Kraspin claims kapitron can turn the men of metropolis into “an army of rowbuts” and to test out the proof of concept and make double sure that kapitron is the most dangerous weapon in the galaxy, Kraspin uses long-lost space pilot Golob (Richard Keil), a gentle giant with a beard and a robodog named Kit who he feeds “silicon tranquilizers”, as a guinea pig by launching a rocket loaded with kapitron at him. After the explosion Golob’s beard disappears and he has become a monster! This is expressed by having Kiel raise his arms, make claw-hands and growl a lot while wearing platform shoes. You know anyone who wears platform shoes is evil, right? To prove that he has superhuman powers, Kraspin sends out a balsawood – err, I mean hovercraft troopcarrier with which the now Evil Golob dispatches in short order. Kraspin, cackling with delight says “he’s rather irritated, isn’t he?” All they have to do now is slap a sensor on his forehead and drop him off in front of the city (apparently in the future there is no way to detect ships landing on your planet) and watch the mayhem from afar!
Once inside the city, Golob runs amuck throwing men around like dummies… oh, wait, they are dummies, in the appropriately matte-pained city. There are some great moments here such as the scene in which Kraspin watching the action from a monitor sees Barbara and commands Golob to “get her!” That’s your whole plan, wasn’t it, Ray? We also get the revelation that the kid TomTom wields some sort of mystic powers (predating the adolescent jedi plot-lines of the recent STAR WARS sequels) and reads books that are futuristic because they are long and thin and bound with string. Wait, there are books in the future? And string? What?? In addition to reading “books”, Barbara and TomTom also enjoy playing video games on their big screen TV. Apparently, while we are now able to travel at faster than light-speeds throughout the galaxy and beyond, we still have black and white televisions and the best video game we have is a hybrid of Pong and Chess. And hey, it's multi-player, as two people are playing it! w00t, indeed!
One of the other characters is a Han Solo wannabe, Nick (Leonard Mann), who’s ship looks just enough like the Millennium Falcon to avoid prosecution. Nick is waxes sardonic, sporting some great lines like “kid you gotta be out of your gravity zone!” Plus he gets to hop in a spinning chair that is hooked up to an exterior laser cannon outside of hexagonal windows to blow away enemy fighters (sound familiar?). Graal’s ships decide that they are going to shoot at Nick and company with a “hyper-galactic stellar ray”, which I'm not sure is a bad thing or not. During the dog-fight, one of the stormtrooper pilots says “those six idiots couldn’t blow up an old trash can!” Wait, there are trash cans in the future? What??
Landscapes are cribbed right out of the STAR WARS playbook, the sets and costumes are on par with most American indy sci-fi of the time, possibly even better in the case of the costumes, with the exception of Kiel, who looks like a reject from RIDERS OF THE STORM (1986). The special effects used for the laser weapons and spaceship battles are surprisingly well done and while the models are nowhere near as detailed as say BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980), the space scenes are pretty impressive for a what they are. Plus we get a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. What more could you want? Yeah, yeah, lightsabers, I know. In spite of that, I still have the irresistible urge to quote lines from HARDWARE WARS (1978) while watching the film. Why this movie hasn’t obtained more of a cult status is beyond me. Well, I have one idea… it doesn’t have Caroline Munroe in a bikini... Dammit.