Year: 1987

Production: Vista Films

Director: T.C. Blake (Robert Collector)

Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Michael Praed, John Standing, Lisa Blount, Glenn Whitrow, James Avery, Helene Udy, Annabel Brooks, Michael Des Barres

Screenwriter: Robert Jaffe

Based on Nightflyers (1980) by George R.R. Martin

89 minutes; Color

"This ship is alive," warns hologram Praed, "it's a seething, malignant presence and it hates all of you." A disappointing adaptation of Martin's very cinematic novella, this is a sloppy Aliens (1986) imitation, with Praed's dead clone mother reincarnated as a spaceship's controlling computer - sometimes projected in the image of poseur psychic Des Barres - and murdering one by one a crew recruited by scientist Standing to seek out a mysterious and vast lifeform passing through the galaxy. It has a competent cast - Praed and Des Barres aside - and the ship is an impressively Gothic backdrop, but it's essentially a series of mechanized splatter scenes, distantly reminiscent of Gog (1954), as the characters are colorfully killed by gadgetry in pop video-style sequences. A passable time-waster, but a good deal less startling than it should have been.

The Overlook Film Encyclopedia - Science Fiction

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