Dark Star Review

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Four astronauts are on a mission to clear unstable planets from space navigation routes. But years from Earth, things start to go wrong, as their smart bomb becomes convinced that it is god, a beachball-like alien joins them and the ship's computer starts to malfunction.


A deeply overdue chance to take another look at John Carpenter's student flick turned triumphant commercial debut. A gang of interstellar inadequates wrestle with boredom and pettiness, beach ball aliens and irritating bombs that insist on detonating at the wrong moment as they proceed on their incredibly long mission to destroy rogue planets in star systems ready for human colonisation.

Very black, very funny and strangely moving, this is a genuine contender for the term "cult classic". In fact, looking back at Dark Star now, it probably even manages to shunt Escape From New York out of the Carpenter top five, too. Yes, it's that good.

Although the movie is positively Das Bootian in its pacing, hats off nonetheless to young whippersnapper John Carpenter, whose studenty tale of space tedium, aliens and molasses-black humour remains approximately a thousand times better than the director's last 15 years of utter crapola.