Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Saturn 3 (1980)
I never really cared for sci-fi. Let me explain. Star Wars was something I liked when I was a kid, but sooner or later I got bored by it. And that’s it. I just feel it’s too hard to connect with something that’s so extremely distanced from the reality we live. This includes fantasy of course. All these big budget extravaganzas just made me feel alienated, cut-off from the story. When everything is fake in a movie (I’m not including animated movies here, because they are…animated. A different thing) it’s just boring. Saturn 3 might not be a masterpiece, but I feel more attracted to this movie than, for example, Star Wars. Mostly because it’s not mega-super-duper budget and has that cheap-expensive look that makes it much more charming (another movie like this is Flash Gordon) than productions that’s calculated to be blockbusters. Give me a Roger Corman-produced sci-fi quickie or Uwe Boll’s In the Name of the King before Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, seriously.
To fully appreciate Saturn 3 you have to accept that it was out of date already when it was released, and the odd casting of Kirk Douglas as the virile scientist Adam is something even I (and I’m a big fan of Kirk) think is weird. Or maybe it’s more weird that he has a relationship with Farrah Fawcett and they both walk around in velour pants! It of course gets more edgy when crazy psychopath Benson (Harvey Keitel) arrives, after killing a colleague of his to be able to work on his super-robot at the space station in peace. Soon it’s revealed that the robot and Benson more or less is the same person, connected through the brains – and Benson is very eager to make sweet love with Fawcett, which also means that the robot wants to do the exact same thing! Manly man Kirk won’t allow this and he even dares to wrestle naked to protect his woman!
So what we have here is a horny killer-robot in space trying to fuck with Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas in silly pants. Yeah, that’s it and if you expect more than so you will be very disappointed. But the movie itself is quite good-looking and sometimes the sets have that stunningly cool seventies vibe that seemed very hard to stay away from during this time (the mother of all movies like that is the awesome Logan’s Run of course). Plagued with problems from the beginning, a Kirk Douglas who really wanted to prove to everyone that he wasn’t 64 years old and a slightly confused Farrah Fawcett. The only one taking his role serious is Harvey Keitel, which make him seem to appear in a completely different movie.
Even if Saturn 3 has aged pretty badly it’s a movie that’s close to my heart. It’s big budget trash, but with a story who belongs in a seventies porn-parody. Kirk Douglas is of course great, but there’s an air of desperation around him – like he knows that he’s an old fart and that this won’t work out in the end. I think this is the last time I’ve seen him play young-at-heart macho guys, after that he understood his age and took more fitting parts. The aura of not so hip sex oozes from Saturn 3, but never becomes annoying or too adult. The violence is more graphic, which surprised me after all these years – for example a chopped of hand, a character being sliced to thousands of pieces and a quick look at a robot wearing a human head!
I’m not gonna hype it, but I like it. Live with that, biatches!