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In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

John Carpenter (original story and screenplay), Dan O'Bannon (original story and screenplay)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brian Narelle Brian Narelle ... Lt. Doolittle
Cal Kuniholm Cal Kuniholm ... Boiler
Dre Pahich Dre Pahich ... Talby
Dan O'Bannon ... Pinback
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Storyline

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 <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | cult film | spoof | satire | parody | See All (79) »

Taglines:

They're not lost in space, they're loose! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1979 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Estrella oscura See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Original Version) | (Director's Cut) | (original student film)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Commander Powell: Talk to the bomb. You have to talk to it, Doolittle. Teach it PHENOMENOLOGY.
See more »

Connections

Featured in More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Benson Arizona
Music by John Carpenter
Lyrics by Bill Taylor
Vocals by John Yager (uncredited)
[Played over the opening and closing credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Many Flaws, But Still a Watchable Space Flick
20 May 2010 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

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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