Arena (1989 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Manoogian|
|Produced by||Irwin Yablans|
|Written by||Danny Bilson
Paul De Meo
|Music by||Richard Band|
|Edited by||Andy Horvitch|
|Distributed by||Empire Pictures|
|March 29, 1989|
Arena is an American science fiction film directed by Peter Manoogian and starring Paul Satterfield and Claudia Christian. Set in 4038, Satterfield plays Steve Armstrong, the first human in 50 years to compete in the intergalactic boxing sport called simply "The Arena". The film was produced by Charles Band and features original music by Richard Band.
Steve Armstrong (Paul Satterfield) is working as a short order cook on a space station somewhere in the galaxy. Overwhelmed by the volume of orders, he repeatedly fouls up and soon finds himself in a confrontation with an alien patron named Fang. After a fight which smashes up the diner and leaves the alien injured, Steve and his friend and co-worker Shorty (Hamilton Camp) are fired. As it turns out, Fang is an Arena fighter, and his manager Quinn (Claudia Christian) confronts Steve. Amazed that a human could beat one of her best fighters, Quinn offers him a contract, but convinced that humans no longer have a place in the Arena, Steve refuses, intending to make his way back to Earth.
Lacking sufficient money for a ticket, Shorty attempts to raise the cash by gambling in an underground casino. The game is raided by the authorities and in the confusion, Shorty pockets the money. Caught in the act by crime boss Rogor (Marc Alaimo) and his enforcer Weezil (Armin Shimerman), Shorty is held for ransom. Steve promises to pay off the debt, so he reluctantly returns to Quinn and agrees to a contract. Remarkably he wins his first match with an alien named Sloth in an upset. He continues fighting, determined to prove that a human has what it takes to be champion, and soon becomes a top contender. Despite Rogor's multiple attempts to cheat, Steve ultimately wins the championship from Rogor's top fighter, an alien named Horn (Michael Deak).
- Paul Satterfield ... Steve Armstrong, young human fighter who wants to break into the alien fighting arena game.
- Hamilton Camp ... Shorty, a family man from Nebulos who befriends Steve, seems to have contacts all over the underworld of the station.
- Claudia Christian ... Quinn, manager of a small ring of fighters she inherited from her father.
- Marc Alaimo ... Rogor, casino owner, manager of Horn, and all around underworld boss.
- Shari Shattuck ... Jade, night club singer and Rogar's woman.
- Armin Shimerman ... Weezil, Rogor's enforcer.
- Brett Porter ... Wayne
- Charles Tabansi ... Troy
- Michael Deak ... Horn, Rogor's top fighter, an extremely violent and arrogant cyborg alien.
- Jack Carter ... Announcer
- William Butler ... Skull, a high strung-cybernetic alien always looking to make a quick buck.
- Grady Clarkson ... Commissioner Dent
- Dave Thompson ... Doctor
- Ken Clark ... Marcus, the last human Arena champion, now homeless, living in the tubes of the space station.
- Diana Rose ... Space Lady in Nightclub
- During one early scene, Armstrong's friend Shorty enters a seedy casino using the password "swordfish."
- The film's tag line "For a thousand years, no human has been the champion. He wants to be the first." contradicts the actual plot as Marcus was the last human champion 50 years ago, and Steve describes him as the reason Steve became a fighter.
- Features future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine stars Marc Alaimo and Armin Shimmerman.
- Originally intended for a theatrical release, the film was released directly to videocassette on September 19, 1991 by RCA/Columbia. On July 9, 2013 the film was released on DVD as part of a 4-Pack with America 3000, Eliminators, and The Time Guardian.