Battle for the Lost Planet (1986): well, where shall I start?
Let’s start with some facts. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I consider that I’ve been in a state of varying lock downs for about 283 days now. I am fortunate enough to have a decent sized house with a private, secure garden. In that time I have been out for walks, runs, the hairdressers, a bit of shopping in person during the summertime when the infection rate was low, and so on, and so forth. I have had a variety of cooked food to eat. There are multiple forms of entertainment. I am not at home alone. It’s been about nine months.
At the start of this movie, our hero – well, let’s not go that far – the protagonist steals a data tape and a space shuttle. This is Harry Trent, who is some kind of tough guy. He does escape, totally incidentally just as some alien warships arrive to conquer Earth, but the shuttle suffers damage. While it self repairs, the shuttle must slingshot around the solar system. For five years. And his food is raw.
That poor b*****d. Five years, on his own, in maybe two tiny room spaces. In retrospect it’s extraordinary he didn’t go absolutely crazy. Instead, he redecorates. Mostly with crayons (I don’t even know why he had those?) and some food based daubing. At least, I hope that brown stain on the wall was food.
It’s therefore a bit ethically tricky for me to heap as much scorn onto this character as I feel he truly deserves. He’s not a particularly nice man, and doesn’t quite hit the “loveable rogue” trope either. But there you are. It’s what we have.
Who else is in the movie? There’s nearly a real female hero, except the late 1980s can’t allow that. So there’s this great sequence where the male lead needs to save her after she is attacked and dragged off by a mutated monster. And then another great sequence where she is taken captive, forced to dress in revealing clothing, and is then saved from heavily implied gang rape by the male lead. As is written in the prophecies of the patriarchy.
There are some other people. And aliens. Oh, and people enplagued by the aliens. And a Doomsday Device, or in this case, a deus ex machina. Conveniently within a few days of achievable travel from his landing spot. And it turns out that Harry Trent has the only data tape that can kill all the aliens and save the world!
So Battle for the Lost Planet (1986) looks like it had very little budget. It’s almost a montage of homage glued together by vaguely unpleasant characters. Like an over-long music video, perhaps. It’s not great. It’s okay by itself. We watched the RiffTrax version and can only encourage you to also watch this version if you find yourself at a loss to know what to do with yourself.