Friday, July 06, 2007

Flashback Friday: The Black Hole

The Black Hole was a movie back in the late 70's about an evil scientist with a plot to send himself and his crew into a black hole. I only remember a few things about the movie - like the theme song, which was awesome. Another is the evil robot Maximilian. He rocked. I remember my horror at seeing the robot advance on a man with spinning propellers for hands and the man's body jerking as Maximilian chopped him up. Fortunately, they didn't show it. But how cool would that be to have a robot that would hack people up at your command? I even named one of my cats after him.

The ending of this movie is what I remember most and baffled me. After the ship enters the black hole, I vividly remember the villain floating up to the body of his robot Maximilian and the camera zooming out as he is somehow inside the robot as it stands on a rock ledge in a flaming pit. I remembered thinking, even as a child, where all those flames came from. Later, when I learned about oxygen, I wondered how there could be fire in outer space.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that that ending was supposed to imply that the spaceship had passed into the spirit realm and the heroes had gone into Heaven while the villain ended up in Hell. Hardly a fitting ending for a science-fiction movie.

Trivia
* The Black Hole is considered a colossal failure, both critically and commercially.
* It was Disney's first attempt to create a PG movie production.
* The movie was supposed to be an adaptation of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I don't know how they got this story out of it.
* The robot name "V.I.N.CENT" is supposed to be an acronym of "Vital Information Necessary CENTralized". B.O.B.'s name stands for "BiO-sanitation Battalion," while S.T.A.R.'s is an acronym for "Special Troops/Arms Regiment."
* V.I.N.CENT and Old B.O.B. were lame attempts at R2D2 clones.
* Neither the novelization or the comic adaptation used the Heaven/Hell ending.

Links
Disney's Unofficial The Black Hole page
Wikipedia: The Black Hole
Ultimate Disney: The Black Hole
Space.com review: Does 'The Black Hole' Still Suck?
Toy Archive.com: Blackhole

6 comments:

Mauricem said...

Man that movie freaked me out. I still remember his face as he was being gutted by Maximillian. Pretty shocking for a little kid. You forgot about the zimbified crew by the way. Talk about your nightmare factory.

Monkey Migraine said...

Dear Sir,

Why would someone ruin a perfectly good science fiction movie with some pseduo-religious garbage?

Signed,
The Wachowski Brothers

Monkey Migraine said...

Dear Mauricem,

I can't believe you mentioned the zombified crew. That's a spoiler! Way to ruin a movie.

Signed,
Rosebud is Citizen Kane's Sled

Mauricem said...

LOL Rosebud. I forgot it was a secret why the crew was acting so weird. My bad.

Mauricem said...

Wait. It's called a failure despite the following from Wikipedia? "The movie earned $25 million at the US box office, making it the 13th highest grossing film of the year. The film was nominated for cinematography and visual effects Academy Awards"

Monkey Migraine said...

That's all whitewash by fans of the movie. Read some of the other articles from links and it's generally agreed the movie's a flop.