Lost Picture Show: Last Starfighter

michael dworkis looks at an 80s sci-fi classic…

Release Date: 7/13/1984

First Saw It: VHS Rental or HBO Saturday Night Movie Special

What Drew Me to See It: My parents putting me in front of the TV and putting this on to keep me busy while dealing with my baby sister.

Starring: Lance Guest, Dan O’Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Norman Snow, and Robert Preston

Before They Were Stars Appearances: Wil Wheaton plays an unmanned friend of Louis, the younger and immature brother of the main character, years before his role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and his appearances on the Big Bang Theory as rival to Sheldon Cooper.

Director: Nick Castle

The Best Performance: Dan O’Herlihy plays the alien Grig. He is a boisterous mentor to young Alex. He has no fear of death and considers every battle fought to be one of honor.

The Supporting Scene Stealer: Catherine Mary Stewart and her encounter with the robot clone of Alex. When her character Maggie starts to get intimate with the robot clone of Alex, the clone freaks out at her gesture and claims she has “strange sexual urges.”

The Moment to Remember:  Louis gets up when hearing strange noises in the middle of the night. He finds his brother Alex … repairing his severed head? The head turns around and tells Louis that he is having a nightmare and to go back to bed. Nightmare or not, that was a creepy moment in the film.

The Memorable Quote: The panic sets in as the Ko-Dan mother ship is on a course for ultimate destruction, while the alien commander, utters his final words in calm form.

Officer: She won’t answer the helm! We’re locked into the moon’s gravitational pull! What do we do?!
Lord Krill: (his eyepiece moves to the left with a whirring sound, then a moment of silence…) We die.

The Groan Moment: The end of the film saw Alex and his girlfriend leave with the blessings of their trailer park families. Alright, getting to save the galaxy is a big step up from living in a trailer park, but having your mother willingly tell her child “Ok, sure, go with into outer space where you may likely die a horrible death…”

But we must remember, this movie is about escaping a dreary life and heading into an exciting new life thanks to beating a video game. Makes total sense.

Why I Can’t Stop Watching It: As campy and cheesy as it was, you have to admit, it is living the fantasy. You know what I am talking about, we all had it as kids. Imagining what if a video game was real, and we got to either be or fight alongside the main character or hero.

I always wished I could be Mega Man.