For the MST3K episode, see MST3K 820 - Space Mutiny.

Space Mutiny is a 1988 science-fiction adventure film directed by David Winters and Neal Sundstrom. It stars real-life married couple Reb Brown and Cisse Cameron.


The Southern Sun is a generation ship (a spacefaring vessel that contains a large number of people) whose mission is to colonize a new world. Its voyage has been long, so many of its inhabitants have been born and will die without ever living on a planet. This does not please Elijah Kalgan, the ship's Head of Security. Kalgan conspires with the pirates infesting the nearby Corona Borealis system and the ship’s Chief Engineer MacPhearson to change the ship's course.


The crew of the Southern Sun consult on the bridge.

Kalgan hatches a plot to disrupt the navigation systems of the Southern Sun, then use his security force to hijack the ship and direct it towards Corona Borealis, thus forcing the occupants of the Southern Sun to submit to Kalgan's leadership. Kalgan sabotages the ship's shuttle bay just as a brave pilot, Dave Ryder, comes aboard.


Reb Brown as Dave Ryder

This sabotage seals off the flight deck for a number of weeks, which gives Kalgan the opportunity to attempt to wrest control. With the Enforcers loyal only to him, and with nobody able to leave the ship due to the flight deck being nonoperational, Kalgan holds the entire population of the Southern Sun hostage. The ship's Commander Jansen and Captain Devers enlist Ryder’s assistance to regain control of their vessel. Ryder is aided by Jansen’s daughter Lea, and a romance develops between them as they work to dismantle Kalgan's plot.

The situation is complicated by the presence of a group of mystical women known as Bellerians, who influence the people and events around them.



  • A prominent member of the Southern Sun's bridge crew is killed during a bar scene in an apparent attempt to make the plot more interesting. However, she is in the next scene alive and well at her console on the bridge. No mention is made of any twins (though, to give the movie the benefit of the doubt, she's only briefly seen in the foreground and is not featured again after her death).

Footage from Battlestar Galactica in Space Mutiny

  • The exterior space footage is all lifted from the 1978 TV series Battlestar Galactica.[1] The SOL crew do not comment on this during the episode, but mention of it was made later on the MST3K section of The Sci-Fi Channel website. The BBI staff apparently did not recognize the footage as being recycled until after the episode aired. In the 2018 RiffTrax presentation, Mike Nelson quips, "Yes, we know it's the Battlestar Galactica, you nerds," acknowledging that MST3K missed it and the reaction from fans that was prompted by the oversight.
  • Two of Cameron Mitchell's children have bit parts in this movie. His son Chip plays the thinly mustached Blake who apologizes for the "scanty" information. His daughter Cammile is the voice of the lead Bellerian, Jennera.
  • Actor James Ryan (who plays MacPhearson) starred in many similarly low-budgeted South African productions. Some of his other films later became RiffTrax productions.
  • There were three directors on this film. David Winters was the original director, but he had to leave the project in the early stages of production. Winters was replaced by Neal Sundstrom, who did most of the actual work of directing. After production finished, it was discovered the film was not long enough to classify as feature-length, so the scenes with the Bellarians were added. Neither Winters or Sundstrom agreed to direct those scenes, so David A. Prior did. David Winters attempted to have his name removed from the credits, but Sundstrom refused sole credit as director, as he was reportedly equally unhappy with the final project.
  • There are many shots in which sunlight can be clearly seen streaming through windows. There were apparently plans to tint the windows so the light would be an orange/red color, and to include a line of dialogue that explained the glow was due to the ship's propulsion system, but neither "fix" for this problem was added to the movie.
  • Reb Brown and Cisse Cameron were already a married couple when Space Mutiny was filmed. Contrary to the SOL crew's jokes, Cameron is a few years younger than Brown.
  • Cisse Cameron would later claim that Space Mutiny was intended to be a spoof of science fiction films.
  • The plot of Space Mutiny inspired an audio drama featuring several cast members of the original Battlestar Galactica (including archive recordings of Richard Hatch and Lorne Greene) that is the first part of a series of adventures called Saga of a Fugitive Fleet. It was released in 2021.[2]

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