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Dark Star - The Hyper-Drive Edition (1974)

Brian Narelle , Dre Pahich , John Carpenter  |  G |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Narelle, Dre Pahich, Dan O'Bannon, Cal Kuniholm
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003YDORO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,107 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark Star - The Hyper-Drive Edition" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of "Dark Star": An all new, feature-length documentary exploring the controversial making of the John Carpenter (Halloween) and Dan O Bannon (Alien)
  • Exclusive interviews with actor Brian Narelle, cinematographer Doug Knapp, art director Tommy Lee Wallace, visual effects artist Greg Jein, voice artist Cookie Knapp, film director Jack Harris, Diane O Bannon, USC alumni/director Jeff Burr, as well as archival interviews with John Carpenter and many more!
  • Plus the final interview with Dan O Bannon
  • Interview with Sci-Fi author Alan Dean Foster
  • 3D guide to the Dark Star ship
  • Full-length audio commentary by super-fan Andrew Gilchrist
  • Written Intro by Dan O Bannon
  • Trivia

  • Editorial Reviews

    In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. DARK STAR is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermosteller Bombs, it prowls the darkest reaches of space on a mission to seek out and destroy unstable planets ahead of the colonist. But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on -- one of the ship's thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew! DARK STAR was originally intended to be a 68 minute film. Jack Harris, the Hollywood producer, convinced the filmmakers to shoot 15 minutes of extra footage and he released the expanded version theatrically in 1975 through Bryanston Pictures. To honor the filmmakers wishes, this new DVD will contain both the shorter 1974 Original version and the longer 1975 Theatrical release version. The 2010 Hyperdrive Edition DVD has been sourced from a new 16x9, 35mm transfer, with a further pain-staking, frame-by-frame digital restoration of the video master to produce the best picture ever seen. The soundtrack has also been digitally enhanced and restored to Dolby Digital 5.1. Bonus Features: LET THERE BE LIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF "DARK STAR" An all new, feature-length documentary exploring the controversial making of the John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN) and Dan O Bannon (ALIEN), Exclusive interviews with actor Brian Narelle, cinematographer Doug Knapp, art director Tommy Lee Wallace, visual effects artist Greg Jein, voice artist Cookie Knapp, film director Jack Harris, Diane O Bannon, USC alumni/director Jeff Burr, as well as archival interviews with John Carpenter and many more! Plus the final interview with Dan O Bannon, Directed by Daniel Griffith, 2010, Interview with Sci-Fi author Alan Dean Foster, 3D guide to the DARK STAR ship, Full-length audio commentary by super-fan Andrew Gilchrist, Written Intro by Dan O Bannon, Trivia. Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital 5.1; RT - 83 minutes; Color; Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1; MPAA - G; Year - 1974; SRP - $19.99

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    VCI Entertainment presents ~ "DARK STAR-HYPERDRIVE EDITION" (1974) (83 min/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- Take for instance director John Carpenter who may be known for his other accomplishments of motion pictures we now realize were good even great --- But this film was the groundbreaking moment that gave us other films from other directors and writers, such as Star Wars --- Now enters co-conspirator Dan O'Bannon, the two filmed this with a zero budget, much like a student project and became a cult classic. --- Not bad for two college chums that started out as a student film and was eventually expanded into a theatrical feature, lucky for us fans, as they say the rest is history.

    The copy of the film is quite good and the documentaries are an added plus for all collectors and film enthusiasts --- This new "Hyperdrive" edition is a great update thanks to its abundant special features. Let there be light, indeed --- A must have for your collection of rare and early films in this genre.

    Mr. Jim's Ratings:
    Image: 4 1/2 Stars
    Sound: 4 Stars
    Extras: 4 1/2 Stars
    Overall: 5 Stars [Both Versions of Dark Star & Bonus Features]

    Under the production staff of:
    John Carpenter [Director/Screenwriter/Producer]
    Dan O'Bannon [Original Story]
    J. Stein Kaplan [Associate Producer]
    Jack H. Harris [Executive Producer]
    John Carpenter [Original Score]
    Douglas Knapp [Cinematographer]
    Dan O'Bannon [Film Editor]

    the cast includes:
    Brian Narelle ... Lt. Doolittle
    Cal Kuniholm ... Boiler
    Dre Pahich ... Talby
    Dan O'Bannon ... Sgt. Pinback

    BIOS:
    1.
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    19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Weird little oddity, um, odyssey March 29, 2011
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    This is one of those cult movies that you'll either love or hate. I vaguely remembered seeing this on TV ages ago, so after reading some of the reviews for the single disc version, I decided to get it. So I'm watching this thing, thinking "Okay, that line was vaguely funny." Snorting a couple times. Then, about 25 minutes in, one of the crew members (O'Bannon, later to write "Alien") has to feed the alien. And it's a beachball with feet. Yeah, I read the reviews, but you have to see this thing to believe it. The thing has personality! This will either make or break the movie for you. You'll either consider it to be so ridiculous that it's hilarious or you'll just think it's stupid.

    Yes, they were obviously influenced by "2001: a Space Odyssey." Yes, they may have been influenced by illegal substances (I have no evidence of this, other than the movie). No, they can't act (but they're still funny). Yes, the special effects are very cheap. Still, I found it to be a lot of fun. Can't give it more than 3 stars, though.

    Special features: there's a 30 minute interview with Alan Dean Foster who wrote the novelization (!) of this movie. There's a 2 hour (longer than the movie!) documentary covering every possible aspect of the film (more than you want to know, probably, unless you're a film school student.) Various other and sundry doodads. The most important reason to get this version as opposed to the single disc version (I gather from reading those reviews) is that they've cleaned up the picture quality tremendously. If you want this movie, this is the version to get.
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    21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wait for Blu-Ray Release? October 23, 2010
    Format:DVD
    This first, major John Carpenter film release, is a fun trip through outer space. Everything is run by computers, even a Bomb. The Bomb goes haywire when damaged and lodges in the bay and starts to 'count down'. The crew tries everything they can to try and stop the count down. This when the fun really starts. Excellent direction, filmplay and acting. I highly recommend this film.

    As far as buying this version in standard dvd format, you might want to wait for a Blu-Ray version, if one should come out later. I have the first version in standard format, but this version does have more and better specials. According to the product review, they have upgraded the print for this release. Also, check out the discusions on this topic, going on below.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars "Good Carpenter First!" December 27, 2010
    Format:DVD
    John Carpenter's 1974 sci-fi comedy features a group
    of space explorers dealing with mishaps while on a
    mission to rid unstable planets. This 2-disc set
    has good picture and sound plus neat extras.
    I recommend this good Carpenter first.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    Space. The final frontier. This is the voyage of the scout ship Dark Star. Her twenty year mission is to seek out new worlds, and then blow them up. There's a rogue alien in the food locker, the intelligent stellar bomb has something on it's mind and the somewhat less intelligent crew are bored stiff.

    Dark Star was written and filmed by John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon as a student project between 1970 and 1973 on a risible budget of $55K (by contrast, Blazing Saddles, also released in that year, benefitted from a slightly more generous $2.6m).

    ...and it shows. It REALLY shows. The film seems to have been captured on life-expired Super 8, the lighting appears to be following Dogme Collective rules and the score was (probably) laid down on a Hammond organ. The acting is poor (but not awful) and according to O'Bannon, at least one of the cast was off his face on LSD during filming. The "special effects" (I use that phrase VERY loosely) would make George Lucas weep like a girl with many of the props apparently having been scavenged from the dumpster behind the film studio and some of the scenes obviously having been filmed in the sound stage's boiler room. Consequently, the whole thing looks, feels and sounds a little like a 1980's Belgian porno on it's 7th generation VHS rerecord and, taken at face value, this is a film that you would probably return with a letter asking for your money back plus compensation.

    In truth however, Dark Star is actually a mother-lode for the modern sci-fi genre. Consider this: Dan O'Bannon adapted the screenplay, called it "
    ... Read more ›
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars As sci-fi comedy goes it just doesn't get any duller than this.
    What can one say about this super borefest of a so-called Sci-Fi comedy accept for starters, "Well there goes a near hour and a half of my life that I'm never getting... Read more
    Published 2 hours ago by TechnoMachinima1996
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies. This version has a ton of behind ...
    One of my favorite movies. This version has a ton of behind the scenes features, as well as both the original theatrical release and the directors cut.
    Published 1 month ago by Jay Barron
    4.0 out of 5 stars a surprising good yarn.
    Stiil a very surprising good move to watch. I laffed my but off watching the ailan and the one pilot fight it out. After all the years still a good move.
    Published 2 months ago by david patrick carlson
    1.0 out of 5 stars TWO DISC SET ONLY SENT WITH DISC 2
    Even though the movie was shrunk wrapped it was missing first disk.
    Artwork doesn't match artwork listed. Disappointing after paying over $12 for product.
    Published 3 months ago by video paradise (b)
    5.0 out of 5 stars Carpenter's best movie.
    Well, that's a matter of opinion of course, but who can resist the comic precursor to Alien? It's not for everyone, and although it's not what you might expect from either John... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Stephen T.
    1.0 out of 5 stars inversion of values
    The greatest science-fiction movie -- tied with Alien from the same screenwriter and the Space odyssey. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by dimitriweb [this reviewer has been added to the top 10 (see more)]
    5.0 out of 5 stars A very good sci fi comedy.
    If you don't need to take your sci fi movies too seriously this is a movie to see. Virtually every one's characters are various take offs on escapees from a lunatic asylum. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Jonny D.
    5.0 out of 5 stars OK
    The movie has a set to thrill people. However, the plot was okay. I applaud the movie. Way to go.
    Published 7 months ago by Vytautas Baronas Leita
    2.0 out of 5 stars This is not a classic, just a bad movie
    So I was on a Sci Fi kick looking for movies and previous TV shows I didn't get to see before and I came across Dark Star.
    I can't really say a much good about this movie. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by Dakar
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic with a bit more
    To some, this will appear to be nothing more than a low budget sci-fi film. To others it's the movie that marked the launching point of two distinguished film careers (in... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by J. Freeman
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Why no Blu-Ray HD Verison?
    The studio has talked about this, they do not have a good enough print to do a high quality HD release. They tested it out with what they have and were not satisfied with the results. Instead of putting out an inferior Blu-Ray version, they decided to go with the best quality DVD release they... Read More
    Oct 19, 2010 by Michael Allred |  See all 6 posts
    Nudie pictures on the wall blurred?
    Curtis,

    The images were blurred during the post-production phase of the Jack Harris/Bryanston theatrical release (when the 'extension' scenes were inserted). The unaltered versions of the nude photos posted in the crew quarters only exist on the original student film version (which may be lost... Read More
    Nov 1, 2010 by Daniel C. Griffith |  See all 4 posts
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