Thursday, December 08, 2011

129 - Dark Star (1974)

DVD Box
Dark Star tells of four bored astronauts in space who are on a mission to destroy unstable planets.

Lt. Doolittle (Brian Narelle), Boiler (Cal Kuniholm), Talby (Dre Pahich) and Sgt. Pinback (Dan O'Bannon) are nearing the end of their mission to destroy unstable planets ready for colonisation.

They must cope with a runaway alien that resembles a beach ball, a computer system that is on the blink and a bomb that believes it's God.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Dark Star was the first release of John Carpenter (of Halloween fame) and with a modest $60,000 budget it immediately became a cult blockbuster hit.

The low budget gave the film an amateurish feel and this was deliberately played on for the design of the alien which is simply an oversized beach ball with clawed feet. The famous elevator scene was clearly filmed sideways and even used a camera dolly in order to move the elevator "up and down".

Dark Star has some very funny moments. The computer's conversation with the rogue bomb and the scenes featuring the odd alien are certainly amusing, if not laugh out loud comedy.

Unfortunately, due to all the edits after release the film has a very broken feel. Combined with the amateur look, it makes for a difficult film to enjoy as none of the storyline really joins up, preferring to look for cheap laughs than try to make sense.

A decent premise, but delivers little.

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