SPACE RAIDERS (1983)
Article 4959 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Howard R. Cohen
Featuring Vince Edwards, David Mendenhall, Patsy Pease
What it is: Space opera
A young boy hides away on a spaceship that is stolen by space pirates, but he wins the heart of the leader, who tries to return him home.
There were two things I noticed at the top of this movie. One was that the background announcements during the opening scene were pretty amusing. Another was that the insect the young boy was hunting was stop-motion animated. These two details gave me hope that the movie would have a sly sense of humor and have other charms as well. Unfortunately, that sly sense of humor pops up only sporadically during the rest of the movie, and one of its potentially best moments (involving a house of cards) is ruined by a editing gaffe, and any other charms the movie might have had are too well hidden to be appreciated. It also doesn’t help that the child actor (who is supposed to be cute as can be and wins over everyone’s heart) is dull and unappealing; all he really has to go for him is his big puppy-dog eyes. The rest of the movie is tired STAR WARS-style space opera, and most of its space battle footage is lifted from the superior BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. It’s one of those movies that made me care so little about the characters and their situations that it was like sitting through nothing at all. Not recommended.