Dark Star (1974)

Discussion in 'General Film Discussion' started by Dave, Mar 15, 2001.

  1.  
    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Messages:
    14,162
    Dark Star (1974) 83 minutes.

    Written by and Music by John Carpenter.

    In the 22nd Century, the bored crew of a starship on an intergalactic mission, to blow up planets in space-lanes, become prey to their own phobias, and to the alien mascot they are taking back to Earth.
    Low-budget, cult-status, at the time a different kind of 'space-science fiction' from the flying saucers and aliens that had prevailed, but not wholly entertaining, though has some funny bits.

    http://uk.imdb.com/Title?0069945

    With:
    Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Dre Pahich, Cal Kuniholm.
  2.  
    Gilraen

    Gilraen Logan`s Lovebird

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2000
    Messages:
    187
    Love the song Benson Arizona
  3.  
    neXus_6

    neXus_6 Sector Marshall

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    61
    John Carpenter's first movie!

    I've not seen this yet. is there anyone out there who has. what's it like?
  4.  
    rde

    rde New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2001
    Messages:
    157
    It's very good. The special effects are a bit cheesy, and the plot is pretty thin, but it's quite funny.
    Well worth watching. It's a great antidote to Star Trek; instead of noble heroes boldly going etc etc, you've got four apathetic guys going around blowing up planets. But not in a Lexx kind of way; it's their job. They just don't care about it.

    The bomb is very entertaining, too.
  5.  
    Tabitha

    Tabitha Save Angel!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    3,586
    I found this to be terribly overrated. Pinback's battle with the Alien (an obvious precursor of his Alien screenplay) was highly entertaining, and I agree that the bomb was quite funny, but to be honest there was too much missing. I didn't care a squat about any of the characters save Pinback. There were a few moments of greatness, but I don't think this compensates for the bad acting and wobbly narrative.

    Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining about the special effects or set design, I can easily forgive the cheapness of those if the story is engaging and coherent, but Dark Star's story is neither of these.
  6.  
    ray gower

    ray gower New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,586
    I agree with Tabitha here. The film is the unwilling insomniacs dream come true.

    I've seen it four or five times now and still cannot find a reason for or behind the film. Only conclusion I've ever decided upon was the bomb did mankind a favour when it blew them all up
  7.  
    Tabitha

    Tabitha Save Angel!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    3,586
    I struggle to even understand what the film was 'saying'. And I think it was saying something. The only thing I could come up with was that it was an extreme form of cabin fever.

    I wonder if I was a stoned teenager when this came out would I like it more? I don't know. It isn't glossy like Planet of the Apes or Star Wars, but it doesn't seem to have any overarching message or philosophy like Silent Running or 2001.
  8.  
    Esioul

    Esioul The weird one

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    982
    Dark Star

    Has anyone seen this? I saw it yesterday. I'm not quite sure what it was meant to be about, but it was quite enetrtaining and interesting. That beachball alien, heh, gave me nightmares. The ending was slightly unexpected.
  9.  
    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,306
    Re: Dark Star

    I saw it quite a few years ago and only remember it somewhat. John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon before they were famous.
  10.  
    roddglenn

    roddglenn Colonial Marine

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    386
    Re: Dark Star

    It was John Carpenter's first film - he was still a student when he made it. I've always found it really funny and quirky - the intelligent bomb, the boucing alien and the surfing were all great moments.
  11.  
    Paradox 99

    Paradox 99 KenDodd'sDad'sDog'sDead

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    849
    Re: Dark Star

    A strange film, but I've always loved it.
  12.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,612
    Re: Dark Star

    So that old thing's still being shown, is it? Wonderful! I actually liked the film enough to buy the Varese/Sarabande album, which was durn near like listening to the film all over again. For sheer lunacy, it's hard to beat a double bill of Dark Star and one (sorry, the title slips my mind) by John Landis before he was famous (when was that, exactly?) about a missing link. The suit looked like a reject from 2001, and they took the ball and ran with it. Although a rarely-seen film, Homebodies, definitely is up there for the truly skewed award.
  13.  
    Foxbat

    Foxbat I am a number

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,804
    Re: Dark Star

    Dark Star has always been a favourite of mine.

    Here's a snippet of trivia - Dan O'Bannon (he wrote the script for Dark Star) admitted in an interview that he took out the humour and turned it into the script for Alien :)
  14.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,612
    Re: Dark Star

    And here all this time I thought he'd taken it from A. E. van Vogt's "Dark Destroyer".
  15.  
    williamjm

    williamjm New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    476
    Re: Dark Star

    It is an amusing film, particularly the alien.

    Apparently it is one of the inspirations for Red Dwarf, so I'm grateful to it for that as well.
  16.  
    Esioul

    Esioul The weird one

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    982
    Re: Dark Star

    Heh.

    I liked th eintelligent bomb thing, although the ending seemed very dramatic/quirky. Not a long film either- makes a change from long, mind-numbing epics.
  17.  
    The_Cosmic_Quest

    The_Cosmic_Quest New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    17
    Re: Dark Star

    It's a low budget, corny, trashy movie.
  18.  
    roddglenn

    roddglenn Colonial Marine

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    386
    Re: Dark Star

    It's low budget because he made it while still a film student. As for corny and trashy, that's a matter of opinion.
  19.  
    Foxbat

    Foxbat I am a number

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,804
    Re: Dark Star

    Granted, when held against the CGI blockbusters of today, it might look a bit jaded. But I remember watching this in the late 70s - and with all the bad sci-fi going around then, this stood out a mile. It's funny, intelligent, poignant and quite an achievement for a film student. Remember, without this movie, O'Bannon might never have achieved Alien.

    Also, the world of film would be a lesser place without the maverick directors like John Carpenter. Long may he continue!
  20.  
    roddglenn

    roddglenn Colonial Marine

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    386
    Re: Dark Star

    Hear hear! John Carpenter has brought us some brilliant cult films including The Thing, They Live, The Fog, Escape From New York (don't talk about the sequel though), Vampires, Ghosts of Mars and Assault on Precinct 13 (remake was ok but not a patch on the original).

Share This Page