dark star

‘dark star’ – john carpenter’s first directorial debut was as legend has it, so dogged by budgeting restraints that both he and his collaborative partner in crime Dan O’Bannon where forced to multi task with the latter left doing the special effects and putting himself in front of the camera while the former was left to write, produce and provide the musical score. Assuming cult status, ‘dark star’ is something of a sore thumb curio in the Carpenter canon, A Dan Dare-ish meets the Stooges in space suits ‘red dwarf’ before ‘red dwarf’ slab of sci-fi goofiness emerging from the shadow of Kubrick’s ‘2001 – a space odyssey’ where the failing dumbness of crew are sharply out witted – or should that be dim-witted – by a marvellously recalcitrant and schizoid on board computer system. The score composed by Carpenter neatly harks back to classic 50’s sci-fi radio play idents, all gloopy binary bleeps n’ blips and outer worldly whirrs hinting strongly of the ‘forbidden planet’ whilst segued between lounge jazz treatments and brooding 80’s cinematic style drone psychosis. This set, described by the label – who are incidentally called we release whatever the fuck we want records – now I’m gonna have to get on their mailing list – is the most comprehensive vinyl edition of the film score – comes plastered on 12 inches of wax – initial copies comes packaged with a neat 7 inch featuring selected reworking’s by Alan Howarth. One, I suspect, for the completist and the intrigued.

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