Capsule Review: "Battlefield Earth"

by Eric Melin on December 5, 2000

in Print Reviews

This is something I made up with my bass player, Mr. Nick Colby, to ease the pain of watching John Travolta’s love letter to L. Ron Hubbard.

The “Battlefield Earth” drinking game
You must drink every time someone says:

1. “Psychlo” – 2 drinks when Travolta says he is a Psychlo of his word.

2. “Blow the dome!” – Don’t ask. Just drink.

travolta whitaker battlefield earth3. “leverage” – Terl is one bad mammajamma as long as he has his precious leverage.

4. “man-animal” – Terl loves his insults…

5. “Ratbrain!” – …and it doesn’t get any worse than that, apparently.

I’m a bit obsessed with this steaming pile of crap. I knew it was gonna be bad, but oh man! On tour and driving between up I-35 from Kansas City, we made a special stop in Des Moines just to see this on its opening afternoon and experience it with an audience. It’s not very often that can go into a movie in the theaters and know within the first moments that you can roast it out loud.

pepper travolta battlefield earthHow do I love “Battlefield Earth” ? Let me count the ways:

1. John Travolta as Rob Zombie

2. Forest Whitaker as Klingon #2

3. the most unintentionally funny dialogue since any Ed Wood movie

4. the most dismal sets and special effects in the digital age

5. the most derivitave, nonsensical storyline that follows no logical progression whatsoever

terl travolta battlefield earth6. the longest, most uninteresting set-up in recent memory, a build up to…

7. the biggest, most dreadfully anticlimactic finale to a sci-fi film I’ve ever seen.

8. “dramatic” scenes so bad that they turn on the actors, and hilarity ensues

9. I could see this film being a “Rocky Horror”-type cult flick, complete with people dressing as Terl and shouting back at the screen! (drinking game recently added– look above!)

10. “Ratbrain!” (you had to see it)

So, completely for its camp value…see it with your friends…make a party of it…it’s probably funnier if yer drunk…I give “Battlefield Earth”…
A Minor Rock Fist Up
Jeez, did I really do that?

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes for The Pitch. He’s former President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls, Ultimate Fakebook, and Truck Stop Love . He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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