Sunday, January 22, 2012

Space Spoofs!

Enough Bronze-age myth, let's get back out into space, where things are fun.

Dark Star

The film-

John Carpenter's first film.

Also, written by, and featuring, Dan O' Bannon, of "Alien", and "Return of the Living Dead", and "Heavy Metal", fame.

I always thought a bunch of fuzz-faced geeky fellas on a spaceship was a goof on Lucas and Spielberg.
Man, they need the air let out of their egos more than ever, don't they?

Probably a goof on "2001: A Space Odyssey", too.
Which, ironically, this manages to sorta be deeper than.

The budget on this is bargain basement, but that only adds to its charms.
Like, the 8-track tape video units, and the beach ball monster.
Check it out.

The history-


Pay attention to those lyrics, they're actually about relativity, and space travel, and are kinda grim.
John Carpenter wrote that, BTW.


The film-

The only one of these I haven't seen...but shit, I've got to now...

The history-



The film-

Very strange film to nail down both genre wise, and description wise.

Not an outright satire/spoof/parody like the rest of these, but it has a dark humor to it, and it had to go somewhere.

One of those little known, and underrated ones I like to pimp from time to time.

Smart people like it.
It was well received in Europe.
Same old routine with that.

Can't tell you much without spoiling it, it does indeed have an android in it.
Think Data's character arc if it went darker.

Oh, also, everyone's on a kick lately of seeing where SF predicted tech we have today, well, Android was, I think, the only one to outright predict cyber-porn.
Certainly the earliest.

The history-

80's HBO, still remember it clearly and fondly.

Airplane II: The Sequel

The film-

Didn't live up to the first one, and where it falls flat, is actually whenever it recycles the first one's jokes.

Any time it stays on course in being a knock on the various space epics, it shines.

Its only mistake, was probably in being an "Airplane!", sequel.
I can see where they wanted to play with other genres, but drag the audience of "Airplane!", along with them, but...yeah, didn't work, as there wasn't a part 3, was there?

The irony being, much later on, the "Scary Movie", franchise had way more success in playing with every genre, and still carrying along the "Scary movie", banner.

See my rant in James Bond on "people being ready".

The history-



The film-

A.K.A "The Creature Wasn't Nice", A.K.A "Naked Space".

If you want it on DVD, look it up under that last title.

It's got Cindy Williams, Leslie Nielson, and Patrick McNee...and...yeah, it's not so great...

Oh, it's watchable.
Shit, it's quantum leaps better than "2001: A Space Travesty".

The history-

80's HBO.
Also, this.

Ice Pirates

The film-

If you're a gen-xer, and you missed out on Ice Pirates, where the fuck were ya, under a rock??

I still love this one, anyone who says it doesn't hold up can kiss my ass under Filene's bay window.

It's as cool and fun as it is funny.
It's the "Galaxy Quest", of its day.

The history-


The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The series/film-

See here.

Much prefer the TV series, loved it ever since the 80's PBS showings, although the film did have its pluses.

The history-

From here...

Mostly Harmless

I was so jazzed that a new Hitchhikers was coming out.
I had read, and reread, and re-reread, and re-re-reread this series all through the 80's, since 4th grade, and loved, loved, loved them.

So, Hitchhikers 5 was like...well, Star Wars prequels, a big fucking deal. kind of disapointed...but, in hindsight, nowhere near as much as Star Wars prequels.
With age, I've warmed to its charms.
The ending is still a bummer though.
Then Douglas had to go and fucking die on us.
Yeah, I know, they tied the series up with "...and another thing", and I'm sure it resolves the plot threads of the characters, and I'm sure it's cute...but no way it's gonna have the genius of Douglas Adams.
I can't bring myself to read it.
Well, I got my leather-bound collection of the original five, that's my treasure.
Always will be.
Wish I could swear on the thing in court, or if I became president.
What a cool world that'd be eh?


The film-

Well, DUH!

Almost put this in Star Wars, you don't know how close it got....

Geez, I struggle to throw in a quote that hasn't been done to death on this...

Well, here's one I live my life by, and love to throw out in religion debates "the ring is bupkiss! The Schwartz is in you, Lonestar, it's in you!!".

The history-

Come on, it's as much a cultural milestone as 'Wars itself.

Red Dwarf

The film/series-

Yeah, I loopholed it in as a "movie", with "Back to Earth", but, I really wanna talk about the whole thing....

About the misadventures of the last human being in the universe frozen 3 million years into the future, a hologram of his dead former roommate, a humanoid evolved from the descendants of his cat, an android they pick up in a later season, and the intelligent ship's computer that's gone senile.

There were also novels of this, and I think they're up there with Douglas Adams for goodness.

See below for the rest...

The history-

See here...

Loved it.
There was nothing quite like it, and still hasn't been to this day.
It's comedy sci-fi from BBC if you haven't seen it, and it's just fucking great.
Think Futurama meets Hitchhiker's Guide.
It started out with a shoestring budget, and I actually liked it better then.
It was like, a sitcom in space, complete with laugh track, and I dug that vibe.
You don't get many sitcoms in space, and if ya do, they must mostly suck, and get axed before broadcast.
Anyway, later seasons, they got more money to play with, so it became more like a funny Star Trek.
Which is still cool, and the characters were still the driving force,, those first 3 seasons had a little more magic to 'em.
But...that's just my opinion.
Anyway, track the DVDs down for these, great show.
I hear they're actually doing another season soon.

Course, "Back to Earth", was that "new season", and there's a newer Tenth Season coming this year.


The films/series-

A.K.A "Tales From A Parallel Universe".

So, this started off as a series of 4 back-to-back feature-length films, then spun off into the mainline series, rendering the films "Season 1", of what became "LEXX".

Nothing else is quite like this, and I predict nothing else will ever be.
I miss it a lot.

Hmm....almost impossible to describe, and do it justice...

Definitely satirical.
Brutally, savagely so.

In what turned out to be the final season, they come to Earth, and it's nakedly satire at that point.
They rip into not just American politics, mass media, culty religions, and consumerism with a jackhammer, but celebrity, the pretense of artists, the ego of celebrity scientists, everything.
It's like the racist jokes aliens would tell about humans.
It's fucking beautiful.

The history-

My favorite scene in that season, indeed of anything ever, is their ship (The LEXX) fires off a "warning shot", that has too much kick to it, and obliterates Orlando Florida.
Disney World, Epcot, Gatorland Zoo, all gone.
But, that's not the funny part, we see it from the perspective of a family in a station wagon making the tortured drive from somewhere in the midwest out to see this stuff, and the kids are bouncing in the back going "we wanna go to Gatorland! We wanna go to Gatorland!!", and Orlando blows up, and a dead gator lands on the hood, and the kids start bawling, and the dad starts evilly  laughing like a maniac.

*Warm grin*
Ahhh. :)

Galaxy Quest

The film/history-

See here.

2001: A Space Travesty

The film-'s titled properly....

It's not irony, it's a damned disgrace.

Oh, well, Leslie, at least the "Scary Movies", you did were better.
And the first "Airplane!", and the first 2 Naked Guns will live forever.

Miss you, Original Kirk.

The history-

Comedy Central.

The Futurama Movies

The films/series-

See here...

Yep, this owes a debt to all that came before.
You just don't poop out the sci-fi-comedy genre in one go, I don't care how smart you are.
It took a few trial runs.

Thank you, pioneers!

The history-

The shitty evil FOX network, then, The John Stewart Channel

Ah, there, that one cheered me up.

Up next, Blaxploitation!

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