).  They also mark the beginning of a fabulous relationship between Band and Allen. 

Written by Frank Ray Perilli, Laserblast got hammered in its original release.  No one particularly cared for its Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Death Wish combination.  Not even a majority of the kiddos out there.  But, as loopy as it is, the movie works to deliver a haunting message about the futility of revenge…even on a B-movie budget. 

Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978) - Blu-ray Review

The film is gloriously insane.  And it looks great on this new blu-ray, which has been scanned from the original 35mm print.  It also co-stars Keenan Wynn (Kiss Me Kate, Clonus) and is the very first appearance of Eddie Deezan of Revenge of the Nerds fame.

Forget about District 9.  The seeds for that film are sewn here in a hokey old school gem.  Get blasted all over again with Full Moon Picture's Vintage VHS Collection series presentation of Laserblast!


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Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
85 mins
: Michael Rae
Franne Schacht, Frank Ray Perilli
Kim Milford, Cheryl Smith, Gianni Russo
: Horror | Sci-fi
Billy was a kid who got pushed around... Then he found the power.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Gee, Billy... why can't you be more ordinary."
Theatrical Distributor:
The Irwin Yablans Company
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 1, 1978
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Augsut 14, 2018
Synopsis: Billy (Kim Milford) has the same problems that many teens have to endure. His mother is inattentive, local cops target him for speeding tickets, his girlfriend's grandfather hates him, and teenaged bullies make fun of his van. Billy finds the keys to his emancipation in the desert, when he stumbles across a laser gun left behind by a pair of aliens. As he exacts revenge upon his unsuspecting tormentors, he becomes overwhelmed by the power of the gun and turns into a crazed, green-faced monster.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978)

Home Video Distributor: Full Moon Features
Available on Blu-ray
- August 14, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
: None
English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Full Moon Picture's Vintage VHS Collection Series’ handling of Laserblast is a beautiful thing.  Full Moon goes above and beyond the call of duty here.  The NEW 2K scan of the original film elements for Laserblast is wonderfully crisp.  It is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  Colors are bold.  Shadows run deep and the crisp textures in the walls and in the backgrounds are on point.  This is a fabulously fun movie that, rather successfully, makes for one hell of a transformation thanks to the efforts of Full Moon.



  • Director Charles Band and composer Richard Band offer a great commentary for the movie.

Special Features:

The remastered Blu-ray Special Edition is housed in a large old school VHS box.  Inside are some goodies, though.  Fans get a Laserblast alien figurine, a great looking box, and a new commentary by director Charles Band and composer Richard Band.

  • Commentary
  • Trailers


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Laserblast: VHS Retro Big Box Collection (1978) - Blu-ray Review