Weird Wednesday: Dark Star
March 4, 2020 @ 9:30 pm - 11:00 pm
JOHN CARPENTER’S ZANY SCI-FI COMEDY STUDENT FILM IN 35MM
“Enjoyable for sci-fi fans and surfers.” – Leonard Maltin, film critic
Before he was a household name John Carpenter and his University of Southern California film school chum Dan O’Bannon (creator of ALIEN and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) teamed up to make this gonzo black comedy about things going horribly wrong… in space. Using everything they could to create special effects, including ice cube trays, styrofoam, and toys, Carpenter and O’Bannon’s first feature film is a monumental achievement of low-budget, do-it-yourself moviemaking. The crew of the planet-destroying colonial ship Dark Star are having a bad day: an alien that resembles a beach-ball with claws is terrorizing Sgt. Pinback. The artificial intelligence that controls the ship’s bomb #20 has gained consciousness and refuses to obey orders. And to make things worse, they’re very, very bored and starting to get on each other’s nerves. If 2001: A Space Odyssey was remade as a comedy by hyperintelligent, hypertalented film students, this is exactly what it would be like. In fact, some ideas in DARK STAR were so good that O’Bannon would go on to recycle them in a more serious manner when he wrote ALIEN.