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Dark Star

Director: John Carpenter Run Time: 83 min. Format: DCP Rating: G Release Year: 1974

Starring: Dan O’Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle

As John Carpenter’s first (read: student) film, Dark Star has a certain unpolished quality to it but, yet, it still bears the markings of what his future feature films would look like. It’s a space adventure story about a crew, twenty years into their mission, who find that things start to go hysterically wrong: there’s a mysterious creature who has gone from pet to terroriser, a dead commander frozen with no advice to offer, and a computer in the throes of an existential crisis. Look beyond its amateur quality (one character is played by multiple actors) and there’s substantive material being addressed here: who am I and why do I exist?