Low-budget story of four astronauts in deep space, whose mission is to destroy unstable planets in star systems which are to be colonised. The late Commander Powell is stored in deep freeze, where he is still able to offer advice. As their mission nears completion, they must cope with a runaway alien which resembles a beach-ball, faulty computer systems, and a "smart bomb" who thinks it is God.
Directed by: John Carpenter
. Starring: Brian Narelle
, Cal Kuniholm
, Dre Pahich
, Dan O'Bannon
, Adam Beckenbaugh
, John Carpenter
, Nick Castle
, Cookie Knapp
, Joe Saunders
, Alan Sheretz
, Miles Watkins
. Music by: John Carpenter
(There Are Spoilers) It's a dirty and boring job but somebody got to do it: Distorying unstable planets in deep space. The scout ship "Dark Star" has been navigating the Milky Way Constellation taking out unstable and rouge planets to make safe the many solar systems in it for human colonization. With let.Dolittle, Brian Narelle, in command after the captain of the "Dark Star" Capt. Powell (Joe Sounders) was killed due to a short circuit of the spaceship caused by an violent asteroid shower.
Let. Dolittle's crew consists of Boiler Talby & Pinback, Cal Kuniholm Dre Pahich & Dan O'Bannon, who have now been in space some 20 years, 3 years in earth time, and the job that their doing is really starting to get to them mentally. Trying to liven up the ship Pinback picked up this cute little alien in space that he's made the "Dark Star's" official mascot just to bring some entertainment on board. The mascot looking like a beach ball with a pair of crows feet seems to be getting very violent due to it being stuck on the ship for years with nothing to do and is becoming a threat to itself and the crew.
Both Let. Doolittle & the ship's navigator Talby have dreams about earth and the stars that keep them from going insane from the loneliness of outer space. Dolittle dreams about his days back home in Malibu Calif. riding the waves of the Pacifc on his surf board. Talby dreams of seeing the fable Phoenix Asteroid shower, that circumnavigates the universe ever 12 billion years, and is due to come within sight of the "Dark Star" any day now.
It's the ship's beach ball looking mascot who soon gets out of control as it's master Pinback tries to clam it down. That's by giving it something to eat which in return it almost ends up killing him. Fed up with the mascot's antics, that are a danger to the ship and it's crew, Pinback finally shoots it with his ray-gun thus deflating and killing it.
Things get even worse for the "Dark Star" when it runs into a asteroid shower that, unknowing to Let. Doolittle and the crew, knocks out one of the ships lasers that controls the bombs used to obliterate the unstable planets. With the "Dark Star" now within range of a new targeted unusable planet it's ready to launch bomb #20 to detonate it. What Let. Dolittle doesn't know is that bomb #20 is unable to be launched and will explode the "Dark Star" if he arms it.
Talby finding the damaged laser, shaft #17, tries to get in touch with Let. Dolittle to stop him from activating bomb #20 but is too late. Let. Dolittle had already armed it and the bomb has 24 minutes left for it to blast off. Realizing what he did Let. Dolittle goes to see the deceased Capt. Powell who's in what seems to be an advanced state of suspended animation. Cryonicly frozen with his brain still working Capt. Powell tells Dolittle to just talk to it, the bomb, using the science of phenomenology to convince it not to explode itself as well as the crew of the "Dark Star". But as we soon find out the bomb had developed a mind of it's own which isn't on the same wavelengths as that of that of Let. Doolittle!
Sci-fi classic with direction and imagination that more then make up for it's cartoon-like special effects. Both Let. Dolittle & navigator Talby survive the "Dark Star's" destruction due to them being thrown clear from it and are left helplessly floating in their star or spacesuits in dark and endless space.
As the movie ends both the crewmen have their final wish come true. Talby is swept up by the Phoenix Astorides and becomes part of them circling the endless universe forever. Now alone and with no hope of surviving Let. Dolittle grabs onto a piece of debris floating in space from the shattered "Dark Star" and Using it like a surf board Let. Dolittle gets that perfect wave he alway look for back surfing on earth. As the film ends Let. Doolittle sails into the atmosphere of the unstable planet that the spaceship "Dark Star" was to destroy. And as he does he slowly burns to a crisp by doing it to the Country & Western tune of "Benson Arizona".
Review by sol from the Internet Movie Database.