A research vessel stumbles upon a crazed scientist who is the
sole survivor of a large spaceship on the edge of a black hole.
The Black Hole (1979)
Directed by Gary Nelson
Written by Jeb Rosebrook and Gerry Day
Starring Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowall
Oscar Nominations - Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects
With the amount of talent behind this late 70's dud, I had very high hopes. Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Ernest Borgnine, and Roddy McDowall are all actors I've grown very fond of. But they might as well be reading their lines off conveniently placed cue cards, as they are all visibly disinterested. Apart from Schell, who is hamming it up to eleven the entire time. The only thing this film has going for it, it's one saving grace I suppose, is John Barry's brilliant, ethereal, sci-fi score. Everything else is horrendous.
A research vessel in deep space stumbles onto a missing American spaceship that's parked on the edge of a massive black hole. They're nearly dragged into the black hole themselves, but manage to make their way to the ship. They meet unstable scientist Hans Reinhardt (Schell), who is a walking red flag the second they encounter him, but nobody ever thinks twice about telling him everything about their mission and going wherever he tells them to. They overlook his obviously evil robot army as well, who turn out to be cyborgs made from the rest of the crew. Cue a confusing space battle and an ending that makes 2001 look coherent and reasonable.
It's easy to understand why this one never left the late 70's. It's a clear-cut Star Wars/Star Trek knockoff that tries so hard to be original and memorable. But that doesn't always translate to quality. The shit performances, confusing script, meaningless dialogue, and balls-out crazy ending all weigh this thing down substantially. But that score is lights out.