June 06, 1983 12:00 PM

At least nobody will have to stand in line to see this film now that the third Star Wars has opened: Spacehunter is not nearly as good as Return of the Jedi, and it’s clearly intended for the same audience. Never mind that Spacehunter’s 3-D effect is barely tolerable—it’s like having your eyeballs sucked out for two hours. There is simply no story of interest. Peter Strauss, in his first feature since starring on TV’s Rich Man, Poor Man series, plays a space salvage pilot in the Harrison Ford mold—handsome, surly and invincible. Molly Ringwald, who made a little-noticed debut in last summer’s Tempest, is atrocious as his whining, sulky sidekick. Together they set out to track down three women who have been kidnapped by the evil Overdog (Michael Ironside), a half-man, half-machine who presides over something called the Forbidden Zone, a kind of mausoleum for space derelicts. Strauss and Ringwald make the usual trip over the usual bleak terrain and meet the usual alien monsters: flying vultures, mutant children who throw hand grenades, gorgeous but deadly Amazons. Of course, they all end up in a big showdown with Overdog. The dialogue is idiotic, the sound too loud and the acting, with the exception of Strauss, terrible. The movie’s low point may be when Overdog, strapped to some kind of cherry-picker device, grunts and drools as one of his cronies undresses a woman prisoner. The impression is that the makers of this movie—Lamont (Cattle Annie and Little Britches) Johnson directed it—have tried to touch all the bases. They’ve succeeded only in making a kind of Valley Girl Meets George Lucas, with a little soft-core porn thrown in. (R)

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