Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I watched PANDORUM (2009) the other night. I knew nothing about this German science-fiction/horror film going in and I got the DVD in a trade, so I figured I would take a chance. What did I have to lose except a couple of hours?

In the year 2174, an immense "ark" spaceship (containing over half a million people and named, coincidentally enough, The Elysium) sets off for a distant planet named Tanis. Earth has become uninhabitable and the people on board are humanity's last hope for survival. The plan is to land on Tanis, thaw out the passengers and begin life anew on the new world.

Things go wrong.

Two members of a flight crew (Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster), come out of hibernation ahead of schedule and find themselves cut off from the rest of the ship. They have no idea where in space the ship is, nor where Tanis or Earth are. Unable to open the hatch that leads to the bridge, Quaid (the commanding officer), stays at his post while Foster climbs through the air ducts and service passageways in an attempt to both gain access to the bridge and search for any other crew members and passengers (including his wife).

He finds a couple of other crew members fighting for their lives against savage, cannibalistic mutations that prowl the deserted corridors of the immense vessel. These freaks are actually genetically-engineered humans (designed to readily adapt to the alien environment of Tanis) who have mutated into savage, flesh-eating monsters. There are numerous battles between humans and monsters while Quaid, back in his command chamber, begins to slowly go insane.

There's a race against time to restart the nuclear power core of the ship and a climactic showdown on the now finally accessible bridge in which the mystery of where The Elysium has actually been for all of this time (hint: it's not outer space) is revealed.

PANDORUM borrows liberally from Ridley Scott's far superior ALIEN (1979). Humans menaced by monsters in the cramped confines of a spaceship seemed fresh and original thirty-four years ago but it's a tired genre cliche in this day and age. Quaid is the only actor whose name I recognized and the rest of the cast is okay. As are the CGI special effects and practical sets used throughout the film. The narrative is slightly confusing in places but overall, it's not a bad little "B" movie. If you like this kind of stuff, PANDORUM is worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. Humans menaced by monsters in the cramped confines of a spaceship actually predates Alien like the 1950s story "Discord in Scarlet" by A. E. van Vogt whom filed a lawsuit against Fox. Alien itself isn't completely but that is not a film's job. It suppose to tell the story in its own way.

    Also, the creatures weren't mutated human(common misconception) but a new species that evolved from passengers who went insane and turned into cannibals. Blogged all about here.