“One of the damnedest science fiction movies I've ever seen.”
This outrageously unique sci-fi headtrip was the debut feature from genre film emperor John Carpenter. The film originally began as a 45-minute student film project by Carpenter and collaborator Dan O'Bannon (ALIEN, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) that was eventually expanded into a full length feature. The film takes place on the deep-space cruiser Dark Star, where a crew of stoned astronauts (including O’Bannon himself) are assigned the task of blowing up planets with unsuitable life forms in order to make the universe safe for the human race. The leader is Commander Powell (Joe Sanders), who’s cryogenically frozen after being killed in a freak accident. Next in line is Doolittle (Brian Narelle) who tries to keep the rest of the crew in check, which—due to the onset of alien creatures and intergalactic existential hysteria—is a much tougher job than expected.