Dark Star

Screening on Film
Directed by John Carpenter.
With Dan O’Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm.
US, 1975, 35mm, color, 83 min.

“Hello, bomb? Snap out of it, bomb.”

Begun as a USC student project by director John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) and writer Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Total Recall), Dark Star was then expanded to feature length, along with a corresponding increase of the budget, from $14 to $39. But look past the cheap (but quite clever) SFX and you’ll find one of the greatest existential science-fiction satires ever made.

Four miserable men fly around the universe fulfilling an inexplicable bureaucratic assignment, to blow up certain uninhabited planets. Sadly, after nineteen successful bomb runs, the crew turns on one another, the “alien” breaks loose, the toilet paper runs out, and bomb number 20 develops an attitude and refuses to follow orders.

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