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>
In the "elevator" sequence the bottom of the elevator is actually rolling on the floor. The device used to roll the elevator base was actually a Moviola camera dolly normally used on the small sound stage in the old USC Cinema building (itself once a horse stable). The steering end of the dolly can be seen as part of the "elevator" underside. 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 »
After being in space for twenty years (but only aging three) the crew of the Dark Star are starting to be at wits' end. The ship is falling apart, the computer is a little bit quirky, and a pet alien is getting restless. How much more of this madness can the men take? This film is known for one good reason: it was the film debut of John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon. How much of Carpenter can be seen in here, I don't know. I'm not a huge Carpenter fan or scholar, and I can't pinpoint the similarities. The connection between this an O'Bannon's "Alien" I will leave to your imagination.
This was a student film, and it shows. I've seen better, I've seen worse. It's not a great science fiction film (the alien is so fake it's crazy) and the comedy is a bit sparse (the bombs are funny, but most of it just sort of drags). I, for one, loved the phenomenology bit, but then I was forced to study that bunkum for three semesters, so I'm glad to see it made light of.
John Carpenter completists need to see this film. It has some charm. I will maybe take it off the shelf and watch it a second time soon to rethink my position, but this just didn't really strike me as the signs of a budding genius. Oddly, the other Carpenter film I don't much like is "Ghosts of Mars", so many it's his treatment of space that I don't care for. Who knows?
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