måndag 16 juli 2012

Spaceship terror

I am truly a sucker for horror movies set in space, I will watch anything that comes in my hands. I've spent hundreds of hours watching every damn alien clone set in a dingy warehouse or factory that is supposed to stand in for a spaceship or a colony on an alien planet. I've even watched just about every god damn movie set on an oilrig or in a government facility, may it be produced by Bruno Mattei, Nu image or Asylum. I will watch it. A lot of the movies, if not most of them, have been utter crap but this has not deterred me. It will not deter me. I want my horror set in space. Or at least it to be an Alien rip-off set on an oilrig or secret government facility. Anything. The last few years have actually been quite good for the genre with several low budget scifihorrors popping such as Plaguers, Dark Lurking and Interplanetary. All of this probably stems from watching Norwegian sci-fi miniseries Blindpassasjer (stowaway) at the tender age of about six which is set on a spaceship heading for earth where a creature/artificial human has killed one of the crew and taken his/hers place as an exact replica. (The original name of the story is Hvem av oss er den drepte = Which one of us is the murder victim which kinda fills you in what the story is about). The cool part about this series is the fact that it was made in 1978, the year before Alien was released ad feature several scenes very reminiscent of Alien, the most striking one is starting with the characters waking up from cryosleep, albeit a bit more low tech than in Ridley Scotts masterpiece. But all of this is taking me away from the reason I am writing this, namely Harry Tchinksis Spaceship Terror, a movie I purchased 10 minutes after finding out that it existed. Horror in space. I had to own it.

The dvdcover does quite a good job of explaining the movie as you can see above. Six women and one mad killer heading out into deep space. A group of scantily clad women (and one injured guy who is the first to die) end up on a spaceship controlled by a psychopath hell-bent on killing and torturing women. And that’s just about what you need to know to enjoy this.

Firstly, Spaceship terror has a lot of flaws and most of them are budgetreleated. Having a movie set on a spaceship on a budget of pennies clearly restricts what you can show on screen and this shows. Most of the gore and violence is old school make up trickery and executed well enough, but the digital effects are quite the opposite. They have the feel of being rejected Babylon 5 test footage and make Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 look like multimillion dollar epics. The sets, consisting of two rooms and about as many corridors, (probably the same, only shot from different angles) look like they will wobble apart any second. They are reasonably well designed though, looking suitably grimy and dirty. I suppose that this is something that I personally am more inclined to accept, having grown up on the before mentioned British TV-shows so it is never a major issue but the cgi-aided gore is much harder to look past. The script has an intriguing premise and I can imagine that the filmmakers wanted something straight out of the Ridley Scott school of visual doom but the resources available never allowed them to come even close.

The good stuff? The sleazy atmosphere. The villain is probably the best part of the whole thing and Jay Wesley Cochran seems to have a really good time doing nasty stuff to all the seminude females he drags to his little torture dungeon. Kristen Springer in the lead role is surprisingly good, way better than i expected (and even more so compared to the acting of some of the actresses that only are in the movie to scream and be tortured to death). The nastiness done with old school effects is nicely nasty apart from a strangely edited scene where the bad guy bites off a nipple without the latex never actually ripping of the actress, a probable editing mistake since the nipple is gone in the next scene.

In the end Spaceship terror is a bit of a wasted opportunity. I was never bored, which says a lot but I'm pretty sure a lot of people will be turned off by the general cheapness of it. I will probably never watch it again but on the other hand I don't regret buying it. I got it from here

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