CELLULOID WARS: THE MAKING OF BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS by ALLAN HOLZMAN
Battle Beyond The Stars is a cult classic Roger Corman production that was made to cash in on the Star Wars sci-fi craze of the 70s and 80s, but is now recognized on it’s own merit. Allan Holzman was an editor on the film and after four decades, has released his journal of the making of this legendary flick that he wrote while the film was in production.
This is a wonderful and fun look at the making of a cult classic by a man whose task it was to put all the fractured pieces together and make a movie out of them. Holzman’s entries detail a very troubled production, populated by a large group of artists and creative people struggling to make it all work, delivering an FX filled epic on a shoestring budget and tight schedule. There are tales of cramped work spaces, unexperienced directors, demanding producers and almost unusable footage. We get Holzman’s account of trying to make an almost impossible release date, with FX work falling dangerously behind and the shots he was getting, an editor’s nightmare to piece together. It’s is a fascinating look at filmmaking, especially from the perspective of the unsung editing process. It’s also a fun look back at how legendary producer Roger Corman made movies back then and a nostalgic look at how some now acclaimed film talents, like James Cameron, John Sayles, James Horner, Gale Anne Hurd and Holzman himself, started out.
If you love movies, Roger Corman films, are a fan of some of today’s most heralded filmmakers, or all of the above, this is a must have book that also features some great bonus interviews with model builders and FX legends Robert and Dennis Skotak and Battle’s costume designer Durinda Wood! Allan Holzman is planning a sequel about his directorial debut on Corman’s Forbidden World and one can’t wait for that after enjoying this delightful book.
ALLAN HOLZMAN’S CELLULOID WARS: THE MAKING OF BATTTLE BEYOND THE STARS!
Can’t wait to start reading this! Director and editor Allan Holzman (Forbidden World) has released his journal about the making of the 1980 cult classic Battle Beyond The Stars! The book is loaded with anecdotes, interviews and photos from the production of one of Roger Corman’s biggest and most famous flicks. Holzman was an editor on the film and below is the official description of his tome from the back of the book itself!…
“The Year was 1980, and SCI-FI had the motion picture industry in its grip…
The first producer to rush to meet the demand for more SciFi Adventure was Roger Corman who gambled on making the biggest picture his studio, New World Pictures, had ever undertaken. He hired a bunch of hungry, talented filmmakers to produce Battle Beyond The Stars including future award winners James Cameron, John Sayles, Robert & Dennis Skotak, James Horner, Gale Ann Hurd, Jimmy Murakami, and many others… including the author of this book, ACE and Emmy award-winning editor, Allan Holzman.
Taken from Holzman’s diary during production, Celluloid Wars offers an insider’s view of the production headaches that turned into lifelong lessons and the thought process behind the “Roger Corman School of Filmmaking.” This is a case study of a film that according to Nerdist.com “…succeeds in being a fresh, fun, charming sci-fi romp with some excellent effects and damn fine music.”
You’ll see it all – the highs, the lows, the winners and the losers, and all the drama in between – from the point of view of the editor who had to weave all of these different elements and emotions together to help create one of the most successful movies ever produced at New World Pictures, launching a dozen movie careers, and changing the face of Hollywood forever…
Exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes photos with Special FX gurus Robert & Dennis Skotak on their experiences producing eye-popping visuals on a pennywise budget.
Costume designer Durinda Wood discusses creating the unique looks for Battle, and how that movie allowed her to create the look of the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Celluloid Wars: The Making of Battle Beyond The Stars can be purchased on Amazon.com!
MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 FLICKS INSPIRED BY RIDLEY SCOTT’S “ALIEN”!
Ridley Scott’s Alien arrived in 1979 and terrified a generation. It was an almost instant classic and changed the face of horror/sci-fi forever. While not novel in plot, it was one of the most uniquely and thoroughly designed films ever made…including it’s iconic creature…and pretty darn scary, too! Almost forty years later, the franchise is still producing films (review for the latest, Alien: Covenant HERE). It also inspired a bunch of imitators and rip-offs and below is a list of fifteen such pretenders to the H.R. Giger designed throne. Some of these are actually good flicks and stand on their own…others…not so much…
Click on the titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!
I thought I’d start a new column focusing on those characters/actresses from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and then, sadly, were either one hit wonders or whose sexy stars shined only briefly, not quite achieving scream queen status…
I am going to start off this new feature by highlighting one of my favorites, the sexy and adorable Dawn Dunlap whose brief career included a role in one of my all time favorite Corman classics, Forbidden World as shapely and sweet scientist Tracy Baxter. Tracy not only wore outfits more fitting of a Playboy bunny, but had the delightful habit of frequently shedding those clothes. Dunlap’s Tracy was a girl next door hottie that not only caught my teenage (at the time) eye, but captured my heart as she ran screaming from the flick’s alien terror dressed in skimpy robes or less. The lovely Miss Dunlap had a brief career from 1979 to 1985 including a part in the Michael Keaton classic Night Shift and another Corman flick…which was to be her last appearance…the trashy (and in my opinion, misogynistic) Barbarian Queen. Did Barbarian Queen‘s scenes of rape, abuse and nudity finally drive Dunlap back home to her native Texas?…or was it the fact that the adorable actress rarely found a role that required her to keep her clothes on? Only Dunlap can tell us for sure.
Whatever the reasons for her leaving her film career behind, I will always cherish her sexy scientist, Tracy from one of my favorite Roger Corman’s 80s cult classics!
DAWN DUNLAP as TRACY in FORBIDDEN WORLD
Wherever Dawn Dunlap is now, I will never forget her nubile and adorable Tracy!
This sci-fi horror from Roger Corman has it’s problems, but for the most part, is a well made and effective film that actually stands on it’s own despite being inspired by the success of Alien. There is some clunky dialog and choppy editing, but there is also spooky and tense atmosphere throughout and some good creature effects and gore. The film has garnered a reputation over the years based on the ‘giant worm rape scene’, but it really is a good little sci-fi/horror that has plenty to offer aside from that quintessential Corman moment. The flick follows a rescue mission to the dark and mysterious planet Morganthus, a planet of horrors that holds a dark secret. The eclectic crew of the Quest must try and survive the mission and each other, as unknown forces seem intent on their demise. The cast is effective and includes Edward Albert, future Freddy Krueger Robert England, Happy Days’ Erin Moran and genre favorite Sid Haig. James Cameron of Titanic and Avatar fame was the production designer on the film, as well as, the second unit director and the set decorator was future actor, Bill Paxton. As usual, another Corman production featuring talent who would go on to fame and recognition. His films were the start of countless careers. A personal B-movie favorite. You can just see the similarities in production design with Cameron’s classic Aliens.
A solid 3 and 1/2 giant space worms!
FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982)
You have to be a fan of low budget B movies to appreciate this sci-fi/ horror from Roger Corman’s New World pictures. If you are, sit back and enjoy all the cheezy SPFX, nudity, sex and gore this fun and strangely stylish Alien inspired horror has to offer. Let’s not forget the slimy, nasty space monster that’s the cause of all the bloodletting. And if that’s not enough, the nubile Playboy bunny scientists that are responsible for all the nudity. Forbidden World is filmed by director Allan Holzman with an almost psychedelic music video style as it tells the story of a soldier, Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) sent to an isolated research station on the remote planet Xarbia to deal with a genetic experiment that has gotten out of control. Colby not only has to battle a growing and hungry genetic mutant, but handle not one, but two hot and very horny female scientists (Dawn Dunlap and June Chadwick). The type of B movie they just don’t make anymore. One of the last of it’s kind. Crack a few beers and enjoy!
MONSTERZERO NJ EXTRA TRIVIA: Yes, you’re not imagining things, those are fast food containers lining the walls of the space station. Corman thriftiness strikes again…
…and this may be the only film in movie history where a cancerous tumor is used as a weapon. Only in a Roger Corman production, folks!