Saturday, October 26, 2019

Arena 1989 6 out of 10 (Re-watch)

Arena 1989 6 out of 10  

I was adding some movies to the Facebook Movie Archives the other day and I came across Arena which I had apparently given a 1 out of 10 back in the day.  I watched the trailer and said to myself  “There is no way this is a 1 out of 10"   I found it on YouTube and settled in for a re-watch.     The creature masks alone make this show better than a 1 out of 10.  Upon re-watch, I was starting to dig certain aspects of the film and had high hopes that it could end up being much more enjoyable than I had thought back in the early 1990’s when I first saw the film.  

The movie has a very simple plot.  Steve Armstrong is a bumbling short-order cook on a space station in the year 4038 who ends up in a fight with a creature named Fang.   After defeating  Fang Steve ends up in a series of circumstances that lead to him being the first human in over 50 years to fight in "The Arena" an intergalactic boxing match.  So the movie is basically the Star Wars Cantina scene meets UFC. 

What there was to like about the film on re-watching it:

1. The Creatures.   There are some cheap-looking monsters straight out of the background of Star Wars and there are also some pretty cool looking Muppety creatures like the slug monster he battles in his first match and a dinosaur creature seen below that he spars with.

2.  I actually liked some of the sets in the movie.  This movie was made in 1989 but some of the sets felt like a mix of original Star Trek meets Logan's Run.   They were definitely going for the Star Wars Cantina scene which upon re-watch made me like the bar and casino scenes.  The casino scene in this film actually felt more Star Wars to me than the casino in Last Jedi.

3. The fights were cheesy which actually enjoyed.  Watching Steve Armstrong battle a giant slug monster --was like watching Jabba in a boxing match.  Pretty funny stuff.    Meet his final opponent Horn.  Talk about a cheesy villain.  Cyborg Minotaur. 

4.  Hottie 1980's Sci-Fi Blonde.   Shari Shattuck as Jade.   

I so wish he had actually fought this shark looking dude.

As I revisited this film --there were many things I enjoyed about it the second time around.  There was enough good campy chessy stuff to elevate this from a 1  (What was I thinking) to a 6.   But I can't give it higher than that.  The plot was just too simple. This easily could have just been an episode on a Sci-Fi TV show like Trek or something.  The story itself wasn't really movie-worthy. 

Here is the trailer for this weird 1989 film

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