It’s been a while since Shout! Factory has released a blu-ray of a Roger Corman production so fans will be glad to hear this news: the sci-fi cult fave Battle Beyond The Stars will be released on both blu-ray and DVD in July.  For those who don’t know the title, it is essentially Star Wars meets The Magnificent Seven.  It benefits from a snappy John Sayles script and great cast that features stars like John Saxon, George Peppard and Robert Vaughn.  Read on for all the high-definition, spack-schlockin’ details…

THIS SUMMER, GET READY TO EMBARK ON AN ELECTRIFYING SPACE ADVENTURE WITH

ROGER CORMAN’S SCIENCE FICTION CLASSIC IN HIGH-DEF FOR THE FIRST TIME!

BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS


Starring Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, John Saxon,

Darlanne Fluegel and Sybil Danning

30th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY™ and DVD LANDING ON HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES JULY 12 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

Digitally Restored and Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen

Revealing Bonus Content and More!

A Battle Beyond Time … Beyond Space

A long time ago, in a studio far far away (actually 1980 in Venice, Calif.), Roger Corman gathered together a fledgling team of filmmakers to make one of the best low-budget science fiction films of all time, Battle Beyond the Stars, a space opera that managed to playfully borrow from Star Wars and The Magnificent Seven, to come up with an enduring cult classic. Long out of print, Battle Beyond the Stars has been meticulously restored with a new anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1) from the internegative, boasting a new 5.1 DTS Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, and featuring a galaxy of extras, including commentary by writer John Sayles and Roger Corman; a new interview with actor Richard Thomas; a behind-the-scenes technical featurette and much more. Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: Battle Beyond the Stars 30th Anniversary Special Edition is a must-have for fans of Roger Corman, science fiction enthusiasts and collectors — available July 12, 2011 on Blu-ray ($26.97) and DVD ($19.93) from Shout! Factory, in association with New Horizons Picture Corporation. Pre-order now on Amazon.com and major retailers.

Special Note: Fans who pre-order Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: Battle Beyond the Stars 30th Anniversary Special Edition from ShoutFactoryStore.com will receive an iron-on of the original Battle Beyond the Stars theatrical key art as a gift-with-purchase.

“This was the most expensive production I had financed. I always liked science fiction, and my idea was to do something of the feeling of Star Wars. What I came up with was The Seven Samurai in Outer Space.” — Roger Corman

Corman brought together some extremely talented people — who went on to bigger and better things — to make Battle Beyond the Stars. John Sayles (Eight Men Out, Lone Star) wrote the script, his third for Corman after Piranha and The Lady in Red; James Cameron, who went on, of course, to be king of the world with Titanic and then king of the universe with Avatar, handled the art direction and special effects; Academy Award®–winning composer James Horner (Titanic, Avatar) wrote the score, which he recycled two years later for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Also on hand as production manager was Gale Anne Hurd, who went on to produce The Terminator with Cameron as well as The Incredible Hulk and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

What’s a small, peace loving planet to do when they’re threatened with destruction by a group of malevolent mutants headed up by the most despicable villain? Why they enlist a sweet young boy to travel the galaxy in search of mercenaries to fend off the tyrant.

When the evil Sador the Conqueror (John Saxon) and his hideous Malmori army threaten the peaceful planet of Akir, the inhabitants, known as the Akira (in reference to Seven Samurai director Akira Kurosawa) sends young Shad (Richard Thomas of The Waltons) on an intergalactic journey to hire mercenaries to defend the planet. Piloting a sarcastic pre-LEXX talking female spaceship (with breasts!), Shad assembles a fleet of seven spaceships to fend off the bad guys.

There’s love interest Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel), whose spaceship houses a sophisticated computer to help the cause; a scotch-drinking space cowboy from Earth (George Peppard of The A-Team); Gelt, an outlaw with a bounty on his head, played by Robert Vaughn in a role similar to the character Lee he played in The Magnificent Seven; the reptilian Cayman (Morgan Woodward), who has his own score to settle with Sador; Saint-Exmin of the Valkyrie (the voluptuous Sybil Danning), whose motto, “Live fast, fight well and have a beautiful ending” carries her into action; five clones with a collective consciousness known as the Nestor; and a pair of aliens who communicate by emanating heat from their bodies. The “magnificent seven” mercenary ships — headed up by Shad and Nell — travel back to Akir for the final conflict.

The cast of Battle Beyond the Stars also included Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson of TV’s  Lost in Space), Jeff Corey as the wise old Zed the Corsair, Sam Jaffe as Nanelia’s father, and a very young Julia Duffy (Newhart and Designing Women).

Made on a reported budget of $2 million, the film opened in late 1980 and quickly made back its investment. The film grossed $1.7 million on opening weekend alone. And the spectacular space battles and explosions were used over and over again in future Corman productions.

Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: Battle Beyond the Stars 30th Anniversary Special Edition Special Features:

  • New anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1) from the internegative
  • New 5.1 DTS Master Audio (Blu-ray)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD)
  • Commentary by writer John Sayles and Roger Corman
  • Commentary by production manager Gale Anne Hurd
  • The Man Who Would Be Shad – New interview with actor Richard Thomas
  • Space Opera on a Shoestring – A comprehensive look at the technical challenges and postproduction of the film with Aaron Lipstadt, Alec Gillis, Alex Hajdu, Allan Holzman, R.J. Kizer, Robert & Dennis Skotak, Thom Shouse and Tony Randel
  • Trailer, TV and radio spots

BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980)

New World Pictures presents A Roger Corman Production

Starring Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Darlanne Fluegel, Sybil Danning, Sam Jaffe, Jeff Corey, Morgan Woodward, Marta Kristen, Julia Duffy

Executive Producer: Roger Corman

Produced by Ed Carlin

Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami

Screenplay by John Sayles

Story by John Sayles and Anne Dyer

Director of Photography: Daniel Lacambre

Edited by Allan Holzman, R.J. Kizer

Art Direction: James Cameron, Charles Breen

Music Composed by James Horner

Running time: 104 minutes

Special features are not rated

Shout! Factory will continue to present Roger Corman’s Cult Classics home entertainment releases in 2011. Upcoming highlights include Melissa Leo in Streetwalkin’, The Bird Cage, Big Doll House, Women in Cages, and many others.

Battle Beyond The Stars (DVD)

Battle Beyond The Stars (DVD)

As our gift to you, we’re offering an iron-on of the original Battle Beyond The Stars theatrical key art exclusively from ShoutFactory.com when you purchase either the DVD or BD.Only available here while supplies last!Click To Enlarge30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition!Seven mercenaries are recruited from throughout the galaxy to save a peaceful planet from the threat of an evil tyrant bent on dominating the entire universe. Among them are a lizard-like humanoid, a space cowboy, a female warrior and a brooding killer-for-hire.Also available on Blu-ray.






Battle Beyond The Stars (Blu-ray)

Battle Beyond The Stars (Blu-ray)

As our gift to you, we’re offering an iron-on of the original Battle Beyond The Stars theatrical key art exclusively from ShoutFactory.com when you purchase either the DVD or BD.Only available here while supplies last!Click To Enlarge30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition!Seven mercenaries are recruited from throughout the galaxy to save a peaceful planet from the threat of an evil tyrant bent on dominating the entire universe. Among them are a lizard-like humanoid, a space cowboy, a female warrior and a brooding killer-for-hire.Also available on DVD.