Monday, April 3, 2017

Sci Fi Top 100, #39: "Dark Star" (1974)

Movie Stats:
Released 1974 (USA)
American, in English
Director - John Carpenter
Stars - Brian Narelle, Dan O’Bannon, Dre Pahich, Cal Kuniholm

Plot Summary:
Four men on a deep space mission experience a series of setbacks. It’s intended to be a spoof of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Narelle stars as Lt. Doolittle; O’Bannon as Pinback; Pahich as Talby; and Kuniholm as Boiler.


Bad Stuff:
Nearly everything: acting, writing, special effects, cinematography, plot, score, sound effects, etc. I saw the director’s cut, which opens with a Star Wars-like scrolling intro that explains extensively that the movie is a comedy but that no one seems to “get it.” Sorry, Mr. Carpenter (director) and Mr. O’Bannon (writer), it’s not that I don’t “get it,” it’s that I found most of it painfully unfunny.

Good Stuff:
It’s only an hour and ten minutes long (felt longer).

I liked the idea of a man trying to talk an intelligent bomb out of blowing itself up. That was interesting and mildly funny.

The Verdict:
Several years ago, a friend was leaving the country for a long stretch of time & had a going away party. At it, he showed the movie “Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.” Ever since then, it’s been my go-to anecdote for “worst movie I’ve ever seen.” I think “Dark Star” might replace it. At the very least, there was more that I found entertaining in “Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.”

I really hated this film. Even if the intro hadn’t told me that it began as a student movie, I would’ve been able to tell. It’s very bad. Most of the time, I didn’t even understand what was happening. I didn’t chuckle or crack a smile once. In fact, by the end, I just felt angry that I watched it at all. I’m appalled that it’s on this list, let alone at #39.

I give it .5 (half a) star.

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