Saturn 3 (1980)

In 1980, Saturn 3 was released. Since then it’s been mocked, laughed at, even ripped-off by so-called “Classic” (Some actually deserved it, though.). Although it’s rough on the edges, and suffers from some editing problems, effects, and a low budget, Saturn 3 is light-years better than any of the sci-fi crap that’s churned out today (Not counting Revenge Of The Sith, which was good.), along with another underrated sci-fi cult hit Galaxy Of Terror. Unlike Galaxy, Saturn 3 was directed by producer (And best known for Singing In The Rain) Stanley Donen, who took over from original director (And special effects/set designer specialist) John Barry. His directing is fine, but along with him are Kirk Douglas (Who’s often criticized for being too old to be stripped down in wearing nothing in some parts of the film, but this was made before he ACTUALLY became a decrepit, feeble old man, no offense Kirk.), Harvey Keitel (Who was unfairly dubbed by a stereotypical British dude i’m not familiar with), and Farrah Fawcet (Who’s the weakest link of this film).

It opens with Keitel (Dressed in a awesome space suit) taking the job to take Hector (The key robot of the film.) to Saturn 3, a sanctionary of sorts to keep Earth plenished with food. Of course, he kills the real men meant for the job, and goes in the spaceship unnoticed. The opening is full of surreal, trippy, but awesome details, and gives us viewers some view of possible space life in the future. Keitel (Who’s character is called Benson, and is referred as the Captain) arrives at Saturn 3, and is greeted by Adam & Alex (Douglas & Fawcet, which their characters’ names are a nod to Adam & Eve.). Alex says Benson is weird, and Adam outright distrusts him. Alex has also never been to Earth. We then see Benson construct Hector, a big robot with the tinniest head in the world. He has a synthetic brain, and is programmed by taking information from Benson via a head plug (A concept stolen by The Matrix.) Benson gains a weird obsession towards Alex, said obsession is transferred to Hector, which leads to Hector going mad, killing a dog, then Benson later on. Then, it leads Adam to sacrifice his life to save Alex.

Saturn 3 contains some great designs, an interesting concept, a well-done execution, and some flaws. The flaws come from different places, mainly the casting of Fawcet. Some say this was vehicle for her showing off her skin, but due to the film’s long history (Dating back to the early 70s, before Star Wars), it ain’t. She makes her character a tad annoying, and seems to have not much to do except being fluff. She adds nothing, only causing a distraction from the real stars of the film, Keitel, Douglas, Hector, and the set design. Douglas & Keitel (Despite the awful decision to dub Keitel) are excellent, Hector is a creation of mystery to behold, the sets are great, and the score (Although brief) is cool and unforgettable. The effects work well, except for some really awful ones (Notably the one scene where Hector extends his arms after Adam tosses a crate at him, the riding through the rocks scenes, and, ugh, that one effect where Hector looks like a automated reject from Disneyworld’s Epcot Center after getting pushed into the trap Adam and Alex made, although he was smart enough to avoid it first.). Despite these flaws, Saturn 3 is a great, forgotten sci-fi flick that needs to be seen and treated better, especially in the days of dreadful crap like “You Got Served”, “Hustle & Flow”, “Waist Deep”, “Stargate The Series”, “The Matrix Revolutions”, and “Cars” (Which I haven’t seen, nor I want to see it, due to my fear that it will be inferior to the CGI Animated masterpiece “The Incredibles”). See it, respect the effects (Which are still better than CGI), and don’t laugh, you’ll understand me better.