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Arena (1989)

A human becomes an unlikely rising star in the biggest fighting tournament in the galaxy that's dominated by alien species.

Director:

Peter Manoogian
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Satterfield ... Steve Armstrong
Hamilton Camp ... Shorty
Claudia Christian ... Quinn
Marc Alaimo ... Rogor
Shari Shattuck ... Jade
Armin Shimerman ... Weezil
Brett Porter ... Wayne
Charles Tabansi Charles Tabansi ... Troy
Michael Deak ... Horn
Jack Carter ... Announcer
William Butler ... Skull
Grady Clarkson Grady Clarkson ... Commissioner Dent
Dave Thompson ... Doctor
Ken Clark ... Marcus
Diana Rose Diana Rose ... Space Lady in Nightclub
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Storyline

Steve Armstrong is a human short-order cook in a fast food restaurant on a "starstation" where the most popular arena fighting tournament in the whole galaxy is held. Members of various alien species fight one on one, often dirty, to become the ruling champions of the galaxy. The restaurant's sole waiter and Steve's boss is Shorty, a short four-armed scheming humanoid alien. When Steve saves Shorty from a particularly unpleasant and violent alien guest, they're both fired by the restaurant's automated A.I. for brawling. Shorty shows gratitude and they become friends. However, without jobs, they'll both be kicked off the space station. Thankfully, Quinn, a human female no-nonsense fighting promoter, who's in quick need of new fighters, hears about Steve's fight with the alien guest and offers him sponsorship. Human fighters have traditionally been defeated easily by naturally tougher alien fighters in previous tournaments and Steve would be a real underdog. Shorty manages to convince ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For a thousand years no human has been the champion. He wants to be the first. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arena See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Telecolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is considered to be a loose remake of Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion (1968). See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie when Mr. Weasel and Shorty are fighting above the ring Weasel repeatedly calls Shorty a Nebuloid the actual name of Shorty's race is Nebulite. Correction. As the makeup artist who handled the Weezil makeup, plus stunt doubling the character, I can say this definitely wasn't an error. Earlier in the film. Weezil refers to Shorty as a Nubian. I was on set when this was added and decided to continue the dialogue once I briefly took over the role. See more »

Quotes

Space Comic: Oh, I could stay all night, folks, but I gotta go. A hand for the boys in the band, and remember, I hate your guts!
See more »


Soundtracks

I Love the Barbarian
Music and Lyrics by Paolo Rustichelli
Performed by Shari Shattuck
See more »

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User Reviews

Pure B-film scifi fun.
13 August 2015 | by amesmondeSee all my reviews

All bets are off at a corrupt intergalactic fighting competition where a system removes the fighter's advantage, no matter what species and puts them on an even standing.

Made and released in the UK in 1989, like Robot Jox, Crash & Burn, Oblivion and other Charles Band productions the lack of money is obvious but this B-film captures the imagination which many larger budgeted films fail to do. Arena taps into a time when fighting films had peaked and Rocky was deep rooted in the conciseness along with WWF specials. Director Peter Manoogian offers plenty of showdowns. His direction is fine and many of the makeup and special effects still hold up.

In a cast of outlandish aliens Claudia Christian features as Quinn and the Christopher Reeve-a-like Paul Satterfield's Steve Armstrong works as the stereotype hero.

Despite its clichés and the fact it was never going to win any Oscars its many references to other science fictions and fresh concept makes it an enjoyable low budget science fiction.


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