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DARK STAR - 3 Slimes
Rated G
Copyright 1974 Jack H. Harris Enterprises Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Doolittle - Guy in charge, he's not doing the best of jobs. Burns up trying to surf into a planet's atmosphere.
  • Pinback - Bombardier who seems to have a little space madness, at times he claims to be "Bill Freug." Vaporized.
  • Boiler - Heavyset blonde guy who likes to play with the laser rifle. Vaporized.
  • Talby - Spaced out navigation guy, becomes a "Phoenix Asteroid." (Long story.)
  • The Ship's Computer - Pleasant enough, it would just be nice if she wasn't always saying something along the lines of, "You are about to die." Vaporized.
  • Commander Powell - Original mission commander who was killed by his chair. (Another long story.) Cryogenically frozen.
  • The Alien - It's an orange beach ball with polka dots! Run! Run! Deflated by Pinback.
  • Bomb #19 - Happy little planet killer, annihilates himself and the target celestial body with a smile.
  • Bomb #20 - Neurotic thermostellar device, finally ends it all. Must have been running Windows...

Buy It!

The Plot: 

John Carpenter's first major (Cough.) film is something to behold my friends, what happens when you try to make a special effects bonanza with $55,000? Violent alien beach balls which hop around, space suits made from household materials, and a poor man's Johnny Cash soundtrack. (Though there are some inklings to the theme for Halloween.) Let's face it though, at one point the crew sits down to a nice dinner which Doolittle identifies as ham. What they unwrap from styrofoam trays covered with aluminum foil is mini Otter Pops. In any case, the ship's mission is to destroy planets that might someday fly out of orbit and endanger colonies. To accomplish this they are adequately stocked with intelligent "Thermostellar Bombs." Unfortunately one of them didn't get enough hugs from mommy and daddy bombs when he was little, soon it is lodged in the bomb bay threatening to go off! Talking to the frozen body of Commander Powell is no good, he exhibits the same mental prowess of most nursing home occupants, so Doolittle dons his suit to go out and reason with Bomb #20. After convincing the wayward nuke that it really should think things over Doolittle goes chasing after Talby, the latter gent having been sucked out the airlock and turned into a spinning model figure. Meanwhile Bomb #20 has started it's own theology, any time a fusion device sayeth, "Let there be light." bad things happen.

Note: My review is based on the uncut 83 minute version.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Planet destroying bombs should not have a bubbly personality, it's unnerving.
  • The desolate reaches of deep space are reminiscent of Arizona.
  • Never put all your toilet paper in one place.
  • Sometimes having artificial gravity is a bad thing.
  • Morose surfers are depressing.
  • Elevators constantly run up and down for no reason.
  • Never shoot a balloon with a tranquilizing dart.
  • Viewmaster slides make handy computer panels.
  • It's rather difficult to reason with a neurotic smart bomb.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - Thank goodness the bomb knows when he is supposed to go off, but does he have to be so happy about it?
  • 6 mins - Are they zipping through a globular cluster or something? That's a lot of stars.
  • 10 mins - Now we get the credits? Oh heck, the copyright is to a person!
  • 18 mins - And so the scene from "Aliens" finds its roots. Come on Cameron, admit it!
  • 49 mins - In space no one can hear you eat Otter Pops. Yum!
  • 54 mins - Your diary is on 8-track?
  • 61 mins - Talby's space suit is made of the following: silver tape, vacuum cleaner hose, a muffin pan, and styrofoam.
  • 74 mins - Somebody give that thing the electronic equivalent of Prozac.
  • 78 mins - The bomb is quoting Creation, oh that's bad...
  • 81 mins - How did he stop that again?

Quotes: 

  • Mission Control: "Sorry to hear about the radiation leak on the ship, and real sorry to hear about the death of Commander Powell."
  • Ship's Computer: "Ship's Computer calling Bomb #20. You're out of the bomb bay again."
    Bomb #20: "I received the signal to prepare for a drop again."
    Ship's Computer: "But I repeat, this is not a bomb run."
    Bomb #20: "Nevertheless, I received the signal."
    Ship's Computer: "It is an error."
    Bomb #20: "Oh, I don't want to hear that!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note darkstar1.wav Doolittle: "Storage Area Nine self destructed last week and destroyed the ship's entire supply of toilet paper."
Green Music Note darkstar2.wav Ship's Computer: "Sorry to interrupt your recreation fellows, but it is time for Sergeant Pinback to feed the alien."
Green Music Note darkstar3.wav Pinback: "Idiot!"
Green Music Note darkstar4.wav Bomb #20: "Detonation will occur at the programmed time."
Pinback: "Wouldn't you consider another course of action? For example: just waiting around a while so we can disarm you?"
Bomb #20: "No."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdarkstar1.mpg - 2.2m
Disciplining a beach ball is silly enough, but Pinback should have kept a better grip on that broom. There is a funny section later when he tries to use a tranquilizing dart on it, the expected result happens (remember, it is a beach ball).

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9
Dark Star
Reply #49. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Frank
Is EQUINOX, aka THE BEAST ever going to be released to DVD? and how about DON'T BE AFRAID OF TEH DARK? if anyone knows about this, please let me know.
Dark Star
Reply #50. Posted on August 25, 2005, 12:09:12 AM by pinback
This movie was so freakin sweet!  A classic one of a kind work of art for science fiction and B movies in general.  And so funny!!  I just saw this for the first time recently.
Dark Star
Reply #51. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Jorge Riquelme
This movie is hilarious and obviously is has a very intelligent plot, i like all the movie, especially the final reasoning of bomb 20 about his existence.
great great movie, strange, but 99% of people who likes this movie, likes 2001 too, me either.
Dark Star
Reply #52. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by numbskull
This is probably my favorite sci-fi movie of all time.  Ever since I saw it I always answer my phone with "Help".  JC is god.
Dark Star
Reply #53. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Lynna
Saw this for the first time on TV when I was about 13 -- laughed so hard I nearly hacked up a lung!  It's one of my all-time favorites, and I'm thrilled to get it on DVD.  Whenever anyone starts talking about which really "bad", cheesy movies they like, I always recommend DS to them.  And Pinback's eight track diary is hilarious -- his explanation of how he accidentally got shot into space because he didn't know how to work the microphone in his helmet was priceless!
Dark Star
Reply #54. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Dave Munger
Dark Star
Reply #55. Posted on August 17, 2005, 07:02:34 AM by KiL
I watched this movie a long time ago on a german tv channel, and i liked it so much. I wish, Mr. Carpenter make a remake, it will be great fun. :]
Dark Star
Reply #56. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Norman Conquest
My top 5 SF flix!
1 - Dark Star
2 - Lathe of Heaven
3 - Silent Running
4 - Blade Runner
5 - Space Balls (...just kidding)
5 - Sleeper

My top favorite DS moments:
* The alien tapping it's toe nails on the floor.
* "And now for your listening enjoyment; Rosellini's Barber of Seville"
* The entire Doolittle/Powell conversation.
* The arm-less alien grab he broom?
* "Boiler punches me in the arm when noone's looking."

I'd love to see a remake, but am affraid of what Hollywood hacks would do to such a classic.

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