Battle Beyond the Sun (1962)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Release Date - Oct 25, 1960 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Buying a foreign film, re-cutting it (with a few extra shots added here and there) and adding a substantially revised script to it is almost certainly a recipe for failure (unless you're Woody Allen and intentionally trying to be funny, as in What's Up, Tiger Lily?). Alas, Francis Ford Coppola and Roger Corman weren't really trying for laughs with Battle Beyond the Sun. Even more unfortunately, the resulting film, while bad, is not one of those bad films that provide a high quotient of unintentional comedy. For the most part, Battle is just a poor film, except for those moments when it's an incomprehensible one. Its schizophrenia is understandable, of course, given its origins, but that doesn't make it any more acceptable. Clearly, Coppola does not show any signs of his genius here; this was strictly a work-for-hire arrangement, an opportunity to get his foot in the door. Likewise, Corman's involvement is pretty minor, and there's none of the cheesy-but-irresistible quality that one finds in his better movies. The acting is poor, as are most of the special effects, but the production design itself is actually pretty good. Fans who know Coppola's major works like the back of their hands may find something of minor value here, but most people are better off skipping this one.