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Dark Star/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Dark Star
  • The Playboy posters are blurred in the bedroom scene, although the bedroom scene is not in all versions of the movie.
  • The actor who played "Talby" had a heavy accent; eventually all of his dialogue was re-dubbed, allegedly by John Carpenter himself.
  • The bombs are made from an HO scale piggyback trailer kit and parts of 1/25th scale model car kits; "Matra", the name of the car, can be seen on some parts in some shots.
  • Sergeant Pinback's video diary is an 8-track tape and the machine he uses to read it and record it is a microfiche reader.
  • A computer screen flashes "FUCK YOU HARRIS" during the film. This was to Jack H. Harris, the producer, who annoyed director John Carpenter during filming and this was his revenge.
  • The scene in which Pinback is stuck in the service elevator with his legs dangling through the floor hatch is clearly filmed in a corridor with the lift base being pulled horizontally along it.
  • Talby's spacesuit chestplate is made from a muffin tray.
  • The space suits are made to resemble the space suit of the Mattel action figure "Major Matt Mason", which was used in slightly modified form as a miniature for effects shots.
  • John Carpenter directed, edited, and wrote the music for the film, but he uses pseudonyms in the credits for editing and the music.
  • Co-writer Dan O'Bannon later reused the "alien mascot" section of the film as the basis of his script for Alien (1979).
  • Ron Cobb drew the original design for the "Dark Star" on a napkin while eating at the International House of Pancakes.
  • The idea to deep-freeze the dead (Commander Powell) and be able to speak to their half-living souls through an electronic device is inspired by sci-fi short stories and novels by Philip K. Dick, in such works as "What the Dead Men Say" (1963) or "Ubik" (1969). The frost, the radio tuning and the clouded, feeble and fainting thoughts are exactly as described by Dick.
  • In the "elevator" sequence the bottom of the elevator is actually rolling on the floor. The device used to roll the elevator base was actually a Moviola camera dolly normally used on the small sound stage in the old USC Cinema building (itself once a horse stable). The steering end of the dolly can be seen as part of the "elevator" underside.
  • Talby's starsuit backpack is made from Styrofoam packing material - probably from a TV set.
  • The double rows of large buttons on the bridge consoles are ice cube trays illuminated from beneath.
  • This is John Carpenter's only theatrically-released film that wasn't shot in Panavision.
  • The space helmets used were part of Ideal Toys' "S.T.A.R. Team" toy line produced from 1968 to 1971. The helmets are obviously sized for children as is evidenced by the poor fit on the actors' heads.
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