Dark Star

Released 1974


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Dark Star

Movie Summary

John Carpenter
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Dark Star is a Science Fiction feature film bordering on Comedy that started out as a student project by writer Dan O'Bannon and writer/director John Carpenter. The Dark Star is a spacecraft, traveling deep in the heart of the universe, the crew of which is completely bored with their tasks and space madness is beginning to take hold. Also, a beach ball shaped alien is loose on the ship, causing all kinds of trouble. Dark Star is the directorial debut of John Carpenter and the writing debut of Dan O'Bannon, two of sci-fi and horror's biggest luminaries from the 1970's to the 1990's. It was an incredibly ambitious project for two film students. With a budget of only 60,000 dollars, the creative team built a spaceship set, built their own models, and O'Bannon himself created passable special effects. Finished in 1973, a forty five minute version of the film played at several festivals, catching the eye of producer Jack H. Harris, who secured distribution and paid for 38 more minutes of film to bring it up to feature length.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Empire Adam Smith

    In essence, Dark Star has what all great comedy has: a sense of desperation and pathos allied to an abiding humanity which elevates it high above the realm of mere spoof.

  • 75

    Rolling Stone

    The special effects vacillate between defiantly shitty and endearingly resourceful, and Carpenter and O'Bannon's sense of humor covers a similarly narrow ground between Loony Tunes...

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is a fun movie, and a bright and intelligent one. It bears few signs of having been made on a low budget, and the special effects are reasonably slick.

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More Info About This Movie


Comedy, Science Fiction


dry humor, cheap special effects, geekcentric, social commentary, pondering life