Jul 16, 2020
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000) (part 5 of 10)
In our last episode of Battlefield Earth Dinner Theatre, the villainous Terl had fiendishly stranded our hero, young Jonnie “Goodboy” Tyler, in the pitiless mountains to perish! Our Brave Hero finds himself growing weaker, and forced to eat mangy rats to survive! Meanwhile, the diabolical Psychlo master lurks in his Citadel of Evil, plotting dangerous designs for the human race! Will noble Jonnie escape his cruel fate? Will the evil Terl receive his just desserts? Will Mankind breathe the sweet air of freedom once again? All these questions, and more, to be answered in this installment of Battlefield Earth Dinner Theatre!
Actually, my segment, much like the ones before it, will not answer any of these questions. Still, there’s something about this movie that inspires ‘40s-style serial radio drama narration.
It seems Jonnie has found the “hidden” camera in his button. He yanks it off, and quickly finds the “picto-cameras” hidden on the clothes of his two companions. Apparently, these picto-cameras run on polyester-cotton blends, because once he removes them, Terl’s monitors show nothing but formless static (not unlike this screenplay).
Terl goes into Hissy Fit No. 334, and heads out to go round up Jonnie and his friends. But as he’s walking out, Terl smacks his forehead on one of the low-hanging support beams in his office. Komedy! Clutching his head, he delivers a classic piece of Psychlo dialogue:
Terl: Crap-lousy ceiling! I thought I told you to get some man-animals in here to fix it!
Ah, this is truly the stuff of great literature. Fourth-grader insults, and pointlessly hyphenated compound words. Truly, L. Ron Hubbard is the Oscar Wilde of our times.
Ker looks on in amusement, the film slows down, and we’re treated to, yes, yes, you guessed it, another wipe! This wipe takes us to a Psychlo ship, which is hovering over a matte painting of a snowy derelict city. (I think this same painting was used on a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, then stored behind a cabinet for the next fifteen years.)