I’ve recently dived into doing ”best of’ lists, so as I’ve explained, I’ve decided to do my top 20 SF films. This is my personal list, so feel free to disagree with it and of course, you’ll be horribly wrong.
At #16, it’s John Carpenter’s first film, Dark Star.
Dark Star is one of those films that only in retrospect proves to be astonishingly influential. This was really the film which kicked off the grungy ‘truckers in space’ trope in SF films, and moved away from the Star Trek idea of a shiny future.
The film itself tells the story of a crew of a spaceship destroying ‘unstable’ worlds to aid with future human colonisation of the stars, but it’s portrayed in such a dreary matter of fact way. The fact that the film is a comedy that takes nice little digs at other films, and the SF genre itself puts the icing on the cake of a film which although has dated badly in places but aside from the little 1970’s tics it still works almost perfectly as a great bit of SF comedy that set up John Carpenter as a talent to watch, plus the writer Dan O’Bannon came back to the idea of ‘truckers in space’ for a film that’ll be cropping up higher up on my list….
I love Dark Star. It’s a quirky, smart little SF film that tells it’s story well, and it’s got one of the best aliens you’ll ever see in a SF film too….
Next time, you won’t want touchline seats for this game…