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In Space No One Can Hear you Scream… or Groan   6 comments

I made the decision to check out Apollo 18 last week. It had been sitting on the ole’ Netflix queue for a while and let me tell you, it should have stayed there.  Wow, did it suck.

If you haven’t seen it, Apollo 18 is a sleep inducing found footage horror film about two astronauts being attacked by giant spiders on the moon. Spoiler warning, they die, and by the end of the sluggish 90 minute film you’ll be glad to see them go.  Well… assuming you are still awake or haven’t gone off to do something more exciting, like cleaning out the junk underneath your bed.

ap18

If Syfy had made this movie and just called it Moon Spiders it would have been 100 times better.

While I can’t recommend Apollo 18, this did get me to thinking about horror movies that take place in space.  There is of course the Alien series; and a personal favorite of mine, the often overlooked and poorly reviewed Event Horizon. But then there are the times when a long running franchise seems loses faith in its established formula and attempts to breathe new life into itself by sending its primary antagonist into space.

First Space, then Da Hood!

First Space, then Da Hood!

OH LOOK! I’ve made a list of them! By my count this has happened four horrendous times.

Critters 4 – 1992

Of all of the film series to make the jump to space Critters makes the most sense.  The Critters were from outer space, after all and all of the films involved shifting alien bounty hunters.  Space just made sense as a place for the story to go.  Supporting character Charlie from the previous films accidentally gets locked into stasis with the last two eggs of the carnivorous fur balls that have been terrorizing  people throughout the series.  He wakes up on a space station to discover that it is the year 2045.  Critters get lose! Oh no! How could that have happened?

The original Critters and its three sequels were favorites of mine as a kid.  They combined violence in comedy in a way that any nine year old boy can get true entertainment out of.  They represent the odd movie monster that gets less threatening from film to film, with each  installment dropping of some of their abilities.  My guess is due to budget restrictions.   In the first movie they could shoot poison darts, grow larger depending on how much they ate, and could combine together into a giant man eating fur ball.  By the last installment all they did was kill and eat.

Aside from the Critters of the fourth film being the least threatening, the stakes in this film are also at their lowest.  Where as in the previous films the Critters could have been a threat to the Earth, these ones could only be a threat to the people on the space station.  A grand total of seven people.

Best IN SPACE moment:

The space station they are on is so old that may explode at any time, and the computer program that runs it is malfunctioning and does the opposite of what ever the crew asks it to do.  So apparently at some point in the near future we are going to start packing space stations with explosives and never bother with software maintenance.  Sounds like a smart plan.

Hellraiser IV – Bloodline – 1996

The first thing to know about the forth film in the Hellraiser series is that its director is listed as Alan Smithee, describe by Wikipedia as:  “an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project.”  The second thing to know is that it is the film debut of Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott!

The story spans several centuries as it tells the untold story of the origin of Pinhead’s puzzle box (which allows him to leave Hell, if you are not familiar with the series).  The primary focus being about a satellite in the year 2127.  Pinhead and his merry band of BDSM enthusiasts are loose and attacking the satellite’s crew.  The satellite is headed up by a descendant of the puzzle box’s creator, who is intent on trapping Pinhead away for good.

The first Hellraiser is a true classic of horror.  Suspenseful, gory, mysterious…  Hellrasier Bloodline is a true mess.  The three story lines are disjointed, the acting generally ranged from flat to bad, and setting it in space did nothing for the story.  Apparently in the Hellraiser universe space stations look like the same drab basements that Pinhead had been skulking around in for the previous three films.

Best IN SPACE moment:

Pinhead is tricked into getting himself trapped on the space station for eternity by way of a hologram.  Yep, centuries of power and semi-omnipotence and he is fooled by a light show.  Way to go Pinhead.

Leprechaun 4: In Space – 1996

Warwick Davis, what were you thinking making this shit movie?

A talented artist whose range has been limited only by his size.  It is a lucky thing for any actor to have steady work, so I guess he had to do what he had to do.  Thank God that the Harry Potter movies came along to free him from that, or we could have seen Leprechaun make a third trip to Tha Hood. The fourth of the six films in the franchise saw the titular monster head to outer space in his attempts to woo an malevolent alien princess with a penchant for taking her top off.  It was her way of saying “I’m going to kill you.” How quaint…

This movie has everything: genetic spider freaks, self destructing ships, Sudden-LepreGiant-Decompression…

Whats is Sudden-LepreGiant-Decompression?

Its that thing where you use an enlargement ray on a Leprechaun and then blast it out a space ship’s air lock so it explodes.

The best thing you can say about this movie is that at least it had the decency not to take it self seriously.  The horror is all played for laughs over scares.  Not that it is funny particularly funny, either.

Be on the look out for Leprechaun Origins, a reboot/prequel in the works from the WWE

Best IN SPACE moment:

The life force of the Leprechaun swims up a space marine’s pee stream and into his body while the space marine urinates on the supposedly dead Leprechaun’s body.  The Leprechaun is later reborn by exploding from said space marine’s crotch.

Jason X – 2001

Optimus Prime providing the narration on this one.

The movie opens up with the US government finally having caught the unstoppable killing machine, Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th franchise.  Unable to execute him they elect to freeze him in a cryogenics lab and call it a day.  Not a bad plan.  That is until one day in the far future a group of sex teenagers on an archeological dig find the killer and thaw him out! IN SPACE!

A greedy professor attempts to bring Jason back to Earth Two (real original, guys) to sell his body to a collector for big bucks.  So then… you know… lots of murder happens and his plan falls through.

Freezer Burned Jason is upgraded by the ship’s medical program and becomes Uber Jason.  He rampages about, somehow remaining hidden on the space ship that has no security or surveillance equipment, but does have a Star Trek The Next Generation style holodeck and fully functioning sexy female robot who just wants to be loved.

Movie ends with Jason getting blown out of an airlock (like you do) and his remains crashing into the Earth Two equivalent of Camp Crystal Lake.

Despite being terrible, the film spawned a series of books chronicling the further adventures of Space Jason.

Best IN SPACE moment:

One of the sexy teens is pulled out of a hole in the hull of the ship and takes a moment to shout “This sucks on so many levels!

What is your favorite space-horror movie? Do any of these films hold a place in your heart? Tell me below!

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6 responses to “In Space No One Can Hear you Scream… or Groan

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  1. I have to admit, Leprechaun 4 has a special place in my heart. It’s just SO BAD. (The self-awareness helps.) I kind of adore it.

  2. Special thanks going out to my buddy John for helping me with typos from an earlier version of this post! always I strive to keep things correct, but sometimes my fingers out pace my eyes.

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