Anyone who’s seen the trailers for today’s theatrical release of ‘Lockout’ should easily recognize it as a thinly-veiled knockoff of ‘Escape from New York’. The ads aren’t even a little bit subtle about that. This is just the latest in a not-so-proud tradition of remakes (official and otherwise) and franchise sequels that transport their story or characters to outer space. For this week’s Roundtable, we thought that we might make some suggestions of our own.
Well, since we’ve already had Jason Voorhees and the Leprechaun (“Where’s me gold?!”) in space, it only makes sense to have Freddy Krueger reach for the stars with his infamous gloved hand. I’d like to see a claustrophobic slasher something along the lines of ‘A Nightmare on the International Space Station‘, where the bogeyman in the striped shirt and fedora begins invading the dreams of the astronauts on board. Eventually, Freddy gets strong enough to manifest in reality, where the victims are like fish in a zero-gravity barrel with few places to run and hide. I know this isn’t exactly original, but hey, it works. Robert Englund of course would have to rattle off some crazy one-liners like, “Houston… you BETCHA have a problem!” and “Ground Control: Major Tom has something wrong ALL RIGHT!” before (or after) he dispatches each victim one by one. Then, once everyone’s dead, Freddy comes to realize that he’s stuck up there by himself, and that’s when he lets out a piercing “NOOOOOOOOO!!!” a la Blu-ray Darth Vader. Yeah, I’d go for that most definitely.
Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)
‘12 Angry Spacemen‘ – Murder has been committed on the terraforming colony on Vega 7. Eleven colonists from all walks of life are convinced that they know who perpetrated this heinous crime: a sentient plant, with deadly snake-like tendrils and poisonous secretions. But one lonely xenobotanist tries to convince his fellow jurors that all may not be as it seems.
‘The Good, The Bad and the Weightless‘ – A mysterious space jockey, a petty thief and a hardened fugitive all set out to find a lost planet of gold. Who’s the good guy, who’s the bad guy and who’s the gravity challenged?
‘Full Martian Jacket‘ – An astro-marine documents his strange and perilous journey through boot camp on Luna Base to an extended tour in the Martian colonies, where he blogs about the events leading to the famed Olympus Mons offensive, a turning point in the Terra/Martian conflict.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
It was kind of a thing for a while there to rocket slashers off into deep space. Jason Voorhees, Pinhead, the Leprechaun and those otherworldy Critters all had their zero-gravity adventures in the darkness of space. That just leaves me wondering… well, why stop there? Can’t you just picture Leatherface bobbing around the exterior of a space station to the strains of The Blue Danube, flailing a chainsaw around? ‘Leatherface in Outer Space‘! You’ve got my ten bucks, New Line. Maybe another Freddy movie: “In space, no one can hear you dream“? The most obvious one for me, though, would be yet another Halloween sequel. Take your pick if you want it to follow the original franchise or the mostly-unwatchable Rob Zombie series. Michael Myers is still looking to hack apart whoever’s left in his bloodline. It just so happens that Laurie Strode (or fill in the blank with some twentysomething starlet type) has pulled herself together in the wake of all his havoc and is proudly being launched into orbit as an astronaut. With a butcher knife and a spacesuit in hand, Michael Myers ain’t too far behind… Heck, go all out and put a Silver Shamrock label on the spacesuits while you’re at it. I’m still working on my ‘Child’s Play-in-Space’ treatment if there are any bidders.
Imagine ‘No Country for Old Men’ set in space. The movie is already like a Western, so it would be a true “space Western.” In ‘No Galaxy for Old Men‘, while hunting on a small planet, a tough dude runs across the scene of a smuggling deal gone bad. There, he’s seen by a bounty hunter (picture Boba Fett if Boba was actually threatening) who begins to pursue him around the galaxy, killing tons of innocent folks along the way. Most space Westerns blow, so maybe this one would actually be worth watching. If it was made with serious intent and no pod racing whatsoever, it could be seriously awesome.
‘Alien Kane‘ – The trans-dimensional media baron Char’les Floomquad K’ane (because if there’s one thing that sci-fi movies and TV shows have taught us, it’s that all alien names are filled with pointless apostrophes), one of the richest and most powerful humanoid creatures in the solar system, dies alone in his Martian mansion. An artificially-intelligent search engine program digs into his past to seek the meaning of the tycoon’s enigmatic last word, “Rosebud.” Spoiler Alert: It’s the name of his favorite childhood hoverboard. This will be the ‘Citizen Kane’ of sci-fi movies… literally!
‘Gone with the Solar Winds‘ – The epic tale of a woman’s life during one of the most tumultuous periods in galactic history. Follow the adventures of Scarj O’Hara (played by Scarlett Johansson, ‘natch) from her young, innocent days on a prosperous clone farm to the war-torn streets of New Atlanta during the Robot Civil War. Will Scarj O. find love with charming space smuggler Rhettcon Butler? Frankly, my dear, you will give a damn!
‘Lawrence of Andromeda‘ – Five hundred years in the future, scientists use preserved DNA samples to clone real historical figure T.E. Lawrence, now enhanced with genetically-modified strength, agility and telekinetic powers, to be the ultimate super-soldier in the battle against Islamic terrorists. (Yeah, they’re still a problem.) But they don’t count on Lawrence going rogue and following in his famous predecessor’s footsteps. While scouting a battlefield on planet Ceti Beta VII in the Andromeda constellation, Lawrence 2.0 joins with the primitive Cetan natives to form a guerrilla army against the evil corporate douchebags from Earth who sent him… Blah blah blah… White guy becomes leader of “noble savages,” etc. etc… Copy/paste bits of ‘Dances With Wolves’ and ‘Avatar’. You get the idea. It’ll make a bajillion dollars!
We know that our readers are creative folks. Give us your space-themed titles and plot summaries in the Comments.