Space Mutiny

There is nowhere to hide from the enemy within!

Year of Release: 1988
Genre: Science Fiction/Action
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 87 minutes (1:27)
Director: David Winters, Neal Sundstrom


Reb Brown ... Dave Ryder
Cisse Cameron ... Lea Jansen
John Phillip Law ... Elijah Kalgan
Cameron Mitchell ... Alex Jansen
Graham Clarke ... Scott Devers
James Ryan ... MacPhearson
Billy Second ... Lt. Lemont


The enormous Southern Sun spacecraft faces destruction from within when the evil Kalgan and his men take control through a violent and explosive mutiny. Kalgan's plan: scrap the ship and sell the passengers into slavery.

Only one man, Reb Brown, has the strength and courage to lead the fight against Kalgan's rebels. Armed with laser cannons and neutron grenades, he leads the Commander's daughter and a handful of soldiers into a blasting battle against Kalgan and his powerful forces.


Space Mutiny, remindin' us that pirates have an even harder time scorin' hits in space than they do in Pittsburgh.

An speakin' of guys who can't handle their shots, Billy Hilliard an I got goat-roped into helpin' Skunky Hernandez get his cattle to the livestock auction again, even though we've been doin' this for ten years now an not once has anybody ever put in a serious bid on any of his skanky-ass sagebrush Jerseys. The only thing worse than listenin' to Skunky rage like a barnyard Uwe Boll on the ride home's the laughter rainin' down from the stands while the auctioneer desperately tries gettin' an openin' bid. Only guy I ever saw take an interest came up to Skunky after the show to say he was considerin' buyin' a coupla breeders, only when Skunky asked whether he had a dairy farm or a beef ranch the guy said he lived with his mama in an apartment complex. Basically it's Hell on Earth is what I'm tryin' to say, an normally I wouldn't even bring it up, cept this year about a dozen drunk farm hands from all over the tri-state area showed up the day before an decided to "take in the local sights," which pretty much amounts to parkin' their farm rigs at Berenstain Beers an gettin' totally blasted on Pole Cat draft til they puke all over their bolo ties - kind of a local tradition in these parts. Unfortunately, this time around all the straight outta rehab trailer trash gaunchorrhea gals musta been on house arrest or somethin', cause instead of goin' home with them, these guys ended up gettin' kicked out around 4:30 in the AM when one of 'em started gettin' a little too friendly with the stuffed Hamm's beer mascot. Needless to say, they still had a lotta pent-up testosterone by the time they showed up at the rodeo grounds around 6, an... I dunno, I guess some switch in their brains musta flipped when they saw the cattle in the arena, cause next thing you know these cowabungholes all reverted back to their rodeo days an tried mountin' the show animals.

Course with as many pitchers of Pole Cat as they'd packed away there's no way they coulda ridden the mechanical pony next to the Jiffy Mart, let alone climbed onto the backs of wild-eyed Herefords, so for the next 10 minutes the crowd watched these rhinestone cowpies get kicked, bit, stomped, an thoroughly coated in bovine buttpucky before finally retreatin' over the railing. Unfortunately, on the other side of that railing was a 2200lb Angus bull by the name of Murdernand waitin' to enter the ring, an that's when the auctioneer had to instruct all the mothers in the audience to turn their children's heads or face a lifetime of expensive psychotherapy. I hadn't seen that many filthy white things go flyin' like that since Billy Hilliard bowled a 238 at The Gutter Bowl back in the summer of '98, although the guys that caught connecting flights into the stands were probably the lucky ones. Two of 'em got gored through their hinders an shaken around like a coupla mutilated maracas, four others got mashed into cow patties, an one particularly unfortunate S.O.B... well, I don't wanna get graphic or anything, but let's just say his gene pool got drained, permanently. On the plus side though, Skunky decided to donate one of his heifers to help pay the guys' medical bills an raised $1500, so technically speaking he made his first sale. Other'n that I've pretty much just been sittin' on my butt thinkin' about how grateful I am to still have one.

I did manage to take in a little culture while enjoyin' the comforts of my can though, an this week we got the flick from what many people believe to be the best episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Space Mutiny, starrin' Reb Brown as the slab of beef brought in by Cameron "bowl fulla jelly" Mitchell to rid the Battlestar Galactica of greasy guys in scuba masks. Mostly it's just Reb runnin' around a boiler room for an hour and a half beatin' the crap outta South African extras an strugglin' to convey any kind of emotion towards his wife, but it's pretty goddamned entertaining even without the MST3K commentary, so for those who've never had the pleasure, lemme just give ya a taste of what you're in for with a few personal observations I was able to make as a result of not bein' forced into fits of hysterical laughter... as often. First, if you must make a movie completely devoid of minorities, it might be best not to slap an "SS" lightning bolt logo on half the cast an try passin' 'em off as the protagonists. Second, in the future no one even bats an eye at a pair of high heels in an all-male security force. That Jamie Farr was obviously onto somethin'. An third, it's a sad state of affairs when you see a boiler room in space an instinctively panic thinkin' the studio just sent Freddy Krueger into space to join the ranks of Jason, Pinhead, and the Leprechaun.

Watchin' this thing's kinda like bein' trapped in a sensory deprivation tank too, cause after awhile your mind starts openin' itself up to the cosmos, allowin' you to look at the world in a whole new light. For instance, in the days before Space Mutiny, I was always a big proponent of the safety railing. It really did *seem* like they were a boon to the elderly, the inebriated, an the just plain clumsy, but after you watch 128 guys plummet to their deaths *despite* the "security" of the handrails, you start realizin' what a scam they are. Stupid things didn't do squat to save any of the guys bein' pitched over 'em, nor did they lift a finger to help the ones leanin' over 'em to get better line-of-sight on a target, so why do we even use these things? It's actually a lot like these dopes on TV pushin' gun control legislation - I mean, what do they hope to accomplish? Take away *all* the guns in the known world an you'll have roving bands of gangbangers murderin' people with jagged soup can lids, so why should I, as a mostly law-abidin' citizen, be barred from ownin' a Sherman Tank for my own personal protection? All these regulations can never stop the truly driven individual from goin' apeshit in the mall, so why even bother? Seriously, why are we, the taxpayers, havin' to foot the bill for things like police body armor when their heads're exposed? What good's that gonna do 'em? An where's the man come off tellin' me I gotta wear a seat belt while I'm cruisin' in the Topaz? What if I roll 'er an she catches fire an I wind up hangin' upside down like a pine squirrel over a spit? That'd sure make me look stupid. Heck, while we're at it, let's talk umbrellas - big help they are, given a heavy enough downpour your pants STILL get drenched from the shin down, so that's a bust. All the damn liberals out there'll prolly tell you we need *bigger* railings, or caution signs, or maybe even some chain-link fencing, well, I say - let 'em fall. They can put safety rails around their precious safe spaces on their own buck - us real men *like* the thrill of knowin' we could splatter like pigeon squat offa Trump Tower at any moment, makes ya feel ALIVE, an more importantly: free. So how's about layin' off the stupid safety nets an puttin' that money towards somethin' useful, like a new pool table in the VFW or somethin'. Damn thing's so old the balls've mashed contact divots into the bumpers, it's pitiful. So if anybody important's readin' this - your attention in this matter would be much appreciated.

The movie begins on the Southern Sun, which the narrator explains is a space ship where most folks readily accept that they'll never set foot on terra firma an don't care cause they've got a space cantina with fog machines, strobe lights, an scantily clad women hurlin' their mammacles around. Unfortunately, certain segments of the populace're a buncha jerks who don't wanna die beneath the crushing tedium of routine, an he insists that these bastards're the real villains even though the people content to play Lost in Space for the rest of their lives have SS Nazi bolts on their uniforms. Anyway, the lead heel/Brylcreem spokesmodel (Kalgan) is rootin' around in the ship's industrial boiler room plantin' bars of explosive Ivory soap all over tryin' to rid the place of rope-skipping girls in white dresses, while Graveyard Gloria from Porky's II (Lea) is headin' down to the docking bay to meet "the professor," who I assume is bein' brought up on murder charges for finally doin' what had to be done an gettin' rid of Gilligan an the Skipper. But before the professor's fighter squadron can land they get attacked by space pirates an hafta blast all their ships into party glitter, an when they do finally land Kalgan blows up the ship's septic tank with his Napalmolive an ends up knockin' out power to the ship Reb Brown an the professor're in an Reb hasta to beam down just as the thing explodes like a deregulated fertilizer factory. Meanwhile, a buncha Muslim Aerobic Instructors (the Belarians) are bein' led to their digs where they unpack their plasma globes an practice Jane Fonda workout routines, which somehow cause the security guards to hallucinate an generally be blinded by thighence, while Kalgan waxes down the ship's shuffleboard court in a runaway bumper car an yucks it up with his gimpy henchman (MacPhearson). Then Reb goes to meet with Commander Cameron Mitchell, only Lea butts in an starts givin' Reb the business for killin' the professor an her only shot at passin' 'er cosmetology final an Reb hasta explain that his seat was the only one equipped with a Star Trek transporter an that it wasn't much of a loss since the professor could barely squat 100lbs.

Elsewhere, engineer Stephen King radios the ship's lieutenant (Lamont) to tell 'er that he's been checkin' the explosives inventory an that they're down about 100lbs of Deathbouy, only Kalgan catches 'im mid-tattle an dumps 'im over the safety railing like a vomit pail out the window of a New Jersey high-rise. Then Reb goes down to the bar to grab a coupla protein shakes for his foam dome an watch all the girls who dress like Judy Jetson shake their crab nebulas until he gets an eyefull of Lea's lunar surface an starts thinkin' about attemptin' a moon landing. But about that time Kalgan's final gruntiers come in an escort Lt. Lamont out to see Kalgan an he lasers 'er right in the leotard for bein' a spandex nightmare an takes off in his luxury edition street sweeper while Reb an Lea give chase in their Volkswagen Floorbuffer. After awhile Kalgan drops a light pole in the road with his pew pew blaster so they can't follow anymore an sics a splinter cell of elite ninja exterminators on 'em, but unfortunately for the ninjas the last guy to rent the Floorbuffer before Reb was Burt Gummer an apparently he left a plasma grenade launcher in the backseat an Lea pretty well splatters 'em into flunkie chunkies. Then they sneak into the fog machine storage area an meet this low-rent Boris Karloff character who tells 'em Kalgan's been turnin' all the security guys who fail his landlubbin' purity test into copsicles until Lea an Reb decide to go tell Commander Cam about Mr. Tastee Freez. This is where things start gettin' weird, cause next thing you know the Fresh Princess of Bel Airia appears in Cam's bedroom an tells 'im the story all about how his ship got flipped turned upside down an Cam decides to just dump command into Reb's lap since he's pretty sure his check's gonna bounce anyhow. Then Reb gets nekkid with Lea an does some mama-jammin' in the arboretum while the Belarians do the Interpretive Dance of the 7 Veils in their makeshift dance studio an astrally project their finely honed hineys into the dreams of a buncha security guys so that when they're called upon to do guard stuff they won't be able to stand up. By now the ship's drifted into pirate territory, but when the pirates attack they pretty much get their jollies rogered while Kalgan watches his computer monitor an looks more'n more pained as the fight goes on like he's passin' an auger that's perforatin' his hemorrhoids one at a time.

Kalgan's P.O.'d, so he kidnaps Lea an tells Cam that if he don't make 'im boss he's gonna fire Lea into space like a Tesla Roadster, an by this point Cam's had it up to his 78" waist with Kalgan's bullstuff an tells Reb to go get his baby back, baby back, baby back. Then Reb kung fus a buncha geeks in scuba masks an steals a jumpsuit while Kalgan stuffs a light saber into Lea's grill an threatens to ruin 'er shot at landin' any Colgate commercials if she won't tell 'im what Reb's next move is, but then MacPhearson shows up an gets woozy from all the fumes waftin' offa Kalgan's hair an Kalgan hasta get 'im to the can before he launches all over the Tandy 1000. So of course Lea's able to get away from the doughy, balding 40-year-old virgin who's tasked with guardin' 'er, an naturally Reb helpfully shows up just before she's about to unleash 'er booberellas, cept now the whole damn ship's swarmin' with South African extras that Reb hasta scoop slam an monkey flip all over the buildin' while Lea fires Occam's Laser into the groins of the desk staff. No assumptions necessary - that plan always works. Needless to say, Reb wants a piece of Kalgan's mutinous glutes, so he rallies his space blanket bimbos with his Reb'l Yell an tells 'em to march on Kalgan's luchadorks until Kalgan takes a bazooka blast to the buns, causin' his troops to turn tail an abandon both he an Gimpy McCrippleson to the mercy of Reb an his tin foil terror cell. Unfortunately for MacPhearson the Feebler Elf, he picks a real lousy place to hide when he flops down into this channel where all the methane from the cafeteria bathroom gets vented, an when Reb finds 'im he fries 'im like an all-beef patty. Our hero - Reb Brown, destroyer of Gimps. But hey, disabled people're always talkin' about how they don't want any special treatment, so what the heck. Meanwhile, Kalgan finally sits up like Michael Myers an tries makin' a run for it, only now the Belarians're swishin' their sheer lace nighties around like a buncha moon matadors an puttin' the outer space voodoo hex whammy on Kalgan to slow 'im just enough for Reb to catch up in his airport shuttle car an the two of 'em proceed to duke it out Ben Hurr style to the finish. Gonna break it off here, but lemme tell ya - if you love outer space NASCAR with top speeds of 15mph, you aren't gonna wanna miss the conclusion of this sucker.

Alrighty, well, even without the Mystery Science Theater guys, our faith in Blast Hardcheese is not misplaced. This is one episode where, despite trimming 15 minutes to make room for the skits, you don't really miss much plotwise. About the only thing of any significance that gets cut is a scene where you find out that MacPhearson was once a fighter pilot under Reb's command and how at some point one of his missions went sideways and he ended up a gimp, so now he's P.O.'d at Reb. Of course, given that he'd *already* sided with the heels before Reb even showed up that's pretty irrelevant, but I figured I'd mention it for the benefit of those poor souls who may never experience Space Mutiny in all its glory. I don't claim to have read the script or anything, but you also kinda get the idea that maybe MacPhearson had the hots for Lea given that scene where he walks in on Kalgan torturing her and Kalgan immediately shuts the machine off and walks off with him, but then that's the kinda thing that gets lost in the shuffle when you've got an additional director having to jump on board and finish the movie after the first guy bails. Not surprisingly, neither one was all that pleased with the finished product, although the second guy, Neal Sundstrom, apparently tried dumpin' all the blame in the first guy's lap for not taking enough "care during pre-production." Keep in mind that this is the same movie where a woman dies and shows up moments later in the next scene, and that the editing process is pretty much the *last* thing that happens, so Sundstrom might not wanna pin much hope on the audience blaming everything on David Winters. That dog just ain't gonna hunt. You might also be wondering just what in the hell the Balarians have to do with anything; well, short answer: bupkis. They were tacked on after the fact (damn that careless pre-production crew) to pad out the run time, even though they can't possibly add more than about 10 minutes of screen time and it wasn't remotely unheard of for a low budget movie to run 1:20 in those days. Those scenes were directed by still a third guy who never received credit, although it's possible he insisted on that before agreeing to do it. Either way, adding a buncha scantily clad women normally perks a struggling flick right up, but not when said women are introduced to add a tie-in with the primary plot line. The whole vaginamancy deal they're doing with their Spencer's Gifts plasma balls is supposed to make you think they're *causing* what happens to both MacPhearson and Kalgan, but that explanation is not only completely unnecessary - it also doesn't make any sense. I mean, not only does Reb's tin foil terror cell have Kalgan's goons completely routed, but he's got the advantage over both the crippled 2nd and the wounded Kalgan, so there's no reason to believe he needs any help... but then I've probably spent more time analyzing the plot of this movie than the writers, so we should prolly just move on.

You know damn well there's no way this thing's gonna pass on its technical merits, so I won't bother blowin' smoke up your ass. I will, however, endeavor not to hammer it into the ground in typical IMDB fashion, and only bludgeon its soft spots where warranted. Oh look, there's one - the plot. Moving past the fact that it's a bit disjointed due to the piss-poor editing and the fact that it seems unfinished, one has to wonder about the reasoning of the characters. For one thing, the Enforcers ally themselves with the Space Pirates on the basis that this will help them take over the Southern Sun; well, *every time* the pirates show up they get their asses utterly handed to them by the ship's gunners, it's pathetic. Also, why does Cameron Mitchell turn over command to Reb after he's been on the ship for like... one day? Talk about a son-in-law promotion. Reb dunno diddly squat about these people or even this ship, and Cam just puts him in charge cause he scoop slammed a coupla dorks? Furthermore, if you're the ship's crippled engineer, why in the blue hell would you park your ass in an incineration gully when a 250lb weight lifter's hot on your trail? I guess it also goes without saying that nobody notices Kalgan blastin' insubordinate subordinates into space all this time, and anytime someone's promoted or an attack is fended off it instantly morphs into Miller Time for the entire crew. The acting ranges from decent to terrible, with Cameron Mitchell winning the race to mediocrity with his extremely bland portrayal of Commander Santa Claus. What kinda schmuck casts Cameron Mitchell as a good guy anyway? Buncha dopes. From there it drops off precipitously, with Cisse Cameron, John Phillip Law, and Reb Brown coming in short of acceptable, if still enjoyable in a hammy kinda way. Then there's the perpetually sweaty James Ryan as MacPhearson who's so nervous that you couldn't get a pin in his ass with a jackhammer, and whose limp has all the authenticity of a non-profit run by the Trump Organization. Of course, nobody can top the wimp at MacPhearson's little round table who squeals "This is mutiny! This is treason! Which I warn you I must report!" Granted, there's nothing you can do with that dialog, but coming outta that guy its ridiculousness is amplified exponentially.

Here's who matters and why: Reb Brown (Yor: The Hunter from the Future, The Howling II, Night Claws, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Brave New World 1980, Captain America I & II, Strange New World, Sssssss), John Phillip Law (Barbarella, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The Three Faces of Terror, Curse of the Forty-Niner, Alienator, Blood Delirium, Moon in Scorpio, Night Train to Terror, Tarzan the Ape Man 1981, Ring of Darkness, The Devil's Bed, Eyes Behind the Wall, A Whisper in the Dark, The Spiral Staircase), James Ryan (From Dusk Till Dawn 2), Cameron Mitchell (Jack-O, Demon Cop, Memorial Valley Massacre, Trapped Alive, Without Warning 1980, Mutant War, Terror Night, From a Whisper to a Scream, The Tomb, Night Train to Terror, Blood Link, Frankenstein Island, The Demon 1981, Captive, The Silent Scream, Supersonic Man, Screamers, The Swamp, The Toolbox Murders, Haunts, Nightmare in Wax, Island of the Damned, Blood and Black Lace, Flight to Mars), Cisse Cameron (Blood Stalkers), Graham Clarke (Broken Darkness, Armageddon: The Final Challenge, The Evil Below, Gor), Rufus Swart (Cyborg Cop, Dust Devil, The House of Usher 1989), Arthur Hall (Survival Zone, The Haunted Strangler), Norman Anstey (District 9, The Howling IV), Rick Skidmore (Gor), Evan J. Kisser (Hellgate), Cameron Mitchell Jr. (Warp Speed), Madeleine Reynal (Dr. Caligari 1989), Camille Mitchell (The Omen IV), Jeanet Moltke (Breakfast of Aliens).

The special effects are extremely cheesy, and feature a lot of old style wire-frame computer graphics that were cool for about five minutes 30 years ago, but that age *really* poorly. Nostalgically speaking they're great, but for something that requests to be taken seriously, they're a pretty hard sell. You've also got all the little ship models floating around in space, and these are actually not bad, but then, they were lifted from the 1978 iteration of Battlestar Galactica. So a good rule of thumb here is: anytime you see an effect that looks like it cost more than about $5, it's probably stock footage. Otherwise it's basically just a poorman's Star Wars, with a lotta laser blasts that would've been pretty easy to do even on a small budget 11 years after A New Hope was released. The sets, which are typically an easy way for even the worst productions to score a few points, might well be Space Mutiny's greatest failing, as the bulk of the movie was filmed inside what looks to be an industrial complex filled with catwalks, stairways, machinery that looks old even for 1988, and a whole lotta concrete. Most egregious of all are the windows through which sunshine comes streaming. These were filmed with color filters to create a spacey neon-light type appearance, but apparently the film came back color corrected and it totally screwed the cinematographer's attempt to hide them. Even the command center sets are kinda chintzy, because as a general rule when you're trying to make something look futuristic you build command consoles and furniture that're smooth and aerodynamic, but everything in this place looks like it was manufactured by Buick in 1976. Still, these command center areas are at least acceptable, but there's no compensating for the ship's Nightmare on Elm Street-esque boiler room, in which 80% of the movie takes place.

The soundtrack is composed primarily with synthesizers, and fairly cheap ones at that, but if the movie wasn't a complete mess on the acting and plot fronts there would probably be a few moments where its scoring added a little beneficial atmosphere. As it is, it still adds a great deal of atmosphere - just not the kind you want. Some of it legitimately sounds like Super Nintendo music, and it frequently makes a concerted effort to do that whole Star Wars "Imperial March" thing... unsuccessfully. On its own, the soundtrack doesn't sound bad, and you could even say that it's a little catchy, but there's just not a whole lot you can do when it's playing over a movie with this level of hokeyness. I will admit to liking Steven McClintock's "Edge of a Dream" ballad that plays over the end credits though, that's some top notch '80s cheese right there. Overall, Space Mutiny's a catastrophe on a technical level. It fails in every respect, from the plot down to the soundtrack, and while certain aspects are more terrible than others, that's still a little unusual, because even the worst movies often have *some* redeeming quality (Troll 2 for instance - great soundtrack). Still, it registers pretty high on the "so bad it's good" meter, so you may be able to enjoy it even without the Mystery Science Theater treatment. Odds are you've seen the episode, so you can decide for yourselves whether you're a bad enough dude to survive it, sans commentary.

Rating: 41%