Dark Star is a 1974 American science fiction comedy film directed by John Carpenter and co-written with Dan O'Bannon. It follows the crew of the deteriorating starship "Dark Star", twenty years into their mission to destroy unstable planets that might threaten future colonization of other planets.
Beginning as a USC student film produced from 1970 to 1972, the film was gradually expanded to feature film length by 1974, when it appeared at Filmex before receiving a limited theatrical release in 1975. Its final budget is estimated at $60,000. While initially unsuccessful with audiences, it was relatively well received by critics and continued to be shown in theatres as late as 1980. The home video revolution of the early 1980s helped the film achieve "cult classic" status.
A low budget story of four astronauts in deep space, whose mission is to destroy unstable planets in star systems which are to be colonised. The late Commander Powell is stored in deep freeze, where he is still able to offer advice. As their mission nears completion, they must cope with a runaway alien which resembles a beach-ball, faulty computer systems, and a "smart bomb" who thinks it is God. [Alexander Lum]