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Newly Re-mastered in HD! In the year 2035 scientists discovered a new life form... they wish they hadn t. It was found during a routine expedition to Mars, buried just beneath the surface of the angry red planet. But what was initially thought to be just a curiously shaped rock turned out to be something much more: hidden within was an unknown alien species unlike any that science had ever encountered. And it has escaped. Now after the catastrophic destruction of their orbital space station, the ragtag crew of Shuttlecraft SC37 is adrift in space with limited oxygen, dwindling supplies and one very unwelcome guest. It is lethal. It is cunning. And it is growing larger and more intelligent with every horrific kill. With time running out, the surviving crew members must regain control of their doomed spaceship from an evolving alien predator who will stop at nothing to destroy them all... and to protect the startling secret that throbs deep inside the Star Crystal. Written and directed by Lance Lindsay (Real Bullets).
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The movie starts out by telling us it's the year 2032 or something, and we see a couple of people in spacesuits walking around on what is supposed to be the surface of Mars. Since Mars is known as the 'red' planet, a red filter is placed over the camera lens to achieve that effect, making everything red. This effect was so apparent it drew me out of the movie, which may have not been a bad thing. Also I noticed a cloud or two in the sky, suggesting that Mars has an atmosphere, not unlike that of Earth, but whatever....
Now these two 'explorers' find a thingamabob buried in the ground, dig it out, and return to their shuttle. It appears to be a giant Cadbury space egg, but before they get a chance to really examine it, they are called off. I thought it was kind of interesting how no quarantine procedures were used to isolate the alien artifact, but there you go. While they are away, the egg cracks open and leaks out some alien goo. Now, you may ask, "Is this a bad thing?" to which I would reply, "Have you ever known alien goo to be a good thing?" (Bet they'll be wishing soon that they did have quarantine procedures)
Soon we see the shuttlecraft computer come to life, stating that the oxygen levels are at a critical stage, and immediate action is required. A slow pan around the ship shows the crew already dead, so I guess the computer was a little slow with its' warning. Dumb computer...The ship, now on auto pilot, flies back to a big, goofy looking space station, where an investigation as to how the crew died takes place. (Hint, how about a computer with an exceptionally poor response time?) Some people are on the shuttle craft, doing busy work, when all of the sudden the station starts shuddering violently. A few more people run into the shuttle, it takes off, and the space station spontaneously combusts. Poorly constructed station, I guess. No real reason is given why it blew up, but dang if it didn't blow up real good!
Now there are about five really annoying people on the shuttle, plus one gooey alien entity. We see a number of shots of a pulsating alien mass, so we figure it's doing something, with out actually doing anything. The people, seemingly not too shaken up about the destruction of that space station along with thousands of lives (it was really big), start formulating a plan to get home. An effort was made to try and create a sense of dissension within the group, but the dialog was so clunky that they all just come off as looking stupid.
I have to say something about the design of the shuttlecraft. Having seen so many sci-fi movies, I can honestly say this is the worst designed spacecraft I have ever seen. Get this, there are like five different areas, all connected with tubes about 3 feet in diameter. That means if you want to go from the sleeping quarters to the command center, or the engine room, or any other area on the ship, you have to crawl on your hands and knees through about 50 feet of tube. And the doors...each door is like 3 feet high. To go in and out of a room, you have to crouch down to get through the door. Who designed this ship? Torquemada? Later we'll see the tunnels/tubes are used in a similar fashion like in the vastly better Ridley Scott sci-fi horror thriller Alien.
So people start getting kakked, and these scenes are shot in such a way to try and create suspense, but the attempts are so obvious that they called attention to themselves, and defeat the whole purpose. The remaining crewmembers try to deal with the alien, and while the ending is actually very different and almost an intriguing twist on the genre (if it had been in a different movie), here it's ultimately idiotic. Keep your eye on the actor playing the male lead. He suffers from serious bouts of overacting throughout the movie. These moments almost made the movie worthwhile.
And I can't go without mentioning the incredibly lame and annoying music. New Age electronic music doesn't seem like the best choice for a sci-fi horror/thriller movie. And don't miss the song at the end...the horror...the horror...
No extras, I am sad to say. I would have really enjoyed a director's commentary. Maybe I could have gotten an insight as to what went wrong. Remember kiddies, if you rip off a much better movie to make your cheap celluloid cheese, try not to be so obvious about it to the point that you are ripping off a much better movie, as viewers will notice and turn on you, especially if the movie you're borrowing from is a true classic of the genre. Watching the credits, I noticed 'The Gling' (?!) credited for the voice of GAR (the alien). Whatever...also, the credits also revealed that this movie was filmed entirely on location ...in space! My sides are splitting with laughter...
The pace of the film is odd. It starts slowly and fails to engage the viewer until the action begins. It’s confusing because of its inconsistent tone and peculiar plot twists, courtesy of writer-director Lance Lindsay. The special effects are pretty good and represent the lion’s share of the budget, but the acting is abysmal. Characters are generic types rather than people, and many are on hand solely to be brutally dispatched by the monster, the only exception to the above-average effects.
This monster harks back to those sad creatures from low-budget sci-fi films of the 50s. The final 15 minutes are nearly beyond belief. They provide a twist, but the kind that will have you scratching your head in disbelief and make you hate yourself for wasting an hour and a half you’ll never get back.
Since this is easily one of the worst science fiction movies ever, it might be fun to set up a Bad Movie Night, provide popcorn, and invite friends to marvel at the overall ineptness of cast and crew. It’s amazing that such a terrible film was actually financed and released theatrically.
There are no special features on the R-rated widescreen Blu-ray release.