A bunch of hapless astronauts on a looooong mission run into some…problems.
This was the first full-length movie made by both Dan “Alien” O’Bannon and John “A Whole Bunch Of Movies Too Oogie For Me To Even CONSIDER Watching” Carpenter. There’s a written intro by O’Bannon talking about making this movie and audience reaction that’s pretty funny. I was in high school when it came to theaters (yes, I’m old) but I didn’t see it until it was on television a couple of years later.
This movie is such a family favorite. We all loved the bomb, and whenever my dad would go out back to feed the donkeys (we had a couple in the horse field out back to eat all the weeds…cheaper and easier than mowing, and they were cute) he would say, Feed the aliens. Feed the aliens. Why do I always have to be the one to feed the aliens? and we’d all laugh hysterically.
This movie is very mired in its time- the music, the electronics, the look of it is relentlessly 70s, which it should be…although at one point, a character is making a video diary and looks at the 8 track he’s using to record it, and you know the filmmakers were thinking ahead to when that would be hilarious because even then, they were awful technology.
For a very low budget (55 grand, even in those days, wasn’t much) movie, it had some good special effects, some nice bits (hyperdrive, and the big spaceship filling up the camera) that were echoed by Star Wars a couple of years later, and a good, if EXTREMELY low-key, sense of humor.
This is very worth seeing- don’t expect boffo, or to be rolling on the floor laughing, but it’s funny, the characters are great and the ending is very good.