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Rated PG
Copyright 1983 Columbia Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Wolff - Intergalactic garbage collector and all around hero.
  • Nicki - Molly Ringwald! Spunky and amusing girl who hooks up with Wolff to obtain food and fame in exchange for leading him to the Forbidden Zone.
  • Washington - Ernie Hudson! Sector Chief of Terra, sort of a Sheriff in outer space. Runs around pointing his laser rifle at everyone.
  • Chalmers - Wolff's maintenance android, he should have bought that duck and cover upgrade for her software.
  • Jarette and Duster - Two natives of the planet out to get revenge on Overdog.
  • Reena, Nova, Meagan - Earth women who escape an exploding spaceliner only to land on a devastated world. What always happens to pretty females when society collapses? You got it, concubine city.
  • The Jenny Craig Reject Mutants - Freakish fat people pupae that attack Wolff and Nicki.
  • Chemist - Weird scientist and assistant to Overdog, it appears that his spleen is on the outside of his body. Incapacitated when Wolff gives said named organ a healthy squeeze.
  • Overdog - Michael Ironsides! Virologist sent to combat the plague on this colony world, instead he became a poorly insulated cyborg dictator. Now really, would you give someone a small personal army and a budding planet to take care of if their name was "Overdog?"

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Spacegoing handyman rushes to a ruined world to rescue some captive Earthwomen. After landing he uses an impressive SUV to navigate the tricky terrain and happens upon a pubescent Molly Ringwald. Together they overcome latex covered extras, waterlogged Amazons, and a pro street version of Michael Ironsides.

Okay, that was the plot - bye!

You mean I have to come up with something approaching rational thought to explain this? What exactly do you take me for? Okay, other than that and leave my mom out of this.

From the get go you should realize this movie means business (monkey business), whether is is the great opening title effects that make "Adventures in the Forbidden Zone" almost unreadable or the weird sailing ship/locomotive. I did like Wolff's combat vehicle though, it looks like a roomy Expedition, but how many of those do you see equipped with rocket launchers? Almost missed mentioning his sidearm, despite having cool laser effects discharge from it the weapon still reminds me of a Crossman air pistol.

Our hero does take on the rescue mission to earn some much needed cash, in addition to failing equipment on his spacecraft the rent is two months behind. Why someone who spends months in space would have an apartment is beyond me and the screenwriters I imagine, but it is darn good at illustrating how much he needs the money. Isn't it?

Subsequent to his arrival on the planet all the encounters with requisite mutants and allies occur, with a few fights and two or three vehicles made from lots of rusting sheet metal. I tell you, one of the first things war knocks out is the bottom of the undercoating business. You should not be surprised by anything during the film, but neither is it so terribly done to immediately scream cliche' more than a few times.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Credits sound a lot like tie fighters when they are coming at you.
  • Anything can be fixed by kicking it, even an airlock.
  • "Crossing the T" works against trains too.
  • Chiropractors are more dangerous than judo masters. (I'm alluding to the "crack their neck and render them unconscious" thing.)
  • Laser rifles don't float.
  • Amazons are amphibious.
  • A game where some unlucky bastard is chased through a maze (full of blades, fire, and acid) by a lawnmower is vastly entertaining... ...unless you are a contestant.
  • Plastic exhaust hose is commonly used to insulate high voltage power lines.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - One has to ask why the escape shuttle didn't just keep them in suspended animation and circling the planet.
  • 18 mins - Hey buddy! Does that hang glider/rocket thing pass emissions?
  • 21 mins - Oh, he pressed the "turn to goo" button.
  • 30 mins - Considering the world is inhabited by mutants I would probably sleep inside the armored vehicle, not on the ground.
  • 49 mins - Let us just watch that in reverse for no reason.
  • 83 mins - No scale modeling going on here, no sir.
  • 85 mins - You should probably wait two or three years to consummate the partnership. What is the age of legal consent in 2136 anyway?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note spacehunter1.wav Chalmers: "Okay, what did you do to this?"
Wolff: "Emergency repair procedure number one."
Chalmers: "You kicked it?"
Green Music Note spacehunter2.wav Wolff: "What the hell are you?"
Nicki: "What do you think I am you scrawny earthbag? I'm a woman!"
Green Music Note spacehunter3.wav Chemist: "Are they missing any limbs? I hate it when they have missing limbs."
Green Music Note spacehunter4.wav Overlord: "You have a very enviable life force, a life force you're going to share with me."
Nicki: "But you said if I made it through I'm free."
Overdog: "I lied!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipspacehunter1.mpg - 1.9m
Wolff faces off against Overdog in this action packed scene. You know, hitting some guy who is barely mobile should not be difficult, our hero should look into getting contacts or something.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Neville
Programmers at my local TV must just love this one. I may have watched 3 or 4 times. As goofy as Freddy Krueger giving his girlfriend a massage, but strangely effective. The scene with the Chemist's creations (those mutant kids with molotov cocktails) was scary, others plain silly (those humongous things... ugh!) but it is actually a really enjoyable film if you stop questioning every scene.

Why there are not more movies like this one? Oh, and I agree, Molly Ringwauld was reeeeeaaaaalllll sexy here.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #10. Posted on June 15, 2002, 09:43:14 PM by yuop
I remember watching this film when I was like 7.  Those fat maggot guys oozing out of the ceiling freaked the heck out of me.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Swamprat
I remember accidently seeing this on cable years ago. I had never heard of it before then. I could tell by the way the credits ran that it had been filmed in 3D. Molly Ringwald was a big star by the time I saw this little number, and Strass was already a well known talent. I remember wondering "What the hell are these people doing in this piece of s**t?" I was facinated with the SUV. My nephew was a kid at the time and between us we had enough LEGOs to build an alternate universe somewhere...we spent the next few months building bad assed intergalactic SUVs, complete with plasticine bounty hunters and tracker rats. It was firecracker heaven for awhile there. Then it passed and I had forgotten completely about this movie till I came across it here. I remember the overblown music every time the SUV went chugging over the terrian. I've always liked Ironside in these roles. He's what John Saxon always tries to be in these roles...mean and nasty and scary. Saxon only ever manages to look like a greasy wannabe. I'm going to have to find a copy of this, just to refresh my memory of it. I love a good bad film...the fact that I saw this but can't really remember it says a lot. It has to be a bore for me not to have it thoughly locked away in my cerebrial files. Bab is Bad, but boring is totally unacceptable.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Chip
The best part in this movie is when someone says to Molly Ringwald "Your just a baby, I bet your barely out of your diapers!" and Ringwald says "I'm not out of my diapers!"  Wrong choice of words there, Molly.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by AlphaWoolf
Overall this is an effective film.  I've never seen it in actual 3D, so I can't say how effective the 3d effect is, but at least this movie doesn't beat you over the head with "sticking things into the camera lense" shots so common in cheesy 3D films.

Peter Strauss definitely has that "what the hell am I doing in a movie like this" look throughout the film (a la Timothy Dalton), but he and the rest of the cast work well.  I give both the script and Molly Ringwald credit for having her character speak in a degenerate dialect that adds an air of authenticity to the proceedings without being forced.  This movie is competently made and it takes itself seriously, so there aren't many unintentional laughs here unless you find the whole 80's post-apocalyptic genre ridiculous.  A good "popcorn" movie.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Rob
This movie was fun! Some good shoouts and action scenes, mutants and amazons, space babes, dudes on hang gliders badass Road Warrior-like vehicles, more space babes and that obstacle course at the end? Goofy fun. The space effects in the beginning when the spaceliner blows up are actually very very good!

My favorite scene is when they stumble into a nest of what appear to be genetic crossbreeds of uncle fester and a moth pupae. I'm sorry but if I where these folks I definitely wouldn't be scared by a bunch of squealing fatass aliens trying to, I dunno, sit on me to death?
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #15. Posted on December 06, 2002, 05:11:14 PM by Xephyr
I just barely remember this one, but I liked it.  Corney, yes (but then they usually were) but it was still cool.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Kent
I was wondering if anyone knew a way I could get my hands on the original 3d version of this movie.  I have some friends that work in a theater, so purchasing an orignal reel could possibly be an option. Thanks.
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