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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturn 3 (1980)

On Saturn's third moon, a hydroponics scientist (Kirk Douglas) and his assistant (Farrah Fawcett) do research on replenishing the Earth's dwindling food supply. A functionary (Harvey Keitel, whose voice is dubbed) arrives and puts together a robot which will take the place of the scientist and uses his own brain to direct feed information to the robot. But there's a big problem ..... the visitor is psychotic! The story was the creation of production designer John Barry (STARS WARS) who had hoped to direct the film but he was replaced by Stanley Donen (SINGIN' IN THE RAIN). The movie's budget was slashed during filming and the film re-cut in post prodction. In its initial release (blown up to 70 millimeter), the film received terrible reviews as well as poor box office. While not the greatest piece of sci-fi, it's far better than its reputation would suggest. The robot is genuinely creepy, Stuart Craig's production design is first rate and there's a solid Elmer Bernstein score. Donen wasn't the man to direct something like this though he gives the film a tense atmosphere and it's a pity that Barry wasn't allowed to carry out his original plans for the film. Although fired from the film, he never saw the result as he passed away before the film was released.

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