1991, Movies

Dead Space (1991, Fred Gallo)

This is a super low-budget Alien rip off that sometimes owes more to some of the ’80s films inspired by Alien than it does to the original film, though other times it is transparently ripping off Alien. But the budget is so low that it’s not always clear it’s actually ripping it off, because they just don’t have the means to do a good enough job.

Singer really reminds me of someone. I thought I had seen him in something else, and I have, but I really thought he worked more so he must remind me of some other actor like him. This is an early movie role for Bryan Cranston – who seems like he will be the bad guy – so I guess that’s of interest. Some of the cast is definitely better than the film deserves, though there is also the guy playing Tim, who seems like he is in another movie.

The budget is really low, we’re limited to a few sets and some external shots that are, as usual, clearly just California. And the special effects don’t really help. Sometimes in these types of films a particular aspect of the production, like the makeup or the puppets or whatever, will be better than everything else, but I don’t really remember anything standing out. (I am writing this a week later. It’s a long story.) Everything just feels pretty cheap.

The story is at least an attempt at doing something a little different. There is this angle of “saving everyone” which is definitely old hat but also isn’t in every single one of these films. And Cranston’s turn is unexpected, which is something I guess you could say for the film.

But the cheapness permeates everything and the script is full of lazy lines that feel cribbed from other films of this ilk. The cast are better than average for this type of film, but that’s not saying much.


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