Adam (Kirk Douglas) and Alex
(Farrah Fawcett) are two
scientists stationed on an agricultural research station named Saturn 3 on
Saturn’s moon Titan. They live in
isolation as they seek to produce new forms of food for Earth and away from the
hedonistic morals of Earth society.
Their perfect world is interrupted when Benson (Harvey Keitel) arrives
as Titan goes into eclipse (and cutting off communication for 28 days). Benson
is an unstable pilot who has killed
another pilot (Captain James) to take his place and he brings along with him
the first of the Demigod series of robots called Hector. He programs the
robot via direct connect and
his insanity and desires spill over into the robot’s programming. The
robot becomes unstable and it force Adam
and Alex to fight for their survival.
SATURN 3 is one of those
interesting sci-fi failures that
was released in 1980. It was plagued by
a troubled production history that saw the original director John Barry depart
after two weeks and producer Stanley Donen taking over as director. The movie
went through a variety of edits
which saw some scenes cut from it that would have lead the movie to make more
sense as SATURN 3 became a battleground of creative differences. Lord
Grade wanted some of the violence cut
from the film while Farrah Fawcett had one scene cut due to an outfit she
deemed too provocative for her (but still the image of her in that outfit was
used in publicity materials and posters around the world). Then some of
the edits make Adam more heroic
while sacrificing some character development for Alex and Hector which suggests
Kurt Douglas didn’t want to be seen playing a less sympathetic character.
I found it an interesting
film to watch with the production
design, the robot, and costumes to be the best things about the film. The script
could have used some work where
the cutting of some vital scenes left the pacing off a bit for the last third
of the movie. Some have commented that
the special effects were left wanting, but I find some of the effects are
better than some of the CGI effects of today.
It is an interesting sci-fi cult
gem which works better than some of the bigger budget sci-fi movies of
today. It is a sci-fi Frankenstein tale
which attempts to be a character drama to end up as a high quality sci-fi B
Interview with actor Roy Dotrice
as he talks about his
experience of doing the voice dubbing over Harvey Keitel’s lines for Stanley
Donen and giving praise for Harvey Keitel as an actor (as Roy was left wondering
why Donen decided to dub over Keitel’s performance).
Interview with Special Effects
Supervisor Colin Chivers has
Colin talk about how the effects were made.
Also included are the deleted
scenes from the NBC television
cut which features over ten minutes of scenes which flesh out the movie, but
the scenes are in 1.33:1 and in VHS quality to varying degrees of quality.
Then there is the deleted Blue
Dreamers sequence which isn’t
even the complete sequence with some audio missing and the last part of the
scene missing where Adam kills Captain James in a dream.
The audio commentary is with
film critic David Bradley and
Saturn 3 fan Greg Moss (who has a web site called Something Is Wrong with
Saturn 3) as they talk about what went right and wrong with Saturn 3 as they
discuss the troubled production history of SATURN 3 that went over budget and
had its visual effects budget cut in an attempt to save another movie (RAISE
THE TITANIC). It brings up questions
why some scenes were cut and make you wonder what it would have been like if
Sean Connery or Michael Caine were cast as Adam (both declined due to both
being tax exiles from the UK and living in other countries).
Rounding out the extras are
the theatrical trailer, two TV
spots, and a stills gallery.
The DVD presents the movie
in standard definition and all of
the same extras.
SATURN 3 is an interesting sci-fi cult gem with a wealth of extras that
makes you wish a longer and restored cut of SATURN 3 could be made one day.
SATURN 3 fan site worth checking out called Something Is Wrong On Saturn 3- http://saturn3makingof.com/
This DVD review is (c)12-22-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted
without permission. Send all comments to
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