Sci-Fi Saturday: Dark Star (1974)

Dark Star Poster from back in the day. Creadit:
Dark Star Poster from back in the day. Creadit:

The name John Carpenter usually invokes images of Michael Myers, Snake Plissken, or In The Mouth Of Madness. Long before Halloween, a young John Carpenter dabbled in Science Fiction Comedy with Dark Star, a collaboration with fellow film student Dan O’Bannon.

In the 22nd Century a team of explorers look for habitable planets for mankind to expand to. If an unstable world is encountered, the team can drop smart bombs on the planet. And when we say “smart bombs”, we mean it. The bombs can talk. Even saying “Thanks” when being loaded. Very friendly these bombs are. After the death of Captain Powell, the aptly named Lt. Doolittle is hesitant to take action.

The real story begins when one of the bombs is mistakenly given an order to detonate while on board the ship. On top of that, a pet alien of one of the crew decides to start munching on the crew.

If the name Dan O’Bannon sounds familiar, his production credits include Alien, Heavy Metal, and Blue Thunder. In fact, the the pet alien running amok was turned into the premise for 1979’s Alien.

The soundtrack is very unique in that it’s one of the few sci-fi films to have a country music theme song.

The film has since become a cult favorite. Carpenter has recut the film into a Director’s Cut, which ironically removes footage and adds effects to certain scenes. Thus, Dark Star becomes one of the few titles where the Director’s Cut runs shorter than the Theatrical Release.

The movie is available in multiple formats via Amazon right here!

The full trailer is below

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