Dark Star (1974)

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Comedy - Sci-Fi | 83 minutes
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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.

John Carpenter's low-budget debut feature is a hilarious romp set in the deepest reaches of outer space. The haggard crew of the dilapidated Dark Star spaceship--Doolittle (Brian Narelle), Boiler (Cal Kuniholm), Pinback (Dan O'Bannon), and Talby (Dre Pahich)--is on an extended mission to seek out and destroy unstable planets. But after 20 years of the same routine, each crewmember is reaching the end of his tether. The journey is fraught with mishaps, and danger seems to lurk around every corner. There are misbehaving pet aliens, suicidal bombs that dream of detonating, frozen crewmates dispensing advice from bey...
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ond the grave, and a surly, unhelpful main computer that holds the men it serves in total contempt. Despite all these problems, the crew is still bored to the brink of madness. Co-written by the multitasking O'Bannon, who is also credited as the film's production designer and editor, DARK STAR brims with giddy jabs at the science-fiction genre (including George Lucas's THX 1138), an approach that Mel Brooks would later take in his own sci-fi spoof, SPACEBALLS (1987). In addition to writing, directing, and acting, Carpenter also composed the film's atmospheric score.
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The directorial debut of horrormeister John Carpenter comes in the way of Dark Star a parody of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001--A Space Odyssey. The story follows four hippyish techno-nerds in their mission through deep space to destroy planets and ward off boredom and loneliness as they attempt to hold on to what little they can remember of Earth. When their weapons system malfunctions, they are forced to deal with a "smart" bomb trapped in the launching mechanism, and the acting captain must debate phenomenology with the device in order to dissuade it from destroying them all. The film also features an im...
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aginative and amusing struggle between one crew member and an inflatable alien he attempts to keep as a pet, a long reflection on the virtues of surfing, a series of personality struggles, and a cryogenically-frozen captain whose brain is preserved on computer for the purpose of consultation.
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Een team astronauten gaat op een missie om te verkennen, voor de 'The colonisation ship', in hun bommenwerper 'The Dark Star'. Bij de missie moeten zij ook het gebruik van een nieuwe zelfdenkende en pratende interstellaire bom testen. Deze bom wordt gebruikt om instabiele planeten te vernietigen en ruim baan te maken voor de kolonisten. Tijdens de missie gaat er van alles mis: zo komen ze bijvoorbeeld in aanraking met een strandbal-vormig buitenaards wezen die even door het schip stuitert.

Critic Consensus :A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.

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