Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone (1983)

Rating: ***
Cast: Peter Strauss, Molly Ringwald, Ernie Hudson, Michael Ironside

A big budget 3D sci-fi extravaganza that hit the theaters in the height of the 3D resurgence. As such, the photography is crisp and crystal clear, and the film is gorgeous to watch. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, it's really stupid. Peter Strauss is a rough and rugged salvage broker who hears a distress call from a spaceship that has blown up. Three beautiful young ladies survive the explosion and crash land on a forbidden planet, and a large reward has been offered for their safe retrieval. But the evil ruler of the planet (Michael Ironside) finds them first and desires to suck their life energy from them. For the rest of the film, Strauss encounters strange places and even stranger people on his quest to find the girls. He hooks up with a very young and extremely obnoxious Molly Ringwald, and her whining nearly ruins the film. The sets, makeup, and cinematography are excellent and the film really does look good. Just don't try to think about it too hard.

Notes on the DVD release: For whatever reasons, the DVD version of the film is edited and removes the most important sub-plot regarding Molly Ringwald's character. All of the scenes that deal with Overdog and The Chemist sucking the life energy out of the captive women are removed, which gives no context to the scene of Molly Ringwald suffering the same fate, and robs the story of a key element that makes her special. Totally baffling. Now I'm going to have to try and track down an uncut version.