Thursday, 4 October 2018

Dark Star (1974) - Halloween Horror Richee Review

Well, I'm starting off Horror month with a film that isn't a horror but a sci-fi/comedy. It does however have it's feet firmly in the horror genre with the people who worked on it, being horror icon John Carpenter's first full length film. It also birthed the idea for the first Alien film by Dan O'Bannon, who co-wrote Dark Star with John Carpenter, and also stars in Dark Star as the goofy Pinback.

The film is a parody of 2001:A Space Odyssey, well, the best part of that film anyway. As the crew of the Dark Star travel from galaxy to galaxy blowing up unstable planets, the ship itself is in desprerate need of repairs as a life in deep space has seen it come under great damage with the ship's AI struggling to keep the craft running, and the incompetent crew go around just wanting to blow things up, shoots things. or try to get a suntan under a lamp. 
On the ship is the alien mascot Pinback picked up from a planet, but now resents having to look after the alien, which looks like a beach ball with feet for the very reason that is what it actually is. But as the chase goes on after the alien escapes you can see how the idea for Alien came about. I'm just thankful they changed the design, otherwise I'm sure Alien would have been a flop.

The film looks it's age, and the acting isn't the best, but for a parody it's a damn sight better then the recent ones we've got. The story is interesting, the characters have their own stereotype, with the AI bomb 20 stealing the show with his sassy attitude, as he picks being deployed accidentally due to malfunctions on the ship, and grows more and more annoyed at this. 
This film is a stepping stone for what the two creators went on to do, but without it who knows what would have happened. For that alone the film should get a 10/10 but as it isn't that great I'm gonna go 5/10: it's fun and silly with a good concept. If you wanna see where two horror icons first got there start, give Dark Star a go. Richee

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