Old 03-07-2014, 10:58 PM
Outland (1981) - an often overlooked sci-fi gem

Theatrical Trailer

Written and Directed by Peter Hyams

Starring Sean Connery, Peter Boyle

At first glance, Outland would appear to be an Alien rip-off: It's a story about deep space mining, ruled by a faceless corporation that cares more about profits than people. Everything has a dirty, lived in look. It even has a music score by Jerry Goldsmith. But that's were the similarities end. There is no alien creature here, just dirty, corrupt humans.

Sean Connery plays O'Niel, the new marshal for a mining colony stationed on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. The place is run by the sleazy general manager played by an appropriately sleazy Peter Boyle. After a series of bizarre accidental deaths, Connery suspects there's something bigger going on.

The movie is essentially a sci-fi retelling of the classic western High Noon. But what really sets the movie apart are the absolutely stunning sets. The late 70s/early 80s may be the pinnacle of modern sci-fi cinema, and Outland might be one of the best looking movies to come out of that period. The production design is nothing short of fantastic; this looks like it was one expensive movie.

Peter Hyams is one of the most underrated genre directors of all time. He bookended this movie with a couple other often overlooked sci-fi gems: Capricorn One and 2010. Sadly, his more recent output has not been so great, but back in his prime, he was one of the best.

If you love 80s sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Unfortunately, the DVD has one of the worst video transfers I've ever seen, but it is worth it to see the movie (I have no idea if it is available to steam).
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:14 PM
Outland is a favorite of mine too. I have seen this movie many many times. And the odd thing is, it never ever bores me. I even have the old Starlog magazine with Outland previewing on its cover. It almost has the feeling of Alien. And I love the cast. Also, the models were made by brothers. Bob and Dennis Shotak, I believe. Lastly, the score is superb. It's interesting to note that the naked glass booth dancers were all naked but you never see any skin due to the brilliant lighting effects. Love Outland
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:49 PM
I snagged a VHS copy a few days ago for a dollar which I figured was a good deal considering unfortunately from what I'm hearing the DVD isn't really all that much of a step up. Strange that this movie never really caught on and thus never really warranted a proper release - so I won't be holding my breath for any steelbook blu-ray special editions or anything like that. But it's a damn good movie. I hadn't seen it in a few years and I decided to watch it tonight. It holds up.

It's definitely very Alien-esque and could arguably take place in the same universe, which I'm happy to agree with most fans on that headcanon because the look and feel is very close to Ridley Scott's 1979 film. And its effects are very impressive, I mean, hell, even movies from 10-15 years ago with millions of dollars worth of CGI don't look as good. Maybe because it wasn't really going for spectacle, and really is more about the atmosphere.

Connery playing Badass Connery works well here and he's pretty good in it - I especially liked the part where he's pretty much just like "fuck it" and reaches his hand into the boiling pot after that chase scene. Oh man, that was good. And Peter Boyle was also really awesome as the slimy company guy villain.

So yeah it's definitely something worth watching, and for a VHS worth a buck I guess I couldn't go wrong.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:25 PM

Last edited by God of War; 03-11-2014 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:35 AM
great sci fi flick, definitely underrated movie.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:02 PM
Peter Hyams as director is usually a sign that the movie is no good.
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