Tuesday, March 29, 2011
bad/awesome flixxx review: Space Rage (1985)
"I'll help ya, ya sorry sonofabitch"- The Colonel
"Fuck you"- Grange
"I tried to stop em, but I just couldn't do it- uuggggggh."- Walker
Well, this is one of the rarer of the flicks I've found on VHS out on my exploits. I found this one in the same pile as Fire and Ice in Richmond at the thrift store. I had reservations about even buying this one, but once again, I'm glad I did. Worth every penny of the 99 cent paid, Space Rage is a "space" western that pretty much throws you for a loop. You think its gonna suck from the cover and you're kind of right, but like my old man always says about records, even if there's only one good song on it, its worth a dollar. He was and continues to be correct. No one is hurting for that dollar, and it may very well provide you with an hour and a halfs worth of stony enjoyment. The title is really SPACE RAGE: ESCAPE FROM THE PRISON PLANET. I couldn't find a trailer for it, but I found this short clip of an action chase scene that happens near the end, just as the "action" is heating up. There also aren't very many pics of the flick except the poster and a few other countries posters, and a lone promo shot of John Laughlin. So yeah, judging from the distribution alone, I'm guessing most folks haven't seen this one. Richard Farnsworth, John Laughlin, and Micheal Pare "star" in SPACE RAGE!!!
So, first of all, the title is very misleading. You read Space Rage, and you think, this is going to be some kind of spaceship opera akin to Star Wars, Trek, Battlestar, something like that... Although, you are expecting of course it to be a B version of that. BUT, this flick starts out with a pony tailed actor (the guy from Eddie and the Cruiser's II) trying to split after robbing a bank. He gets caught and acts like a dick the whole time, so they ship his ass off to Proxima Centauri (Botany Bay planet) which is a prison mining planet. Not sure why it needs all those names. I guess to confuse us on purpose. As soon as they get there dude's are trying to escape. It seems like a regular occurance. A bounty hunter named Walker is there to catch the escapees and haul them back to the base. There's no gates or walls because they're basically stuck on this planet.
There's also an irish cop, a black cop, and an old guy named the Colonel. The colonel used to be a cop but he got stabbed when he couldn't load his shotgun fast enough so he retired. But they all still respect him.
One cool idea in this flick is the landing bay that's set up on the planet as spaceships come in to land. No one ever shoes that shit on other space movies, and that's like a big part of space travel in the future I'm sure. Where the fuck are all the landing pads, and jutting mechanical arms that are supposed to be there to catch the ship so it doesn't just crash. Not all ships are going to just have landing gear. Nahm sayn? Anyway... There's this governor guy who looks like Boss Hogg and his house ends up being way too close to where the prisoners barracks are. First thing the bad ass dude does is beat the shit outta the head honcho in the clink and tells him he's gonna work for him. So now this dude has a gang as well as a brain surgeon dude who is building a bomb. There's also a side story where the bounty hunter dude is wanting to leave the planet to to go back to Earth to raise his son and take his wife. This makes me think about the subtitle of the movie. The whole time you're thinking that they're talking about the inmates escaping, but maybe, maybe they're talking about the plight of the cops, or the bounty hunter. Stuck out there on that shitty planet with a shitty existence. I don't know. I'm guessing Space Rage is used to describe the angst that the prisoner's feel as they are overthrowing the cops to escape. "AAAAAAAIGHHHHH!! We're PISSED! KILL EM!! WE'RE OUTTA HERE!!!! WE ARE FILLED WITH SPACE RAGE!!! ARRRRRGH!!!
Anyway, So yeah, the bomb gets finished, they plot to blow up the mess hall or some shit, they do it, split in some of the dune buggies and kill a bunch of space cops, and then they go to the governor's house and kill Walker's old lady. She does shoot this one guy in the throat though. And then Walker is like fuck this... and he goes and gets shot in the chest, and then he goes to tell the Colonel. And even tho the Colonel is haunted nightly by dreams of how he failed in the past, he puts on his dress blacks, and loads his shotgun and splits to kick ass and take names. And take names he does. The killings are really fast and funny and when dudes fall they THUMP to the ground or make rad SPLAT sounds. That's my favorite shit. Anyway, this was waaaay better than I thought it would be. Makes me psyched about the ones that i skip over. Believe me, I have stacks and stacks and stacks of ones that i skip over because they look like they are gonna really HURT to make it through. So, we'll see. If you can find it, its worth a laugh.