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Dark Star, 30th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD] 
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Originally intended to be a 68 minute student film, Dark Star was the creation of University of Southern California film students John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon. It is the twenty-first century story of four bored astronauts in deep space, whose mission is to destroy unstable planets in star systems which are to be colonised. The late Commander Powell is stored in deep freeze, where he is still able to offer advice. As their mission nears completion, they must cope with a runaway alien which resembles a beach-ball, faulty computer systems, and a ''smart bomb'' who thinks it is God...
Features: Stunning New CGI Menus, Theatrical and Special Editions, Commemorative new box packaging, Publicity Stills, Theatrical Trailers, Filmographies, Original Biographies.
Dark Star is absurd, surreal and very funny. John Carpenter once described it as "Waiting for Godot in space." (It's also, surely, one of the primary inspirations for Red Dwarf.) Made at a cost of practically nothing, the film's effects are nevertheless impressive and, along with the number of ideas crammed into its 83 minutes, ought to shame makers of science fiction films costing hundreds of times more.
The story concerns the Dark Star's crew who are on a 20-year mission to destroy unstable planets and make way for future colonisation. The smart bombs they use to effect this zoom off cheerfully to do their duty. But unlike Star Trek, in which order prevails, the nerves of this crew are becoming increasingly frayed to the point of psychosis. Their captain has been killed by a radiation leak that also destroyed their toilet paper. "Don't give me any of that 'Intelligent Life' stuff," says Commander Doolittle when presented with the possibility of alien life. "Find me something I can blow up." When an asteroid storm causes a malfunction, Bomb Number 20 (the most cheerful character in the film) has to be repeatedly talked out of exploding prematurely, each time becoming more and more peevish, until they have to teach him phenomenology to make him doubt his existence. And the film's apocalyptic ending, lifted almost wholly from Ray Bradbury's story "Kaleidoscope", has the remaining crew drifting away from each other in space, each to a suitably absurd end. --Jim GaySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A new text introduction to the film written by Dan O'Bannon who died just before this release.
The original version of the film (68 minutes).
A full-length audio commentary of the final version (83 minutes) by Andrew Gilchrist who tells you everything that is known about the film.
Let There Be Light (115 minutes) is a new, excellent 2010 documentary and includes interviews with many of the surviving cast and crew and archival interviews with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon. You will find out how the students made the film over three years, exactly where the props and sets came from and how Carpenter and O'Bannon worked with each other.
An interview with Alan Dean Foster (34 minutes) who talks about his novelisation of Dark Star, his meetings with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon and his other novelisations which included Star Trek and Star Wars, and how he met George Lucas.
An interview with Brian Narelle (40 minutes) who plays Lt Doolittle. He talks about his work on Dark Star, working with John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon, and other work in acting and animation.
A 3D Guide to the Dark Star ship which is a short animation showing you around a few areas of the ship.
The original trailer which gives away a few of the surprises in the film.
A trivia section which details 22 text items.
Spaced-out hippes travel the cosmos blowing up unstable stars on a pre-colonization mission plagued by continual mishaps, including an intelligent bomb with an existential death wish.
Dark Star is a black comedy which pokes fun at the underlying issues facing a group of hacked-off astronauts who have succumbed to the deep psychological problems associated with being trapped in a confined space - within the realms of infinite space. A perfect handle upon which to hang their subsequent disintegration. And, boy, do these guys fall apart at the seams (even the cryogenically maintained head of their former commander has stopped dispensing good advice and begun a steady decline into gibberish). Only when presented with imminent destruction by a short-tempered and fractious Thermostellar bomb do they actually pull themselves together for a brief but hilarious ethical debate, man and machine in imperfect harmony. Futile, of course, and it's clear by now that things have gone beyond pear-shaped. But moments before what appears to be the bleakest of endings, earlier foreshadowings are thrown into sharp relief (then cleverly realised) and the result - thanks to the sheer AUDACITY of universal order and chaos - is an unexpected pleasure.Read more ›
Unfortunately, it's a port of the original US edition. Pretty good in and of itself - 2 versions of the film, a handful of extras - but NOT anamorphic/enhanced for 16x9 format.
The film itself is terrific. Funny, touching, tense, imaginative, beautifully designed, raw, bleak. And surprisingly sad coming from Howard Hawks-worshipping man's man John Carpenter. Dan O'Bannon's so funny, you wonder why he didn't really act again.
So... best available edition, but not what it claims.
In summary if you've not seen it before it's worth watching, the special effect are good as long as you aren't expecting something like Avatar. However if you have seen it before don't bother, you'll just spoil any good memories you have of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely good film. Like its relative Alien it reflects the age of pre-CGI special effects.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I can forgive a low budget and primitive special effects, but I can't forgive a film where very little happens for big stretches of time. 20 minutes in, nothing's happened. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gwasgray