Movies & TV / Reviews

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar Review

May 1, 2023 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Space Wars: Quest For the Deepstar Image Credit: Uncork'd Entertainment
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar Review  

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar Review

Michael Pare– Kip Corman
Olivier Gruner– Dykstra
Sarah French– Taylor Corman
Anahit Setian– Jackie
Sadie Katz– Elnora
Rachele Brooke Smith– Nina
Tyler Gallant– Wade
Jed Rowen– Manx
Hunter Setian– Ezekiel
(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Garo Setian
Screenplay by Joe Knetter, based on a story by Garo Setian and Joe Knetter

Distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment

Not Rated
Runtime– 90 minutes
Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is in select movie theaters starting April 21st, 2023, and will be available via digital starting May 2nd, 2023, and DVD starting May 9th, 2023 (you can preorder the DVD here)

Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar, directed by Garo Setian, is a heartfelt, rip roaring sci-fi adventure flick, the kind of movie that doesn’t seem to get made all that much anymore, at least in the low budget B-movie world. Featuring a top notch cast, spectacular looking special effects, and a nifty sci-fi world that everyone involved clearly spent a lot of time on creating, Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is a terrific movie watching experience. It’s great fun from start to finish, which is exactly what you want with this kind of sci-fi flick.

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar stars Michael Pare as Kip Corman, a badass space adventurer and scavenger who constantly finds himself getting into trouble (in fact, when the movie begins we see Kip about to be executed by some criminal space weirdo). Along with his daughter Taylor (Sarah French), Kip is always looking for his next big score as he’s always in need of space credits to pay off debts and whatnot. Kip and Taylor also have plenty of enemies across the galaxy, especially Elnora (Sadie Katz), who is some sort of space crime boss or something. After getting rescued by Taylor in the nick of time, Kip finds out that his spaceship is damaged and needs at least five million credits to get it fixed properly. We also find out that Elnora wants to get back something Kip apparently stole from her and she will do whatever it takes to get it, including sending her son Ezekiel (Hunter Seitan) after him.

Now, while all of that is going on, Kip and Taylor decide to do a hyper jump to nowhere in particular in the hope that wherever they end up they will be able to find that next big score (it’s also a great way to stay ahead of Elnora). When they stop they find what appears to be an abandoned space station. Taylor goes onboard the station to see what’s there (maybe this space station will have the big score they’re looking for). Taylor finds a woman named Jackie (Anahit Seitan) hiding in a locker. Why is Jackie hiding in the locker? Why does Jackie appear to be the only person on the space station? Just what the heck is going on here?

Well, before Kip and Taylor arrived, Jackie’s space station was accosted by the dastardly Dykstra (Olivier Gruner) and his band of criminals (Nina, as played by Rachele Brooke Smith, Wade, as played by Tyler Gallant, and the weird as hell Manx, played by Jed Rowen). They tried to get on the space station in order to find Jackie, but Jackie sent out an escape pod that landed on a nearby planet (and Dykstra and his people then tracked the pod to the planet and ended up fighting three aliens in brutal hand-to-hand combat). Why did Dykstra want to find Jackie? Jackie apparently knows where the Deepstar is located. What the heck is the Deepstar? It’s a legendary mega treasure that people have been looking for for years. If it’s ever found, the owner of the Deepstar is expected to become unfathomably rich and powerful.

So then some stuff happens, Kip agrees to allow Jackie onto his ship, and then once Kip finds out that Jackie likely knows where the Deepstar is, Kip and Taylor decide to go looking for the Deepstar, too. The Deepstar is exactly the kind of major score they’ve been looking for. Kip can get his ship repaired and pay off whatever debts he owes throughout the galaxy. And Taylor believes that the Deepstar can provide the necessary money to bring back her deceased mother, whose soul and essence is now a blue liquid in a tube. The universe has access to a technology that can essentially bring dead people back to life, placing their soul and essence in cyborg replicas, but it is incredibly expensive to do. Taylor’s mother’s death has haunted Taylor for years and all she wants to do is bring her mother back.

Now, while all of that is going on, Ezekiel shows up and chases Kip’s ship into an asteroid field. This dangerous excursion ends with Ezekiel’s ship exploding after smashing into an asteroid. When Elnora finds out what happened to her son, she decides to take matters into her own hands and heads out into space in her own ship, hell bent on destroying Kip and Taylor and anyone else who gets in her way.

So then some more stuff happens, Taylor goes on a brief solo planetary trip to retrieve some sort of important beacon, fights off some weird alien monsters, and ends up getting captured by Dykstra. A brief scuffle breaks out between Dykstra and his people and Kip and Taylor, Dykstra steals Kip’s ship and leaves Kip and Jackie on his ship (Dykstra’s ship is damaged when Manx triggers an explosion on Jackie’s space station), and with Taylor as a sort of hostage, Dykstra goes looking for the Deepstar. Kip eventually recovers from his beat down, repairs Dykstra’s damaged ship just enough that he can operate it, and goes looking for Dykstra and Taylor. Will Kip and Jackie be able to rescue Taylor, defeat Dykstra, and find the Deepstar? Will Dykstra find the Deepstar, become insanely rich, and take Taylor as his sexual play toy? Will Taylor be able to escape the clutches of Dykstra and his henchmen and find a way to bring her mother back? Will Elnora achieve her revenge?

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar manages to balance all of its various plot threads without really skimping on any of them, which is amazing considering the movie is barely 90 minutes long (you can imagine a big budget Hollywood version of this same story dragging on for well over two hours). There’s also plenty of world building, both in terms of space ships and alien planets as well as its use of “space jargon” language. It’s always cool seeing a movie that has its own language and its actors manage to pull it off without it all sounding ridiculous (sci-fi language can be so hard to make seem natural, both in movies and literature). Space Wars also has just enough action in it to keep the story moving, although I would have preferred to see a little more (it’s odd having a real deal action star like Olivier Gruner in your movie and not having him kicking ass in multiple scenes. We do see Gruner fight a few times, but for whatever reason we don’t see him engage in anything resembling martial arts. That sure seems like a big missed opportunity).

And then there’s the movie special effects, which are simply amazing. The space ships, the scenes of space and space travel, the monsters and creatures and aliens on display, they’re all incredibly elaborate and slick looking (definitely some of the best looking CGI ever created for a low budget genre movie). I’m going to assume, based on the end credits, that the movie uses a mix of both practical special effects and CGI, but what is practical and what is CGI? It’s very hard to blend the two in gigantic Hollywood movies and somehow Space Wars makes it look easy. The insides of the space ships are obviously “real” sets, and they all have a sort of “lived in” quality that’s always fun to see when it’s done well and correctly. This future may have extensive deep space travel and advanced technology in it, but all of that stuff isn’t what you’d call fancy. People clearly live and work in this universe.

Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment

The cast is nothing short of phenomenal. Michael Pare is fantastic as Kip Corman. Pare plays Kip as a world weary badass who has basically seen everything and done everything, and as a result he never seems all that surprised by anything. Kip Corman is a guy who has to live in the moment. Kip Corman isn’t reckless, though. His experience being a space scavenger and adventurer has given him a level of experience that someone doesn’t achieve unless they live life. And, man, Kip Corman has lived life. Has it worked out well for him? Not really; he’s always on the run, he’s in a deep depression about losing his wife, and he’s constantly worried about his daughter Taylor. But he’s still in the game and that’s what matters most. I would love to see another Kip Corman adventure with Pare putting on the leather space jacket again. Great stuff.

Olivier Gruner does a nice job as Dykstra, the badass criminal scavenger that wants the Deepstar and all of the wealth and prestige and power that comes with it. Oddly, though, even with those lofty goals, Dykstra never comes off as a megalomaniac. You get the impression that even if Dykstra found the Deepstar and cashed in on everything he would get bored as hell quickly and go look for something else to steal. Like I said earlier, it’s weird that the movie doesn’t have real deal martial artist and action star Gruner engage in any martial arts as Dykstra. Dykstra just beats people to death with his fists. That isn’t a bad trait for a guy like Dykstra, but, again, why have a martial artist in your movie and not have him do martial arts? Gruner still does a good job as the movie’s main villain. Gruner knows how to make Dykstra a complete jerk. I do wish he side kicked someone in the face, though. That would have been cool as hell.

Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment

Sarah French does an amazing job as Taylor Corman, the daughter and space scavenging partner of her father Kip Corman. Taylor has learned from her father Kip how to keep calm in the face of danger and we see her in action quite a bit, staring down the scumbags of the universe, not to mention some of the nastiest looking alien monster things in the universe. French gives Taylor a cunningness that doesn’t come into full display until the very end of the movie and it’s a beautiful thing to see. French also gives Taylor a melancholy that’s truly touching, especially when we find out what she’s so upset about and what her life goals are. French also knows to how throw down when necessary and that’s cool as hell to see.

Anahit Setian is superb as Jackie, the mysterious woman who knows where the Deepstar is located. At first, you think Jackie is going to be the movie’s biggest weirdo when you see her dancing with an empty space suit. Who does that? How long has she been alone on this space station? Is she going to end up being one of those Event Horizon killer space demon things (again, just how long has she been alone out in space? God only knows what’s she experienced)? Instead, Jackie is just quirky and provides the movie with a sweetness that it likely wouldn’t have if Setian wasn’t playing the part. In fact, Setian may give the best performance in the entire movie. You will fall in love with her and hope that there’s a future spot for Jackie in whatever further adventures Kip and Taylor Corman engage in.

Rachele Brooke Smith is fantastic as Nina, Dykstra’s second in command and head henchperson (she also seems to be angling to be Dykstra’s girlfriend, which seems odd when you consider that the only stuff Dykstra is really interested in revolve around power. He doesn’t get any real power from having any sort of romantic relationship with her). She’s devoted to Dykstra and his mission, but she also does manage to get her kicks out of being violent on his behalf. Smith could have easily played Nina as a sort of over the top psycho, but instead she makes Nina sort of calculating. Nina isn’t going to do something stupid. Smith also does a good job with her fight sequences and the action stuff she’s called on to do. She could have a future in the low budget action movie world if she wanted one based solely on this performance.

Sadie Katz is beautifully vicious as Elnora, the crime boss that wants revenge on Kip Corman. It’s hilarious how it always seems like Elnora just wants to explode in a flurry of violence at any second but somehow manages to keep herself in check (watch how Katz always seems to be gritting her teeth and trying to control her breathing. She’s this close to going berserk). And then when you see Elnora flying around space it makes you wonder how many stray asteroids and bits of space junk she blasted with her ship’s weapon system while looking for Kip. She just wants to destroy everything in her path but she knows that she has to hold back so she can maintain her overall control of her criminal empire. If and when there’s a Space Wars sequel, it may seem difficult to bring Elnora back considering what happens, but then what’s more important: logic or getting someone as great as Sadie Katz back? You always pick to bring back Sadie Katz. Always.

And Tyler Gallant is just the worst person in the world as Wade. Wade enjoys being cruel and lives for the violence that his boss Dykstra asks him to do. You don’t carry a knife like the one Wade carries and not enjoy stabbing people and aliens with it. It’s fascinating how there are moments in Gallant’s performance where it seems like maybe Wade isn’t the rat bastard we think he is. Perhaps there’s another layer to Wade that only comes out when he decides to let his guard down and it’s the “good guy” that he can’t afford to be considering his job as one of Dykstra’s henchmen. But then he shows multiple times that Wade is just a raging piece of garbage, exactly the kind of person you want to see pulverized by a giant alien monster of some sort. Or he can be shot in the goddamn face with a laser. Both work. I think you will enjoy what happens to Wade after what we see him do. I know I enjoyed it.

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is a tremendous sci-fi space adventure flick, hopefully the first of many. Director Garo Setian and his assembled cast and crew have created a massively entertaining sci-fi movie that fans of sci-fi should definitely check out and make a part of their pop culture existence. Space Wars takes place in a carefully created future world that’s lived in and full of interesting ideas, not to mention action and adventure. Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is amazing stuff and you need to see it. You really do.

See Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar. See it, see it, see it!

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is in select movie theaters staring April 21st, 2023, and will be available via digital starting May 2nd, 2023. The movie then hits DVD on May 9th, 2023.

Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: At least 10.

Explosions: Several, both big and small.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage:Space, a gigantic sort of lava dragon alien monster, an execution, an attempted execution, a last second rescue, laser attack, a damaged space ship, a coin, hyper jump hooey, a space station, a woman dancing with an empty space suit, escape pod hooey, “neutrino core” hooey, attempted sleep, an apparently abandoned space station, multiple headaches caused by zero gravity, three hostile aliens, hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting, stabbing, gross alien face revealing, face mask stealing, laser hooey, talk of the Deepstar, a hidden bomb, exploding space station, asteroid field hooey, exploding space ship, a solo planet excursion, shooting at the ground, multiple gigantic alien monsters, more hand-to-hand combat, attempted ship fixing, racism against cyborgs, indiscriminate henchmen killing, face slapping, even more hand-to-hand combat, control panel hooey, more escape pod hooey, space ship crashing, a space chase, a space cloud, a flying robot, two mysterious people, a heinous double cross, cave hooey, a big bug, even more hand-to-hand combat, a severe beating, gut slicing, a big reveal, giant bugs eating people, a shockingly moving moment, tying up plot threads, and the prospect of more adventures in deep space (and I am so for seeing that).

Kim Richards? None.

Gratuitous:.Michael Pare, a Roger Corman reference, Sarah French, space ship stuff, Sadie Katz, talk of deep space, Anahit Setian, Anahit Setian dancing with an empty space suit, blue liquid in a metal tube, Olivier Gruner, Class 6 A recovery unit, multiple flashback dreams, “Moon Bacon Stardust,” Olivier Gruner fist fighting with an alien, “celestial cartography,” a space bomb, a discussion of the difference between stupid and smart ass, an asteroid field, a giant bug alien monster, Sarah French shooting the ground to get a giant worm to pop out, a giant monster fight, Olivier Gruner snapping his fingers, space booze, “Moon of criminal scum,” attempted seduction, Michael Pare getting zapped, indiscriminate henchmen killing, “rich people don’t really know what life is,” a space cloud, a big reveal, a shockingly moving moment, tying up plot threads, the prospect of more adventures in deep space (and I am so for seeing that), and “Filmed entirely in space along the Wantanian Skyrail, Nelson Nevada and La Puente California.”

Best lines: “The only thing I’m guilty of is being a better scavenger than you,” “Any last words? I’ll see you soon. I will tell everyone that your final words were incoherent groveling and begging for your life. Goodbye, Kip Corman,” “Is this a ‘we should probably get going situation’ or a ‘we should get the hell out of here situation’?,” “You must be the dumbest man in all of the galaxy,” “A good old fashioned adventure. Exactly,” “Target detected sector five,” “We never should have been in that sector,” “And soon I will have all that I desire. And what is it that you desire? The universe,” “Moon Bacon Stardust,” “I’m the captain of this ship. I’ll decide what needs to be done. I’ve got sixteen million credits on here. You’re lucky, the captain just decided that it’s time to go,” “All right, tell me again. Where did you find her? She was hiding in a space suit. And you trust her? She seems harmless. Taylor, that’s what you said about that three headed baby dragon that grew into the destroyer of worlds. I don’t think we have to worry about that,” “People have been looking for the Deepstar for years. It can’t be found,” “If we find the Deepstar we can get enough credits to bring Mom back,” “Why do you trust us? Because you haven’t tried to kill me,” “Don’t touch that,” “Stop touching things,” “We can thank the asteroid field for that bit of luck,” “This was a bad idea. Too late now!,” “Mark my words- you will pay!,” “Okay, I get it now,” “What are you doing with three criminals?,” “A body isn’t what defines a person. It’s their soul, their essence that matters,” “All I want is my family back,” “Prepare my ship. I’ll kill Kip myself!,” “Maybe I’ll bring your Mom back and make her my new wife,” “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t fight girls,” “Prepare for impact,” “Kip, you bastard! I’m coming for you!,” “Jackie, you are the greatest,” “Hey, rust bucket!,” “Why didn’t you kill me when you had the chance? Not my style,” “You think you can run from a god?,” “How did you escape? Nothing can quench my thirst for vengeance,” “I give! And I’ll take!,” “Huh. I thought you’d be able to tell,” “Time to die, freak!,” “How’s that for some action?,” and “I’m probably going to feel really weird about this later. But that felt really good.”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar, directed by Garo Setian, is a heartfelt, rip roaring sci-fi adventure flick, the kind of movie that doesn’t seem to get made all that much anymore, at least in the low budget B-movie world. Featuring a top notch cast, spectacular looking special effects, and a nifty sci-fi world that everyone involved clearly spent a lot of time on creating, Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is a terrific movie watching experience. It’s great fun from start to finish, which is exactly what you want with this kind of sci-fi flick. Hopefully it’s the first of many. The world needs more Kip Corman and company in their lives. I know I do. Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar is in select movie theaters starting April 21st, 2023, and then available via digital starting May 2nd, 2023. The movie then hits DVD on May 9th, 2023.