Low-budget story of four astronauts in deep space, whose mission is to destroy unstable planets in star systems which are to be colonised. The late Commander Powell is stored in deep freeze, where he is still able to offer advice. As their mission nears completion, they must cope with a runaway alien which resembles a beach-ball, faulty computer systems, and a "smart bomb" who thinks it is God. Written by
Alexander Lum <email@example.com>
Talby's starsuit backpack is made from Styrofoam packing material - probably from a TV set. See more »
When Pinback darts the alien, there is a flash and "gunshot" type sound; the gun is actually a standard veterinary tranquiliser gun, which uses CO2. See more »
[In a prerecorded diary entry, Pinback is giggling to himself as he speaks to the camera]
I went up to Doolittle in the hall today... and I said -
[a subtitle reads "DELETED"]
I saw this film as a kid, dismissed it as boring, and moved on. Luckily, fate forced me to see it again about 2 years ago and (some are going to hate me for this) now i consider it second only to Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey. The scope is gigantic, even though we're trapped inside the goofy little ship with these rejects (and they ARE rejects). It is a spoof of man's uninformed view of his place in the universe. It is filled to capacity with malfunctioning technology, illogical solutions to self-inflicted conflicts and a very genuine feeling of the isolation of deep space.
The music (John Carpenter is an innovator in film scoring) is strange and often indistinguishable from the zany noises of the ship's equipment and displays (who would ever create such tortuous bleeps and sirens for EVERY function of a spacecraft designed to house a couple of guys in the outermost regions of the galaxy?). The ship's computer is a perfect contast of Hal9000 (2001) in that SHE seems to understand her crew's dimwitted plight and ,after speaking to them in her programmed monotone, recognizes the need to go back and dumb herself down so that they can function accordingly. It is never explained whether she has assumed a mother-figure role or is simply acting out of self-preservation ,but ,like most of the more thought-provoking elements of this absurdist's fantasy, the viewer is merely given the bare-bones information and allowed to decide for itself.
Maybe all of this implied data caused me to make the movie better in my head than it actually is ,but how many films have you seen lately that can give you that freedom?
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