BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Space Raiders (1983) - Blu-ray Review

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  • Film Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

Sapce Raiders - Blu-ray Review

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2 beers

Produced by Roger Corman in what amounts to a marketing miracle, Howard R. Cohen’s Space Raiders remains a cheesy kid’s tale through space as a ragged band of pirates mistakenly abduct a small boy and allow him to join in on their merry fun. It is a film as fun as it is soulless as it plays out across the stars, robbing Star Wars, Star Trek, and Corman’s own Battle Beyond the Stars for ideas, style, and special effects. The film is proof that even icons have their bad days.

In recent interviews, Corman credits the “success” of Space Raiders for starting his own interest in making kid-friendly films. Follow the bouncing silver coin, right? Well, why not?  Lucas did the same when he cheapened Return of the Jedi with toy-selling Ewoks who then got their own spin-off movie(s).  As much as I love Corman, Space Raiders – with its recycling of sets, space battles, storyline, and score – remains a picture with nowhere to go. It is – when we strip everything down to its core – Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid except in space. From its opening scene which balances a laser shootout with a small boy’s attempts to find the perfect container for his alien-looking bug, Space Raiders unapologetically opens itself up for an abundance of sentimentality as it quickly develops into a rather dull catch-and-release story.

Peter (David Mendenhall from General Hospital fame), the wide-eyed boy swept up in this foreign world far away from the confines of his home, is quick to warm up to the gruff father figure of Captain C.F. "Hawk" Hawkens (Vince Edwards) and takes him at his word when Hawk promises to return him to his home. The rest of the crew – Aldebarian (Drew Snyder), Amanda (Patsy Pease), Flightplan (Thom Christopher), and Ace (Luca Bercovici) – would prefer the kid be shot to deep space. Of course, there tune changes when they get to know the little guy. Unfortunately, the type of lives these space pirates live opens them up for all kinds of criminal encounters and nefarious activities.

Little does Peter know that getting back home will be an adventure involving bounty hunters, a dangerous space station full of wanton criminals, the cheapest Mos Eisley Cantina knockoff sequence ever put on celluloid, and a corrupt corporation with ties to his own father as one case of kidnapping becomes more and more complicated. As lifeless as the film becomes in certain spots, I simply cannot knock the talent behind the scenes who, day after day, worked with Corman in creating (or plundering) movies like this one.

Written by Cohen, Space Raiders is cheap and easy and never once pretends to be something other than what it is: cheap and easy. It just doesn't really DO anything.  With a couple of marginally nice scenes – one being a quick how to shoot asteroids training session in which Peter mimics, “Goddamn rocks!” while blowing them to smithereens – in its wheelhouse, Space Raiders is an easy flick to forgive and enjoy if you can drink enough. It’s just nothing to get too terribly excited about.

At the end of the day, sure, it’s vapid entertainment and predictable as hell but nothing seems to get in the way of making Space Raiders an amusing waste of time inside the head of Roger Corman and the film's writer/director. Fans of the movie should be advised that this blu-ray release from Scorpion Releasing is limited to just 2000 copies. Get yours now. Tick, tick, tick.

Sapce Raiders - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime:
84 mins
Director
: Howard R. Cohen
Writer:
Howard R. Cohen
Cast:
Vince Edwards, David Mendenhall, Patsy Pease
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
He's 10 years old and they've taken him 10-million miles into space.
Memorable Movie Quote: "There's another one coming in."
Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 2, 2014
Synopsis: A futuristic, sensitive tale of adventure and confrontation when a 10 year old boy is accidentally kidnapped by a spaceship filled with a motley crew of space pirates.

Sapce Raiders - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 2, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A, B

Presented in 1.78:1, the 1080p transfer from Scorpion Releasing is pretty decent. Details are soft. Shadows aren’t deep enough but everything has an extra oomph to it thanks to the usage of the original camera negative for the transfer. The sound is presented in a bare-boned 2.0 DTS-HD track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

This release features a new interview with Corman, one with David Mendenhall, and one with Corman editor/director Clark Henderson as he recalls (while plugging his own films) just what it was like to create Space Raiders and work for Corman. I am seriously jealous of all who did get the chance. A theatrical trailer is also included.

  • Mendenhall Interview (30 min)
  • Corman Interview (7 min)
  • Clark Henderson Interview (8 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

 

 

 

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