Comfortable and Furious

Battlefield Earth


Earth is conquered by the Psychlos and man is reduced to a feral state. One man, Jonnie, with the help of the fantastic stupidity of an overlord, Terl, leads a rebellion against the Psychlos.

In a way, any edition of Battle Field Earth is a “special” edition. One can judge the quality of the film from the scrolling prologue. The second sentence begins, “earth, once mans home”, etc. Now I realize today’s film-goer may not be well versed in history and current events, but I think he knows what fucking planet the human race inhabits without being told. And just because man has been conquered doesn’t mean earth is no longer his home. Next we learn that aliens have taken over earth and other planets in order to strip them of precious metals which they teleport back to planet Phsyclo.

Seeing the problem with that requires a high school education. See, simply hording metals, jewels or what have you does not really add much to an economy. That’s why the Spanish empire fell from prominence. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but given the infinite number of reasons one planet might conquer another, why not pick one that makes sense? Just give the gold some practical use for crying out loud. The film is set a thousand years after the conquest and the Psychlos, masters of teleportation, still haven’t extracted all of earths gold. There’s more wrong with the 100 word prologue, but you get the idea. Apparently L. Ron Hubbard is better at making up religions than sci-fi stories. On second thought, no he isn’t.

The real question here is not whether Battlefield is a good movie in the usual sense, but whether it’s a good, bad movie. Perhaps so. This is a science fiction version of the Batman TV show, complete with tilted camera angles and corny, thick-skulled villains. And because it’s a cheesy sci-fi flick rather than a film that asks for emotional investment, it’s easy to treat the glaring bungles as jokes.

DVD Extras

I thought the commentary would be the funniest part of this disc. I was surprised that Christian hadn’t gone into the witness protection program, yet here he is doing a commentary and dropping names like ‘Kurosawa.’ But its actually kind of depressing. You can hear the defeat in his voice as he talks about the limited budget and how the film was meant to resemble a comic book. Obviously the film’s reception has gotten to him.

Ruthless Ratings

  • Film Overall: 2
  • Acting: 3
  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 1
  • Re-watchability: 6
  • Unintentional Humor: 7.5
  • Number of beers I would need to completely enjoy this movie: 7
  • Amount by which the domestic gross of Battlefield Earth exceeded that of Wonder Boys, Ghost Dog, the most recent Hamlet (which was awesome) and Topsy-Turvy combined: about $2 million.