Monday, May 16, 2016

Brief Thoughts - NIGHTFLYERS (1987)

I'm going to have to find a copy of George R. R. Martin's source short story to discover if there was anything coherent in the original idea for this film's script.

Let me back up.

I have been aware of NIGHTFLYERS (1987) for decades but have never sought it out because the few opinions I had heard were negative. The other day someone on Facebook mentioned it as one of those 'how can it not be on DVD yet' titles and my interest was rekindled. So, a few taps later I sat down to finally see this somewhat lost science fiction horror effort adapted from the writing of one of my favorite writers.

Oh, god! I was initially  heartened to see that the film's run time was a short 90 minutes which made me think it was going to be a quick blast of genre fun. Oh, my, no. This is one of the slowest, most draining movie experiences I have had in a long time. On multiple occasions during that sad hour and a half I felt myself start to drift away and had to stand up, move around and refocus my attention just to stay awake! This is easily one of the most boring SF movies I have ever seen and I have seen some pretty terrible stuff. I have watched ALL of the original runs of Battlestar Galactica AND Galactica 1980, so I know boring, tedious SF, people. This is worse than those! I kept trying to follow the thread of the story but it's so poorly related and crappily staged that there were times I forgot that there was a reason these characters were talking to each other or doing things. And by the end (oh, blessed ending!) of this mess I realized that the story had deteriorated so much that the film didn't even bother to finish the damned thing! The instigating plot revolves around a group of people recruited by a professor to venture into intergalactic space and seek out the location of an alien race....or something like that. It's all fuzzy now, just like the film's very 1980's diffused photography. Seriously, watching this movie is like watching a play through a fogbank.

But enough about this deadly dull film except to say that if anyone out there is an actual fan of NIGHTFLYERS please contact me in the comments below. I want to know what you see in this thing other than 'it's not available on DVD'. If I ever need to get to sleep I have my problem solved! 


Nick Rentz said...

The most boring sci fi films I've seen are Star Odyssey and War of the Robots. How does Nightflyers compare to those?

Rod Barnett said...

Pretty close. Those at least had SOME action beats even if they were ineptly done. This film - jeeze!

Horror Haven said...

I sought that movie out back in the day because it starred Michael Praed, who at the time was (and in my mind, still is) the BEST Robin Hood ever!! He was on the Robin of Sherwood series from England that was broadcast on Showtime back in the 80s. I even watched Dynasty with my grandmother when he was cast as the prince of Moldavia!! I have to admit, I only watched Nightflyers a couple of times back then and it really wasn't very memorable. I always thought Praed was going to go on to do bigger and better things, but he never really did. You really should check out Robin of Sherwood! One of my other favorite actors, Ray Winstone, was Will Scarlett and again, was perhaps THE BEST Will Scarlett, in my humble opinion. I'm glad to see that he went on to continued success! Anyway, I'll have to revisit it, if only for nostalgia purposes.

Rod Barnett said...

I have been aware of Robin of Sherwood for years and yet to seek it out. Years ago I had friends that swore by it but I just never got to see it. Must rectify this.