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>
Is frequently considered musician Rob Crow's favorite film. His band Pinback is actually named after the main character and many of the films sound effects can be found in Pinback songs such as "Concrete Seconds" and "Rousseu" See more »
In the elevator shaft, Pinback's long hair keeps on pointing towards the wall whenever he moves his head away from it, revealing the shaft to be a tunnel, with him laying on the ground instead of standing on the ledge. See more »
[making video diary entry]
I do not like the men on this spaceship. They are uncouth and fail to appreciate my better qualities. I have something of value to contribute to this mission if they would only recognize it. Today over lunch I tried to improve morale and build a sense of camaraderie among the men by holding a humorous, round-robin discussion of the early days of the mission. My overtures were brutally rejected. These men do not want a happy ship. They are deeply sick and try to ...
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Both versions of the film are commonly available on DVD and laser disc. See more »
Opinions vary widely on this one and I can see why. In the movie's favor is its bizarre energy and atmosphere which makes its melange of scifi horror and comedy intermittently hypnotic. On the downside are the truly amateurish production values and pathetic acting. Most of this movie has the look of some longhaired grad film school students with no life shooting a quasi-homage to 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY guerilla style in their college dorm in the middle of the night. Aspects are intriguing, though, including the alternatively exasperating yet also humorous renegade beach ball monster attacks, which are clearly Dan O'Bannon's fledgling version of his later far scarier and cleverer ALIEN screenplay. The dialogue between the astronauts and the Hal 9000-esque bomb is definitely the funniest sequence; the movie probably should have been a 20 minute short focusing on this portion rather than a full blown feature length effort with all the other boring subplots, which feel tacked-on like they decided to extend the movie at some point but couldn't come up with anything resembling an organic structuring to justify it.
Carpenter does come up with interesting solutions to budget problems, like creating a fake futuristic elevator by using forced perspective on their dorm room floor and turning the camera on its side. The effect very nearly works!
In all, this is probably best viewed as an early failed effort by two talents who went on to bigger and brighter things. Carpenter's techno music is at its disharmonically buzzy worst here; amazing that a mere four years later he would craft the masterful music, script and direction for the truly harrowing HALLOWEEN. That movie bears almost no resemblance to this one and is a testament to how far someone can come in such a short span. It has to give the worst hack considerable hope (along the lines of James Cameron going from PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING to TERMINATOR.) If you rent this for $0.99 and go in with no expectations, you'll probably still be disappointed, but there are a few inexplicably charming moments amidst the mostly boring and monotonously dated peek into the "future world" of the 1990s by minds of the 1970s. 1.5 / 4 stars (but I still pause on it whenever I stumble onto it on late night cable.)
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