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780 Ratings

Dark Star

Directed by John Carpenter
United States, 1974
Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller


The misadventures of a deep space wrecking crew. Charged with an endless mission to destroy unstable planets—and long since worn down by routine, isolation, faulty equipment, and each other—they’re slowly pushed to the edge in this offbeat, low-budget response to 2001.

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Dark Star Directed by John Carpenter

Awards & Festivals

Hugo Awards

1976 | Nominee: Best Dramatic Presentation

The whole thing is ridiculous and low-rent, but you can see some of the odd charms of both its makers. Carpenter would parlay the economic filmmaking shown here into a spate of atmospheric classics, while O’Bannon would rework the premise of a working-class ship dealing with an extraterrestrial for his script for Alien.
June 16, 2015
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The extra footage is essential to giving Dark Star its scrappy, lived-in feeling, setting it apart from just about every other sci-fi film.
November 27, 2012
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Thought this was a total bust for a while, but it gets funnier as it goes along, culminating in a glorious finale (“teach it phenomenology”) that anticipates Douglas Adams at his loopiest. Still, it’s plainly a student short that’s been padded out to feature length, and there’s virtually no sign of the compositional magnificence Carpenter would demonstrate in Assault on Precinct 13 just two years later.
April 22, 2012
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