Dark Star Reviews

  • Feb 28, 2019

    While the cinematic effects may be a little clunky, the story and characters were magnetic. The movie was a down-to-earth treatment of people traveling in space on a planet "weeding" mission; a very routine but isolated life. Loved the scenes where the characters would get into conversations with the bomb. I really liked the movie ! Space travel is shown in all its gritty reality rather than the stylized glamour of Star Wars, etc.

    While the cinematic effects may be a little clunky, the story and characters were magnetic. The movie was a down-to-earth treatment of people traveling in space on a planet "weeding" mission; a very routine but isolated life. Loved the scenes where the characters would get into conversations with the bomb. I really liked the movie ! Space travel is shown in all its gritty reality rather than the stylized glamour of Star Wars, etc.

  • Jul 24, 2018

    The dense, confused tale of four exhausted, fatally stir-crazy astronauts in the midst of a twenty-plus-year mission to clear the universe of unfriendly alien planets. Long and windy, I couldn't decide if this was intended to be a dark comedy (as many of the promotional materials imply) or a more serious effort. In either case, I can't say it's a success. Dark Star's influences and offspring are much more interesting than the film itself. Inspired by, if not directly pulling from, classic short stories by the likes of Bradbury, Asimov and Dick, it also led to several creative hallmarks of the genre. Director/producer/writer/soundtrack musician(!) John Carpenter, of course, should need no introduction. His co-writer, not to mention one of the film's stars, Dan O'Bannon, would go on to pen the sci-fi classics Alien and Total Recall. At this point in both men's careers, however, they were still throwing spaghetti at the wall and standing back to see how much stuck. Experimental and cheeky, Dark Star is tonally inconsistent and poorly edited, running for about thirty minutes longer than was really necessary. The effects work is painfully dated, somehow worse than the old Star Trek TV episodes of half a decade prior, and is not helped by the camera's tendency to adoringly linger well past the point of good reason. The resident alien (literally a spray-painted beach ball with chicken feet) and absurdly contrived parting shot (think Dr. Strangelove meets Dick Dale) are particularly bad, yet also somehow more memorable for their ineptitude. I can't say I'm glad I watched this, but it keeps bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. Maybe there's something telling about that?

    The dense, confused tale of four exhausted, fatally stir-crazy astronauts in the midst of a twenty-plus-year mission to clear the universe of unfriendly alien planets. Long and windy, I couldn't decide if this was intended to be a dark comedy (as many of the promotional materials imply) or a more serious effort. In either case, I can't say it's a success. Dark Star's influences and offspring are much more interesting than the film itself. Inspired by, if not directly pulling from, classic short stories by the likes of Bradbury, Asimov and Dick, it also led to several creative hallmarks of the genre. Director/producer/writer/soundtrack musician(!) John Carpenter, of course, should need no introduction. His co-writer, not to mention one of the film's stars, Dan O'Bannon, would go on to pen the sci-fi classics Alien and Total Recall. At this point in both men's careers, however, they were still throwing spaghetti at the wall and standing back to see how much stuck. Experimental and cheeky, Dark Star is tonally inconsistent and poorly edited, running for about thirty minutes longer than was really necessary. The effects work is painfully dated, somehow worse than the old Star Trek TV episodes of half a decade prior, and is not helped by the camera's tendency to adoringly linger well past the point of good reason. The resident alien (literally a spray-painted beach ball with chicken feet) and absurdly contrived parting shot (think Dr. Strangelove meets Dick Dale) are particularly bad, yet also somehow more memorable for their ineptitude. I can't say I'm glad I watched this, but it keeps bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. Maybe there's something telling about that?

  • May 10, 2018

    It's hard to believe Carpenter started his career with a 2001 parody. It's odd, slow and sometimes out-of-context. But at least it had a fun time.

    It's hard to believe Carpenter started his career with a 2001 parody. It's odd, slow and sometimes out-of-context. But at least it had a fun time.

  • Apr 26, 2017

    Not the most exciting, but cool if you're in the right mood to see it

    Not the most exciting, but cool if you're in the right mood to see it

  • Apr 25, 2017

    If you like homemade hilarity, please do see this movie. Notice the ingenious use of dumpsters and beachballs in enhancing the viewer's experience. This movie cracks me up. It may not necessarily crack YOU up but I was in college and this is a college film. Then gain, it STILL cracks me up. Carpenter has only improved over time and I have infinite time for the man's work. Let there be light.

    If you like homemade hilarity, please do see this movie. Notice the ingenious use of dumpsters and beachballs in enhancing the viewer's experience. This movie cracks me up. It may not necessarily crack YOU up but I was in college and this is a college film. Then gain, it STILL cracks me up. Carpenter has only improved over time and I have infinite time for the man's work. Let there be light.

  • Jan 08, 2017

    In his entertaining debut feature, John Carpenter embarks on a creative partnership with Dan O'Bannon (The Return of the Living Dead) to create a science fiction comedy that, embracing his trash spirit, manages to creatively exploit his parody of 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

    In his entertaining debut feature, John Carpenter embarks on a creative partnership with Dan O'Bannon (The Return of the Living Dead) to create a science fiction comedy that, embracing his trash spirit, manages to creatively exploit his parody of 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

  • Oct 16, 2016

    A surprisingly hilarious and oddly charming sci-fi comedy (There are also moments of real peril and darkness). The crew of the space vessel Dark Star are on a mission to colonize the galaxy by destroying unstable planets. There really isn't much of a plot. We just hang out with the crew during their mission and follow their adventures and mishaps. I'd say my favorite character is Pinback (played by Dan O'Bannon, who helped to write this film. he would later go on to write Alien, segments of Heavy Metal, Dead and Buried, Return of The Living Dead, Lifeforce, and Total Recall. He would direct Return of The Living Dead). The film gets really dark out of nowhere at the end (in hilarious and shocking fashion). The script is fairly strong, and these are some fun characters to hang out with. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving this film. John Carpenter decided to make his film debut with this low-budget space comedy, which in turn features some elements he would incorporate into latter films of his. Dark Star is an overlooked and under-appreciated gem that any fan of sci-fi, oddball comedy, or John Carpenter would do wise to check out.

    A surprisingly hilarious and oddly charming sci-fi comedy (There are also moments of real peril and darkness). The crew of the space vessel Dark Star are on a mission to colonize the galaxy by destroying unstable planets. There really isn't much of a plot. We just hang out with the crew during their mission and follow their adventures and mishaps. I'd say my favorite character is Pinback (played by Dan O'Bannon, who helped to write this film. he would later go on to write Alien, segments of Heavy Metal, Dead and Buried, Return of The Living Dead, Lifeforce, and Total Recall. He would direct Return of The Living Dead). The film gets really dark out of nowhere at the end (in hilarious and shocking fashion). The script is fairly strong, and these are some fun characters to hang out with. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving this film. John Carpenter decided to make his film debut with this low-budget space comedy, which in turn features some elements he would incorporate into latter films of his. Dark Star is an overlooked and under-appreciated gem that any fan of sci-fi, oddball comedy, or John Carpenter would do wise to check out.

  • Oct 05, 2016

    I couldn't get into this at all. Dan O' Bannon was the balls though and the ending cracked me up.

    I couldn't get into this at all. Dan O' Bannon was the balls though and the ending cracked me up.

  • Jul 30, 2016

    A bizarre hilarious romp set in outer space. The homicidal beach ball was a nice - albeit pointless to the plot - touch,

    A bizarre hilarious romp set in outer space. The homicidal beach ball was a nice - albeit pointless to the plot - touch,

  • Jul 04, 2016

    Like Bad Taste or Mad Max, this a film that has survived because the creators went on to do greatness. It is hard to say who the movie is for or why it spends so much of its time doing...well, nothing. The sort of think MST 3000 would showcase. There are moments that are quality, but it would have been the same film if it were 10 minutes long.

    Like Bad Taste or Mad Max, this a film that has survived because the creators went on to do greatness. It is hard to say who the movie is for or why it spends so much of its time doing...well, nothing. The sort of think MST 3000 would showcase. There are moments that are quality, but it would have been the same film if it were 10 minutes long.