Space Mutiny (1988) (part 2 of 7)

Now, if you’ve seen this movie, I’m sure there’s one thing you noticed about it. In particular, you probably noticed the outer space scenes, such as the current shot of a shuttle landing, are of very high quality. There’s a good reason for this: the makers of this film had nothing to do with them.

You see, all of the space shots in this movie are stolen quite blatantly from the original Battlestar Galactica. Which means this movie literally makes that version of Galactica look like a masterpiece by comparison. Although, in fairness, this movie contains no little kids with robotic dog/bear pets, so maybe it all balances out in the end.

[Editor’s note: I was one of the lucky[?] few able to get a copy of the VHS release, and let me tell you, the copy on the VHS box is far more hilarious than the DVD cover, because it’s serious. There’s the synopsis on the back that doesn’t quite match up with the actual plot of the movie, but the real high point is the tagline: “Breathtaking Special Effects From the Team That Brought You ‘STAR WARS’.”

Yeah, the first time I read that was a big-time facepalm moment for me, too.

They’re referring to the fact that John Dykstra’s team, who did the special effects for Star Wars, later went on to do special effects for Galactica (not to mention the later TV movie Starflight One). So what the VHS box actually should have said is, “Breathtaking Special Effects Stolen From the Team That Brought You ‘STAR WARS’.”I know that over the years, people have speculated on how the producers of Space Mutiny were able to get away with stealing so much footage from Battlestar Galactica. I don’t have much in the way of definitive proof, but I think the answer is obvious: they paid Universal Studios for the footage.Universal was once notorious for whoring out stock footage to whoever ponied up the cash. One of the most famous examples was when footage from Steven Spielberg’s Duel was blatantly edited into an episode of The Incredible Hulk. This led to an (alleged) infamous comment from Spielberg, where he said he lived in fear of turning on Laverne & Shirley and seeing the alien ship from Close Encounters. God, I hope that story is true. —Albert]

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Kevin Podsiadlik

I've been a writer on the web for just about as long as there's been a web, writing mostly about pro wrestling in the 1990's and lately branching out into whatever catches my fancy. Sometimes (as a product of the golden age of the video arcade) I go by my initials, "KJP".

Multi-Part Article: Space Mutiny (1988)

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