Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jason versus The Black Hole

Much like The Last Starfighter, The Black Hole is one of those untouchable movie memories from childhood; something that is fondly remembered but really should be left alone when it comes to revisiting the film as an adult. Yet we Basmentites keep doing that, don't we.

A research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.

And that is about it in terms of plot. In fact, nothing happens in The Black Hole for about an hour, then all hell breaks loose in glorious cinematic fashion.Yet despite the lack of action, story, characterization and an ending that makes much sense, The Black is still a bad to the ass movie. Stick with me.

For one, the ending of the film -- which puzzled the shit out of me when I was seven -- is literally a journey to hell and back. I get that as an adult. Is it the best possible ending for a piece of sci-fi escapism? No. Does it display balls? Yes.

In fact, it's the edginess of this Disney production that impressed me the most. The Black Hole was Disney's answer to Star Wars, but this is a dark flick. Uber dark. Anthony Perkins murdered in gruesome fashion by a killer robot? Traumatic in 1979, but fucking awesome in 2013. It's no wonder I ended up such a disturbed adult!

The whole movie, from the Cygnus spaceship to the look of the humanoid robots that inhabit it, are a gothic masterpiece. The Cygnus is essentially a big old scary castle in space. I really dug that, and the production design.

As for all hell breaking loose? Loved me the laser battles and the meteor sequence. The last half hour dazzled in 1979 and it dazzles again in 2013. Exciting stuff to be sure.

As for the cast, no one can resist the power of Ernest Borgnine. Sure, he was born a 65-year-old man, but he's still cool. And there's just something about Yvette Mimieux and her fine ass. Sue me for saying it, but it's true.

The Black Hole still rates a Good. It's far from perfect, but it demands to be enjoyed again and again . . . whether you're seven or 40. 
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