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Battlefield Earth

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Warner Bros.
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Roger Christian
John Travolta
Barry Pepper
Forest Whitaker
Bottom Line: 

L. Ron Hubbard was a pretty bad science fiction writer, but as a sort of self proclaimed messiah I guess he must have been pretty good, because his wacky little religion that started as the basis for a novel has "all growed up" and absorbed Hollywood's elite into it's pod people- like clutches. Perhaps scientology's biggest deciple, John Travolta has decided to pay homage to the king of fromage with this, the proposed first film in a planned series of Battlefield Earth movies.

Heeheheh. Yeah, John, and the Pope's coming to my house for Christmas.

Anyway, Battlefield Earth introduces us to the Psyclos, a race of tall, dread-locked blue people with huge boots and goat feet for hands. Travolta plays Terl, the chief security officer on the alien controlled Earth, whose primary motivation in life is money and greed, which is actually the primary motivation for all of the Psyclos.

Terl forces the human slave Johnny "Goodboy" Tyler (Pepper) to become the foreman of a group of slaves who are secretly mining gold for Terl's retirement fund. Terl sticks Johnny in a machine that teaches him how to speak Psyclo, educates him in the ways of humanity before the alien occupation, and basically shows him how to organize a revolution, fly a harrier jet, and wipeout the Psyclo homeworld in the process. Terl, as you see, ain't too bright.

Neither is this movie.

Battlefield Earth is the kind of movie that seems tailor made for Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's so bad it's actually good, in a sad, career suicide kind of way. Travolta hams it up as Terl, and he looks like he's having either a great time, or a nervous breakdown. Either way he's fucked. Pepper, on the other hand, plays his neo-Chaka the ape boy like a surfer in a bearskin rug. The rest of the caveman guys talk like mildly retarded mall janitors, but Tyler sounds like he's on his way to the Gap for new Khakis. And what's director Christian's deal? The camera is tilted at a 45 degree angle in every shot, alternating between hard left and hard right. I half expected a few segments to be upside down. If you haven't seen this movie, keep that in mind while you watch it. You will see what I mean.

Okay, so the world is unified in it's opinion of this movie. It's awful. It's beyond awful, it's ludicrously awful. But, like a lot of really bad movies, this one makes great viewing while intoxicated with a group of witty people. They also threw pretty much every concievable extra on the DVD, and while most of it's the usual stuff, there's so much of it you gotta give them credit for trying. It's like buying a broken down car from a guy who feels bad so he throws in a set of slightly balding tires just to sweeten the deal.

So should you buy it? Not if you are expecting something good. If, however, you have that special shelf of crappy movies that you break out whenever your old roommate with the crazy five foot tall water bong comes over, well, then Battlefield Earth will be the Citizen Kane of your collection.

Heheh, I have a copy for just such an occasion.

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