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A Movie A Day: Quint visits THE BLACK HOLE (1979)
The word 'impossible' is only found in the dictionary of fools.

Published at: July 13, 2008, 2:46 a.m. CST by quint



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Today we follow Anthony Perkins over from yesterday’s THE MATCHMAKER to the late ‘70s Disney Sci-Fi adventure THE BLACK HOLE. The word from you guys on this one has been all over the map, some saying it’s impossible to sit through, some saying it’s great and not to listen to the haters. Yeah, the movie’s goofy. Yeah, the Slim Pickens robot looks cartoony. Yeah, the movie is trying to recplicate the success of Star Wars. But the movie held a whole lot of nostalgia for me, even without having grown up with it like so many of you guys. It’s the model work and use of effects. I love the serious Disney live-action effects of this era. There’s a feeling to the effects in THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, THE BLACK HOLE and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES that really makes me warm and happy inside. And then there’s the crazy-eyed performance of Maximilian Schell… but I’m getting ahead of myself. What you have is a research vessel out in space helmed by Robert Forster and his crew comprised of Anthony Perkins, in a Spock-like capacity, Yvette Mimieux as a telepath, Joseph Bottoms as the reckless young crewmate (and looking strangely like Matt Damon with a caveman-ish brow), Ernest Borgnine as the smart-ass… well, Ernest Borgnine-like character and their trusty robot, VINCENT, voiced by the late, great Roddy McDowall. They come across a giant black hole and also the (seemingly) lifeless ship resting right at the lip of the Black Hole. It’s the very first US spacecraft to go out, one that never returned and was thought lost forever. Mimieux’s father served on the ship, so she begins to get her hopes up that she’ll be reunited. There is a strange occurance, though. The substantial gravitational pull from the black hole isn’t having any effect on the old ship, so something is keeping it in place. When they investigate they find the creepy bearded Maximilian Schell at the helm, along with his robot crew that he’s built over the last few decades, including one scary-ass big red fucker with a giant red half-moon eye and a pair of cuisinarts for hands. They try to keep it ambiguous, but you know damn well that Schell’s a villain in the flick. An old beat-up robot called BOB (Slim Pickens) joins our group as they attempt to get off the spaceship before the crazy Schell drives it into the black hole, obsessed with discovering what’s on the other side. Now BOB is probably what people think of when they think of the cheesy robot effects. BOB looks fake as hell and today will only remind you of Cartman. Seriously. Look at him:

But it’s Slim Pickens and he brings enough warmth to the character that you still give a shit what happens to him. Same goes for Macdowall’s VINCENT. I’m sure if I saw the film as a kid I’d love it, but as it is I don’t hate it, in fact I like a lot of it. The action at the end is so slow and forced that it’s hard to build suspense, but I have to give any movie with the crazy fucking ending this one has its props. Especially if that movie is a kid’s flick that ends with a human/robot hybrid Satan overseeing Hell inside the black hole (while our heroes apparently go through a 2001-ending inspired heaven). That’s fucked up enough to get me to give the flick a pass. Final thoughts: The flick is a little clunky, but the design of the ships, the fantastic model work, the fun watching people like Perkins, Forster, Schell and Borgnine play together and the incredibly nostalgic pre-digital animation effects made up for it. Add on an attempt at a mind-fuck, nightmare inducing ending and you get an interesting flick to look back on. The schedule for the next 7 days is: Sunday, July 13th: VENGEANCE IS MINE (1974) Monday, July 14th: STRANGE INVADERS (1983) Tuesday, July 15th: SLEUTH (1972) Wednesday, July 16th: FRENZY (1972) Thursday, July 17th: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT (2005) Friday, July 18th: CADILLAC MAN (1990) Saturday, July 19th: THE SURE THING (1985) Tomorrow we follow Ernest Borgnine over to ‘70s exploitation flick VENGEANCE IS MINE! See you folks then! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker

Readers Talkback

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  • July 13, 2008, 2:56 a.m. CST

    greedo shoots ...

    by frankenfickle

    you know the rest.

  • July 13, 2008, 2:57 a.m. CST

    and by the way

    by frankenfickle

    i have been looking forward to this review. thanks quint.

  • July 13, 2008, 3 a.m. CST

    I just watched this the other day...

    by Bootskin

    My wife absolutley could not understand how the hell i used to love this flick as a kid. It's kind of sad, because there was actually PROMISE to this idea, and somewhere along the way they completely lost focus. It's like somebody saw 2001 while they were filming it and said "Holy shit! Let's do THAT movie!" Weird flick, but worth watchign anyway.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:06 a.m. CST

    To not speak of the great score...

    by Roderich

    is a crime! One of the best film-music ever and the main reason the ending works so fine.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Liked this when I was VERY young...

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    ...but not so know.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:23 a.m. CST

    WHAT ABOUT THAT JOHN BARRY SCORE...??

    by greigy just wanted to say

    Sure a massive plus point in any film fans book... and maximiliun while we're at it...!!!!

  • July 13, 2008, 3:31 a.m. CST

    The score...

    by Bootskin

    If you think the score is so great, watch the dvd, and let the menu cycle through a few times. You'll never want to hear that again.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Black Hole lollys!

    by BiggusDickus

    This takes me back to being a kid here in England. Part of the marketing for this movie had our local shop selling Black Hole ice-lollys (don't know what you Yanks call 'em, but frozen, sugary drinks on a stick - you know what I mean!) Anyway, these ones were black (obviously) and cola flavoured and had strawberry ice in the middle. Damn things turned your lips black for half the day. Fantastic!<p>Nostalgia, eh? Can't beat it!

  • July 13, 2008, 3:38 a.m. CST

    BiggusDickus

    by Boba Fat

    While we're hijacking this talkback with lolly (popsicle) nostalgia, remember the Dracula one that turned your mouth and lips blood red?. Anyway, nostalgia isn't what it used to be and I did buy this film the other day but haven't got round to watching it yet. I seen bits or remember odd bits but thought I'd give it a go. That pictures of the robot Quint dug out can't be the actual one from the film though. I looks like it's made from play doh!

  • July 13, 2008, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Bootskin...

    by Roderich

    There is no DVD in oir region (Europe), sniff, nor is the full sountrack available (had it on record then).<p> Anyway, we used the score extensively while playing roleplaying games (Call of Cthulhu) over many hours and never got anyone tired of it. It's just that great.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Wasn't there some kind of controversy?

    by DerLanghaarige

    I remember that at least one of the characters got a pretty intense (although off screen) death scene, where he is killed by a robot with a giant driller or something (Yeah, it's been a while...) and I read somewhere (Again: It's been a while) that parents complained about that much violence in a Disney movie.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Score and title sequence

    by kwisatzhaderach

    This was one of my faves as a kid. I used to have the record and read-along book, remember those? Anyways, fantastic title sequence and amazing John Barry score. I'll always have a fondness for The Black Hole. Quint, you have two treats coming up next week, Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut and The Sure Thing.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Roderich

    by Boba Fat

    I bought it from amazon.co.uk - region 2 - this week and it was £4.98. The score was once posted on a blog called "52 Zombies and one Bullet" I think the blog is no more but the page is still floating around.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST

    One of My favorites

    by LeviDTinker

    This is one of my alltime favorite movies, I dont care what any one else thinks. <br> The movie was the second movie i saw in theatres as a kid, and i still love it to this day.<br> It took me forever to finally get a cd of the score,which is widely considered to be among John Barrys best.<br> For the person who made the crack about just letting the menu cycle through <br>and then never wanting to here the theme again.<br> if its such a crappy score why does a used copy of it fetch over 100 bucks on cd.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Empire Strikes Back Lolly's

    by reni

    ... were green and 'hundreds & thousands' on them. Pretty tasty! Oh DerLanghaarige, it's Perkins who gets drilled I think. Heavy death for a PG but it was the seventies. Things were simpler then.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Yeh the score is awesome, and the film a gem

    by quantize

    FUK DA HATERZ!

  • July 13, 2008, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Merchandise

    by Shoegeezer

    That Old Bob pic looks like the Mego toy version. Mego turned down Lucas and Star Wars and went out of business releasing lines based on any sci-fi film they could get their hands on. Their Black Hole line was pretty bade, the robots were ok but who'd want dolls of Borgnine and Tony Perkins - well, I would now, but that's too late. Black Hole also had a poster and an Alan Dean Foster tie-in novel as well as the soundtrack lp (up there with Barry's work for The Specialist for best-music-for-unmade-Bond). Black Hole shows how slow Hollywood reacted to the Star Wars boom. It's so middle-aged in cast, crew and attitude. Disney basically put 20,000 Leagues into outer space because they could think of nothing else to do. The effects are beautiful, speaking volumes for the old-school talent, none of that ILM model kit bashing, the Black Hole miniatures were machined out of brass and suchlike. Stunning Matte work and the whirlpool-like image of the Black Hole makes no sense but is fabulous none the less.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    It's been years

    by Aswann

    but I remember really being into this film when I was a kid. I had the toys and a HUGE model of Schell's spaceship. Talking of film related snacks...does anybody remember the corn snacks called "Jaws" that used to be sold in England in the late 70's and early 80's? I'm sure they were a tie in to the Spielberg movie.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    this movie creeped me out

    by El Borak

    something wicked was awesome.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    reni

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Thanks for the nostalgia, I used to love those Empire Strikes Back lollies. Man.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    Hey is Event Horizon derived from this?

    by Dogmatic

    I need to see Black Hole on its own merits but this plot description makes it sound like the Disney pre-cursor to the movie that really fucked up my dreams for awhile...Event Horizon. Anybody?

  • July 13, 2008, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Kwisatzhaderach

    by reni

    Thanks man.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Shoegeezer

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Good point about the FX work. Can anybody really say that today's soulless CG animation is better?

  • July 13, 2008, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Dogmatic

    by Aswann

    Now you mention it, the 2 do share a lot of similarites. Event Horizon would have been improved greatly by some Borgnine though.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Jaws crisps

    by Boba Fat

    http://tinyurl.com/65z975

  • July 13, 2008, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Cheers Boba

    by Aswann

  • July 13, 2008, 4:16 a.m. CST

    i had a lot of the book / lps

    by El Borak

    all the star wars, raiders and a ton of disney ones. fox and the hound, robin hood, etc.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:19 a.m. CST

    vengeance is mine

    by jigsaw

    hope you enjoy this one, there's a pretty strong resemblance between it and Zodiac. The stunning camerawork, the epic dramatic treatment of an infamous killer and the brief, sickening moments of violence. It's often excessive, but never for its own sake.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:20 a.m. CST

    i want to rent this

    by El Borak

    my mom is still freaked out by it. she's like "i took you to see it (as a child) and you fell asleep. then i was glad because the scary ass robot dragged the guy to hell or something."

  • July 13, 2008, 4:21 a.m. CST

    The Cobwebbed Room

    by Boba Fat

    is a great blog full of pics of old UK horror merchandise aimed at kids. They certainly wouldn't get away with it today but I bought most of it at the time. I was a sucker for anything with a horror connection. Now, what film were we talking about?

  • July 13, 2008, 4:24 a.m. CST

    El Borak

    by kwisatzhaderach

    You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear R2 beep like this.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:24 a.m. CST

    speaking of event horizon...

    by El Borak

    when i was about 16 i took my eight year old brother to see event horizon. i told my folks we were going to something else and man that movie was fucked up. then the lights come up and my mom and stepdad are in the back row. my mom bitched at me for two straight hours for taking my little bro to that.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:26 a.m. CST

    ha ha true

    by El Borak

    those were good times. before you become aware that everything in life is horrible. ha ha!

  • July 13, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    this movie always freaked me out

    by geraldbeans

    I remember leaving this movie and thinking, "I didn't like that. That was really weird and freaky." I never wanted to revisit it again. But thanks to this column, I have to.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen this for years....

    by giger167

    I do have fond memories of the effects though, I recall pouring over magazines at the time of release at the ships and the robots, they were quite beautiful, and I seem to recall them going for a insanely deep effect on the starfield effects to create depth using deeps blues rather than the normal black effect at the time. There is a direct link in the look as well between this and Event Horizon, a kind of retro-metal effect that was also popular at the time (I think made popular by the Heavy Metal magazine at this time with a heavy european look and now being revisited by games like Bio Shock) Think I will wait till it is cleaned up and given the hi-def treatment it deserves before checking it out again, would be cool to revisit it if it ever gets a proper makeover :) Great cast as well by the way :)

  • July 13, 2008, 4:49 a.m. CST

    John Barry

    by Quint

    His score is fantastic. I didn't bring it up only because I was rushing to get the review up as soon as I could. My schedule's all sorts of wacky lately and the review was late as it was, so I just kinda winged it, without reading back over. But you guys are right. It's definitely a highlight of the movie.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:13 a.m. CST

    had the bedsheets of this one

    by presidentevil

    it was a decent rip off of star wars, and it was a little corny, but quint is right, the ending did get alot trippy , and went in a direction that is very surprising for an disney flick,the ending is a little twisted for the very young kiddies, the freaks behind the mirror masks always weirded me out, and i still think about them from time to time, this movie could have potential for a remake, if in the right hands...tighten up the script and leave out the cheese though 3*/5*

  • July 13, 2008, 5:59 a.m. CST

    The Black Hole soundtrack...

    by jimmy rabbitte

    ...is available on iTunes.<p> It's credited to John Barry and it's full title is The Black Hole (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). <p> It lists at $9.90. Of course, you don't get an album jacket when you buy it digitally; but atleast it's out there in some form.

  • July 13, 2008, 6 a.m. CST

    Thanks Quint

    by Diagnostic

    Enjoyed the read. I will be watching for a Hudson Hawk review.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Wasn't there a JAWS cereal too?

    by palimpsest

    I remember having a BLACK HOLE diorama thing with transfers of the characters. Every big movie seemed to have them around 1980 - I'm sure I had a SUPERMAN II one as well, and probably loads of others... Disney was going through a (comparatively) dark phase then: BLACK HOLE, WATCHER IN THE WOODS, SOMETHING WICKED, DRAGONSLAYER...

  • July 13, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST

    "The Black Hole" is amazing...

    by 24200124

    My parents let me see this movie several times in the movie theaters when I was a child, and it was one of the first videotapes we actually bought from a store. That was at least 26 years ago. Having watched it recently with both the Anchor Bay release and the anamorphic Disney release, I can still safely say that I enjoy the hell out this flick. The physical effects make "The Phantom Menace" look like dogshit. When they say "they don't make 'em like they used to", truer words have never been spoken... also, did you know that this was Disney's first PG-rated film?

  • July 13, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    That's it - going to re-watch this tonight

    by palimpsest

    Decision made. BREACH will have to go back on the Lovefilm (that's Netflix for us limeys) pile for the time being.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Of recent days...

    by 24200124

    (Sorry, I meant to post this as well...) <br> Also, it seems that a lot is owed this movie by several things. First, "Event Horizon". When I saw that, the first thing I thought was, "Wow, that was fucked up. I liked it!" and the second thing was, "Wait. Lifeless derelict in space, crew goes to find it, crew gets fucked by whatever's on that ship, surviving crew has to make it out separately from main part of ship... dude, this is an R-rated version of 'The Black Hole'. No wonder I liked it!" <br> Second was the two-part "Doctor Who", whose titles are "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". Crew arrives on lifeless derelict in space, hovering impossibly near a black hole, crew gets FUCKED by Satan and the Ood, crew barely makes it out alive after having lost some people... and on top of all that, I'm pretty sure that they knew what they were doing, even so far as to include a sound effect straight from "The Black Hole" of a ship lifting off. <br> And yes, the death involving the whirling blades still freaks me out, mostly due to how the person screams - it sounds like he's gargling and can't scream properly, which just sounds horrible... Thanks for the review, Quint!!

  • July 13, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST

    I saw this as a kid but never understood

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    the end. They go into the hole, and I recall seeing Maximillian holding the body of Schell for whatever reason as he didn't care to save him earlier. Then instead of the visor weren't there a paid of eyes behind it now like he was some sort of cyborg now or gained a soul or something? Very psychadelic/dream sequence-ish. I just didn't get it, and will haveto re-watch. How could I forget it was Roddy McDowell who did VINCENT. I need a refresher for sure. Oh, and the new cover art is terrible. The orginal was much better.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:26 a.m. CST

    24200124

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Yeah, there was loads of Black Hole references in The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. Anybody who hasn't given the new Doctor Who a try should watch those two episodes, they're better than most genre films these days.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Heloise & The Savoir Faire

    by Zonkk

    I remember seeing this in the drive-in when I was a kid in Zimbabwe. Totally loved it and Maximilion (the red robot) really scared me, especially with his whirling blades. Got the sticker book and the Viewmaster 3D viewer for it. There's a great band from New York called Heloise & The Savoir Faire (on Elijah Wood's label) who's LP I bought after seeing them live in London last week. They got imagery from The Black Hole all over the cover! Brilliant!

  • July 13, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    This Movies all about Nostalgia.

    by Redfive!

    Remember there was NOT 20 plus Blockbusters a summer way back when and this film is moody but good.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    The film is pretty cheesy...

    by Darkman

    ...but I agree about the effects. They are good. <br><br> And John Barry's score is definitely a highlight. The scene where Robert Forster sees the robot funeral and those icy strings play on the soundtrack is one of the main reasons why I love Barry's music.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Great film!

    by Dazzler69

    One of my all time favorites. <p> The score I listen to a few times a year. <p> The acting is great!<p> I love the laser battles.<p> It's everything a sci-fi movie should be. <p> The story is great til the ending which I still scratch my head over. I even read the book because of it to see if that explains it which I don't think it does. It would have been a great sequel point. (But I guess these days it might be possible). <p> The best scene is when they cross the bridge and the asteroid comes rolling through. Probably the best effect for me at the time I saw it.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Yvette Mimieux's Perm

    by Aquatarkusman

    The most horrifying thing in the whole film, apart from the zombie robot drones piloting the ship, Maximillian Cuisinart-ing somebody through a book, and the asteroids.. er.. Cheese-Balls that destroyed the ship.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:10 a.m. CST

    I was alway trying to figure out

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    If the ship they found is 20 years older than theirs, why was it bigger, and more adanced?

  • July 13, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Reinhardt is killed by a LCD TV screen!

    by Gorgomel

    I love this movie!

  • July 13, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Here's a cool trail that shows two things:

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • July 13, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Some extreme cheese here.

    by Bubba Gillman

    But also some great moments. That asteroid/fireball sequence, while making little sense, looked amazing. Especially that giant one that inexplicably crashed into and rolled along through the ship.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    At least I remember it looking amazing.

    by Bubba Gillman

    Haven't seen it since it's original theatrical run.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    As I was saying...

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    )Cartman-bot's ship getting attacked by Cheesy Poofs, and 2) Anthony Perkins failing to understand basics physics in that in the game of ribcage, book, and cuisinart blades - the blades always win. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmw54wLDCrw&feature=related

  • July 13, 2008, 8:40 a.m. CST

    The ending explained

    by Anakin Whoopass

    Reinhardt goes to hell, in the literal biblical sense. It's as simple as that. It's foreshadowed by the Palamino crew's conversation when they first see the black hole and associate it with the devil.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Last five minutes spoiler clip

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkJJeDlDEbs&feature=related

  • July 13, 2008, 8:43 a.m. CST

    It appears Reinhardt goes to hell

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    the question is does the rest of the crew see what we see, get a glimpse of heaven, then get back to our universe, or what?

  • July 13, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Anyone remember those Jurassic Park crisps?

    by Knuckleduster

    They looked like tiny raptors? <p> No? Okay.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Jurassic Park: The Cereal

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Eat it before it eats you.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    I simply have to get the DVD now!!!

    by Gabba-UK

    I saw this at the rather beautiful ABC Cinema in Harrogate, North Yorkshire when I was seven. I also saw Tron, Flash Gordon and ET there before they tore it down and built a fucking MacDonalds!!! The model work was frankly beyond art. The Palamino was good but the model of the U.S.S. Cygnus was fuching awesome. I remember reading that it was nearly 20 feet long, made of machined brass to create the skeletal effect of the super structure and to take the heat of the huge lighting rig inside it. I also had a 12 inch high model kit of Maximillion who eyes lit up, and the arms swivelled round and each of his six arms was articulated. It's lost to the mists of time but it was cool as fuck and had a stand that made it look like it was hovering. I rember when Perkins got drilled thorough that book, the way he screamed/gargles and shakes his body just makes you imagine how badly his chest and internal organs were getting minced. Great memory. I dread to think how much that model of Maximillion would be worth now! Anyone know where I get one?

  • July 13, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Action Figures

    by Kentucky Colonel

    My VINCENT figure sits on my computer hutch...right next to removable-helmet Darth Vader and Batman TAS Caped Crusader with cloth cape, standing on a Star Trek TOS transporter pad (from the "Transporter series" figures). What a nerd I am! The VINCENT figure regularly fetches upwards of $60 on E-Bay. I've still got all my figures (yes, even ernest Borgnine) though, like the Buck Rogers figures, many of the are seperated at the hip. Cheesy movie, yes, but as a kid the concept of a Black Hole scared the hell out of me. Back then not a lot was known about black holes, and I did a science project on them which was so good apparently that my teacher made me give my presentation to her class at the college she was attending. And the score...awesome. Just like the TRON score, which was equally hard to come by. <p> Now, if I could just get a TWIKI figure to replace the one I lost years ago.... <p> (BOB looks like Cartman....priceless!)

  • July 13, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The ending

    by Aswann

    I remember getting the UK Black Hole annual the year the movie came out. There was a comic strip adaptation of the movie but the ending showed them coming through the black hole into some prehistoric type world with dinosaurs and shit, that was the end. I guess the writer of the strip didn't like or didn't get the movie's finale either.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Sleuth = A Masterpiece

    by Rebeck2

    Frenzy = Dated but very good, best strangulation scene in film history. Cadillac Man = Total Crap. The Sure Thing = 80's Crap.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    The Black Hole

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    Loved it as a kid. I got the dvd when it was released. But still have not watched it. Now i am fired up and will revist.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    I read the novelization, but never saw the movie...

    by tonagan

    I think Alan Dean Foster wrote it. I couldn't make sense of the ending, though I was disturbed by it.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    I loved this movie as a kid.

    by rbatty024

    And I've been meaning to pick it up for nostalgia's sake. My brother recently watched it and said it doesn't hold up. It's weird to think that this is a Disney film. I guess there was a time when that company was looking at more than just the bottom line.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Thanks for destroying a fond childhood memory.

    by Bubba Gillman

    Just checked out that clip on youtube. Those flaming asteroids do look like cheeze puffs.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Even as a kid, I knew this movie was cheesy

    by newc0253

    The acting bad, the contrivances cheesy, and even as a 9 year old, i found BOB too juvenile.<p> But the design of the ship itself was cool, Schell's "robots" were scary, and that final shot of the ship on the other side of the black hole was a brilliant endnote.<p>

  • July 13, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I watched this as a kid and that ending scared

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    the fucking shit outta me. I had nightmares of a robot-run Hell from an early age.....also Cadillac Man rules. Its up there with Let it Ride for underrated comedy gold.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    I just rewatched the ending on Youtube.

    by rbatty024

    What the fuck just happened? That was even more confusing than 2001. What's up with Maximillian and the robot being fused together? Were they gay lovers or something?

  • July 13, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Sorry Bubba

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I calls 'em like I sees 'em. You're right though, especially the biggest meteor. As a kid i was mesmerized by them trying to run across, and get to the other ship before they're creamed. Look at it now, and it's Chester Cheetah's flagship.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Haven't seen this for years.

    by mrfan

    Great movie when I was a kid.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    If I remember correctly...

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    The soundtrack was (is) the first soundtrack, and possibly the first album, to be recorded digitally. Love the movie, love the music. Love the movie the way I love "Blood Diner" or my own kids - because they're stupid. I mean, look at those matte paintings of the star fields - so gorgeous. And I had ALL the fucking figures. Why were the hands on the sentry robot figures so goddamn fragile?

  • July 13, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Serious - the ending

    by Jodet

    Will someone please explain it to me? The inside of a black hole is hell? WTF?

  • July 13, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Can't do it Jodet. I didn't get it then, and

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I don't get it now. That's not to say I didn't like the movie, but this was waaaaaay above the heads of their target audience.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Black Hole: The Comic

    by Marvinatmiddleage

    Anybody else got the comic adaptation? I still do and it's still in good shape. Pretty fun.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    love the black hole

    by Gungan Slayer

    man, what a classic lol

  • July 13, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    by smallerdemon

    The Castro Theater did a John Barry retrospective back in June and we went to see The Black Hole on the big screen again. It was the first time I had seen it since it was released in '79. I would have been 14 when I saw it then, a couple of years past Star Wars, but also a couple of years past a variety of cheap Star Wars knock off. You can see how Disney was pinning a lot of hope on this, but that was all unfounded. As a 14 year old I enjoyed the spectacle, and John Barry's score is something that has stuck with me all my life. What also stuck with me was Maximillian the robot and Maximillan Schell's creepy Hans Reindhart as well as the ending (which I'll talk about a little more later). <p> When they showed this at The Castro we also saw the last 20 minutes of Moonraker along with it. Now, I had not seen Moonraker since I saw it in the theater also when I was 14. Seeing the last 20 minutes of it back-to-back with The Black Hole I realized just how much better the effects and design work are in The Black Hole over what would have been a big budget action flick like Moonraker. Moonraker is hilariously dated with its space shuttles as serious futuristic spaceships, it's *pew pew pew* laser battles, it's specific weightlessness, it's laser battles INSIDE THE SPACE SHIP, the space ship wobbling like the rubber it was, its... you get it. Moonraker is so seriously unwatchable that it just turns into high camp, which it did in the theater. The crowd was cracking up out loud. <p> When The Black Hole hits the screen immediately after that, you realize just how much they got right. The weightlessness, ships that didn't need aerodynamic designs because they didn't NEED IT, beautiful minimalistic design in the control room, and opulent unnecessary design in the dining quarters to let you know just how Captain Nemo Hans Reinhardt really thinks he is. <P> As a kid in Alabama I inevitably had a pretty religious background although not necessarily a religious upbringing, and the end of The Black Hole struck me particularly vividly. For one thing, it was the first time I had ever seen the visual idea of hell so beautifully portrayed on screen. Despite the fact that hell was the punishment, I still found hell to be the more mysteriously beautiful of the two options portrayed in the film. But the film certainly makes the point that if you are bad you get punished and if you are good you get... rewarded(?), I guess, by surviving and not getting punished. Although I wondered just where they were and how long until they starved to death in the middle of nowhere. <p> The John Barry score is really something else. Bombastic but also moody and evocative, which are the things that make a Barry score to me. The screening at The Castro also featured the full Overture, which is nothing but black screen and music unrelated to the movie itself. (Of note was that it was one of the first digitally recorded scores ever, but never released on CD.) <p> The Black Hole isn't great cinema. The acting is stilted in places and the entire movie seems miscast except for Schell, McDowell and Pickens. The script smacks of 70s television dialog and slang and the costuming for the "heroes" is painfully bejumpsuited. Still, I love The Black Hole for the effects and the that the suspense of the movie is largely about decision making and ethics.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Vincent was a cool robot

    by picardsucks

    I'll bet this film would still look pretty good in HD. I'd love to send quite a few Fuckers into the Black Hole.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Still cool after all these years...

    by SuburbanJedi

    Still one of my favorites after all this time, but Disney didn't know if it wanted a serious sci-fi film or a film for kids. We really got both in a weird way though.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:20 a.m. CST

    My theory:

    by Raymar

    Maximilian was really some exiled demon who was using the ship to get back to hell. And John Barry rulz!

  • July 13, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I remember seeing this at its first release.

    by Dave Bowman

    Impressive ship design and model work. A unique depiction of space. But my friends and I knew we were in for trouble when someone announced that the mission of the Palomino was to "search for habitable life." Okay, so the new ambition of mankind was to become a race of parasites. We soon found ourselves laughing at the idiocy we were being pummeled with, and laughing and cheering at the demise of BOB. We left concluding it was one of the worst movie we had ever seen.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    smallerdemon

    by Rebeck2

    Moonraker is silly, true, but it wasn't exactly meant to be "realistic". If every summer film were held to the laws of physics, we'd be in big trouble. It was a popcorn film and it was a big hit at the time. And you know what - I'll take it (and the whole James Bond series) over the huge cosmic TURD appropriately titled "The Black Hole". You can have that craptistic answer to a trivia question. I was a couple years older than you, so I don't have your irrational childhood connection to it. It sucks, buddy. It really sucks. Watching that film you can almost hear Disney Studios' death rattle...it was such a desperate act on their part (and you're wrong, they spent a FORTUNE on that film and it was a bomb) as they went into a ten year shame spiral. That movie almost put them out of business for good. It took a redhead with seashells on her breasts to eventually save their ass. The reason people weren't laughing out loud at The Black Hole is probably because they were falling asleep.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    give us a remake

    by jccalhoun

    There's some pretty dark stuff in this. It is begging for a good remake that goes into a bit more detail on the life on the ship. ...but they would give it a lamer ending I'm sure.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Remember Borgnine promoting this on Carson

    by Fred

    Kept comparing it to Star Wars. We have X number of matte shots, Star Wars only had Y. We have X number of effects shots, Star Wars only had Y. I can imagine him in the green room memorizing stuff off of a Disney info sheet.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Seeing this as a kid

    by smackfu

    that red robot scared the shit out of me, and the robot crew all turning out to be dead-crewmember cyborg zombies was absolutely creepy. It's fucking great that it was Disney of all people that made this movie because it is dark and bleak, even to this day. And even greater that grownups just figured, hey, it's a disney movie right, it's fine to show to kids. On pretty regular occasions our teachers would bring in the projector and it would be 'filmstrip day' so the teacher could just sit at the back of the class and smoke and not have to put up with our bullshit. And when they'd start that puppy up, and it turned out to be the Black Hole, the whole class shared an unspoken 'fuck yeah' because we actually had something hardcore to watch instead of some weird surreal crap developed by the school board.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Klytus

    by palimpsest

    The first digitally recorded album was Ry Cooder's BOP TILL YOU DROP iirc. The Beta Band sampled the BLACK HOLE theme on one track, but for the life of me I can't remember which one it was.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Uhm, I Meant...

    by Rebeck2

    Craptastic. ...Craptacular? Craperiffic? Craptaganza? 2001: A Crap Odyssey?

  • July 13, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    scary cuz it was so damn WEIRD

    by Circean6

    Its Moby Dick meets the harsh cyncial sci-fi of the late 60's & 70's (2001, Silent Running, the Apes, Soylent Grren) and then they try to shoe horn the most obvious facets of that Star Wars movie the kids are going crazy over. Cap it with an ending where everybody dies, some not pleasently and I think we have the most schizophrenic and bizzarely marketed film in history.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Marvinatmiddleage - comic

    by Sir Loin

    Yep, I think I still have the comic book of the movie somewhere. It's awesome, agreed! Didn't they continue the comics after the movie came out? I seem to remember buying one or two with stories about what they found on the other side.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    BiggusDickus, DerLanghaarige

    by Spymunk

    BiggusDickus, they call them popsicles in the US - it's one of those things where we named something for a proper product. Popsicle is actually a brand name, but it's like Xerox ("Can you make a Xerox for me?") or Post-Its. We just call them popsicles now. And DerLanghaarige - there WAS a controversy, but it wasn't just aboutr the violence. Parents were really upset by the religious overtones of the movie, so much so that religious groups protested outside the theaters and churches were urging parents not to let their kids see this. But boy, am I glad my parents didn't listen. My mom thought THE BLACK HOLE was astonishingly boring when we went, but I found the slowly-building horror and tension to be utterly thrilling. BOB was an embarassment every time he came on the screen (and yes, btw, that's just what he looks like in the actual movie) but I still got sad when he was killed-off which surprised me. This movie is about death. Every line of it resonates with thouhts of death. It's a MOBY DICK story where the whale is nothing so much as Death Itself. It's just ... amazing that it got made, and it's a wonderful example of how children's movies of the past recognized that kids deal with bigger anxieties than whether or not they've caught all the Pokemon. The score is also brilliant, and I used to listen to the book-and-record set (yeah, I had that one, too!) just to hear it.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Disney made some seriously dark movies back then.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Black Hole, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Return To Oz, The Dragonslayer. I think Tron was the only one of them that didn't scare me.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Plus, Traditional Effects - for Quint

    by Spymunk

    Check out this link on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HJ0X46mUfiw. It shows how much can be done with traditional effects that can't be done with CGI yet. Look at the way the movie used light to convey the shadowy evil surrounding the deathly ship. Look at how they used color and light to emphasize the eerie qualities of the larger ship, and to convey a feeling of being submurged in blackness for the little space pod. Look at how the shot looks when the fiery space debris crashes into the ship and actually causes tangible damage to the vessel. What an amazing movie.

  • July 13, 2008, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Great movie!

    by CapnReinhart

    Well, maybe not great, but certainly one that had a pretty profound impact on me as a kid. The humanoid robots were definitely very creepy (especially when one that Borgnine saw walked with a limp). I'd forgotten about the robot funeral. And a great score. One question: any speculation on what happened to Kate's father, who was a member of Reinhart's crew? Reinhart said he had died, but I don't remember any specifics? Did he become a humanoid robot? Did Maximillian kill him?

  • July 13, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Plus, Quint - The Ending

    by Spymunk

    I thought that the ending was meant to be that the 'good' Doctor was sent to the hellish punishment of being up on a mountaintop, as he so wished, but isolated and immobile, standing like a figurehead for all to see the folly of what he thought he was going to get on the other side of the black hole. I figured it wasn't that he became Satan so much as that he now reigned forever over his dead crew and they all were going to be tormented for eternity. But the good people who went through were sent to the glowing planet, which is like Heaven. That's how I interpreted it. Check it out here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=BDj6XtZrxvw

  • July 13, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Disney developed this in the early 70's

    by MCVamp

    ...then gave up on it as silly, unworkable, and a genre that would have too narrow an appeal to be marketable. Then STAR WARS started pooping money out of its ass and suddenly Disney was killing themselves trying to get it out ASAP and re-establish some sort of relevance as a studio. Also, the original USS CYGNUS model was destroyed a few years ago by accident while being transported. It fell and shattered, too much damage to reassemble. It was already in pretty shitty shape, having been left to rot in outdoor storage for 20 years. Sad. Always had a soft spot for this movie, warts and all.

  • July 13, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Rebec2

    by jerseycajun

    No, it's not a great, or even a "good" movie, but there are admirable qualities in there that are worth remembering and stop it from being an outright bad one either. It had some genuine ambition that while never fulfilled on it's promise, still succeeded in creating a mood and atmosphere that made it intensely creepy at times.

  • July 13, 2008, 1:22 p.m. CST

    I wonder if Anthony Perkins and Roddy McDowall...

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    Had a gay old time on set? Also you got to admire any film that has an ill advised metaphysical ending that goes bonkers.

  • July 13, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I saw it in the theater when it originally came out

    by disfigurehead

    Yeah. I love it. Under-rated and under-appreciated.

  • July 13, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I had a Black Hole sleeping bag. Got a problem with that/

    by HoboCode

    Yet I haven't seen this film since I was a kid. I may have to revisit it one of these days.

  • July 13, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    one scary-ass big red fucker

    by cinematt

    Funniest description ever, laughed my fucking ass off. Thank you, Quint!

  • July 13, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Hell yes the ending freaked me out

    by Iowa Snot Client

    I had the comic, and the Revell (?) model kits of VINCENT and Maximillian. When we were kids and wanted sci-fi we got The Black Hole and Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century AND WE DAMNED WELL LIKED IT.

  • July 13, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Jodet: No the black hole isn't hell

    by Anakin Whoopass

    The black hole is a natural phenomenon. The U.S.S. Cygnus was destroyed and Reinhardt was killed and he experienced hell. Either the Cygnus was too damaged to carry out Reinhardt's plan and Reinhardt was unable to control it, or it turned out Reinhardt's theory would only work for a very small ship. The tiny and undamaged probe ship successfully carried out Reinhardt's flight plan and found a wormhole or something even more exotic to end up elsewhere.

  • July 13, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I saw this in a theater in Flint Michigan back in the day.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Black holes fascinated me after this. I was a 7 year-old hooked on NOVA. I should have been a genius...maybe I was...but that is lost to space and time...

  • July 13, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    The ending

    by Shoegeezer

    has Maximilian Schell trapped in Maximilian's shell trapped in Maximilian's hell. Whoa!

  • July 13, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    I'm just psyched this is the number two

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    talkback at the moment. Further proof that there can be intelligent life in the talkbacks.

  • July 13, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't call it a knock off except

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I don't think it's a coincidence that STARR, the only individual evil robot other than Maximillian, was all black a la Darth Vader.

  • July 13, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST

    You know what was scary about Maximillian?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    He didn't say anything. He didn't need to. He just did it. In this case it was slicing up people with the mini cuisanarts. He was just an emotionless killing machine - literally. He's like "Mr. Perkins let me show you how you really should kill someone in the shower."

  • July 13, 2008, 2:59 p.m. CST

    I haven't seen it yet

    by INWOsuxRED

    Now I want to see it just for the ending.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    I didn't see Vincent (tool lazy to puncutate)

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    and all cap) as R2-D2. Maybe it's because he was actually speaking instead of beeping. When I was a kid the final fight between Max and Vin scared me at the part where Max just comes crashing through the wall.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    INWOsuxRED if you want to skp to the

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    ending, I posted the You Tube link earlier.

  • July 13, 2008, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm good point Nosferatur, but refresh

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    my memory. Who was K-9? I remember Rover.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    who was k-9?!? who was k-9!?!!!!

    by jccalhoun

    obviously not a Doctor Who fan...

  • July 13, 2008, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Took me back and need a remake

    by mr_l_74

    I had to the sticker book the golden book and movie book i used draw blueprints so i can make vincent WOW just remembered all this got find that movie again !!!

  • July 13, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Alternate ending

    by lord_zedd

    I remember reading about an alternate ending where after they went through the black hole, they wound up in the Sistine Chapel painting. Cute. Anyway, the part that scared me as a kid was the scene where the chick is getting her brain fried with a laser...

  • July 13, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Ah, the Black Hole!

    by tylermo

    Yep. Saw it at the theater when I was 9(?). Totally enjoyed it then. Of course, it wasn't Star Wars, but it entertained nonetheless. Schell was sometimes O-T-T, but overall great. McDowell shined, but there were some many old time sayings that were horribly dated. The quality of the rest of the cast varied. But, nobody stood out as complete shit by any means. Not when compared to some other leading actors in sci-fi films, at least. Can't say enough about the great models. My friend had the old Cygnus. When I was a kid I got several figures for a b-day. I think it was some used lot of Micronauts, Stormtroopers, and Captain Holland. Mego's larger line of figures in the 70's were quite good, but their Buck Rogers, ST:TMP, and Black Hole lines were shit. Somebody mentioned earlier that Phantom Menace's effects were crap by comparison to The Black Hole. Granted the ship effects in TBH were great, but compare blaster shots in TPM to TBH, and I think TBH loses big time. I could say many things about his movie. It's not a movie for people who didn't grow up with it(maybe young kids), but it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Not a total loss. And, the Barry soundtrack was fantastic. I'd have to give the Battlestar movie/television 3-part debut a slightly higher score in some areas, but Black Hole is not nearly as cheesy as Buck ROgers, or the ill-fated Galactica 1980.

  • July 13, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Remember when Ren and Stimpy went through the black hole

    by Iowa Snot Client

    ...and found all the unmatched socks that disappeared in the dryer?

  • July 13, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Maximillian action figure...

    by DarthCorleone

    There was no pivot point at the shoulders, so you couldn't move his arms up. They would spin, but only locked in at his sides. It was frustrating, because when I was kid I wanted to recreate the Anthony Perkins death.<br><br>Anyway, I saw this movie at the theater when I was little. I have mixed feelings about it but mostly positive and nostalgic.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Tom Bodet

    by Rebeck2

    You're absolutely right. I stand corrected. I had forgotten about those movies - they were big hits and they were good too... My favorites being "Down And Out" and "Tin Men". And how the OTHER redhead, poor little Jessica, slipped my mind I will never know. Cups is right. One of the biggest reactions I ever heard in a movie theatre was when she first comes out to sing the torch song and there's one angle where her breasts take up the whole frame - it was hilarious, the audience went crazy. I think people were just so thrilled to see good animation again and with that sexy adult edge to it. I had totally spaced that that was a joint production between Disney and Warner Bros. Good call.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    And...

    by DarthCorleone

    ...although I didn't really get the ending at that age of the movie, I do remember being impressed with the symbolism of the scientist instinctively trying to defend himself with his book and failing.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST

    jerseycajun

    by Rebeck2

    Fair enough. I was probably too harsh - it's been almost 30 years (gulp) since I've seen it. It probably merits another look on my part. I feel that same way about "Silent Running" - it's flawed, but still fascinating and creates a real mood of outer space and loneliness.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I just found a Black Hole notebook I had from school

    by disfigurehead

    Yeah old school.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Great Film For Big Kids

    by rickdeckard1

    Of All ages, I remember seeing it as a seven year old in theatres, it was the coolest thing I had ever seen next to Star Wars. The Model work and space effects still hold well, good to see on the largest TV you can find. The model kits were fun back in the day as well. Good film to see with your kids / nephews.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Spymunk

    by BiggusDickus

    Popsicles! I knew you Yanks had a better name for them than we do! I mean 'lolly', for God's sake! It's positively perverted...

  • July 13, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Disney's FIRST PG film

    by zacUpquark

    I remember waiting anxiously for this one to come out, and having seriously mixed feelings about it. At least they went for some zero "g" ship shots, and Yvette was pretty hot.

  • July 13, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST

    MAXIMILLIAN... HELP... ME...

    by Darth Scourge

    The Black Hole is a movie I can rewatch again and again. I still have some of the action figures from when I was a kid, but alas I no longer have the pencil holders in the shape of the robots which came in cereal boxes!

  • July 13, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    yr wrong: filmed b4 star wars

    by sonofsound

    anchor bay's lit on the packaging even says so...the last picture of it's kind w/ that many matte paintings, so many that while they were finishing the backgrounds/design, star wars came out and took all the wind out of the release. have fun following up the death star.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Seen it when I was 9 too on HBO. Man that...

    by SID 8.0

    ending stuck with me for awhile. Maximillian Schell living inside of Maximillian the robot in that Hell dimension was scary to this day. And oh my God BOB is Cartman that might have grounds for a lawsuit.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Rebeck2

    by smallerdemon

    *shrugs* I was only discussing it from my point of view. I'm not defending it as a good movie, just talking about it as how I see it. <p> Hm. Did I mention the budget for it? *scans my post* Not really, so not sure where that came from in your reply. <p> I said straight up it's not great cinema, after all. But, hey, man, you have your POV, and that's fine. I don't begrudge you that. I can list more reasons not to like this movie than to like it. All I'm saying is that I remember it well, and enjoyed it when I was a kid and enjoyed the revisit to it. It's full of great faults all over the place, after all, but that doesn't stop it from still being better than the pile of Italian Star Wars knock offs (STAR CRASH anyone?). <p> Don't take my "defense" of it too serious, either. Repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax." :) Just a movie, nothing more. There are tons of movies made and forgotten every year, and this is one of them.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST

    One of the better post-Star Wars SF movies

    by QuietEnglishGent

    Great effects, brave and bonkers ending, Perkins' oddly bloodless death, and on top of all that yes the bloody fantastic John Barry score...

  • July 13, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    I always liked this movie

    by superunknown85

    in spite of the out-of-place cute robots. I love the gloomy atmosphere, the design of the spaceship, the special effects, and of course John Barry's brilliant score.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Deep Impact is on TNT now, Maximillian Schell

    by SID 8.0

    really has bad luck with space objects.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Star Crash, hell yes!

    by QuietEnglishGent

    Caroline Munro, with cleavage! Christopher Plummer, obviously needing the money! Ha!

  • July 13, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Event Horizon = Horror film, Black Hole = Disney film

    by smackfu

    and still I find the Black Hole ship much more unsettling than the Event Horizon ship.

  • July 13, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Gay

    by Geekgasm

    I'm far too lazy to read through this whole thing to see if its already been mentioned or not, but Schell and Perkins have a screamingly homo-erotic dialogue scene together about 1/3 of the way into the picture that never fails to make me laugh the way Homer Simpson laughs whenever someone says "titmouse".

  • July 13, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Vincent only looks cute

    by Anakin Whoopass

    Vincent and BOB look like toys but act like war veterans. Unlike cute robots in Star Wars, the Black Hole robots are as smart as humans, fearless, and never have tantrums or talk like toddlers. Their cuteness is almost ironic.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:01 p.m. CST

    CaptnReinhart - the fate of Kate's father.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    In the movie Old BOB tells VINCENT that Reinhart personally killed Kate's father. Specifically BOB says that when Reinhart originally refused to follow the order to return to Earth, the crew turned to Kate's father (who was the officer on board the Cygnus they trusted the most) to try and get Reinhart to comply with the order. Reinhart called it mutiny and killed Kate's father, then had his sentry robots subdue the rest of the crew and put them through the brain laser machines to rob them of their wills. I don't think Maximillian had been built yet, given that Old BOB in another scene talks about how STAR, the all black colored leader of the sentry robots, WAS the top robot on the ship for a time until Reinhart built Maximillian. (And yes, I have seen this movie way too many times; it's a guilty pleasure of mine for the f/x shots and score.)

  • July 13, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    In... through... and beyond!

    by CountdeCeredigion

    Yeah freaked the hell out of me as a kid. Really great atmosphere to the whole film (with the one weak section being the heroic saving of the woman by the dude from Jackie Brown to the horribly badly placed music) with astounding ship models and an otherwise incredible score. I loved Vincent and was terrified by Maximillion. Oh and that finale gave me nightmares for months... Top stuff :)

  • July 13, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Grammaton Cleric Binks

    by Geekgasm

    I assumed the fact that the 20 year old Cygnus was larger and more opulent than the state-of-the-art Palamino was an indication that since the Cygnus was launched, Earth or the USA or whatever had hit hard economic times and thus had to scale back the size and scope of their space explorations. Hence the leaner and smaller Palamino with the small crew.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Well it's out, I have no geek knowledge of

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Dr. Who. Sorry guys, but other than knowing about the phone box and the Daleks I don't know squat about Dr. Who. Geekgasm, I think you're trying to rationalize the fact the writers dropped the ball on that one. Not a bad theory to cover their blunder though. Finally..Black Hole is the number one talkback. Awesome.

  • July 13, 2008, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Maximillian was and is superb design

    by G100

    Wish I had one of those action figures when I was a kid. ;-)<p> <p>As for the ending, it's great. It was somewhat baffling at the time but it was certainly memorable.<p> <p>The Hellscape at the end is superbly atmospheric and the shot with Maximillian standing atop the mountain is a classic.<p> <p>Yes, there was also cheese aplenty but it dind't pretend otherwise and counterbalanced it with some (for Disney) nicely creepy bits.<p> <p>A Cinema Viewing of it at the time is crucial to explain why it oozes nostalgia for some as it's hard to recapture the effect that the lovely models and setpieces writ large on the Big Screen had on you as a kid by watching the Movie on a DVD via a TV now. (even a Monster one.)

  • July 13, 2008, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Vincent=WALL-E

    by Anna Valerious

  • July 13, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST

    The Novelization

    by The Alienist

    I remember in the novel version of the film, when the good crew goes through the Black Hole all flesh and material disappear and they are left only with their consciousness (Vincent included). I can't remember what happened to the doctor but I do remember it was a totally different ending than the film...

  • Back when I still believed in fairy tales like an afterlife hell--as opposed the very real living one I inhabit now and very much believe in--the one depicted at the end was pretty terrifying, especially if you're claustrophobic. Imagine spending eternity encased in a robot. <p> I grew up on the Disney channel, and between catching late-night airings of the Black Hole and the Watcher in the Woods, I learned to appreciate non-gore related concepts of horror. Come to think of it, the reason Watcher in the Woods scared me so much was the concept of being trapped and helpless somewhere as well (as in the girl trapped in the mirrors). No damn wonder I had a big problem with enclosed spaces as a kid.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Alan Dean Foster has done the novelization

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    of every sci-fi movie in existence. He is a genius. He can take a so-so movie, and fill the novel with details that fill the imagination.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    I was too little to understand the ending

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I thought Maximillan sort of came to life like Pinocchio.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Another good point for Nosferatu

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Borgnine was under-used. They could made him Rogo in space, but they wussed out because they're Disney, but then again they didn't wuss out in other areas as mentioned before.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST

    The part where Maximillian the robot..........

    by Han Cholo

    Julienne cuts one of the crewmen (the scientist) had to be the most unintentionally funny moments in that whole movie. The guy's face as his innards are criss cut is absolutely priceless. On top of that, there should be a shit load of gore but not one drop of blood in that scene.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Maximillian design.

    by Bubba Gillman

    I remember reading (probably in Starlog) all those years ago that the effects guy or designer or whatever for TBH wanted Maximillian to have a mace-like design for his bottom half instead of legs. He felt it was more menacing and made more sense for Maximillian to not have legs since he floated rather than walked. The guy complained that the producers made him give Maximillian legs so he more closely resembled Darth Vader. Would have been cool. Suggests there was a lot more studio tinkering.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    smallerdemon

    by Rebeck2

    "I realized just how much better the effects and design work are in The Black Hole over what would have been a big budget action flick like Moonraker." The implication seemed to me to be that The Black Hole was done on a shoestring but achieved better effects. Of course, the second part could very well be true (I'd have to compare them), but the Disney movie was not a low-budget affair at all. It would not have been such a high-profile bomb if it was. Anyway, I apologize - I'm a Bond fan, so maybe I overreacted. I guess I got a bit riled that you would pick apart every flaw of one installment (or the last 20 minutes) in a 22 movie/45 year series and at the same time very generously overlook the many flaws of said piece of Disney cheese. It just seemed a little out of proportion. Us Bond fans have been known to bite - even over Moonraker. But yes, they're all just movies, aren't they? Doesn't keep anybody here from getting their blood pressure up, does it? In any case, as a Bond fan, I of course share your appreciation of John Barry. To me his career-best work is in YOLT and OHMSS.

  • July 13, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST

    This was a huge movie for me as a kid

    by Phimseto

    I must have seen this at the drive-in like seven times. I even had "Black Hole" wallpaper in my bedroom. Strange factoid about the Black Hold wallpaper: the backdrop color was powder blue. Hmm. Love the movie still, though. The effects are great, Barry's score is great, and whatever you may say about the plot, the characters are fun. This began Borgnine's career change into "character you don't leave alone with your ride", much like his role in Escape from New York and a little later in the pilot of Airwolf. He'll take off on you and leave you stranded.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    The budget for Black Hole was $36 million

    by Wed Vid Guy

    Which in the 70's was pretty big budget. In fact I think it was Disney's biggest budget feature ever at the time. I saw it for the first time a few days ago and what struck me was the idea that it started its life out as an cerebral science fiction film like 2001 and somewhere in development was forced to become a Star Wars ripoff. I say this because in the first two acts, it follows the cerebral formula and then out of nowhere the third act kicks in and we have Star Wars.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Dean Foster's book...

    by Doc_Hudson

    Is ALOT better,......go read it.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:22 p.m. CST

    F the movie...

    by jefflebowski

    The Read-Along book/LP is where it's at: http://tinyurl.com/56famo That and my Star Wars Fisher Price Movie Viewer were two of my favorite toys as a kid.

  • July 13, 2008, 9:26 p.m. CST

    One of my favs growing up!

    by Orionsangels

    As a child of 6 years old. I thought this movie was as badass as they come. It actually fascinated me. I can still hum the musical score in my head. It was tragic, but EPIC sounding. The big scenes I remember are the heroes running across a bridge as a giant firey asteroid is barreling towards them. When Bob gets left behind. I cried. The sound those drills make on the red robot. Wait, wasn't the scary red robot called Max a million? I thought he was called that because he cost a million to make. Where am I getting this from? This is what I remember thinking as a kid. See this film was important to me. I held up there with Star Wars. As I got older. I realized what a turkey it was

  • July 13, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST

    The final battle between Vincent and Max...

    by slicer

    Was great, at the time. When watching it when I was 7. Now, it's cheesy as hell! The walls are made of PAPER?!!? What the hell?! Guess the budget fell down next nothing buy that point of the filming, having blown most of the $ on the insanely great ship models!!

  • July 13, 2008, 9:41 p.m. CST

    I had every action figure for The Black Hole

    by slicer

    I LOVED this movie when I was a kid!! My Black hole Action figures had many many fights with my Star Wars figures! Now that would be an awesome movie!! And I used to have the soundtrack album, and I used to listen to it over and over again on my bugs bunny record player!! That, and the read along book!! Awesome!

  • July 13, 2008, 9:55 p.m. CST

    i love this movie a lot

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    this and krull are 2 from the 80s that i love

  • July 13, 2008, 10:02 p.m. CST

    "more light"

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    Isn't that supposed to be Goethe's last words? There really were some highbrow references for a Disney movie in that film.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Oh and another thing...

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    I rented this movie on videodisc (CED, not laser) that when the local video store was selling off its CED stock the owner just gave me the copy of Black Hole.

  • July 13, 2008, 10:25 p.m. CST

    I learned that you can breath in space...

    by Billyeveryteen

    And a tiny robot can resist the Black Hole, only when he's much closer to it.<p>Good times, good times..

  • July 13, 2008, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Oh dear God.... it IS CARTMAN!!!!

    by br1947

    Holy shit... one of those things I would have never thought about, but damn that's funny!

  • July 13, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Cadillac Man, The Sure Thing

    by secretcylon

    Fun stuff. "I'm talking about a total maniac! I'm talking about a guy that will rip your heart out and eat it. Just for pleasure!!!"

  • July 13, 2008, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Wow, lot of geek debate on this movie.

    by Lukecash

    Which is great. There is no doubt, that The Black Hole was Disney's attempt at copying Star Wars success. The painful thing about it was that it was a hybrid Disney/Lucas film. It had the usual 1950's style of storytelling mixed with the "special effects and cool robots" of Lucas. <p> Now the ending wasn't that hard to figure out. Since the chick was a Telepath- she saw that the evil Maximlian Shell whent to hell for condemning all of crew of the ship. And the good crew souls were all released to heaven.<p> The survivors went from the "Black Hole" into a "White hole" Where they all landed on a planet and started a race of imbread humans.

  • July 13, 2008, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Ominous tones throughout / Max=Father?

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    I was always under the impression that Maximillian was actually whatever was left of the female lead's father, much like the rest of the zombie crew. It always trouble me to think of this after watching him mutilate Anthony Perkins and then lord over Hell (with human eyes! creepy!) at the end. Plus there's the weird fondness that Schell seems to have for the thing, and doesn't he proclaim somewhere during the film that he and her dad were the greatest of friends? One way or the other, this is a unique flick and very unlike what you'd expect from Disney. It also complements TRON nicely.

  • July 14, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST

    even that bad space movie with John Boy from The Waltons.

    by tylermo

    That would be the all-time cheesy sci-fi classic, "Battle Beyond the Stars"! Doesn't get better than that. Richard "John Boy" Thomas, Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, and Sybil Danning, among others. The talking boob-ship. Not to mention(behind the scenes)Gayle Ann Hurd, James Horner(composing the soundtrack-later used in Star Trek II), and JAMES CAMERON! No shit. Definately one of Roger Corman's finest. He was shooting for Star Wars meets Magnificent Seven. I rejoiced the day that was released on DVD. Pick up a copy near you, and a knife to scrape the cheese off of the tv screen. Love it!

  • July 14, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Wow

    by kingben

    Kingdom of Heaven sucked ass. I just remembered that

  • July 14, 2008, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Just made Star Wars seem that much greater

    by Anti-fanboy

    I saw this as a kid, too, and, like everything else, I measured it against Star Wars, and like so many others, it came up short. Apples and oranges, I know, but the Star Wars apple was really tasty, and the Black Hole orange wasn't so much. Interesting, though, with some parts I enjoyed, like Max, and the death of Anthony Perkins. I thought Maximilian Schell was fairly flat as a villain.

  • July 14, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    this talkback is awesome

    by Sir Loin

    Such great memories from those of us who saw it in theaters back in 1979 and were haunted by the ending...not to mention being scared crapless by the Maximillian robot. Best robot design ever, btw. You guys have really brought back some fond recollections, thanks for the YouTube links to clips of the film as well!

  • July 14, 2008, 12:30 a.m. CST

    The Score...

    by Bootskin

    The score WAS probably the best part about the movie (other than Vincent, and the design of the Cygnus). I was just saying, don't go to sleep with this movie on. The repeating loop of the menu will give you nightmares. Sorry for the confusion. Oh, and by the way, the paper walls at the end? Can you say "ran out of money?"

  • July 14, 2008, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Right On! a little Battle Beyond the Stars love.

    by otm shank

    Don't forget the hot princess chick who's starship required her to get into the missionary position when piloting it! Oh, and love The Black Hole by the way.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Thanks Quint, I love these....

    by couchtrip105

    If I were in your business these are what I would love to do. It's like every day is a "rainy day movie day" and we found some forgotten classic to watch. It's alot of fun.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    this is the guy from german pork-filled Hamlet?

    by Prossor

    same guy. it's HAMLET MAN! you know this place could use a plant, heck even a twig would do.

  • July 14, 2008, 2:27 a.m. CST

    i LOVE that this is the top talkback...

    by Lt. Kaffee

    re-affirms my faith in true geekness. the end sequence of this movie fucked up my childhood. and i love every memory of it.

  • July 14, 2008, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Moonraker

    by Shoegeezer

    The effects on that movie used multiple in-camera exposures. Film a model, rewind the camera, film another, etc. Imagine doing that over 40 times with no idea if it was all working ok. Effects men had brass balls in them days. kids today with their CGI have no idea how tough things were.

  • July 14, 2008, 4:28 a.m. CST

    until their hard-plastic thumbs popped the fuck off

    by smackfu

    Now that you mention it, I recall that by the end of my childhood my toybox had turned into a VA hospital for thumbless GI JOEs. But man, the worst...was when their torso elastic broke and their lower body just detached, leaving a trail of elastic intestine with it while 2 other JOEs and a Visionary dragged his upper half to safety (no one gets left behind!) I seen some hard stuff man...I seen some stuff...

  • July 14, 2008, 5:05 a.m. CST

    I just realised....

    by Gabba-UK

    that I want a real VINCENT and real Wall*e very, very badly!!!

  • July 14, 2008, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Black Hole was epic-Gave me nightmares-Event Horizon

    by Mr.LordBronco

    Still does-great review! The disney scary stuff-so many child's minds destroyed by these flicks...Good Stuff. Which makes me remind myself-I like any movie that depicts Space as Evil. Which leads to commenting that this movie is a great precursor to the later Morpheus movie Event Horizon with Sam Neill. Yes, it's uttelry absurd, but the more you watch it it, the more it grows on you and makes you insane. Peace!

  • July 14, 2008, 5:18 a.m. CST

    youuuuuuuuuuuu stole my ice cream bar!!

    by smackfu

  • July 14, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Still the top talkback first thing this morning

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Awesome.

  • July 14, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Good morning Black Hole fans

    by Phimseto

    Here is your clip for the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTuKQEJErGg&feature=related

  • July 14, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST

    I love that this is a kids film

    by Right Bastard

    with creepy satanic and zombie robots.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    i need to watch this again

    by turketron

    i remember watching this and thinking it was awesome as a kid... but i don't remember it very well

  • July 14, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST

    KurtLockwood

    by skimn

    That was Saturn 3 w/Kirk Douglas and Farah Fawcett as lovers (?!?), and Harvey Keitel as the psycho villian. I seem to recall Keitel's voice was dubbed in by another actor, and the whole shebang was directed by movie musical legend Stanley Donen. The post Star Wars sci-fi boom created some weird mash-ups.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    KurtLockwood, your thinking of the film "Saturn 3"

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...where Harvey Keitel plays a psycho murderer who crashes Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas' private space station on a remote moon of Saturn. Keitel basically wants to kill of Kirk and take his place with Farrah on the space station. After Kirk initially kicks Harvey's ass, Harvey builds an 8ft tall robot to gain his revenge. And, yes, Keitel has the ability to hack into people's brains and transfer memories and thoughts from one to another. He installs some sort of connector wire jacks into the base of the back of everyone's heads. There's a pretty good scene when Kirk wakes up and realizes he's had one installed into him. Creepy ass movie that bombed big time and was rarely heard from again. I don't know if it was ever even released on DVD.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Ah, skimn beat me to it.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

  • July 14, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Yes..it is twisted for a Kids movie...

    by conspiracy

    But then again nobody has yet to review "Space Chimps"!

  • July 14, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Black Hole:The old school effects are nice

    by skimn

    with some animation reminding me of the ID monster Disney did for Forbidden Planet. I remember reading that Disney coutered ILM's motion capture system with something called ACES. And the Ellenshaw mattes are beautiful. But the acting is either wooden as a block of wood, or hammy to the extreme.<p>Did I hear on the radio today that someone has actually stated that a black hole is a racist term?? WTF!!!

  • July 14, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    The Black Hole is Racist

    by kevinwillis.net

    Why do you have to say it's "black"? Why can't it be a "gravity hole"?<br><br>Quint's take basically agreed with mine. Though I'm still amazed he was able to make it through the early eighties without seeing The Black Hole. It got a lot of play on HBO up through the mid-eighties. I think I remember it coming on Cinemax or HBO a few times when I was in college, circa '87-'91 . . . and all this talking about it makes me want to see it again.

  • July 14, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    promotions in Baltimore, MD for this movie

    by ArcadianDS

    A popular kids show host named Captain Chesapeake (youtube it) has a promotion where you could win the actual set prop of Vincent the Robot by sending in postcards to his show.<p>My dad took me and my brother to see The Black Hole because it was promoted on Captain Chesapeake (a cartoon program that brought us Speed Racer and Star Blazers as well as Rocky & Bullwinkle), and seeing the Vincent prop, thought it would be a fun kids movie. Boy was he mad. My little brother was terrified but I just remember being completely WTF?? by the ending, and seeing that today, Im no closer to figuring it out. The way it zooms to the eye of the telepath makes me wonder if what we saw was somehow her goofball interpretation of what happened.<p> And I guess that planet is Heaven or something?<p> As for racism, show me ANY Disney movie that isn't racist, and then AHS DONE SEEM 'BOUT EVRYTHANG CUZ AHS DONE SEEM DA ELAPHUNT FLAHH.<p> Also, Song of the South. Ahs done rested mah case, Brer Fox. Lawdy Dee.

  • July 14, 2008, 9:54 a.m. CST

    No no no

    by skimn

    It's the scientific term "black hole" that someone is claiming to be racist. I did like "gravity hole", or how about the "Hoover hole" cuz it sucks up everything!

  • July 14, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST

    its called a Black hole cuz its black

    by ArcadianDS

    the whole thing about the gravity well being so strong that even light cannot escape? See, when there is a complete absence of light, you have blackness.<p> Sorry if the physics of our universe offend you.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST

    by JDOSIRIS2

    when i was a kid this movie scared the hell oout of me. that big red son of a bitch gave me nightmares. i liked it though. i saw this again a few years ago and i still liked it. is there a remastered copy out there on dvd?

  • July 14, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST

    skimn, are you referring to the incident in Dallas last week?

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    The one where at a city board meeting one of the white board members referred to one of the mismanaged broken down city departments as a "black hole" and one of the African-American board members then got all offended, said "no, it's a WHITE hole!", called it a racist statement, and demanded an apology? I thought the display of ignorance there was pretty funny. Even the African-American judge who was presiding over the meeting apparently didn't know the physics origin of the term black hole and demanded the white board member apologise, too.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST

    I did love this movie as a kid

    by wash

    Even though I knew then it was pretty flawed. But this and Saturn 3 make a great double feature.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST

    "Ice Lollys" =...

    by Kid Z

    ..."popsicles" here in the US.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Saturn 3

    by Shoegeezer

    or Saturn City to give it its US title. That was another pretty odd sci-fi movie, like The Black Hole it was made by people with no real feel for the genre. Stanley Donen stepped in to direct when the original director, John Barry (not the compose, the production designer from Star Wars) died a few days into filming, which is why the sets look so fantastic. Keitel was dubbed throughout by Roy Dotrice, a well known British character actor who did plenty of voice over work. He was also the priest in tv's Beauty And The Beast and is reunited with Perlman in Hellboy 2. Also, re-racism, in Britain, the nursery rhyme Ba Ba Black Sheep has been changed to Ba Ba Rainbow Sheep, which is just nuts.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Saturn 3 is on DVD

    by wash

    I think it's out of print, but you can find it online for around $20.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Battle Beyond the Stars...

    by Kid Z

    ...YES! The space-viking chick with the bondage-chair pilot's seat in her spaceship. And the alien clones who wore white headcoverings stuffed with wadded up newspaper. John-Boy Walton as the hero and the great John Saxon as the villain. Great, cheesy, grade-Z stuff, that one!

  • July 14, 2008, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Re:Black hole racist

    by skimn

    It may be that incident, I don't know, I just heard a tease on morning radio today. It does sound like a story that morning radio deejays would jump on all over.<p>Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor must be looking down and having a good chuckle.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    PC run amok...

    by Kid Z

    ... so now we have to refer to them as "that color that's not really a color but the abscence of color"-holes. No wonder Green Lantern had to change his power charging oath.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    kingben

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Check out the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven. Fox hacked out an hour for the theatrical release. The director's cut is like a completely different film.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    TomBodet - Space: 1999 Eagle

    by Sir Loin

    hahaha oh man, I'd forgotten about that thing. My cousin had one of those, it was like 2 feet long and had interchangeable parts and stuff. Very cool. That show's ripe for remake, methinks.

  • July 14, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    I love this movie

    by the donal

    Yeah- crummy dialogue, cheesy performances and a total physics breakdown at the end, the action scenes are mostly pedestrian, but what a great concept. The score and the ending are worth watching if for alone. If only they'd re-record the score and more importantly re-release it!

  • July 14, 2008, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Loving this talkback, as well!

    by tylermo

    Nice to have one occasionally that doesn't include too much bickering, or G.L. raped my childhood, or whatever the gripes usually are. Long live my childhood of the 70's and up through a chunk of the 80's!

  • July 14, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Would love to have the soundtrack cd

    by tylermo

    I bought a slightly used vinyl during the 1990's. Must have missed the cd. On a side note, that's one positive thing I hoped for with the release of the new I. Jones film...an excuse to re-release those long out of print cd's(Raiders/Temple/Crusade) that I never bought back in the day. They could have released a box set with a fancy book. I'd have squeezed out 75.00 plus for that one. Back to the black hole. I still have a comic adaptation somewhere, and the old book and cassette. The cassette set for Star Wars and Black Hole never worked, so I recorded my own when I was 9 or 10. Still have that tape somewhere. Whoever said, old B.O.B. looks like Cartman was exactly right. Never thought about it until now. I'll never be able to watch him again without thinking of Cartman. Knowing Matt and Trey's love of pop culture references, the probably borrowed his look for Cartman.

  • July 14, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    remeber "spacehunter" with molly ringwald

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    a very cool 80s scifi flick - galaxina and ice pirates aint bad either - the last starfighter is cool too - lets go back to the 70s now - laserblast and planet of dinosaurs - 2 drive-in classics that feature god awful acting and some amazing stop motion effects

  • July 14, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    "equinox" is a great one too

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    made by Dennis Muren - ilm's Dennis Muren - the matte paintings, animation and in-camera effects are fantastic for a movie made by a kid raised on 'famous monsters of filmland' magazine - and herb from wkrp in cincinatti turns into a winged demon

  • July 14, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Black Hole lobby cards

    by Beezbo

    I got them off of e-bay and gave them to my brother last Christmas. He's got a thing for that movie.

  • July 14, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST

    theres a black hole comic adaption by kirby

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    but it only appeared in a disney kids mag - ive been looking for it fr a while - the official movie comic adaption is okay, but the art is less than stellar - ive seen pages of the kirby adaption - awesome stuff - he also did a 2001 a space odyssey adaption for marvel - large format like the star wars comics by chaykin - great stuff

  • July 14, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    i agree on kingdom of heaven - having finally seen the directors cut, id say its one of scotts best - amazing movie

  • July 14, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    "galaxy of terror"

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    sid haig was in it too

  • July 14, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Just got back from work and

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    pleasantly surprised this is still top ten. Further proof geek nostalgia is the driving force of this site.

  • July 14, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Everyone Dies at the End of this Movie

    by Jack Shepherd

    I think it's pretty clear that everyone dies at the end of this movie. Maximillian takes Reinhart to hell Moby Dick-style, and the good people go to heaven. The end.

  • July 14, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Fucking awesome.

    by Mosquito March

    My Dad took me to see this when I was 6, and I've watched it once a year since it first appeared on video. It's an underrated sci-fi classic that isn't afraid to be grim - all the more impressive for being a Disney film.

  • July 14, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Hail the RIAA

    by MaxThrust

    Not that I would condone such things ever, but you can use the Soulseek program to locate the score for The Black Hole. BTW, why haven't any of you praised the Cygnus? Fantastic design for a ship - especially considering the year. Also, did you know that Disney had to design their own motion control system for film since ILM wouldn't license to them? The system by all accounts was more precise than ILM's and had better range of motion.

  • July 14, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    TomBodet - Dragon's Domain episode

    by Sir Loin

    Yep, the FX have not aged well at all. Heckuva concept, though. Imagine what could be done with it using today's tech! In any case, the monster in the episode "Dragon's Domain" traumatized me for days--and of course there's a clip on YouTube! :D http://youtube.com/watch?v=7tbXhu09m5s Looks cheesy now, but as a snot-nosed kid...yikes.<P>Agreed about Sword and the Sorcerer, too. Guess Albert Pyun's finally working on the sequel now. About time!

  • Ah, yes the The Read-Along books! I think I had the ones for the Wrath of Khan, Gremlins, and the first Ewok movie. Good stuff.

  • July 14, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Space: 1999 Rules!

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    the first season is completely astounding and is required viewing. The second season becomes a game where you see how many episodes you can choke down until you give up. I made to five. I believe the guy that tanked the third season of Trek was in charge of that fiasco.

  • July 14, 2008, 9 p.m. CST

    i saw spacehunter

    by El Borak

    at a drive-in. i think that was the last time. also watched ice pirates bout 100 times on cable.,

  • July 14, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    i remember it being in 3D - with the cardboard glasses

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

  • July 14, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Rose Colored Headphones

    by shran

    I think some of you are hearing Barry's score through rose colored headphones. The intro overture on the DVD is r-e-p-e-t-i-t-i-v-e. Watch and listen to the laser battle between the crew and the Starr droids in the mid to late part of the movie. The score is so incongruous to the action it's like it was intended for some other movie and sequence type altogether. Also, if I'm not mistaken, there is a scene where the crew takes a probe of the Cygnus (the Palomino is destroyed when Ernest Borgnine swipes it to save himself at the expense of his crew--asshole) and they enter the probe through the vacuum of space. WTF? Implausible! The robots were cheesy. But the ships were absolutely AWESOME!!! I used to have a model of the Cygnus. The ending was just a cluster fuck. I wasn't confused when I was a kid coming out of the theater, I was pissed and I wanted my money back. Didn't stop me from buying the DVD.

  • July 14, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Read THE BLACK HOLE book tie-in before seeing the movie

    by Mace Tofu

    Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the film fills in many of the rough spots the movie had. After reading the book seeing the movie felt like a Cliff notes version. It's a quick read and really helps events in the film carry more weight and have some kind of logic. Logic? Yes things you go "WTF" in the movie are given a somewhat logical explanation in the book. Kind of like if you read the "Raiders of the lost Ark" novel you get the whole scene with INDY riding on the subs periscope Vs the movies blink and you miss it "hey he's on the periscope!". The look of the robots in BLACK HOLE was a goofy "hey lets make the toys first", bad idea. I really liked the robots in the book. In the film they really looked like they were from another movie as everything else was serious looking in design. My favorite FX shot was when they ran across the bridge as the meteor rolled down the corridor- not bad for non computer shot.

  • July 14, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    shran

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    youre dead on about the overture - and that cue during the laser shoot out - didnt match the action - it has a sort of graduation day parade feel to it - but the rest of the score is pretty darn good - one of barry's better ones - the whole movie was implausible - but a lot of fun

  • July 15, 2008, 12:07 a.m. CST

    JimmyJoe RedSky

    by shran

    Then, sir, I shall give you that one. I think that bit of the score stuck out so much that I concede I may be hearing the rest of it through shit colored glasses, somewhat unfairly. Judgement clouded by the movies other annoyances? Probably.

  • July 15, 2008, 2:13 a.m. CST

    re: ice pirates

    by El Borak

    yeah that movie was weird.

  • July 15, 2008, 8:23 a.m. CST

    forget Strange Invaders - watch SPACED INVADERS!

    by the power of GREYSKULL

    "prepare to die Earth scum... prepare to die Earth scum... I'm gonna make sure they engrave that on your TOMBSTONE!" <p> Seriously, tho, I saw Black Hole as a kid and the only thing that has stayed with me from that movie today was the big-ass "evil" robot - was it called Maximilian? I sort of remember the 2001 ending, too - when they finally go into the hole, right? <p> Gotta keep the devil way down in the hole!

  • July 15, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Didn't EVENT HORIZON have a evil BLACK HOLE in it?

    by Mace Tofu

    Paul must be a fan as the two films would make a good double feature. SPACED INVADERS would make a good double feature with MARS ATTACKS. And ICE PIRATES fits nicely with SPACEBALLS. Could anyone make it through all six of these movies in a day?

  • July 15, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST

    I was married to an evil Black Hole

    by shran

    Had to strap a 2 X 4 to my ass to keep from falling in.

  • July 16, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Gotta give propps for the zombie crew too

    by CrichtonAstronut

    That scene where they showed the emaciated man under the plain oval mask was fucked up in an awesome way. and then showing the laser lobotomy scene was fucked scary and Maximillian 86ing Anthony Perkins character with a quizinart hand and an electric shock panel, very cool and scary. But the lobotomized crew that one stuck with me as some crazy fucked up shit, especially for a kids movie. it stuck with me.

  • July 16, 2008, 7:58 p.m. CST

    And Reinhardt also dies because he's begging his

    by CrichtonAstronut

    zombie crew for help and they can't understand him because he messed them up.

  • Oct. 11, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    That "one scary-ass big red fucker " ...

    by Superponte

    Scared the ever-living shit out of me FOR YEARS! I still get a chill when I see him on screen- especially when his "cuisinart" hands turn on and he approaches Perkins! Maximillian is serious shit...

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Digital Soundtrack

    by Deep13

    When I bought the LP soundtrack for this back in the day it said it was the FIRST digitally recorded soundtrack.