Dark Star (1974)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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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Movie Info

John Carpenter directed this wigged-out spoof of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film originally began as a 45-minute U.S.C. student film project by Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon that was eventually expanded into a feature length production. The sstory takes place on the deep-space cruiser Dark Star, where a crew of laid-back astronauts are assigned the task of blowing up planets with unsuitable life forms in order to make the universe safe for the human race. The leader is Commander Powell (Joe Sanders), who is cryogenically frozen after being killed in a freak accident. Next in line is Doolittle (Brian Narelle) who tries to keep the rest of the crew in check. However, there is a lot of down time between planetary explosions and the tediousness is starting to get to everyone. However, after a series of accidents, a smart bomb --i.e. a bomb that can talk and think on its own-- does not detach itself from the ship as planned and will explode within 24 minutes unless it can be cajoled into disarming itself.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Cult Movies , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Dan O'Bannon
as Pinback
Brian Narelle
as Doolittle
Miles Watkins
as Mission Control
Carl Kuniholm
as Boiler
Joe Sanders
as Powell
Joe Saunders
as Powell
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Critic Reviews for Dark Star

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5)

By introducing human eccentricities into the cold structure of SF, Carpenter creates a vision of the technological future that is both disillusioned and oddly affirmative in its insistence on the unscientific survival of emotional frailty.

Full Review… | June 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The dim comedy consists of sophomoric notations and mistimed one-liners.

Full Review… | June 6, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Sheer delight.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There are some funny routines here, though Mr. Carpenter doesn't seem to have cared much about integrating or sustaining them.

May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A berserk combination of space opera, intelligent bombs, and beach balls from other worlds.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

An enjoyable lightweight outer-space hippie spoof.

Full Review… | November 15, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Dark Star

½

lame spoof

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

I suppose it would have been entertaining for its time (despite Star Wars) and I did find it a slow but thoughtful and interesting piece. I can see the similarities between this and 2001 which is not a bad thing. It was well thought out and had some great comedy moments (intended or not). A good watch but not something you could view again and again.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

½

Probably the best space satire featuring a crazed beach ball. Loved the ending.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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