Space Mutiny (South Africa: 1988)

mutiny in SPACE!

Mutiny in SPACE!

Per Jeff’s suggestion, I’m going to try Space Mutiny. This was not easy because, well, it’s already been done, and every copy of Space Mutiny available is the Mystery Science Theater 3000 annotated version. Not to dis the dudes on MST3K at all but it’s hard to build on their magnificent riffage.

But I’ll try. First of all, David Winters WTF? All I know you from is the awesome West Side Story choreography. Unlike Danny Boyle, you cannot switch genre with the greatest of ease. In fact your attempt to add dance to a sci fi flick, the Bolerians, crashes and burns as quickly as one of your many space cart explosions.

Let’s talk about the Bolerians for a moment, because I think they get to the root of the problem. Usually at this point in the review, I tackle the plot, but unfortunately this movie was plotless— there has been a mutiny on a giant space ship populated by very stupid people, not unlike WALL-E, except the mutiny involves South African B-actors and not cute robots. Anyway, the Bolerians are a race of racy females who somehow make it onto the ship and then for the next several hours (days?) of the movie, are held in a giant cell, their only playthings static electricity balls. Their interactions with the movie are luckily limited to a few appearances to the actors in dream form. Imagine Disney’s Cinderella if the Fairy Godmother were whacked off her ass on mescaline. Yet the Bolerians define this movie, just like the director, crew, and actors, they are aimless jellyfishes whose entrances and exits into this project are almost carefully random, ala experimental film except by stupid people.

But why South Africa? Why 1988? While even ensemble comedies like A Fish Called Wanda were commenting on the evil of Apartheid, this movie stays relatively mum. The vaguely fascist Calgun, leader of the elite Enforcers mentions in one scene that he is mad the Southern Star (their space ship) has never touched down on a planet, fine, but then he goes on to mention something about how much he wants to accumulate resources. I guess my question to Calgun is: your spaceship encompasses a brewery, two discos, a vegetable garden, high speed golf carts, and a couple of warehouses inexplicably made up of brick and mortar. What else could you want, man?

Maybe Calgun is frustrated about his name. Everyone else on board is called Steve or Scott, he’s always Calgun. I guess there’s a bad apple on each ship; everyone else on this spandex-happy, hula-hooping cruise to nowhere seems well-adjusted. Maybe Calgun just needs to spend some time dancing. For a space ship on the verge of eternal destruction, there are way too many parties, leading me to believe that even the people on board who care about whether they are becoming space dust are just too embarrassed to do anything; I mean they did steal their ship from the Battlestar Galactica people, right? Not only that, this is the future yet they’re still using tinny Apple computers and riding around in space golf carts in seemingly never ending corridors. And yes MST3K, their commander is Santa Claus. For a movie about mutiny, you wonder why Santa didn’t just ram this clunker into a passing asteroid and do us all a favor.

Very existential and very amazing—5 out of 5. Thank you David Winters and your thinly veiled writer pseudonym Maria Dante. Thank you so much. Now see this movie below. Also, some choice quotes courtesy of IMDB.


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