Review- SPACE WARS: QUEST FOR THE DEEPSTAR- Michael Paré & Olivier Gruner Headline the Sci-Fi Throwback Film that Delivers the Right Amount of 80’s Cheese, Special Effects and Thrills! Plus, Exclusive Action Fix Podcast Panel Interview!

It might be because I just turned 50 last December but my nostalgia bug has bitten me something fierce over the last few months. I’ve always been a huge fan of throwback style actioners that remind me of the heydays of VHS rental stores but lately, it’s become rather extreme. No worries though as I’m still enjoying the hell out of what today’s action cinema has to offer. Back in the 1908’s, I was a fan of all things genre as I am today and nothing beat a good Sci-Fi flick like Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone or Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. Sure Star Wars was the tops but for me, these lower indie affairs made my blood pump, and I scooped up everything I could. It did help that the aforementioned films were also in 3-D but I still delve into any and all the Sci-Fi genre had to offer.

I’m not the only one as filmmaker Garo Setian has it in him too and that is quite evident in his latest offering deliciously titled Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar. Adding in the throwback vibe is that Setian has headlined his movie with two action icons who were big in the video store rental days in Michael Paré (STREETS OF FIRE, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS), Olivier Gruner (NEMESIS, SHOWDOWN IN MANILA). As soon as I saw these two action heavyweights involved, I knew I was going to enjoy what this one had to offer. Uncork’d Entertainment recently released the movie in a limited theatrical run and now it’s available for all to view on Digital platforms.

Space Wars has a simple premise in that it tells the story of a father and daughter team of space scavengers who live one day at a time in their space freighter seeking out substances that will catch them a hefty payday. Things get more complicated for Kip (Paré) and Taylor, Sarah French (PRETTY BOY, AUTOMATION), as they must outsmart a ruthless band of mercenaries led by the sinister Dykstra (Gruner). Both parties are in a dramatic race to claim the legendary treasures that are rumored to be onboard a lost, mythical freighter that went missing years ago. What treasures await them? Well, that’s an answer best left for viewing but I will tell you that the movie runs at a brisk and satisfying 86 minutes as protagonists and antagonists must battle each other along with a universe filled with giant monsters, aliens, robots and other human enemies seeking vengeance.

From the get-go, Space Wars radiates that cheesy vibe that was prevalent in all those films that came before its time. Setian not only directs but he also came up with the story which Joe Knetter wrote the script for and yes, this one won’t win any Oscars, but it still won several indie film festival awards so there’s others out there like myself that get it. Sure, you’ll read reviews that will just set out to bash the film but this one isn’t for everyone as it’s a niche movie for those genre fans that eat this stuff up and that’s who Setian made it for. You can tell that he has a love for these types of films as it comes across crane by frame from opening credits to the last laser blast.

Paré and Gruner are solid with the latter chewing up the scenery as the ultimate bad guy who wants what he wants and will destroy anything that gets in his way. Dykstra is a real threat, and he is quick with a gun as he is with his hands and feet. As Kip, Paré can do this type of role in his sleep and he brings his solid gravitas filled performance once again that made him such a popular actor in films like Streets of Fire and Space Rage which is another 80’s Sci-Fi flick that Paré played the heavy in. Look it up because you won’t see the late, great Richard Farnsworth take on a deadly and merciless Paré anywhere else in cinema history. It’s truly a forgotten gem. Here, Paré is channeling his inner Han Solo or an older version of Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy in one rolled up old school action hero fitting enough for a Saturday matinee. Both icons do what they do best and get to have their climatic showdown where plenty of fists and are thrown along with Gruner’s signature kicking abilities. It’s an action fan treat to watch these two work off each other and come toe to toe.

The rest of the cast shows up for the fun as well and French has great chemistry with Pare as his daughter Taylor and she is no damsel in distress as she gets just as physical as everyone else. Tyler Gallant (ALPHA WOLF) as Wade, and Rachele Brooke Smith (NIGHTMARE SHARK) as Nina also deliver genre best performances as two members of Dykstra’s merc gang with Gallant having a pretty complex character arc that I was not expecting and I’m wanting to see him headline his own action film in the future. Anahit Setian (AUTOMATION) does steal the show as scientist Jackie who Kip and Taylor pick up along the way and she brings the levity to the serious and nails it every time. She’s just so damn likeable that you are happy when she’s on the screen and she turns out to be valuable when the lasers and explosions hit.

Space Wars, like I stated earlier, never overstays its welcome and it is in constant motion with never a dull moment and features numerous action sequences that are enhanced by some pretty solid visuals. They may not be Star Wars caliber, but they are still good enough for this film and indeed become its own character throughout. Don’t expect huge, bombastic set pieces and you’ll be thoroughly entertained by the thrills and action that include fisticuffs, space dog fights and laser fights. Oh, and there are plenty of monsters to be had as well including one for the finale that is deadly and intimidating. Maybe it was the inner kid in me or, like I said, the nostalgic attitude that has taken me over, but I was grinning throughout the running time and damn if I wouldn’t want to see the further adventures of Kip, Taylor and Jackie in future installments.

Overall, I’m pleading with you to ignore the naysayers. If you’re a true Sci-Fi freak like me and most importantly, a 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Sci-Fi freak like me, then you will be buying what Space Wars is selling. It’s got major action star cred in Michael Paré and Olivier Gruner headlining and giving fans what they want, solid and way above the norm for indie fair special effects, a strong and ready to party supporting cast and plenty of action and thrills to harken back to the days when Saturday afternoons were made for watching these types of films on your local TV channel. From the looks of the retro key art alone, you know who this movie was made for. I may be 50 now but I love a good space battle, laser firefight, and fisticuffs fueled throwdown just as much now as I did when I was still in school. To borrow a tag line from Metal Storm, “it’s high noon at the end of the universe” and where that film lagged in its finale and disappointed in its promise of that tag line, Space Wars delivers in spades. A retro loving good time all around! Now where’s the sequel?!

VERDICT: 3.5 Out of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar brings action film cred in Michael Paré and Olivier Gruner and Delivers an 80’s style Sci-Fi thrill ride that oozes a retro vibe from a time when video stores ruled!

Space Wars: Quest for the DEEPSTAR is now available on Digital and VOD and hits DVD May 9th from Uncork’d Entertainment!

Exclusive Action Fix Podcast Panel Interview: Warp Speed Action– A Conversation with the Director and Cast of Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar!!!

I had the pleasure of talking with director Garo Setian as well as Hollywood icon Michael Paré along with fellow cast members Sarah French, Tyler Gallant, Rachele Brooke Smith and Anahit Setian for a special, exclusive panel interview for The Action Fix Podcast. We delve into the new indie sci-fi action thriller that radiates 80’s awesomeness. In this exclusive panel interview, we explore the film, talk about the characters, the action, the special effects and everything else that we can think of including tough women in action movies, performing their own stunts and what attracted them to doing the movie. Check out my full interview with a great bunch of people who made a great throwback style movie that genre fans will gravitate to. It’s the director and cast of Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar on The Action Fix Podcast!!!


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