Music, Sound Effects and Dialogue Excerpts
01. Part 1 (25:10)
02. Part 2 (25:51)
Featuring The Voices Of:
Mission Control: Miles Watkins
Ship's Computer: "Cookie" Knapp
Pinback, Bomb #19, #20: Dan O'Bannon
Commander Powell, Talby: John Carpenter
Boiler: Cal Kuniholm
Dolittle: Brain Narelle
Lyrics: Bill Taylor
Vocal: John Yager
Backup Musicians: John Carpenter,
Terry Winkless, Tom Wallace, Justice O'Neil
Engineer: Craig Portman
Dark Star is perhaps most notable as being the first feature film to showcase the talents of a group of people who have since achieved great success with subsequent film projects. Its director, co-author and music composer, John Carpenter, has become a widely respected director of several box-office hits including "Halloween" and "The Fog", for which he composed the musical scores as well. He is also the author of the screenplay for "The Eyes of Laura Mars", and has most recently directed "Escape from New York".
Co-author, special effects supervisor and editor Dan O'Bannon, who also plays a key character in the film, authored the story and the screenplay for the film "Alien". He is most recently the co-author of the film "Dead & Buried", and is writing a novel titled "They Bite". Special effects consultant Ron Cobb, designed the ship with O'Bannon, and created the schematics of the ship seen on the computer screens. Cobb went on to become one of the key designers for both "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Alien", and is currently production designer for the forthcoming "Conan". Greg Jein built the model for the ship during the same time he was working on "Flesh Gordon", and has since designed ships and models for "Close Encounters" and "1941". Special effects animation designer, John Wash, created the computer screen readouts, asteroid storm, and other animation effects, also created computer screens for "Star Wars", "Escape from New York", and a number of T.V. commercials, Station I.D.'s and film titles out of his Motion Graphics firm. Collaborating with Wash was Bob Greenburg who created the effects for hyperdrive, various explosions, the surfboard sequence and the Phoenix Asteroids. He is currently designing effects for Mel Brooks' film "The History of the World, Part 1", and has completed a screenplay "Bloody Noses", which O'Bannon will direct. Bill Taylor did all of the optical work, blowing the film up to 35 mm and compositing effects, as well as writing the lyrics for "Benson, Arizona". He is now Albert Whitlock's cameraman at Universal. Stop motion animator, Jim Danforth, painted the mattes for the background shots during the period he was working with Greg Jein on "Flesh Gordon". Camera operator, Doug Knapp has since been director of photography on Carpenter's second feature "Assault on Precinct 13", and camera operator on "Battlestar Galactica", "Buck Rogers" and second camera on "Escape From New York".
The filming of "Dark Star" was begun in 1970 as a 16 mm, 45 minute U.S.C. Film School short-film project between co-writers John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon. Filming continued spasmodically over the next two years as finances flowed and ebbed until completion money was provided by Jack H. Harris, who became the film's executive producer. The film's total budget was $60,000 by completion in 1974, a miracle by today's inflated budget standards.
The plot follows the misadventures of the four man crew of the Dark Star. The ship has been in space for twenty years on a mission to destroy "unstable planets" which might threaten future colonization. Comedic disaster is the order of the day, as the tedium of their task has driven the crew up the wall. Their Commander, Powell, has died and exists only via cryogenic supports. Sgt. Pinback has adopted a ship's mascot in the form of a mischievous alien "beachball with claws" that refuses to stay put. it. Dolittle dreams of surfing back in Malibu. Ship's Navigator Talby has become reclusive in the ship's dome. The computer has become dysfunctional due to damage suffered in an asteroid storm, and subsequently Bomb #20 is threatening to detonate while still in the ship's bay, it. Dolittle revives Commander Powell who advises them to teach "Phenomenology" to the Bomb. The Bomb interprets that it is God...and with the line, "Let there be light!"... explodes, sending the ship and crew into infinity as Talby drifts off into the Phoenix Asteroids and Dolittle surfs off into the Veil Nebula.
Scot W. Holton
About this Recording
This recording was made from elements of the film's three-stripe and the producer's personal print. An effort has been made to preserve the flow of the film's narrative by judicious editing of dialogue. Whole music cues, where they exist, have been allowed to play as they exist in the film, i.e.: "When Twilight Falls On NGC 891", cuts, without resolution, to "Ode To A Bell Jar", following the scene cut in the film.