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The 100




Saturn 3
(1980)
Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 7 Beans

elieve it or not, "Saturn 3" was made AFTER the advancement in special effects heralded by "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters". Yet, the crappy 'spaceship toys moving across a foam rubber planet' effects are expected to be taken seriously. No Dice. This is one of the most laugh-enducing big-budget all star sci-fi flicks ever made.

The film opens with a rogue astronaut, played by Harvey Keitel whose voice sounds seriously overdubbed and phony, who lands on Saturn 3, a research outpost (I think). The outpost is manned by only 2 people, leathery Kirk Douglas and vacuous Farrah Fawcett. What do these two "scientists" do at the outpost? I have no idea, they are shown in spacesuits exactly once and spend the rest of the time doing exercises and modeling the latest in bad disco-era space fashions.

Anyway, Keitel's purpose is to deliver and build a new robot to take over the Saturn 3 operation, thus rendering either Douglas or Fawcett obsolete. When I say that Douglas and Fawcett don't seem to actually DO anything at the outpost, I mean it. They take a shower together, they jog the nifty neon space corridors, they have drinks at the space bar (yes they have their own retro lounge with wet bar, sofas, and potted plants), they do jump rope and ab-roller exercises etc., the script is so lame these are the only scenes it could come up with to have Douglas and Fawcett talking to each other expressing concern about Keitel and the robot, which Keitel names "Hector".

Faster than you can say "'2001' ripoff", Hector goes ballistic, killing Keitel and spending the remaining 45 minutes of screen time chasing and attacking Douglas and Fawcett. Groan!

The film ends with Douglas sacrificing himself by blowing himself and Hector up, thus sparing Fawcett (oh, he really shouldn't have). Fawcett, later sporting a fresh perm, finally gets her trip to Earth, sadder but wiser.

"Saturn 3" is a complete washout in every department. Rarely have special effects, costumes and set decoration been so misconceived. The performances and dialogue are also pretty sad, the film almost begs to be overacted, but the cast underacts to such an extreme they almost disappear. Keitel is flat even when he's supposed to be menacing saying things like "No taction contact!", which means "no touching", or to Fawcett "You have a beautiful body. May I use it?".
Douglas doesn't really act in this film, usually he just stands around being himself because he has no real character to portray. And Fawcett is her usual vacant self, but she always looks smashing in her disco-era space pantsuits and running down hallways wearing only a sheet. At one point she has her hair done up with a monstrous barrette that looks like a sea-shell windchime dangling from her head.

"Saturn 3" is silly swill that makes one wonder whether it was all done this way on purpose. No one could have thought this was a serious story....could they?






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a subsidiary of Syphon Interactive, LLC.

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