In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. DARK STAR is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermosteller Bombs, it prowls the darkest reaches of space on a mission to seek out and destroy unstable planets ahead of the colonist. But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on. One of the ship's thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew!
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Return with us now to a strange, futuristic world known as...1974! Dark Star, the ultimate student film, a shoestring, duct tape, muffin tray, and beach ball, space comedy, flies again!
"Dark Star" is irreverence combined with inventiveness, a stellar example of why USC film school was the place to be in the late 60's and early 70's, and why it was a launch pad for a new generation of film makers: rebels, misfits, hippies--game changers.
Yet this film is also a reflection on the era in which it was made. It's "2001" meets "Catch-22", Vietnam in Deep Space. Whacked-out Hippy Astronauts on a never-ending mission of futility and apocalyptic violence, abandoned by bureaucracy, besieged by technology gone mad. The romantic vision of space as the "New Frontier," as seen in George Pal-era movies from a decade before, have given way to cynical future shock, comedy of cosmic errors.
Some of the rebels who cut their teeth on "Dark Star" joined a revolution in space a few years later, in a Galaxy far, far away. But that's another story...
Trivia time. The voice of the stargazing Talby was actually that of the film's director, John Carpenter, who dubbed all the actor's lines.
Made for a reported $60,000, directed, produced and scored by John Carpenter, from a script by Carpenter and the late Dan O'Bannon (who also stars). O'Bannon would go on to write Alien (pay attention and you'll find elements in Dark Star that were later used in Alien). Props employed by Carpenter include furnace filters, foam packing, muffin tins, and a beach ball with rubber feet (as the ship's pet alien). The bombs are hilarious and not to be missed. Recommended.
An interesting period piece.
A fascinating movie, standing between the scrappy and socially aware New Hollywood and the science fiction blockbusters of the late 1970s that overturned mass-market film. Reference-chasers will enjoy the material that later appeared in "Alien" and, I think, "Star Wars" and the nod backward to "Dr. Strangelove". If only "Dark Star"'s rebellious intelligence had persisted along with its inventive (if inexpensive) special effects.
This is the theatrical release of the film, which means that the alien and elevator scenes are tediously long, but I enjoyed the addition of Doolittle's bottle instrument.
quirky, fun, bizarre, low budget , characters, 'spaced out, did I say quirky; I enjoyed it. Concepts, music etc has evolved into the modern day sifi classics
The granddaddy of all sci-fi comedies