Arena (1989 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Manoogian|
|Produced by||Irwin Yablans|
|Music by||Richard Band|
|Edited by||Andy Horvitch|
|Distributed by||Empire Pictures|
Arena is a 1989 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 Irwin Yablans 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 as Steve Armstrong, young human fighter who wants to break into the alien fighting arena game.
- Hamilton Camp as Shorty, a family man from Nebulos who befriends Steve, seems to have contacts all over the underworld of the station.
- Claudia Christian as Quinn, manager of a small ring of fighters she inherited from her father.
- Marc Alaimo as Rogor, casino owner, manager of Horn, and all around underworld boss.
- Shari Shattuck as Jade, night club singer and Rogor's woman.
- Armin Shimerman as Weezil, Rogor's enforcer.
- Brett Porter as Wayne
- Charles Tabansi as Troy
- Michael Deak as Horn, Rogor's top fighter, an extremely violent and arrogant cyborg alien.
- Jack Carter as Announcer
- William Butler as Skull, a high strung-cybernetic alien always looking to make a quick buck.
- Grady Clarkson as Commissioner Dent
- Dave Thompson as Doctor
- Ken Clark as Marcus, the last human Arena champion, now homeless, living in the tubes of the space station.
- Diana Rose as Space Lady in Nightclub
Lawrence Cohn of Variety called it "an above-average fantasy". Michael Weldon wrote in The Psychotronic Video Guide to Film, "If you liked TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, you might make it through this juvenile, PG-13, science fiction comedy from Charles Band."