[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/200px-Battlefield_earth_poster.jpg]]

->''"When you were still learning how to '''spell your name''', I was being trained '''to conquer galaxies!'''"''
-->-- '''Terl'''

The film version of Creator/LRonHubbard's ScienceFiction novel ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth'' was released in America on May 12, 2000, directed by Roger Christian and starring Creator/JohnTravolta as Psychlo leader Terl (he originally wanted to play the part of the book's hero, Jonnie "Goodboy" Tyler, but that role eventually went to Creator/BarryPepper because Travolta was too old by then). Travolta, a self-proclaimed Hubbard fan, always wanted to do the film for a long time, but had trouble securing money for it because of studios' apprehension to bankroll the film due to its connections with the real life ChurchOfHappyology. He later poured most of his own money into the project and signed on as a co-producer, and the rest... well, is history.

After MGM and Fox Studios turned down offers to distribute the film, it was eventually picked up by Franchise Pictures, a company known for helping stars rescue their troubled pet projects. To this day, it has yet to gross $30M -- its budget was $44M.

The film covers the first half of the {{doorstopper}} book: The Psychlos come to Earth, beat the humans in about nine minutes, and establish an outpost here. They are here for gold--[[GoldFever Goooooooooooooooooooooold!]]--the rarest and most valuable ore in the universe, it seems. Jonnie leads a band of slaves to rise up against their masters. Travolta is [[http://www.movieinsider.com/m284/battlefield-earth-2/ still intent]] on having the second half of the book produced.

Has the dubious honor of winning nine [[UsefulNotes/GoldenRaspberryAward Razzies]] -- a record that stood until 2012's ''Film/JackAndJill'', which won one more -- including the Worst Movie of 2000, the Worst Drama of the award's first 25 years, and Worst Movie of the Decade, 2000-2009.
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!!While you were still learning how to SPELL YOUR NAME, ''Battlefield Earth'' was being trained to apply these tropes!

* AdaptationInducedPlotHole: While the original novel isn't exactly regarded as a masterpiece of plotting, the film still introduces various plot holes and problems of its own. Perhaps the most glaring is that the Psychlos somehow missed Fort Knox altogether in the film, whereas in the novel it was one of the first locations they hit.
* AliensAreBastards: You can hardly ever sympathize with most of the Psychlos. Except maybe Ker and the Bartender.
* AllHailTheGreatGodMickey: Many of the cavemen Jonnie encounter mistook product mascots for humans petrified for "angering the gods".
* AlternateDVDCommentary: Courtesy of {{Podcast/Rifftrax}}.
* AndManGrewProud: The humans have forgotten that the Psychlos invaded Earth and took it over 1000 years ago, instead believing that demons came down from the sky because the gods were angry.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics:
** Gold is apparently the rarest and most valuable material in the universe. There are dozens of rarer elements.
** The planet Psychlo has an atmosphere that spontaneously ignites in the presence of radiation. This means radioactive decay does not naturally occur on the planet, meaning the planet ignores the second law of thermodynamics and is effectively a perpetual motion machine.
*** On a related note, the Psychlos have eyes, which means the Planet Psychlo must orbit a light-producing star. Stars give off radiation. Lots and ''lots'' of radiation.
*** A highly advanced, star-faring and extremely warlike species going by without using radioactive materials.
*** The novel does suggest that the Psychlo home world exists in another universe altogether (Jonnie Goodboy concludes this when attempting to understand Psychlo math).
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Terl intentionally hands a human prisoner a ready-to-fire weapon, to prove his point that the "man-animals" are too stupid to operate firearms, even though the human has already shot one person, according to his subordinates. The prisoner ends up killing Terl's lieutenant with it. Psychlos are shown not to store loaded weapons, so this is apparently another example of the bizarre arrogance that Psychlos have toward humans in believing that they're not sentient, despite all the technology that Terl admits they had.
-->'''Terl''': Well, I'll be damned. ''*laughs*''
* BarbarianLonghair: Both humans and aliens alike are sporting long flowing un-groomed locks.
* BeardOfEvil: Some of the Psychlos, namely Terl and Zete.
* BigDamnHeroes: The Harriers that saved Carlo from being killed by a Psychlo fighter.
* BigNo: Most of Jonnie's lines involve him [[LargeHam violently expressing his grief]] over someone/something.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Psychlos have tall heads, like the [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Coneheads]] with dreadlocks, breathe air that is toxic to humans (and vice versa), and even the slightest amount of radiation is deadly to them. At least one female Psychlo has an OverlyLongTongue that would make a [[Series/{{Farscape}} Luxan]] proud, though this seems to be unusual for the race as both Terl and Ker regard it as a {{fetish}}. Additionally, Terl has six fingers, though the camera doesn't focus on any other Psychlo's hands to see if that's normal.
** They all have eleven fingers each in the book. It's a weird math plot point.
* BloodlessCarnage: The film is clean of blood, be it human or Psychlo. Rather jarring; a few Psychlos (eg. [[spoiler:Ker]] and [[spoiler:Terl]]) lost at least one limb (not to mention [[spoiler:the decapitated head of the Bartender]]). The humans? None.
* BlownAcrossTheRoom: Carlo, the first time he gets hit by a Psychlo's ray gun. Especially noteworthy since this every other time a human gets hit, the shot merely knocks them back a bit or causes them to fall over. Bonus points for it being a ray gun, which, realistically, should [[ArtisticLicensePhysics cause no recoil at all]].
* BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins: Suspiciously clean buckskins (Travolta didn't want the movie to look too grimy), for the first act, anyway. The Psychlos, though [[CardCarryingVillain irredeemably evil]], are nice enough to give the man-animals jumpsuits after capture.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: Apparently, fighter jets that have been in storage for the last thousand years are perfectly serviceable when needed.
* CallAHumanAMeatbag: The Psychlos typically refer to humans as "man-animals."
* CallARabbitASmeerp: They always refer to the stuff they breathe as "breath gas," as opposed to "air."
* CallASmeerpARabbit: It's not surprising that the Psychlos have Euclidean Geometry. What is surprising is that they call it Euclidean Geometry.
** On the other hand, their word for human switches between Man-Animal and just plain human.
* CardCarryingVillain: Virtually all the Psychlos other than Ker, the bartender and one or two other low-ranking flunkies.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Terl would casually teleport back to the planet Psychlo of an evening just to go to a bar.
* CatchPhrase: "Piece of cake!" by the humans, "Leverage!" by the Psychlos.
* ChekhovsClassroom: Subverted. Jonnie teaches his followers Euclidean geometry, claiming it will be of great importance. It never is (beyond what they would need for piloting anyway). Even better, he teaches some of his fellow prisoners geometry and some others piloting.
* ChewingTheScenery[=/=]EvilIsHammy[=/=]WorldOfHam: All the villains.
** Half the good guys as well. The other half [[DullSurprise just kinda stare blankly]].
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Again, the Psychlos. ''Especially'' Terl.
* ColorWash: Mostly blue saturates everything. In some scenes, yellow.
** In-universe, Psychlo security footage is all in green for no discernible reason. Perhaps they use old Apple [=IIe=] monitors.
* DeadpanSnarker: Terl towards his subordinates.
* DecapitationPresentation: "It could even be... OUR FRIENDLY BARTENDER!"
* DiscretionShot: At one point, a human gets his head exploded by a prisoner collar. The scene cuts away from showing the actual explosion to show other characters' [[DullSurprise reactions]] to it.
* DomedHometown: The Psychlo outpost is one of these, because of the whole "exploding breath gas" thing. In a shocking subversion, it's more of a pyramid...which doesn't stop the characters from referring to it as a dome.
* DullSurprise: Lots and lots of characters, but special mention goes to [[spoiler:Terl's]] reaction to ''losing his right arm''. Also earlier, [[spoiler:Ker]] when losing his left hand.
* DutchAngle: TheMovie. Notoriously used to the point of excess. As Creator/RogerEbert noted in his [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/battlefield-earth-2000 review]]:
-->"The director, Roger Christian, has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why."
** It's even used ''in-universe''. When Terl looks at some security camera footage, that too is tilted.
** It gets worse. The ''director himself'' said that dutch angles were used in all but '''one''' shot of the film.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: A nuke sent to Psychlo causes a reaction with its atmosphere and blows up the planet...except this time [[spoiler:Psychlo is reduced to a cloud of noxious gas]].
* EasilyConqueredWorld: The Psychlo army wipe out all of Earth's military in ''nine minutes'', apparently by teleporting millions of nerve gas drones all across the world. And ''then'', to show the trope goes both ways, they're taken out by an ''army of cavemen'' in ''thousand-year-old Harriers''.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Hardly any of the Psychlos actually have names, and even in the credits are generally only referred to by their ranking.
* EvilLaugh: There's enough "normal" Evil Laughter and fake, mocking laughter to fill a half-hour sitcom, not to mention Creator/ForestWhitaker's hearty chortles and some disturbingly fey laughter by Travolta. The Psychlos are a merry bunch (makes you either wonder what gas they're breathing, or think that's why their air is so volatile).
* ExactWords: Terl promises Jonnie he wouldn't kill a prisoner destined to die... only to give Ker the trigger to the explosive device and have ''him'' do it. As he puts it, "I only said ''I'' wouldn't kill him."
* ExplosiveStupidity: Subverted; while [[spoiler:Terl]] has an explosive collar strapped to his arm when he triggers the detonator that he believes will kill Jonnie's love interest, he ''doesn't'' die from it.
* FailedASpotCheck: The Psychlos ''love'' gold. They came to earth looking for it, and spent a millennium on the planet doing so, mining it, and shipping it off. And yet in that millennium, they somehow failed to find Fort Knox, which is crammed with the stuff.
** Made worse by the fact that the Psychlos ''didn't'' overlook Fort Knox in the book.
** Also, the humans fool the Psychlos into thinking they are working by giving them the gold from Ft. Knox and pretending they mined it themselves. The Psychlos never question how the humans ''smelted it into cast bars'' or imprinted a maker's mark on it. For reference, gold ore looks like [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/Gold-Quartz-273364.jpg this]].
*** HandWave: Terl notices this, but believes Jonnie's obvious lie that the humans mined it quickly enough to refine it, and doubles production.
* FauxActionGirl: Chrissy. Jonnie says she can handle herself better than most men, but she barely has any screen time since she's a TokenRomance, and for most of it she has an explosive collar strapped around her neck and Terl holds her hostage.
* FauxAffablyEvil: This seems to be a personality trait of a few Psychlos, especially Terl.
* FutureImperfect: Fast food and automobiles are the stuff of legends, and mannequins are people punished for offending the gods. The Psychlos are shown at one point examining old Earth photos of people driving with their dogs, leading them to believe that the [[MistookTheDominantLifeform dogs were the superior species]] since they had the humans chauffeuring them around.
** They also note that dogs, while much more cooperative than "man-animals", which the Psychlos interpret to mean higher intelligence (after all, dogs recognize who their betters are), are almost useless for manual labor (further proof that dogs were the masters of "man-animals", who did all the work).
* GangstaStyle: Because Psychlos are so much bigger than humans, a two-handed sideways grip seems to be the only way the humans can aim and fire the aliens' weapons.
* HeelFaceTurn: Apparently Ker got tired of being surrounded by his LargeHam IdiotBall-carrying species ('''especially''' Terl) and joined up with the humans at the end.
* HeroicSacrifice: When [[spoiler:Carlo]] blows up his own ship to destroy the "dome", or when [[spoiler:Mickey]] detonates the nuclear bomb.
* HilarityEnsues: "You are out of your skull-bone if you think I'm going to write on the report 'Shot by man-animal' as the cause of death unless I see it!"
** "Piece a Cake, Piece a Cake, Piece a Cake, Piece a Cake!"
* HitlerCam: Used to emphasize the height of the giant alien Psychlos. At least it was less corny than those big elevator boots the actors wore.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Sort of. Though he doesn't actually die, Terl [[spoiler:''[[ExplosiveStupidity blows off his own arm]]'' with the exploding collar he used on Jonnie's girlfriend. And in the end he's put in a cage in Fort Knox, surrounded by gold. It's ironic, y'see, because he put Jonnie in a cage and started the whole scheme to get gold.]]
* HumansAreMorons: Terl and his fellow Psychlos believe that the humans are too stupid to do anything on their own, so they give them some "assistance" in the form of Psychlo knowledge beams. Considering the fact that all of the Psychlos, Terl included, appear to have been issued an individual IdiotBall at birth, this arguably comes a form of unintentional HypocriticalHumor.
** More exasperating, the Psychlos know full well that ''Homo sapiens sapiens'' once had a thriving industrial society, and yet they still assume they're too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time.
** Part of this is actually a large {{In-Universe}} case of StrawmanHasAPoint. It wasn't until Terl used the machine to impart Psychlo knowledge to Jonnie that he even knew what a ''triangle'' was.
* HypocriticalHumor: Jonnie delivers his stirring speech about how humanity has enough problems "without having to kill each other over food" having just beaten the crap out of someone over food.
* IdiotBall: Many characters grab this, but each Psychlo seems to have been issued an individual one at birth.
** One example from many: Terl gets so into shooting cows to demonstrate his shooting prowess to the humans that he doesn't actually pay attention to his surroundings, and gets jumped from behind as a result.
** Terl also teaches the humans how to work their aircraft, weaponry, and speak the Psychlo language. He seems to be the only Psychlo who realizes the humans have intelligence and are capable of performing complex tasks, but doesn't consider the possibility this could be used against him.
** In any scene with Terl and Jonnie together, you can almost see them passing the ball back and forth. One memorable case is when Terl is inspecting the results of Jonnie's mining and quite understandably asks how Jonnie is presenting him with gold bars, rather than the ore he was expecting. Jonnie, who hadn't spotted that flaw in his plan, explains lamely, "I assumed, sir, that a Psychlo of your refinement wouldn't settle for anything as coarse as raw ore." Terl accepts the [[BlatantLies obvious fallacy]] without question.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The only marksmanship any Psychlo has ever exhibited is when Terl shoots up a herd of stationary cattle. The fact their guns are [[GangstaStyle held upside down]] so as to be impossible to aim probably contributes.
* IncrediblyObviousBug: So obvious even ''cavemen'' can spot them.
* InsaneTrollLogic: In the end Jonnie keeps Terl alive so that if there are Psychlos outside the homeworld, and they come looking for revenge, humans can use Terl as leverage...because the Psychlos would be really pissed at Terl for indirectly dooming the homeworld...so if they get him, they won't bother with the humans, who '''directly''' doomed their homeworld... Seems like he DidntThinkThisThrough, did he?
** This was almost certainly meant to lead into the sequels; the adaptation stops a third of the way through the book.
* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: Doubles as NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont, since Terl says this to Jonnie and his friends aiming them at him.
-->'''Terl''': If ANY of you [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace rat-brains knew ANYTHING about firearms]], you would know that you ''never store -- loaded -- weapons''!
** Of course, Terl correcting somebody else's gun safety is kind of ironic considering what [[Film/PulpFiction OTHER]] film Creator/JohnTravolta was in.
* KickTheDog: Terl shoots the legs off a herd of cattle just to show how evil he is.
* LargeHam: Creator/JohnTravolta. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cThdJ0mYbo So very much. (Spoilers)]]
** Creator/BarryPepper, who plays Jonnie, veers wildly between LargeHam and DullSurprise.
* LaughablyEvil: Terl.
* MadeOfExplodium: The atmosphere on Planet Psychlo ignites thanks to a single nuclear bomb. The resulting explosion rips the ''entire planet'' apart -- crust, mantle, core and all.
* MadeOfPlasticine: The Psychlos, considering how easily they seem to lose limbs. Terl getting his arm blown off by a bomb is pretty understandable (though it was a mighty clean explosion, even for a shaped charge), but Ker losing an entire hand from a ray gun blast seems excessive. Especially since the same weapon does little more to a PunyEarthling than knock them around a bit, though this part could be explained by the gun having multiple settings.
* ManlyTears: Mickey, just before he [[spoiler:detonates the nuke]].
* MistookTheDominantLifeform: The Psychlos interpret surveillance photos of humans with dogs in car passenger seats as evidence of the dogs being the superior species, since the humans "chauffeur them around".
** They also mention that the dogs were much more willing to cooperate with the alien masters than the man-animals. Unfortunately, dogs proved ill equipped for manual labor (which, once again, demonstrated their superiority, not needing to work). They can fetch, though.
* {{Motifs}}: Nauseating camera angles, lurid blue or purple coloration, people dressed like cavemen hooting like howler monkeys.
* NeverSayDie: The Psychlos are really fond of the word "Vaporize", though. Even though their guns don't actually vaporize anyone.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Psychlos don't even take poorly to amputations.
* OverlyLongTongue: Terl's girlfriend, as played by John Travolta's wife Creator/KellyPreston.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The passcode to Terl's vault is his ID number backwards.
* PlotHole: Too many to count.
* PortalNetwork: Psychlos put teleporters on all the planets they colonize.
* {{Pun}}: The movie's tagline is "''Prepare to go Psychlo''".
* RagnarokProofing: The ruins of UsefulNotes/{{Denver}} look like they've only been abandoned for a year or so, with readable books instead of piles of dust. Then there's Fort Hood. Jets, nukes, stinger missiles and flight simulators still work just as fine.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: In one of the film's "highlights", a caveman-pilot who runs out of missiles ejects just before ramming a Psychlo fighter, completely overlooking the aircraft's 25mm cannon.
* RealIsBrown: See ColorWash.
* ReassignmentBackfire: Terl has been ReassignedToAntarctica as petty revenge for getting involved with the daughter of a senator, which leads to [[spoiler:the destruction of the Psychlo race.]]
* ReducedToRatburgers: Terl allows some of the slaves out in the wild to see what they will consume as food, as he doesn't know what humans like to eat. The only edible animals they find are rats, so that's what they eat, but Terl believes it was their ''preferred'' meal. Apparently he never stopped to consider that these slaves were so starved, they were actually willing to eat ''anything'' at this point (it's specifically stated that they haven't eaten for three days). They didn't even bother cooking it first, [[WhatAnIdiot causing Terl to assume they prefer it raw]].
* RepeatCut: When Terl's boss mentions that he plans to keep Terl on Earth instead of giving him a temporary reprieve, the movie plays back the "''endless options for renewal!''" part of the speech three times for some reason.
** The same thing happens when a caveman tells Jonnie that the Psychlos can't be defeated.
* RubberForeheadAliens: Imagine the Coneheads with dreadlocks, furry hands, codpieces, limb extensions, and breathing tubes that look like rivets of snot dangling from their nostrils.
* RuleOfCool
* SceneryPorn: The mountains in the beginning.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler:Terl is alive, and the human victors face an unknown future after winning a [[CrapsackWorld ruined planet]].]] There is actually a whole other half of the book left to go, and Travolta [[strike:was]] is ''still'' hoping to tell it in a second film.
* ShoutOut: When Jonnie is first shot, he falls through several glass panes similar to ''Film/BladeRunner'', [[SoftGlass taking no lasting damage]].
** Then, the first time we're presented with the Psychlo homeworld, the camera pans around a cityscape, also as in ''Blade Runner''[='=]s opening.
** Later at the ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy, Jonnie runs in slow motion through a bunch of pillars as they are shot, just like how Neo runs through the government lobby in ''Film/TheMatrix''.
* SlowMotion: Roughly a fourth of the film consists of slow-mo shots of Psychlos lumbering around shooting at people, Jonnie running away from Psychlos shooting at him (complete with [[BulletTime Matrix-esque]] clouds of debris and shrapnel), or Jonnie mourning somebody's death.
* SmallUniverseAfterAll: The Psychlos generally think nothing of conquering entire galaxies. This is actually scaled down from the [[Literature/BattlefieldEarth original book]] where they ruled [[MultiversalConqueror several universes]].
* SmugSnake: Terl, ''in spades''.
* StunGuns: The Psychlos' handguns have a stun setting, which they use to capture Jonnie without killing him. A closeup of one of these guns later shows its owner switching the setting between stunning and lethal.
* SpaceOpera
* TokenRomance: Jonnie's girlfriend, Chrissy, gets about four scenes in this film. All we know is that she left the village against her father's wishes.
* TooDumbToLive: The entire Psychlo race, but especially Terl. Terl's stupidity directly leads not only to his own downfall, but [[spoiler:the destruction of his homeworld and everyone who lived on it.]]
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: In record time too, and from scratch. Luckily, they ''did'' have an UpgradeArtifact to instantly train everyone, and...oh, wait...[[FridgeLogic they forgot to use it]].
* TranslationConvention: While the Psychlos are in private, their language is translated into English, but when the humans are the focus, it's left untranslated. It gets a little weird once Jonnie learns the language and is speaking both in the same scene and "translating".
* TranslationYes: A rare example of something done ''well'' by this film. Terl delivers a flowery and overdramatic threat to the humans he's sending to mine gold for him, which Jonnie accurately summarizes in six words: "Try to run, he'll kill us".
* UnnaturallyBlueLighting: Most scenes involving the Psychlos.
* UpgradeArtifact: Used so our hero can become an InstantExpert without going through a TrainingMontage. Infamously ''not used'' to help the rest of humanity prepare for the revolution, despite the fact that having them do just that was a key plot point in the book.
* VillainBall: Held by the Psychlos' leader, Terl. Teaching your slaves [[InstantExpert everything to know about your civilization in an instant]] can only end badly, ''especially'' if you're supposedly doing it to help [[TakeOverTheWorld conquer their planet]]. Introducing your pet human to inspiring documents from the American Revolution will only make things worse. Holding your pet human's girlfriend hostage just [[ItsPersonal makes things personal]]. Abusing your henchman only serves to set up the MistreatmentInducedBetrayal in the final act. And not launching an all-out crackdown when the man-animals rebel and attack with air support... not a good idea Terl doesn't even notice [[spoiler:an exploding collar Jonnie straps to his arm in a melee, and proceeds to amputate his own limb when he triumphantly hits the detonator.]] His ([[DullSurprise non]])reaction shot is priceless. He appears to read the BizarroUniverse inversion of the EvilOverlordList, telling him exactly what to do ''wrong''.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** The nameless guy running around with Jonnie and Carlo in Aspen is never seen again after that scene. (He died immediately afterwards in a DeletedScene where Ker thinks for some bizarre reason that humans must be able to fly, and Terl proves that they can't by throwing the guy in question into a chasm.)
** The Planetship, Terl's direct superior, abruptly vanishes in the latter stages of the movie.
* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: After wiping out civilization, the Psychlo use the surviving humans as slave labor.
* WhileYouWereInDiapers: When another Psychlo mocks Terl and says that he could have taken a much less stressful job, he says something to this effect: that he was trained to be a GalacticConqueror since birth (see the quotation under MemeticMutation).
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