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Rated R
Copyright 1988 A.I.P. Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 13 April 2009

The Characters:  

  • Dave Ryder - Not since Bart Savagewoofer has there been a man the likes of him. He is every viper pilot's best buddy, every Brambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain engineer's hero, every gloating villain's nightmare, and every chunky and spunky woman's romantic dream come true. He also yells, "Son of a b***h!" quite a lot.
  • Lea Jansen - Aren't you a bit old to be wearing those clothes and playing with hula hoops? Another thing, why do you wear clothing that makes your breasts look like water balloons?
  • Cmdr. Jansen - Cameron Mitchell! Man in charge of the intergalactic colony ship Southern Sun. Sir, it is time that you started asking yourself some hard questions about your spaceship, like why bricks (as in hard blocks made from mud) were used in its construction.
  • Capt. Devers - He can make his forehead move.
  • Lt. Lemont - She dies but keeps coming to work (probably so that she can play "The Ancient Art of War at Sea" on her computer). Payroll is going to go nuts trying to figure out whether she should be paid or not.
  • Engineer Paulsen - He tries to remind everyone about The Law (not going around on four legs, not committing mutiny, etc.) but the only thing that earns him is a sharp poke in the ribs.
  • The Bellerians - A bunch of dancing space mystics. Their idea of religious freedom is tax-free shopping at Spencer Gifts.
  • Jennera - Voted "Most Likely to Rub a Plasma Lamp the Wrong Way" in high school.
  • MacPhearson - One of the evil conspirators who wanted to take over the Southern Sun. I almost cried when he finally walked without the aid of his cane. However, it was not a miracle. He was ON FIRE and suffering unbearable agony. A little knee pain was the last thing on his mind.
  • Kalgan - John Phillip Law! He wants to take over the ship, but giggles like a schoolgirl every time he starts gloating about his plan. I clocked this maniac going more than 5 gpm (giggles per minute) at one point.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

You know, there are films that sound good but suck, cheap flicks that are imitations of better efforts, and plain old bad movies, and then there are movies that are so incredibly awful that you ask, "What were these idiots thinking?" The film at hand is one of that rare breed. It features gratuitous use of stock footage of ships from the original "Battlestar Galactica," but most of the action takes place in some sort of industrial facility. Yes, there are pipes and things, but it does not look like the inside of a spaceship. What it looks like is the inside of an old industrial facility.

This movie is terrible, absolutely and positively atrocious. The reason you are watching it is to laugh at it. Never forget that. Now, continue on your journey.

When we aren't trapped in the pipe-filled building or visiting the "Battlestar Galactica" film ark, the action takes place on a small set that must have been built for this movie (which makes it something of a novelty). The set is a room and a hallway. The filmmakers use that little set for multiple locations. More than once, characters have a meeting in the hallway. I swear that I am not making this up! One time it is MacPhearson and the traitorous enforcers sitting around a table placed in the middle of the passage, while later Cmdr. Jansen and his officers are seated in chairs on opposite sides of the hall.

Does the director think that viewers will not notice all of these things? Does he think that we are stupid? "Ha, ha! You are watching 'Space Mutiny.' You must be stupid. Stupid!" Well, Mr. Awful Director Man, we noticed. Screw you. You're stupid. Stupid.

Okay, now that I have gotten that off my chest, let's talk about the movie. The spaceship we keep seeing is not the Galactica; it is the Southern Sun, a colony ship that is making a long trip to a new world. Several generations of crew have already been born and died aboard the massive starcraft, so they have been traveling for a while. Most of the crewmembers are dedicated to the dream of founding a new world, but Kalgan and MacPhearson are planning to hijack the ship. They want to become interstellar pirates, planetary warlords, or something like that. Unfortunately for everyone aboard the Southern Sun, the command deck has no idea that mischief is afoot.

Kalgan's plan requires that he isolate the Southern Sun from possible sources of outside help. The communications system is already under his control, so physical access is all that remains. As Dave Ryder's fighter returns to the ship, a block of clay stuck to a pipe covered with flaking paint - I mean a sophisticated explosive device expertly placed on the flight deck's guidance control system power feed - detonates. Ryder's ship loses control and crashes into the docking bay. His passenger (somebody important, at least to Lea) is killed, but Ryder is saved by the new teleportation ejection system. This explains why Lea and Ryder get off to a rocky start - she blames him for the dead fellow's demise.

The explosion and fire cause serious damage to the flight deck. The Southern Sun is physically cut off from the rest of the universe. I guess that the designers did not include a single external hatch anywhere else when they designed the ship.

Almost forgot to mention that, just before Ryder's viper dirtied the landing bay (no, not a euphemism), a shuttle of Bellerians arrived. The mystics are given a simple room where they can undulate over electric globes all day and all night. Bizarrely, even though the Bellerians' dance temple is located in an area of the ship that is completely under Kalgan's control, and Jennera assists Cmdr. Jansen's efforts to stop the mutineers by providing spiritual guidance, the evil enforcers never liquidate the Bellerians. All that one of Kalgan's toads had to do was open the door and toss a grenade into the room. Never happens. Even after a shipboard civil war breaks out and the Bellerians start hypnotizing Kalgan's troops, the freaky space witches are left unmolested.

I guess that Kalgan has no qualms about committing treason and near genocide, but the thought of being charged with a hate crime for killing the Bellerians while they were practicing their religion scared the space socks off the laughing jerk.

Time to rewind to a spot before the good guys know that Kalgan is a bad guy. Lea is mad at Dave because somebody died, and Ryder thinks Lea is a snooty little tart who is allowed to act that way because her daddy is the ship's commander. Both of them go to the dance club to relax. The dance WOW. Never have so few played with hula hoops while wearing so much lame that covered so little of what needed to be covered (this could be said of most of the movie - minus the hula hoops). If that is not enough silliness to make the dance club memorable, then the fact that it is obviously just part of the industrial facility that has been festooned with party decorations and equipped with a smoke machine is notable.

Pretty soon, Lea and Ryder are done being mad at each other and are ready for make-up sex. Before that can happen (don't worry, they still do it), they accidentally discover Kalgan's plot to take over the Southern Sun when he assassinates Lt. Lemont outside of the dance club. Kalgan speeds off in a ridiculous security cart that looks like an armored bumper car. Dave and Lea jump into another bumper car and go after him. The bumper cars and the people driving them all have laserguns. A furious bumper car chase and firefight takes place! Lasers go every which way. "Space Mutiny" has a lot of lasergun battles. The beams do not always go straight, and I mean they are crooked enough that even an imbecile will notice. Heck, I think that I saw a laser beam jump out of the floor at one point!

Ryder and his girlfriend do not catch the traitor because Kalgan radios for reinforcements. Now Dave and Lea are the ones running away. They duck into the cryogenic deep freeze room and discover what happened to all of the honest security personnel: Kalgan took them away and made them into frozen people pops. After that revelation, they make a beeline for the bridge so that Lea can tell her dad what is going on.

There, now we are at the point where everybody knows the cat is out of the bag. Kalgan is a traitor; he must be stopped. Except, nobody does anything! Cmdr. Jansen just makes an announcement over the ship's loudspeaker, "Kalgan is a traitor. Be on the lookout." It takes Jennera appearing to the old commander in a dream to convince him to do something. What does he do? He appoints Ryder as the new flight commander in charge of security and says, "Do something!"

Meanwhile, pirates (cylon base ships) attack the Southern Sun. Jansen pushes a button and the pirates go away. I think that he shot them with Adobe After Effects. Defending yourself from stock footage is easy with Adobe After Effects.

The only way to resolve the conflict aboard the Southern Sun is for there to be a no-holds-barred laser and flamethrower battle in the engine room. Once more the entropic lords of laser special effects are set loose on an unsuspecting audience, and once more the beams go every which way imaginable, like a truckload of fake afros caught in a tornado. That's not the best part. Zapped men fall over railings, and one unfortunate soul bursts into flame, only to have Kalgan demand, "Get out of my way, you idiot!" The burning man falls over a railing.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the prop laserguns! They are...amazing, and almost all of them are painted completely silver. Ryder is usually armed with a Desert Eagle replica that has extra barrels glued to it. The rest of the laserguns are plastic MAC-10s. I remember having one of those when I was a kid! We used them to play war. "Bang-bang! Gotcha Michael! Lie down and count to thirty!" The only difference between my plastic MAC-10 and the props in this movie is that they painted their guns silver, and they cut off the single barrel and replaced it with four barrels. Wowzers, that looks just like a lasergun is supposed to look.

There is one lasergun that is not painted silver; it's a long black weapon that looks like a rifle/crossbow, but it is still a lasergun. Why a lasergun would look like a crossbow is beyond me. It barely made sense for a Wookie in "Star Wars." Here it seems...never mind, this film has bigger issues than Wookie guns.

Do not worry about Ryder and the stalwart crew of the Southern Sun; the bad guys are finally defeated. Were you worried? I wasn't. I do not think that the colonists deserve to find a new planet to colonize. Let me explain why. What is weird about the Southern Sun's journey to colonize a new planet is that they encounter other ships and humans. The colony ship is still within the sphere of settled space, even after traveling for hundreds of years! What are they doing? Do they know where they are going? The colonists must be morons, or else no civilization wants them to settle in their section of the galactic neighborhood, or, more likely, both.

The question quickly becomes why the Southern Sun and her human cargo is being shunned by the rest of the known universe. I think that I have the answer. The original crew was made up of middle managers, telephone sanitizers, and hairdressers. Nobody wants that ship to land on their planet. Also worth consideration is that any sane plan to send that lot off to another planet should have involved cryogenic sleep, but while the Southern Sun is equipped with a cryogenic facility, the only person using it is Kalgan (to make frozen people pops). So, the ship is filled with the descendents of middle managers, telephone sanitizers, and hairdressers, all interbreeding their way in a downward spiral to the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. This situation has one ultimate outcome: a colony ship filled with mud-sucking amphibians who have big red hair, talk a lot, and never get anything done besides creating committees and writing interoffice memos.

By the way, I think that Cmdr. Jansen is the fifth generation product of middle managers marrying other middle managers.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Always keep a couple of extra Allen-Exxon 5000 drive motors on hand, just in case.
  • Some things can make a plumpish forty-year-old look good, but spandex and hula hoops are not two of those things.
  • Walt Disney's last words were "Saran Wrap."
  • Paintball armor can protect you from lasers.
  • Nothing gets a woman's juices flowing like the feeling of real authentic imitation astroturf under her back.
  • Lasers explode when they hit something.
  • Offering to shake hands with someone who is in the middle of a 'roid rage fit is not a good idea.
  • Lasers are bad for your teeth.
  • Nobody has designed a bumper car that uses hydrogen fuel cells for a very good reason.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 9 mins - Looks to me like it dun durn blowed up already.
  • 10 mins - What the heck does that do?
  • 14 mins - What the heck do those do?
  • 21 mins - Imagine it? I don't even know what it does.
  • 46 mins - It is still out. Hey sister, you going to put that thing away today?
  • 50 mins - My God, they are reusing footage, and making stock footage from their stock footage.
  • 52 mins - These people will use anything as an excuse to drink Cosmos from giant plastic martini glasses.
  • 54 mins - "Or else your daughter is going to choke to death on the Kalgan's Special Sauce! Hahahaha!"
  • 63 mins - Stop talking to your weather radio.
  • 66 mins - Operation Blind Mullet is a go! Everyone to their stations!
  • 76 mins - That was twenty-five years ago.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note spacemutiny1.wav Kalgan: "Excellent, they no longer have a choice! Hahahahaha! It was cruel fate to be born in space, but I have vowed we will not die here. It is my destiny to set my feet upon a real world, to accumulate wealth and power beyond our wildest dreams! Hahahaha!"
Green Music Note spacemutiny2.wav MacPhearson: "Are there any other of you that wish to confuse freedom with treason?"
Enforcers: "Not me. Not me."
MacPhearson: "Report to the enforcer's bridge!"
Enforcers: "Let's go! Report! Hurry up!"
Green Music Note spacemutiny3.wav Ryder: "Listen, lady..."
Lea: "Doctor!"
Ryder: "Doctor! I don't have to justify my actions to you, but since you're asking. That explosion cut the power, and there wasn't time to go to the auxiliary backup system. I had to eject. I had no other choice. Commander, Captain, excuse me. I have to file my report."
Green Music Note spacemutiny4.wav Ryder: "May I have your attention, please. Will the officers of the watch please form three groups. The first group is going to be responsible for making weapons. The second group is going to act as soldiers. The third group is responsible for getting food and supplies. I suggest we close off all entries and exits to the engine room. We're going to hold out here, and never let 'em take over the Southern Sun. Let's get out there and kick some a**! Hrrraahhh! Yahhh! Ahhhhhh!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipspacemutiny1.mpg - 7.0m
Enjoy the extreme bumper car battle, along with the hearty "Son of a b***h!" from Ryder when Kalgan takes the checkered flag.

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