Mill Creek Entertainment gives children of the 1980s and their offspring a double dose of sci-fi fun with the “Krull / Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” Combo DVD release. “Krull” recently had its Blu-ray debut. “Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” hasn’t seen the light of day since hitting DVD back in 2001. The two movies put together in one package is a great way for genre fans to pick them up.
I recently reviewed the “Krull” Blu-ray when it was released through Mill Creek Entertainment. If you’re interested, you can read my review right here. In a nutshell, it’s an epic hero’s journey that mixes together “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings.” However, modern audiences might find its pacing a bit slow in places.
“Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” is a blend of a couple different influences on science fiction flicks of the 1980s. Imagine if a reluctant hero-for-hire in the vein of Han Solo traveled to a planet where the inhabitants live in a society that resembled the dystopian world of “The Road Warrior.” It comes complete with scavengers, mutants, and a makeshift city whose citizens enjoy watching people fight for their lives in a deadly maze. It all sounds a little familiar, eh? It also sounds like a lot of fun!
In the year 2136, Wolff (Peter Strauss), a wily salvage pilot and intergalactic bounty hunter, answers a distress signal on Terra Eleven. Agreeing to pick up three women who've been shipwrecked, he lands on the planet only to discover they've been kidnapped. Following their trail, Wolff soon encounters Niki (Molly Ringwald), a spunky orphan who agrees to guide him across the Forbidden Zone, a vast wasteland populated by plague-infested mutants. After many battles, Wolff and Niki finally reach the lair of Overdog (Michael Ironside), the planet's half-man / half-machine ruler. Discovering the women are held captive in Overdog's slave pens, Wolff's rescue mission finally begins.
“Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” was originally released during the 3-D craze of the early 1980s. “Jaws 3-D,” “Friday the 13th, Part 3-D, and “Amityville 3-D” are other movies which are more identifiable from this era. The film is presented in 2-D on DVD, but you can definitely tell where the 3-D would’ve played a part at times.
The cast of “Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” was made up of some familiar 1980s faces. Peter Strauss is known for his many roles in television shows and movies. Ernie Hudson is best known for his character Winston Zeddemore in “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II.” When the movie came out in 1983, Molly Ringwald’s only major parts were in “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.” She comes off as an annoying tag-along here until the end of the film, where she makes an attempt at redeeming herself by facing down her fear and working hard to stay alive. Michael Ironside fully embraced his role as the cyborg tyrant Overdog.
Both “Krull” and “Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” are rated PG. “Krull” features mild violence and gore, and frightening / intense sequences. “Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” includes mild violence and gore, profanity, and frightening / intense scenes. One of the bat creatures in the film is shown topless, but it’s not known whether the monster is male or female. There’s definitely nothing sexy about the scene.
“Krull / Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” Sci-Fi Double Feature is a bare-bones release. There aren’t any special features to be found. Most fans of the films won’t even care. It’s the first time either one has been available in over 10 years.
Newer viewers might find the “Krull / Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” Sci-Fi Double Feature a bit heavy on the cheese and slow in stride. The special effects are all practical as well. It’s nice to see all the hard work the crew put into the visual look of the film. If you love the original “Star Wars,” then you’ll no doubt enjoy these two offerings from Mill Creek Entertainment. Watch them through the eyes of a 10 year old in 1983 and everything will be fine.
“Krull / Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone” Sci-Fi Double Feature is available now on DVD.