Year: 1985

Production: Edward S. Feldman / Paramount

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson

Screenwriter: Eric Luke

109 minutes; Color

Three schoolboys, tipped off by a dream, employ a computer to help create a sphere that can move very quickly and is impervious to gravity; they use it to power a spacecraft they build out of junk. Far above Earth they find a spaceship with, inside it, two aliens - their view of humanity entirely gleaned from old tv programmes - who turn out likewise to be kids on a joyride. This strange film was apprently aimed at pre-teens, but the grotesque aliens (more like cartoons than extraterrestrials) and their tv/radio obsession seem directed far more at adults. Perhaps because of this uncertainty about the audience, Explorers, the most personal of Dante's films, was a box-office failure. Despite its self-indulgence it has wonderful moments, captures well that sence of dream and yearning in children known to sf fans of whatever age as the sense of wonder, and deftly pinpoints many points of collision between the child's world and the adult's.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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