Just watched Circuit Breaker
last night. This has a similar plot to "Escape Velocity" and probably a whole slew of other movies. Briefly, a family alone as the crew of a space ship finds another ship adrift and rescues the last survivor, who turns out to be a psychotic killer who tried to take over the ship. Like "Escape Velocity", there is an extended section where the 'father figure' is trapped and thought dead while the killer is loose with the woman and child, only for him to survive and come back to help save the day.
In a lot of ways, this was a much better movie than "Escape Velocity". However, first the bad stuff...
First off, the special effects were bad...very bad. Every external space and spaceship scene reminded me of a Red Dwarf episode. Also some of the props and sets looked pretty cheap as well. I think they used the same hallway sets as three ships, just changing the amount of lighting and debris. Also, as in "Eve Of Destruction", the premise of having a super strong, super smart robot with no sense of morals or even a simple 'off' switch is pretty hard to swallow. The premise that this entire ship has a crew of two adults with a child along also seems a bit contrived. So the two big plot setting devices (unstoppable android, small family alone) are a bit farfetched and you have to ignore it and just take it as "that's what the movie gives us" Also, the woman crew member has some dream sequences that don't really make a lot of sense and don't seem to have anything to do with the plot
On to the good stuff...
First off, our cast of main characters is Adam (the killer android) played by Richard Grieco, Katrina (the femal crew member) played by Laura Harris and her husband, Foster, played by Corbin Bernson. All three of them do a really good job; Grieco is pretty menacing and Bernson plays the 'normal guy in a bad situation just trying to survive and save his family' very well. Laura Harris gets most of the screen time and handles it well. In short, the characters were better handled then in "Escape Velocity" which made you more sympathetic to their situation and also more afraid of the android.
The story also at least had an intersting motivation. The android has a big ego and wants to be better than humans in every way. This drives him and also makes him a bit unstable, which gives motive to his actions far better than just "I'm a psycho killer...that's what I do" (again reference "Escape Velocity") Also the film makers were not afraid to kill off the characters, in rather gruesome ways. Introducing the film at a middle point and telling it asa flashback that eventually meets up with where it started was also a well done touch
"Escape Velocity" I remember saying bored me, this one kept me engaged to the end. For a low budget 'killer loose on the ship' movie it has some good characters and some surprising twists to keep things interesting