And here we have yet another Alien copy put out by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures.
I think he might merely have distributed this one as it doesn’t have as much recognizable stock footage. Certainly it doesn’t look much cheaper than most of his cheap copies, even if the space ships and space stations do not look familiar.
It does, however, have one rather inexplicable quirk that does deserve a mention: after a sequence in which a crew of Mars explorers bring back that eponymous Star Crystal, only to have their shuttle arrive with everyone in it dead, we have a very strange interruption on board the space station that gives us a whole slew of characters and what seems to be a budding romance before everything goes wrong and all those characters exit the film. This leaves us with the few survivors who manage to escape in that same shuttle.
For quite a while this plays out as we expect, with the creature killing everyone off one by one.
But then the who story goes haywire and it turns into something very different, and reminiscent of an entirely different Eighties SF movie. I find it hard to buy the close camaraderie that results as few people would be willing to forget the first half of the film so easily. But I will admit it is quite different from the cookie cutter ending I would have expected. That’s always good.
There is one thing, though, that I have to give a little praise: the main rooms of the shuttle are connected by narrow access tubes, and the only way to get around between them is to crawl. It reminds me of the very tight spaces in modern day naval vessels, particularly submarines. Okay, they’ve carried it to an extreme, and we can tell it is the same tube they are crawling through, regardless of which part of the ship they are going to. But at least it is a little different.
It’s all mostly routine — at least until we reach the big twist.
But it least it has that.
No matter how ridiculous.
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