Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
In the future, space wars have taken over and bio-viruses are all the rage. After an explosion leaves a crew stranded on a ship, the surviving crew discovers one of them is infected, and one of the is a traitor.
Is it good movie?
Anytime the phrases ďspace filmĒ and ďlow budgetĒ come together, the fear of Leprechaun 4: In Space suddenly appears. Not knocking the Lep franchise as I do love a few of them, but part four became the ultimate example of how lame low budget sci-fi can be. It was embarrassing, and it left an erasable mark that will always cause concern. With Decaying Orbit, those fears came rushing back as the film clearly depended on space ships, action, explosions, and, well, believable special effects. This has been done successfully before, but not often in the modern CGI age. Within the first few minutes, Decaying Orbit became one of those movies that I thought Iíd either laugh at the acting or shake my head at the so-called special effects. After all, a space adventure relies heavily on the believability of the effect; whether or not the audience can buy the space ship and not make it seem like a group of actors sitting in front of a blue screen. Anyway, while the occasional laugh did occur at the acting, the effects were decent. Actually, more than decent. Sure, confused as the next Star Trek, or Star Wars, or even Dark Star, this is not, but I dug it. The effects felt on par with, or even sometimes better than a lot of what the Sci-Fi channel has to offer. The space scenes looked great and the action, the battles between the ships, is quite detailed and effective. Impressive, as an Emperor once said. This doesnít revival Mr. Lucasís company, but it more than serves itís purpose.
As for the acting, the actors try their best. They really do. Everyone seems as if they really loved the project and they bite on the premise. They just arenít top-level performers. Hell, we all canít be. Sometimes, the dialogue is delivered with the effectiveness of high school level actors. Certain parts, such as the mutiny between the shipís captain and first officer, were quite humorous, as it seemed like a table read, trying to figure out the level of tension. But even with a few goofy scenes, they end up adding to the overall enjoyment on a certain level. As for the story, director Tim Pyle must have brushed up on his John Carpenter flicks as Decaying Orbit played out like a space version of The Thing. A virus infects a small crew of survivors, but they donít know which one. The idea of being isolated, scared, and battling the unknown is a flawless plot. Pyle couldnít have gone wrong. The film also has good tension and pacing, as the story never slows. And just as you canít buy one scenario, thereís another to replace it almost instantaneously. Thatís good filmmaking, even if the quality isnít top notch.
Video / Audio
Video: 16x9 Letterbox Version. Looks like mid-level porn.
Audio: 2.0 NTSC. It sounds good enough to enjoy.
Deleted Scene: For once, a deleted scene that should have been in the film. While it might suffer for a bit too much exposition, sometimes itís needed. Here, it gives a deeper background into future space wars.
Trailer: Itís a trailer.
Outtakes: Five minutes of outtakes. Bloopers are always enjoyable, though Iím used to seeing them in comedies more often than sci-fi.
No one will confuse this with 2001, but it's an enjoyable low budget film that does everything it can to entertain the viewer.