Friday, 18 September 2015



I'm a sucker for space movies. More or less anything set in a space station, experimental moonbase, cargo craft or mining colony, anything involving airlocks and clanky metal corridors: that's the kind of ambience and atmosphere that gets me sitting through drivel like Leprechaun 4, and that makes me really wish I'd seen Shockwave Darkside when it played FrightFest and promptly disappeared. You could make pretty much the exact same films, but set on a submarine or an Arctic research lab or the Northern Line, and for some reason I wouldn't be quite as excited.

If it's hard to maintain the faith in the light of a film as thoroughly useless as Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness, then Space Fury isn't going to help. It's a very cheap Canadian space movie which starts off as a whodunnit before realising that there's only one possible suspect, and turns into a bog-standard shouty nutjob thriller with abysmal special effects (even for 1999; they would shame the McCoy era of Doctor Who). Scientist Michael Pare treks out to an international space station with a billionaire golfer and space tourist (Tony Curtis Blondell) to do some zero-gravity experiments with microlasers or something; there are only two people on the station so surely neither of them can be the mystery killer that Moscow police are investigating....

Once it's established that Pare's the murderer (it's no spoiler, Miss Marple's pet hamster could figure that one out), there suddenly seems no sense in reining anything in so Pare becomes a bellowing, ranting lunatic who wants to destroy the space station he's standing on by crashing it into the Earth; meanwhile token babe Lisa Bingley, who gets them out for absolutely no narrative reason whatsoever beyond "phwoooar", runs around like Ripley (except not) trying to get the escape pod started and going back for the billionaire golfer instead of the cat. The highpoint, if you can call it that, has a bunch of boffins back on Earth trying to figure out how to repair the space station, like that scene in Apollo 13, while someone literally vacuums the set in the background so they all have to speak up. Rubbish, and not in a good way.


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