In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.
In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.
A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
Marshal W.T. O'Niel is assigned to a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. During his tenure miners are dying - usually violently. When the marshal investigates he discovers the one thing all the deaths have in common is a lethal amphetamine-type drug, which allows the miners to work continuously for days at a time until they become "burned out" and expire. O'Niel follows the trail of the dealers, which leads to the man overseeing the colony. Now O'Niel must watch his back at every turn, as those who seek to protect their income begin targeting him... Written by
Director Peter Hyams actually handled the cinematography for most of the film. Stephen Goldblatt was misleadingly hired by Hyams, who only wanted him to stand aside and do nothing, and to use him as a scapegoat for the production company in case anything went wrong while using the IntroVision process. According to Goldblatt, he was furious at being lied to and wouldn't have taken the job if he'd known Hyams' intentions at the outset. He stayed on in order to learn how to use IntroVision, and because as a young cinematographer with a sole prior feature credit, quitting a film could have ruined his career. It is the only one of his films whose wrap party he skipped. See more »
In the opening sequence where "computer readouts" across the bottom of the screen set the scene, one of the last of these identifies the Io mine's "Principle Ore: Titanium" instead of "principal". Also "marshal" is misspelled as "marshall" (but "dependants" is the usual UK English spelling of "dependents" and is not an error). See more »
Outland is brilliant. So many good moments in the movie -the first time you see someones head explode from change of pressure, the bloodied elevator as it returns from the bottom of the mining shaft and the overall excellent visionary style of the mining colony. Connery is perfectly cast as the marshall who cannot be bought and Frances Sternhagen brings much needed warm relief from the terror with her smart, down-to-earth manner. Hyams directs the film with excellent vigour and his choice of filters and lighting, (especially the scene in the prostitues room which is blood red from the emergency lighting), gives an instant impression of heat, fear and so cool relief from the space shots. It could quite easily be overlooked as just another sci-fi flick but I think it established much more the benefits of bringing earth-realism to outer-space than any other film in it's day.(Probably best to watch it, as I did, when you are 10 years old!!)
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