After watching Prince of Darkness last night, my girlfriend demanded I show her more John Carpenter. Fortunately she has seen most of the director’s better films like Halloween, The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China, but hadn’t experienced his awesome 1974 debut, Dark Star. This has been a favourite of mine for many years, from its goofy humour and eerie music, to its stupid alien design yet wonderful low-fi aesthetic. It’s great to experience the singular personality of Dan O’Bannon’s Pinback, as well as see him laying the blueprints for what would become his masterpiece, Alien. The numerous digs at Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey are also a treat, as is the bomb that becomes fatally self-aware. This film is literally packed full of excellent moments and wonderful ideas. The only downside was the rather shoddy condition of the DVD we watched, with the audio in particular proving difficult to fully understand. I might just have to pick up the recently released Blu-ray to remedy the situation.