Andrew Lavette (Jackson Bostwick) is an agent for the United World Federation. With someone out to get him, he is framed for the destruction of Starbase 14. On flimsy questionable evidence he is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment to Detention Satellite three, DS-3. DS-3 is a prison satellite that orbits the Earth. Satellite prisons are used because no one has ever been able to escape from one. As soon as Andy gets to DS-3 he is planning his escape.
The first thing that happens at the facility is that Andy gets a tracker inserted under his skin in the pulmonary plexus. The tracker is both a transmitter and a receiver. Not only does it show where a prisoner is at all times but it can also transmit pain to any part of the prisoner’s body. Where ever the guards want, whenever they want. After he is fitted with his tracker Andy meets Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Gynn (Bubba Smith).
Mac shows Andy around their part of the prison. Each prisoner has their own small room. There are four rooms to a pod. A guard monitors the rooms at all times. The only time the prisoners are not monitored is when they are with a female robot sex droid. The sex robots are referred to as ‘pen pals’. Each prisoner, with good behavior, is given a sex droid every two weeks for an hour. The droids are used to keep the prisoners happy. In addition, there are legalized drugs for those prisoners who can’t handle incarceration. The drugs keep the prisoner in a happy stupor.
In Andy’s pod is Mac, Kim Lang (David Chandler), who is one of the prisoners on happy pills, and Jesse Michaels (Cameron Mitchell Jr.). Andy learns what each of his pod mates is good at. Jesse is a chemistry expert; Kim is an electrical engineer and Mac can repair and fly any space vehicle ever made. Andy knows that he can use the skills that his pod mates possess. Andy gets Kim off the drugs and with the help of his pod mates develops a plan to escape from DS-3.
“Escape from DS-3” was released in 1981 and was directed by Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler. It is a low budget science fiction crime film. It is one of ten films that Emeneggar and Sandler made from 1980 to 1983. The film is also produced by Emenegger and Sandler as well as Anne Spielberg.
The prisoner satellite DS-3 is the same yo-yo on a stick that was used in a few other Emenegger films as various space ships and space stations. The sets, as usual, are those used on every other Emenegger film ever made. Emenegger is the king of recycled sets and props.
I’ve seen quite a few Emenegger/Sandler films and they all have a similarity about them. They are done on a shoestring; the acting is questionable and the plots are basically standard. Emenegger tries to make his movies into psychological profiles of how people react in stressful or unusual situations. He falls a little short in that area. Some of the stories may be similar to those that are box office hits but here the special effects are primitive and the dialogue is simple. It makes for mostly family friendly amateur unremarkable movies. Most of them have fallen into obscurity. These films were basically seen on late night TV or Saturday afternoons. Now, they’re not seen anywhere.
Despite all the drawbacks I did enjoy DS-3 for the most part. It was a little slow in spots but I did like the ending despite the ridiculousness of it.