“Battle Beyond the Sun” should stay beyond the sun.

Where do I start? “Battle Beyond the Sun” is a rip off of the Russian movie “The Sky Calls” or “Nebo Zovyot”. The real movie “Nebo Zovyot” is one of the Russian movies that Roger Corman purchased the rights to. He took the movie and basically chopped it up and dubbed it in English, added any new scenes, changed a little of the plot and voila. “Battle Beyond the Sun”. This movie review is of the Americanized version of the Russian movie.

The stars are Aleksandr Shvorin and Ivan Pereverzhev. The Corman movie is dubbed. Roger hired a young film school student Francis Ford Coppola to Americanize the movie. Coppola was in charge of the dubbing as well as removing all propaganda and any references to the USSR. Coppola also cut parts out and added any needed shots to the film. One addition was two monsters needed for the new version. Coppola’s idea was that one of the monsters would look like a penis and one a vagina. Why not?

The date is 1997. After an atomic war there are two factions. The North Hemis and the South Hemis. (They basically represent the USA and USSR.) They are both on a race to be the first to reach the planet Mars. The North Hemis hear about the flight that the South Hemis are working on. They decide to try to beat them to Mars. They take off before all their repairs have been made. Their haste results in a crash landing on the asteroid Angkor. (In the Russian movie it is the Americans that crash.) The South Hemis attempt a rescue operation to save the North Hemis from the awful penis and vagina monsters romping around the landscape. There is a little more to it, but it doesn’t matter cause Roger pretty much made a mess of a good Russian film.

The original movie was made in 1959 and was directed by Miklail Karyhukov. He both directed and wrote the original movie “Nebo Zovyot”. Translated it means “The Sky Beckons”, “The Sky Calls”, or “The Heavens Beckon”, “The Heavens Call”. However you translate it the original Russian movie is out there in Russian with English subtitles if you can find it.

A couple of things to note about the movie. The special effects are fabulous. The spaceships, the views of the asteroid, and the cinematography in general are quite beautiful. Even the spacesuits are great. Unlike American movies of the time this one has women in prominent positions in the space agency. And they aren’t wearing bikinis or low cut spacesuits. Also most of the actors both male and female look like regular people not models. The only thing wrong with the movie is anything Roger Corman or Francis Ford Coppola mucked up.

My recommendation: if you don’t mind subtitles, find the original Soviet Science Fiction classic “Nebo Zovyot” AKA “The Sky Calls”.

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