Fugitive Alien 2: Star Force (1986)

Fugitive Alien 2

Directed by Minoru Kanaya

Written by Keiichi Abe

Run Time: 75 min

Rocky:"It’s not going to be easy, getting into this place."

Ken:"How will we do it?"


Man, oh, man. When will I learn to stay away from Sandy Frank productions? Worse yet, I’ve seen the first Fugitive Alien, so I knew what I was in for. But, well, what more can I say than:

Oh, my dear readers, does this movie suck.

If you haven’t seen the first Fugitive Alien, then click on the link above for a journey through the first film so you can get a bit of background on the characters. Yes, Rocky, Ken the ex-Valna Star Wolf Raider, drunken Captain Joe, and Tammy, still in love with Ken, are still together along with the rescued Cesar officer, blue-faced Sesarian Colonel Yurulen (?), who might be a traitor, or might not be. Bet you can’t wait to find out, can you?

Like the first episode of this, er, "saga", this film was spliced together from bits and pieces of the 1980’s Japanese T.V. show of the same name. Maybe "spliced" isn’t quite the correct word. I probably should have said "butchered". Yeah, that’s a more appropriate description of the "method" Sandy Frank took to put together this bizarre tale.

I want to say that I’ve seen this film at least 7 times (!) before writing this review. I think I’ve crossed the line from bad-movie "connoisseur" to outright insane. This movie is so jaw-droppingly awful that it keeps drawing me back to see it over and over again…like a fly that bangs its head against a window over and over again in an effort to escape back to the outside world. If you do choose to see it, make sure you have a bottle of good Scotch at your side. Trust me. (By the way, this movie is so bad that Tom Servo’s head exploded while watching it.)

Let me go over my checklist here:

Beer. Check.

Aspirin. Check.

Pillow to scream into. Check.

Ok, let’s get started.

The film opens with a slew of credits overlaid on pictures of the Baccus 3 while pseudo-military cadences play in the back ground. On closer inspection, the background scenes are actually clips from the first movie, so I’m getting a bad feeling about this already.

The sinking feeling in my stomach intensifies as a Narrator takes over:

"A thousand light-years from our solar system lies Valna Star. A mysterious planet with an enriched atmosphere which imparts super-human strength to all who dwell upon it. Valna star is ruled by Lord Halkun, an evil genius who has created a race of warrior: The Star Wolves. On a mission of destruction to Earth [sic], Star Wolf Ken is ordered to kill a child. His refusal starts a fight which results in the death of his best friend. As punishment, Ken is set adrift in outer space. But Ken is found and rescued by the Earth spaceship Baccus 3, and soon he becomes a member of the crew.

Ken’s girlfriend Rita has been sent to find and destroy him, but it is she who is subsequently killed.

Only one memory of Rita remained: Her golden Valna medallion. Ken will never forget her.

Now Ken and his Earth comrades are off in quest of new adventure. Their new mission: To fly to Sesar, find a secret weapon, and destroy it."

Let me point out that the previous narration is played over scenes from the first movie. Occasionally these scenes actually match what is being talked about, but most of the time it appears to be a random montage of shots that only serve to confuse the viewer. (God help the poor soul who tries to follow this film without having seen the first episode.)

So let’s see. Ken and the others are on their way to Sesar to find a secret weapon and destroy it. Boy, that’s a pretty intricate plot. How am I ever going to manage to follow along? What is amazing is the way that this film can take such a elementary story line and turn it into a muddled mess. It takes a special breed of producer to pull that off.

Anyway, we open with Tammy tending to a wound on Ken’s arm. How did Ken get this wound? I don’t remember. It really doesn’t matter either. Maybe it was from the previous film. Who knows. Some light-hearted banter between Dan and Ken regarding Tammy’s obvious affection for the wounded Star Wolf leads to some teeth-grinding agony for the viewer. Tension builds as Tammy off-handedly remarks how she doesn’t trust their guest, Colonel Yurulen. That’s one of the wonderful things about a movie this bad…nothing matters! Joy! (By the way, Yurulen’s face is covered with a blue tint because, you know, he’s an ‘alien’.)

Fugitive Alien 2Captain Joe takes Yurulen to his quarters for a little chat. (Never mind how Joe got from the bridge to Yurulen’s room…The editing is so consistently atrocious (for example, people appear and disappear from scene to scene, and so on ), that you sort of get used to the characters’ seeming ability to teleport themselves anyplace in the film at any time.) Noting that Yurulen is one of Planet Sesar’s "Top experts in Advanced Defense Technology". (Advanced…what?), Joe asks him if he knows anything about a "secret weapon" that they’ve been sent to destroy.

"They say it could blow up the universe," Dan helpfully adds. (In case Yurulen was confused with a different super-secret weapon, I guess.)

"Where did you hear that?" asks Yurulen with a note of suspicion.

Captain Joe chuckles and says, "You know, occasionally I tune in from time to time to the inter-galactic grapevine!" (Oi, oi, oi…this is going to be a long movie.)

Col. Yurulen suspects that they are trying to recruit him for a mission to his home planet, Sesar, in order to destroy said secret weapon. Captain Joe plays it coy and simply says that they’re just on a mission to "learn a little more about our universe." Still not completely convinced, Yurulen adds that he doesn’t fully trust Ken…a fellow that seems a little different than the others. No problem, Joe says that Yurulen can talk with Ken himself if he’d like.

Joe calls in Ken from the bridge. As Ken stands up, he drops Rita’s gold medallion that he’s been keeping in his pocket every since she was killed by a tree branch in episode 1. Tammy notices it and asks him about it, but Ken stomps off in a huff.

Why is Ken so irritated? Don’t worry, none of this really matters. The topic is never mentioned again.

I guess the conversation between Ken and Yurulen was edited out, for we cut to a new scene showing the crew discussing their course to the planet Sesar. (Don’t you just love this film?) Dan points out that their current position is "Pegasus-R2 by I-4." Dan continues by informing the others that the distance to Sesar is "Arowa time…two-one-three". (‘Arowa time’?! What the hell?)

Yurulen jumps in and notes that "course three-seven is perfectly safe," at least up until the point where they have to switch to "course T". Why is "Course T" so dangerous? Why, because of the "huge black hole near R5 by 9" of course! No way to navigate around that baby, no siree!

Captain Joe mulls over this new information before saying, "This shines a new light on the condition of our mission." Noting that "the chances against success are extremely high", (doesn’t it make more sense to say that the chances for success are extremely low?), Captain Joe shows just what a professional he is by saying, "On the other hand, if you gotta go, I can’t think of a better way!" (There’s no better way to die than being sucked into a black hole? With all due respect, Captain, I beg to differ…)

"When my time comes," Tammy giggles, "I want to go out in a blaze of glory!" (shut up.) "Spoken like a true woman," says Dan as he pats Tammy’s head, "and a naive one." (shut up shut up shut up.)

"Naive yourself!" laughs Tammy as Dan and Captain Joe join in the spontaneous hilarity that makes the crew of Baccus 3 so adorable.

(shut up shut up shut up shut up)

Ken, after a moment of silence, suggests that they could plot a course through the black hole and reappear on the other side in a "white hole."

"It’s a tricky maneuver," Ken adds. (Gee, you think?)

Rocky asks Ken where he heard about this risky procedure. "I don’t remember," Ken replies, "I guess it was at one of those scientific briefings I attended." (Yeah, well, my confidence in all this has really gone sky high now, buddy.)

Fugitive Alien 2Later that day, night, who knows, Yurulen confronts Ken in some other part of the ship. Up on the bridge, upon hearing Ken’s description of the Black-Hole-Maneuver, Yurulen finally realized that Ken was a Star Wolf. (Why? Because only a "handful" of Star Wolves have managed to fly through a black hole and "live to tell the tale.") Ken throws Yurulen against the wall for some reason and is about to beat the crap out of him. Luckily for Yurulen, Captain Joe shows up and breaks up the scuffle before anybody gets hurt. Instead of spilling the beans about Ken’s true identity (Doesn’t everybody already know that Ken is a Star Wolf? Wasn’t that in the first movie?!), Yurulen covers everything up by saying that the made a "foolish remark about Earthlings," and deserved what he got.

As Yurulen scurries off to his cabin, Rocky turns to Ken and says, "I don’t like that guy, and I don’t like you either!" Ken snarls, "I don’t like you either!". Since Rocky and Ken were friends at the end of the first movie, I suspect that this scene is a wee bit out of chronological order…but who the hell really knows.

Suddenly, Dan calls Ken and the others up to the bridge in order to show them a gigantic meteorite on the view screen. You would think that space is big enough that they could just fly around it, but well, we have to chew up some running time, so this is going to become a big issue. Dan adds that this meteorite isn’t on "any of the charts." Captain Joe peers at the view screen for a moment and says that they must be entering "hostile territory" (Please, if you can make sense of all this, let me know. I’ve sat through Fugitive Alien parts 1 and 2 for a combined total of over 20 viewings, so my brain is fried.)

Via some truly atrocious special effects showing the Baccus 3 flying through space (the "stars" fly past the ship in two different directions!), we see the ship approach the mysterious meteor. Ken aims the "forward laser" at the rock and blows it up at which time Rocky jumps out of his seat and threatens to kill Yurulen. (Really, please. Somebody tell me what’s going on.) Captain Joe defuses the situation by ordering Rocky to hold his fire. "We still need [Yurulen] to guide us to Sesar," Captain Joe growls, "Lock him up!" (So now Yurulen is locked in his cabin when 2 seconds ago he was free to roam the ship. Hmmm.)

Rocky holsters his laser pistol and escorts Yurulen to his room. "You need me to guide you!" shouts Yurulen, "Any minute we’ll be passing Demeter Star…it will set us on fire!" (Once again, isn’t space big enough that they could fly around such obstacles? I mean, space is, well, pretty damn big, isn’t it?)

On the way back to the bridge, Rocky staggers and nearly collapses onto the floor. After a brief moment, he shakes his head and recovers, before continuing onward.

And the point of that scene was…?

Fugitive Alien 2Up on the bridge, Captain Joe isn’t feeling so great himself. Covered in sweat, Joe asks Ken what the temperature is inside the cabin. Ken glances up to the readout to see that the temperature is indeed a comfortable 26 degrees. (Note label on the read out: "Tenperature" with an "N"! Brother!)

Another digital read out indicates that the temperature on the "Sunny Side" is a balmy 362, while on the "Other Side" (!!!) it’s a mere 277. ("Other Side" !!!???)

Suddenly Ken notices that Demeter star lies directly in their course. "We’re just drifting!" shouts Ken. Joe grunts in agreement. (So then, who the hell is in charge of navigation?! The just now notice that they’ve been drifting and are rushing towards a star?! Sheesh!) "We’ll have to correct our course," Captain Joe says, "Switch over to seven-three-oh!"

For some reason, Baccus 3 does not respond to Ken’s course corrections. "We must be caught in its magnetic field! All the controls are blocked!" Yes. Magnetic fields tend to do that in stupid movies. Anyway, Captain Joe calls for Rocky to come to the bridge, but we see that Rocky and Dan are suffering from some sort of illness. No worries. Ken notices that the controls are now fixed (!) and he engages the ship’s main drives.

At that moment Rocky staggers into the bridge and collapses. Joe carries him back to the crew quarters where he sees that Tammy and Dan are also suffering from this strange illness. (Maybe it’s an allergic reaction to a Sandy Frank movie. Seriously, I know how they feel.) Captain Joe reassures the crew that what they are experiencing is simply after-effects from the "ultra-high speeds" while flying through the black hole.

Flying through the black hole? When was that? Oh never mind. I guess they couldn’t be bothered to actually put that scene in the movie.

Fugitive Alien 2Joe gives Rocky and the others some medication to help them "sleep it off", and then returns to the bridge. Upon returning to the bridge, Ken informs Joe that they are still too close to Demeter star and asks permission to "boost the engines". Joe agrees that it’s a good idea seeing as their ship is approaching melt-down "tenperature" and gives Ken the green light. We see the engines on the back of the Baccus 3 give an extra spurt of from the aerosol cans used to show engine exhaust, but all of sudden the engines sputter and flame out.

On the bridge, a flashing red light indicates that all is not well. To add to the, er, "drama", Captain Joe faints. Why? He’s sick too. Why didn’t he get sick earlier like all the others? Who knows. Ken runs down to the crew quarters to get help, but all the other crew members are drugged and "sleeping off" the effects of ultra-high speed travel. (Kind of like how I’m "drugging" myself with beers in order to "sleep off" the effects of this film.)

Ken turns to run back to the bridge but stops when he hears Yurulen’s shouts from his cell. Yurulen demands that he be released so he can help out. Ken refuses to let Yurulen out, noting that the incredible heat is "coming from the engines!" (Not sure what that has to do with anything, but there you go.)

"You little fool," shouts Yurulen in turn, "Demeter star is about to explode!" (Go ahead and try to tie all this together.) Apparently this information is enough to convince Ken to release Yurulen and take him to the bridge. A groggy Captain Joe (justly) demands to know what the prisoner is doing out of his cell. Yurulen repeats his explanations that Demeter is about to explode and that they "have to get out of here." Faced with no alternative, Joe relents and agrees to let Yurulen help them out of the mess. (Just how he can help is not explained. But is sure is dramatic,eh?)

TRIVIA: In the MST3K version of the film, this is the point where Tom Servo’s head explodes. I know exactly how he feels.

Now begins a long, tedious sequence showing Ken desperately trying to fix the engines. After a while, Ken tracks down the source of the problem to a blown fuse (or something). Yes, this is the acme of excitement. As Baccus 3 plunges toward Demeter Star, Yurulen calls down to Ken to "Fix the engines!" Well, it would seem that this is exactly what he has been doing for the last 10 minutes, so maybe there was another scene left out here.

Man, this is really exciting. Ken searches for the "short circuit" via close-up shots of his hands probing an assortment of circuit boards. (This reminds me a bit of the close up shots of Roy and Alice’s hands doing the soldering in Robot Monster…oh yeah, both of these movies have another thing in common: they suck.)

Fugitive Alien 2Whew, Ken repairs the engines At The Very Last Moment, hell, Ken even has time to fix the cooling system. Super Ken! Unfortunately, Yurulen is also overcome by the heat and isn’t able to engage the ship’s engines. (Ack! Can we milk this scene any more?!) Fortunately, Captain Joe recovers Just At That Moment and says out loud to nobody in particular, "Oh no! We’re getting closer to that star. It looks like I’d better take over!" Yes, that’s something a person would probably say to himself as he plunged into an exploding star. Unsurprisingly, Ken rushes up to the bridge and helps Yurulen start the engines. Baccus 3 is saved.

Now that was a very important 20 minutes of film. Boy, the, *ahem*, story just wouldn’t be the same without it! Oh wait. Yes it would, because this whole last bit of story about falling into the star and escaping it was a total waste of freakin’ time!

Oh! Jumpin’-gee-willickers! The rest of the crew has recovered from their ‘speed-sickness’ and are doing just great! Yippee! Now we can go on to the next pointless scene.

Baccus 3 finally reaches Colonel Yurulen’s home planet, Sesar. Yurulen gets on the radio and tries to get landing clearance via his ‘connections at "Sesar Headquarters". After a brief pause, Headquarters responds by saying that they have no "Colonel Yurulen" on the records. "Nonsense!" Yurulen shouts.

"Colonel Yurulen," Ken says, "it looks like you’re pretending to be somebody you’re not."

"Who asked you!?" Yurulen zings back.

For some reason, and once again this is typical for Sandy Frank productions, the characters begin talking about events that were, at best, never shown, and at worst, completely contradictory to what we’ve already seen. Take for instance the current scene: Yurulen begins shouting at the crew that he suspects that this isn’t a trade mission after all, "You’re after that secret weapon, aren’t you?!" Well, yes, wasn’t this information revealed to you in one of the first lines of the film? Either Yurulen is an idiot or once again these scenes were shoved together totally out of order. Probably both, to be honest.

Fugitive Alien 2"Exciting" music and a pair of totally ridiculous looking space ‘fighters’ indicate that we are in for another waste of time. Oops, I meant ‘action sequence’. The Sesarian fighter ships shoot cartoon laser beams at Baccus 3. (Although it might not be apparent from the screen shot, if you see the movie, look closely at the space ships and you will see that the special effects are so cheap that the fighter ships are transparent! Man, quality stuff here.)

Despite Yurulen’s confused cries of "My people would never shoot at me!", Captain Joe realizes that in fact they are shooting at them, and pushes the engines to "full blast".

We’re now treated to a bunch of shots showing the Sesarian ships firing at Baccus 3. Captain Joe pulls some pretty advanced evasive maneuvers, consisting mainly of flying in a straight line, while Tammy cringes and ducks her head behind the navigator’s chair. (Just what is her, you know, job on the ship?) Now a hoard of transparent Sesarian ships have somehow "surrounded" Baccus 3. (Really, you have to see this movie to truly appreciate the concept of ‘cheap special effects’!)

Ken has had enough of this nonsense. He and Dan head up to the ship’s firing pods and open fire. You will note that the laser guns look very, very much like the ones in the Millennium Falcon in the original Star Wars. Once again, I don’t mean looks ‘a lot like’, I mean looks ‘copyright violation’ like. Oh wait. This isn’t a Star Wars rip off. It’s an homage. My mistake. Anyway, Ken and Dan make quick work of the Sesarian fighters and the scene ends.

"I really enjoyed that!" Ken shouts upon his return to the bridge, apparently not giving a rat’s ass that Yurulen is standing right next to him. (Hey Yurulen, killing your people is a really cool, dude!) A blip or 2 on an oscilloscope (!) indicates that more fighters are on the way. Yurulen suggests that they could land the ship in an out-of-the-way place called "The Devil’s Desert". (Oh brother!)

We now see Baccus 3 navigating its way through a tight canyon. "This is going to be a rough one!" warns Captain Joe as he moves in for the landing. I don’t really understand why the landing is going to be "rough" because Baccus 3 can land and take off vertically (like a helicopter), so why not just stop and slowly descend onto the surface? Oh yeah. This must be somebody’s idea of ‘exciting’. Going against everything we have already know about the capabilities of Baccus 3, the ship skims across the surface and eventually comes to a jarring stop after slamming its way through sand dunes, rocks, you name it. (Once again, why didn’t they just stop, hover, and descend? Stupid movie.)

Fugitive Alien 2The crew slowly revives from the bone-crushing landing and Ken makes his way from person to person seeing if they are OK. (Finally we get to hear the names of the two other crew members: Sam and Billy…!) Rocky turns on the view screen and an outside camera scans their surroundings. This camera scan also includes an exterior shot of the Baccus 3…how in the hell does the camera see that if it’s mounted on the ship itself? Oh, I give up.

Later, I think, Ken, Tammy, and Rocky are going to head out and trek across the desert along with Yurulen in order to find the "secret weapon". Captain Joe wants to come along and orders Rocky and Tammy to stay behind and mind the ship. Hmm. Blah blah. Rocky refuses and pulls a gun on Joe. "Shoot me if you got the guts!" growls Joe.

Rocky shoots and Joe collapses.

Just as Ken is about to pound the living crap out of him, Rocky chuckles and says it was just a "knockout-dart". Har-dee-har. I guess Rocky knew that stubborn Captain Joe would insist on coming along, and out of concern for his Captain’s safety (Rocky thinks Joe is too old to come along!), Rocky loaded his gun with knockout-darts because he knew he would probably have to incapacitate Joe in order to prevent him from going on the dangerous mission.

Just one question: How in the hell do you load a laser gun with darts?

Anyway, Tammy stays behind to watch over Captain Joe and to move the ship…someplace. Isn’t Tammy just adorable?

Ack. A long, long, tedious sequence of shots (what, again?) showing Rocky, Ken, Yurulen, Sam, and Billy (!) walking through the desert. So hey, if your fetish is guys in orange skin-tight rubber suits walking through a wasteland, then check out this scene! As for me, I’m getting a beer, and I’m praying this is all over when I get back.

Damn. They’re still walking in the sand.

Fugitive Alien 2Suddenly Yurulen yells for everybody to get down. He’s spotted a guard house on top of a sand dune. As everybody hits the dirt (er, hits the sand?), Rocky pulls out a pair of large binoculars. (Where was he carrying those? Oh man, I don’t want to know…) A quick scan reveals a tower with a large gun mounted on top and a couple of soldiers trudging back and forth in front of the guard tower. (Amazingly, the binoculars show the tower from 2 entirely different points of view in 2 different shots…cool!)

Yurulen comes up with a plan: He’ll go forward and try to put the guards "off-guard" (ha ha) by using his rank as a Colonel. You would think that a complete stranger popping up out of the desert wearing a battered Army uniform might raise a few eyebrows…but it doesn’t. The soldiers simply salute him and escort him to the HMFIC. (An old Army acronym for "Head Moth…Fuc… In Charge. Ah…those were the good old days…)

Fugitive Alien 2Hiding behind a sand dune with the others, Rocky fears that Yurulen will betray them, and it would appear that he does in fact do so. After a brief chat with the commanding officer, Yurulen points out where Rocky and the others are hiding. The soldiers draw their weapons, line up, and approach the intruders. (Of course nobody thinks to radio this in and ask for backups. Nah…). As the soldiers close in, Yurulen goes up on top of the guard tower and orders the soldier to leave the tower and join the others on the ground. Hilariously, the soldier jumps from the top of the tower and down to the ground. I suspect that this is because the, *ahem*, tower is a cheap card-board mock up without any stairs, maybe just a ladder leaning against the back of the wall.

In an exciting turn of events, Yurulen engages the machine gun and guns down the soldiers. For some reason the bullets explode in big clouds of sparks and smoke when they hit the sand, but hey, it’s ‘exciting’ so who cares, eh? There’s even a couple of soldiers that ‘fall’ after being ‘hit’ when the gun isn’t even pointed at them. Pretty cool! Ken and the others jump out of their hiding place and congratulate Yurulen on the nifty trick that saved their asses. (In the long shot showing their joyful reunion, the 15 or so dead soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Huh. I guess they evaporated. Either that or it was too hot for the extras and they were sent home.)

As Yurulen goes over a map of the surrounding area (where did he get that from?), Ken and the others, dressed in the uniforms of the slain soldiers (with nary a bullet hole or blood stain on them), watch in rapt silence as Yurulen goes over the next stage of the plan. (Just to bore you a bit, we watch Captain Joe and Tammy fly Baccus 3 to a location "closer to the secret installation." As shown before, the ship easily makes a vertical take off and landing. So I’m still not sure why they had to crash land in the first place into The Devil’s Desert. Sometimes I don’t know why I even bother thinking about this stuff.)

Yurulen eventually leads the others to the "secret installation". (This installation looks suspiciously, well, exactly like the guard tower they encountered in the desert.) At first glance it seems that the tower, actually an entrance to the underground, *ahem*, installation, is guarded by only a handful of soldiers. Yurulen suspects a trap and quickly discovers that the entire area is surrounded by an invisible laser fence. Something like that. Anyway, there are a bunch of tall poles with metal balls on top that generate the fence.

Ken approaches the fence to take a closer look.

"If you get anywhere near that fence it will vaporize you in seconds!" Yurulen warns. (It takes seconds to be vaporized? How does that work?) In a most, how shall I say, unconvincing scene, Ken, being super strong, lifts the others one at a time and jumps over the fence. The camera work used to achieve this, *cough*, illusion, is far from convincing.

"Having a Star Wolf along has its advantages," Rocky beams upon safely reaching the other side of the deadly barrier. Yes, it would appear so.

Ken and the gang make their way to what looks like a cave, which is supposed to be an underground entrance. Rocky peers through his super-duper-multi-perspective binoculars and exchanges some Classic Lines with Ken (see below). The plan, if you’re still awake, is to steal some ID tags and gain access into the installation. Gee. Original. I can’t wait for the whole "Tag Stealing Scene."

Well, we are spared the Tag Stealing Scene because it was edited out of the film. Yurulen and the others magically appear at the entrance sporting the stolen credentials. Thanks Sandy!

Fugitive Alien 2The intrepid heroes make their way through a series of tunnels that are surprisingly lightly guarded given that this installation houses a weapon that can "destroy the universe". I’ve seen Circle-K’s with more security than this. Blah. Anyway, after a seemingly endless series of scenes showing them walk through dark tunnels (Excitement!), they finally reach some sort of bunker door. Through use of some astonishingly poor editing, Ken overcomes a pair of guards, and they enter the Super-Duper-Universe-Destroying-Weapon bunker itself.

Inside the room is some sort of computer with headlights and a disco ball on top of it. Yep, that’s what this is all about. (In a close up shot of Ken and Rocky looking at the weapon, you can see that their faces are painted blue! I’m betting we missed something there too. It doesn’t matter, because at times we see that their color is back to normal, at other times they’re blue. It all just adds to the general head-scratching incoherency of this movie.)

When Ken offers to go in and smash the machine, Yurulen stops him by saying "This has to be done slowly and carefully." (!) I think he should have said "boringly and illogically".

Yurulen leads the others to some sort of barred door which leads to a control room. (I’m guessing here, people.) The Control Room to the Universe-Destroying-Machine is guarded by a lone Private First Class, whom Yurulen quickly orders aside, allowing Ken and Rocky to enter the control room. (I think the Sesarians should do a thorough review of their security procedures.)

Inside the control room, Ken and Rocky begin planting time bombs (where was he keeping those?!) on the main control computer, or something. Whatever it is, it has a lot of blinking lights and a disco ball on top, so it must be important. With the bombs in place, Ken and the others leave the control room and begin making their way through the tunnels in order to escape the installation before the explosion.

In a most unbelievable moment, and that’s saying a lot for this film, the Sesarian national anthem (!) begins to play over the loud speakers. Yurulen hears his nation’s song and stands at attention…and refuses to move! (What a dope! Leave him!) After hearing the Sesarian anthem, Yurulen has a change of heart and runs back to the control room in order to defuse the bombs.

As Yurulen turns and runs back into the tunnels, Ken and Rocky help pick up Sammy, who is magically laying on the floor dead. (!!) Nope, don’t remember seeing that happen, but oh well.

In an oh-so-ironic scene, Yurulen pushes his way past the PFC guarding the control room. The young guard orders Yurulen to stop and then immediately shoots him in the back anyway. Oh, what bitter, bitter irony. I have a tear in my eye.

Fugitive Alien 2Yes, ok, let’s see what’s happening now. Billy and Dan (um, where are the others?) are running through the tunnels when Dan somehow gets trapped behind a bunch of wavy cartoon lines…oops, I mean ‘force field’. How Dan got separated from the others is conveniently left unexplained. Regardless, a bunch of Sesarian soldiers capture Dan as Billy runs off, promising to come back and rescue him later. (Yeah, and the check is in the mail.)

Billy runs back to Rocky and Ken and explains what’s happened. Somehow, Rocky has been shot in the leg (!!) (What the hell…?!) and Ken says that he’ll go rescue Dan alone.

In a charming scene, Dan is being tortured with what looks like a hair dryer with a strobe light glued on top. Dan, brave to the end, refuses to give out any information regarding their mission. Meanwhile, Billy and Rocky make their way to the surface where Captain Joe is maneuvering Baccus 3 into position to pick them up.

OK, the madness continues. Dan faints under torture but not before revealing that they have sabotaged the main control computer. Just as the guards disperse to find the bombs, Ken bursts into the room, no longer wearing the stolen guard’s uniform, but back in his orange Baccus 3 jump suit. (When the hell did he change clothes, for cripes sake?! What the hell is going on here?!) Whatever, Ken kicks the soldiers’ butts and Dan is saved. Boy. Never saw that coming.

Back on the surface, Billy and Rocky, whose leg is now amazingly healed, sprint for towards Baccus 3. However, when Rocky reaches the craft, his leg is amazingly wounded again and he has to be helped into the ship. Strange, eh?

Anyway, in a unconvincing Oh-Gee-Will-Ken-Make-It-Out-Before-The-Bomb-Goes-Off sequence, Ken Makes-It-Out-In-Time. Baccus 3 lifts off as the landscape is rocked by a gazillion explosions. I mean, gazillions of explosions. I guess that’s what you get for messing around with super-duper weapons. Ken and Rocky shake hands in a gesture of friendship while Tammy looks on and smiles.

You would think the movie is over, right? You would pray to Heaven that they movie is over, wouldn’t you? Well, buddy, Sandy Frank has a little more pain waiting for you. Oh yeah, baby! We aint done with this puppy yet! Buckle up and get another six pack!

Fugitive Alien 2Cut to Lord Halkun. (Remember him? The guy that looks like a cross between a mime and Darth Vader…) He’s informing a group of 3 "Rangers" that a "research center" on Earth has developed a bomb capable of destroying an entire planet. (Wait a minute? Another super weapon sub-plot? What the…?) Halkun orders the Rangers to go to Earth and steal the bomb so that Valna Star can rule the universe. (Um, I don’t see how you can see you rule the universe just because you have a bomb capable of destroying just a single planet. Let’s just get this over with, shall we?)

Prepare yourself. Now things are going to get really wild.

Back on Earth, I think, Captain Joe and the crew greet some woman who I’ve never seen before. Joe warns her that it’s dangerous to be out in the open (??). She responds by apologizing that her father has been busy and won’t be able to welcome them in person. Ken hears all this and then inexplicably takes off running.

No. I didn’t skip over a part of the film. I’m merely telling you what’s happening. Oh, it gets better too.

Why did Ken freak out and run away? He thought he saw his mother. (!!??) Anyway, it was a case of mistaken identity and Rocky tries to calm Ken down. (The woman looked younger than Ken, so I don’t see how he could have conceivably thought she was his mother. Maybe there’s some weird Freudian reference taking place here.)

"Ken snap out of it!" Captain Joe orders, "We’ve been assigned to escort this lady." (Huh?!) Ken apologizes for his odd behavior and the Woman (name please!) says it’s OK. It turns out her father is responsible for the planet-busting bomb, and she’s been receiving threats against her ever since. As if on cue, and I mean clearly on cue, Rocky turns and spots the 3 Rangers coming their way. Nothing against Rocky’s powers of observations, but I think a blind man could have spotted these guys given that they’re still wearing their Valna Star uniforms complete with badges!

Suddenly a bunch of other dudes appear out of nowhere and a ridiculous laser-gun battle breaks out. Gee, this is really exciting stuff here. I wonder who’s going to win. Oh gee. Yes. Ken wins.

Fugitive Alien 2Cut to inside the research center. The Woman’s father, Dr. NoName (Please! Give me some names!), who looks like a young Japanese Groucho Marx, explains that he’s stored the bomb’s secret on some microfilm. This microfilm is given to Captain Joe for safe keeping. (Uh, not your best decision there, doc.)

"You mean this little film contains information on a bomb strong enough to blow up the entire universe?" Captain Joe asks upon receiving the film. (Doc, really, you might want to reconsider given the microfilm to Joe. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you know what I mean.)

Fugitive Alien 2Suddenly we are back outside in a long covered walkway. Ken thinks he sees his mother again and runs off to chase her down. This foolish move leaves Joe and the others at the mercy of some more Rangers that magically appear out of nowhere. (How did Ken avoid the Rangers on his way outside since the Rangers are blocking both ends of the corridor? This movie sucks. Let me tell you.) OK, wait. Joe and his crew are taken prisoner and now show up in a room surrounded by men in brown tunics. A fight breaks out, some guy gets shot in the head with a laser from somewhere, and suddenly everybody is back outside again. (!) (In a funny bit, when the fight breaks out you can actually see the actor playing Rocky laughing and standing on the side watching the action!)

OK, let’s see what madness is happening now. Ken chases the Woman-Who-Looks-Like-His-Mother out of the city and into a field. Out of nowhere Halkun pops up in his fighter ship while the woman waves and tries to get his attention. (OK, so she was hired by Halkun to lure Ken into a trap.) As Ken comes into view, Halkun gives the order to attack…even though he’s the only guy there. Maybe he was talking to himself. Although floating a mere 20 feet away from Ken and the Woman, the mighty Halkun shoots wildly and somehow manages to miss Ken. The screen actually goes black for a moment (!) and we cut to see Halkun flying away. (Huh?!)

Somehow Ken returns to Joe and the others who are…somewhere doing something. Ken has taken the Woman with him and forces her to divulge Halkun’s plans for everybody’s edification. (Yeah, thanks…now you try and clear up the plot for us.) The Woman tearfully confesses that she was hired by Halkun to lure Ken into a trap. "I better pay Halkun a visit," Ken says.

Fugitive Alien 2Yes, Ken is going to travel to Valna Star alone and face the might Lord Halkun man-to-man. (Boy, this reminds me of another movie where a young protege traveled to face off with his evil former master…I just can’t put my finger on it…)

Typical for this film, we jarringly cut to see Ken on Valna Star without the benefit of any type of segue. Somehow Ken has snuck his way into Halkun’s stronghold where Halkun is giving a contingent of Star Wolves orders to find and kill the intruder. Unsurprisingly, Ken overpowers the shabby cadre of Star Wolves and gains entry into Halkun’s inner sanctum.

OK, the final showdown. (Thank God.) Ken pulls a gun on Halkun while the evil overlord tries to psych Ken out by saying the standard lines like "You can’t kill me…I created you." Blah blah blah. A guard jumps out of nowhere and Ken loses his gun in the ensuing scramble. Halkun smiles, pulls out his Samurai sword (!), and approaches Ken who is laying wounded on the floor with an injured hand.

Moving right along, a sentry runs in and informs Halkun that Baccus 3 is approaching the fortress. We cut to see that instead of shooting at the fortress, Captain Joe flies the ship through the walls of the stronghold, using his ship as some sort of high-speed battering ram (!!!) to knock down towers and battlements. I’m no space ship expert, but that just can’t be good for the overall integrity of the ship’s hull.

Enough of that, cut to see Ken and Halkun fighting it out on top of some sort of tower. How Ken escaped from Halkun’s sanctum, fixed his hand, and got ahold of his own Samaria sword was, needless to say, never shown. After some Standard-Fu fighting scenes, Ken disarms Halkun and has him at his mercy.

Oh wait. Now Halkun disarms Ken and kicks him down some stairs.

For some reason a shot of Woman-Pretending-To-Be-Ken’s-Mother is inserted at this point. We now return to Halkun and Ken. Instead of swinging his sword at Ken and killing him, Halkun throws (!) it like a spear. Luckily for Ken, WPTBKM literally jumps out of nowhere and shields Ken from the deadly missile. The sword strikes her instead while Halkun runs away.

Yes, well, she dies in Ken’s arms just as Captain Joe and the Baccus 3 crew appear from nowhere. "This must be Halkun’s work," sagely notes Captain Joe. If you look at the group gathered around Ken and the dead woman, you will see the professor (the guy who made the planet-buster bomb) and his daughter have tagged along to Valna Star too. Why the hell they would make the 1000 light-year journey from Earth to Valna Star is anybody’s guess at this point.

Somehow, and I have no idea how this all happened, we now see Ken and Halkun fighting it out in space ships in the skies over Halkun’s fortress. In some more footage which clearly, clearly, clearly, clearly (did I make it "clear" enough?) rips off the Death Star Trench Fighter Battle scene from the first Star Wars, Ken pursues Halkun through the buildings and towers of the fortress in his ship.

OK, fine. Ken finally gets a clean shot on Halkun’s fighter. As Halkun’s crippled craft plummets towards the ground below (accompanied by sounds of a diving propeller aircraft!), Halkun adds a bit of voiceover, "You’ll never destroy me!"

I’m not sure Halkun is correct in his predictions as we immediately see his ship crash into a building followed by a chain of massive explosions which destroys the entire fortress.

Fugitive Alien 2Cut to outer space. In a beautifully cheap special effect, we see Baccus 3 flying away from some planet, only as the ship approaches the camera you can see that its wing disappears behind the planet. How nice.

The crew celebrates a job well done…except Ken seems a bit reserved. "I thought you’d be a little more enthusiastic," Rocky remarks. Ken announces that he wants to return to Valna Star to help create "a new civilization". The crew tries to talk him out of it, but Ken insists. "Good luck Ken…Star Wolf!" says a solemn Captain Joe. Ken says his good-byes to the rest of the brave Baccus 3 crew: Rocky, Billy, Dan, and finally Tammy, whom he simply gives a hand shake.

Ken takes off in his Star Wolf space ship which was conveniently stored in the Baccus 3 landing bay. A quick shot inside Ken’s ship shows the young Star Wolf happily returning home, complete with an R2-D2 rip-off at his side.

The End

Dennis Grisbeck (October 2005)

7 comments to Fugitive Alien 2: Star Force (1986)

  • guts3d

    Whew! This one looks tough!

  • Find it if you can. It’s really a blast! I really love the dialog (someting like):

    “It’s not going to be easy getting in…”
    “How will we do it?”

    good grief!

  • oneeye

    My eyes started to throb just reading your review, I think they would be bleeding if I tried to actually watch the film.

  • monoceros4

    I like the Fugitive Alien movies a little. Yeah, they’re stupid as hell and you have to wonder at some of Sandy Frank’s editing choices but they have intriguing moments, like the confrontation between Captain Joe and Ken in the first one. The second movie actually kind of hangs together until the end of the mission to Sesar and only then does it run completely off the rails.

    Why is Rocky still an officer? He threatens to kill Yurulen, saying, “We have a mission to accomplish–I’m just removing an obstacle.” But didn’t the whole mission start by springing Yurulen from jail in the first place as a guide to Sesar? Then he does the whole, “I can’t let you risk your life on the away team, Captain Joe, so I guess I’ll have to kill you first,” business. You got to love how Rocky treats Capt. Joe like a grey-haired weakling even though it was Joe who was able to hold his own against Ken in the first movie while Rocky got his ass handed to him. Maybe you should have shot yourself with that knockout dart, Rocky. It’s not like he actually did anything useful on the mission.

  • Spencer

    If you look at that last screen shot there the shirt is very reminiscent of Han Solo’s.

  • yeah, they didn’t miss a beat, did they 🙂

  • Guts3d

    The whole Han Solo shirt deal reminds me of the Star Wars series where right after Lando Calrissian betrays the group to Vader, he and Chewie fly off in the Millenium Falcon to look for Han and Lando IS WEARING HAN’S CLOTHES!!! A true WTF moment.

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