Dark Star (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dark Star1974

Dark Star (1974)



Critic Consensus: A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.

Dark Star Photos

Movie Info

John Carpenter directed this wigged-out spoof of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film originally began as a 45-minute U.S.C. student film project by Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon that was eventually expanded into a feature length production. The sstory takes place on the deep-space cruiser Dark Star, where a crew of laid-back astronauts 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 is 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. However, there is a lot of down time between planetary explosions and the tediousness is starting to get to everyone. However, after a series of accidents, a smart bomb --i.e. a bomb that can talk and think on its own-- does not detach itself from the ship as planned and will explode within 24 minutes unless it can be cajoled into disarming itself.

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Brian Narelle
as Doolittle
Dan O'Bannon
as Pinback
Miles Watkins
as Mission Control
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Critic Reviews for Dark Star

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (7)

Hats off nonetheless to young whippersnapper John Carpenter, whose studenty tale of space tedium, aliens and molasses-black humour remains approximately a thousand times better than the director's last 15 years.

June 6, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

By introducing human eccentricities into the cold structure of SF, Carpenter creates a vision of the technological future that is both disillusioned and oddly affirmative in its insistence on the unscientific survival of emotional frailty.

June 6, 2007

The dim comedy consists of sophomoric notations and mistimed one-liners.

June 6, 2007 | Full Review…

Isn't nearly as funny as it once was...but it nonetheless has its amusing moments.

April 26, 2007 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Sheer delight.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There are some funny routines here, though Mr. Carpenter doesn't seem to have cared much about integrating or sustaining them.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5

Audience Reviews for Dark Star


lame spoof

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

I suppose it would have been entertaining for its time (despite Star Wars) and I did find it a slow but thoughtful and interesting piece. I can see the similarities between this and 2001 which is not a bad thing. It was well thought out and had some great comedy moments (intended or not). A good watch but not something you could view again and again.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer


Probably the best space satire featuring a crazed beach ball. Loved the ending.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Dark Star Quotes

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