Saturday 18 April 2020

I Blame Society #7: Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

When I was a kid, there was a certain sort of movie that would be shown in the mornings during school holidays, and often these movies would be oddly affecting, and would haunt me for years. one of the morning screenings of the 80s dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky (Tenkū no Shiro Laputa, 1986) would haunt me for a decade or more until I realised what I had seen; likewise, René Laloux's existentially bleak Moebius-designed and Moebius-strip-plot space opera Time Masters (Les Maîtres du Temps, 1982) absolutely traumatised me, as well it might. And then there's Watership Down (1979). I don't need to tell you about Watership Down.

Some movies seemed to be on every holiday. I don't know if this is really the case. In the words of 80s Doctor Who producer John Nathan Turner, “The memory cheats.” I mean, all it probably took for me to recall a movie being on “all the time” was two screenings, the one being burned on my memory and the second reinforcing that. I know for sure, for example, that I saw Jim Dale-starring “science makes a cuddly mutt colossal” comedy Digby: The Biggest Dog in the World (1973) at least twice. But it feels like more. The same goes for insanely harrowing and inexplicably U-rated kid-against-the-wilderness thriller Lost in the Desert (actually Dirkie, 1969), and it most definitely goes for Battle Beyond the Stars.