saturn 3 poster

BENSON (Harvey Keitel/ Dubbed by Roy Dotrice)

Yes, you have a great body. May I use it?

I sat down today in front of my widescreen TV and decided to surf my high-definition digital cable for a good movie to watch. I turned to God-knows what channel, and came across a movie about to start starring Kurt Douglas and Harvey Keitel, not to mention Farrah Fawcett. Apparently it was a sci-fi flick about two lovers who’s space station is breaking down, so they need to call in a doctor with some “big tools” to patch the place up. The Robo Handy-man, Hector begins to feel lovelorn as he inherits the lust for the loyal female character (Fawcett, of course) that his socially-retarded creator (Keitel) builds up in competition to the usually-naked space Commander (the aging Kirk Douglas)! Sounds like the opening of a porno, no?

Now let me ask you something- how does a movie starring Spartacus, Mr. White, and a freaking Charlie’s Angel end up being some of the biggest dreck I’ve ever had to witness, even by MY low standards? I mean…I watch the movie Versus like religion!

Well I was reading some forum threads from IMDB, and it seems like the cast and crew might have not enjoyed this movie either. One thread poster states that, more than likely, Harvey Keitel hated everyone and everything to do with the movie- probably because his character, the maniacal Dr. Benson, was dubbed by Roy Dotrice because he couldn’t compensate for the directors inane need for REALLY STUPID SPEECH PATTERNS. Let me explain something: Harvey Keitel has an amazing voice, and an amazing style of articulation. If you wanted Dr. Spock for this movie, labotamize Leonard Nimoy in the stylings of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest and stick a crazy straw in his throat. This character sounded so awful, and while I know it was intentional it still does not deserve any forgiveness. Half the time I had no idea what this character was saying because the screenplay didn’t really get any damned coherent thought across even when Kirk Douglas was making a perfectly humorous quip! In fact if he wasn’t smiling like a jackass through half of his lines (probably out of contempt for this garbage) I doubt I would have even known he was making wisecracks!

Farrah Fawcett practically plays a Barbie Doll for the bumbling (notice how his legs never really move that much yet he walks? Bizarre) Hector- who falls madly in love with her to the point of evicerating her arms and trying to…wait…

Hector never tries to do ANYTHING to her! He just stands there going “look at me, I’m a killer robot! Insert Really Annoying Robot Noises HERE!” God if I had an audio clip for this I assure you I could give brain tumors to 90% of the people who read this review. It is THAT awful.

Now if you may have noticed I’ve been adding pictures to my reviews lately. Well let me tell you something about the next image: It’s a picture of a model/promotional tool for the film from 1980. And guess what? This scene, filled with intensity and action-never happens never happens.

So what do we get from this movie? Well…we get sex…a lot of sexual innuendo…starring Farrah Faucett and your grandpa, I mean Kirk Douglas. Now the relationship between these two could have been really well established had they not made Fawcett seem like a plaything to every actor (that meaning, two on-screen characters and two offscreen horney fighter pilot) and the giant robot who probably needed to adjust his apparatus. Maybe it was social commentary, but my only guess is that it was the commentary on: If you’re a stupid blond with your headlights constantly going berserk, yes, men will fight over you and you will be able to do nothing about it.

Hug robotThen again maybe the only real love going on in the movie was going on between the Commander and the robot, as seen in this image of a man giving one last glorious hug to his giant mechanical monster! Oh the passion!

On the plus side, Hector was decently designed, as were the sets and the special effects…

OH WHO AM I KIDDING!!? The sets looked like something out of a BAD episode of the original Star Trek (and by bad I meant worse than standard), Hector made Robbie The Robot look like a talented Jazz Dancer, and the special effects were stolen straight from Alien, only it looked like it had the budget of a sophomore film school project from 1964.

In his directorial debut, John Barry, the production designer for the original Star Wars movie, started directing this film, and died (or was fired, I can’t tell from the rumors on the net) about half way through the project. The cause: Menegitis.
Guess what? I’m going to place my bets on this film for causing his untimely death: It wasn’t the menegitis- it was the overwhelming obviousness that after this film, his career would already be miles down the crapper.

In the end, there were some very interesting ideas posed- humans giving robots intelligence through brainwaves would make a great film if done right (and I’m sure it has been, my brain is just too melted by this rotten-egg to remember any) and the fact that the two main characters were trying to make their own private Eden in a solar system of despair seemed relatively touching. Too bad it ripped the opening directly from Alien and didn’t even HAVE an ending!

This film does NOT strike a pose. It simply flops around like a fish out of water…and on a bed of burning embers, covered in sault and about to be sauteed with pig urine.