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Dark Star - The Hyper-Drive Edition


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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

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

  • 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 (40 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B003YDORO0
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,209 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Dark Star - The Hyper-Drive Edition" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    4.1 out of 5 stars

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 8, 2010
    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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    20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Potentially Bright Cilantron on 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 By Arthur R. Valencia on October 23, 2010
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    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.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tristan on December 8, 2012
    Format: DVD
    When it comes to cult films, none are more love-it or hate-it than Dark Star. Dark Star is the film debut of genre masters John Carpenter and the late Dan O'Bannon. Dark Star is basically a science fiction film about characters who are far too smart for their own good doing heavy duty work that nobody will ever thank them for. These folks are not like the crew in Danny Boyle's Sunshine. Their goal is to destroy unstable planets with their detonation equipment. The film sort of depicts a typical day in the life of this group of societal outcasts, and all I can say is that nobody in the entire world could ever pay me enough to do such a thankless task. These guys have to deal with a renegade alien beach ball looking thing, malfunctioning equipment, and a bomb that grows self-aware and ends up posing a very real and dangerous threat to the entire crew. These guys are completely replaceable, and therefore none of these events truly mean much in the grand scheme of things. I've never seen a group of people look so damn bored while doing something so important. To many folks out there, watching this film will be like watching paint dry. To people like me, who can accept the uselessness of the entire goal, who can accept the utter absurdity of the series of events, and who can accept that these awkward, some might say, strange men are our heroes, (all of which, I admit, is hard to do), Dark Star is a motion picture gem that fully deserves its cult classic status. I hesitate to honestly call it a comedy like everyone else does, because to me it's a pretty spooky little film. Maybe it's a black comedy. However, that does not mean that anyone should be afraid to laugh when watching this picture.

    Nobody I know who is my age likes the movie Dark Star.
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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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