Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Saturn 3

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hectorpromo_2150.jpg
"I loved you in Spartacus!"
Advertisement:

Saturn 3 note  is a 1980 science-fiction horror film starring Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel.

It was conceived and partly directed by John Barry, a production designer for A Clockwork Orange and Star Wars: A New Hope. This film takes cues from both. After some sort of dispute (accounts differ), Stanley Donen (of Singin' in the Rain fame) ended up directing most of it.


Advertisement:

Saturn 3 contains examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: When Benson is trying to forcefully abduct Alex and take her to Earth, Hector goes fully haywire, grabs him by the wrist, and just crushes straight through it.
  • Artificial Gravity: The Space Station at the start has people walking on the ceiling as well as the floor.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: Based on the way Saturn moves through the moon's sky, it would have to be orbiting perpendicular to the rings. For some reason, it's necessary to pilot a craft straight through the rings in order to get to the moon.
    • Additionally, the appearance of the moon's surface more closely hews to that of rocky, airless Tethys, rather than the thick, noxious atmosphere of Titan, where Saturn wouldn't even be visible in the sky at any point at all.
  • Badass Grandpa: Kirk Douglas was 63 during filming.
  • The Bait: Alex at one point stands in the middle of the lab, in front of a few floor panels of which the supportive grating had been removed. Hector just walks around them.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • When Adam pushes Hector into the coolant pit whilst carrying the explosives, a massive blast with several parts of Hector is shown. But nothing belonging to Adam.
    • Advertisement:
    • Averted with the murder of Captain James by Benson, which is shown in full gory detail.
  • Brain Uploading: Hector learns, slowly, but learns quicker when connected to a human brain.
    • Hector implants Benson's interface unit into Adam, so he can "experience" Alex.
  • Cold Open: Benson is shown killing a pilot in order to obtain the Wetware CPU. A throwaway line in the scene indicates it's because Benson failed a psych eval and was booted from the mission, so he murdered and impersonated the replacement.
  • Damsel in Distress: Alex. Constantly harassed by Benson, and later stalked by the Hector the Killer Robot, who possesses Benson's memories and bits of his personality.
  • Easily Detachable Robot Parts: Hector, though it's not that easy for humans to attach his parts. But he can do it himself easily.
  • Eat the Dog: When examining Alex's pet dog, Benson mentions he's kept a few dogs himself... for food. Alex promptly tells him to hand the dog over.
  • Enemy Mine: For a brief period, the three humans collaborate to stop Hector, despite the tension building between them.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Benson mentions that monogamy is "penally unsocial" on Earth after casually asking to have sex with Alex and being surprised to learn she's exclusive with Adam.
  • Eye Scream: Hector pulling a spark out of Alex's eye.
  • Fantastic Drug: Blue Dreamers, a recreational pill given to long-haul pilots so they don't go bonkers after extended periods in space.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Adam sacrifices his own life for Alex, since he was linked to the Robot and probably under its influence already. Foreshadowed in his chess game with Hector as he lectures Benson on the merits of self-sacrifice.
  • Impeded Communication: Adam and Alex try to radio their distress to the Mile-Long Ship that has come to check on them. However, their pleas are blocked by the mad robot Hector, who mimics their voices precisely, and tells the ship that all's well. The reply is a cheery "See you in six months," and The Cavalry departs none the wiser.
  • Indy Hat Roll: There's one sequence where Alex and Adam have to run through a corridor full of closing doors that close in sequence, as the trope dictates; however, they don't quite make it and the last door closes in front of them.
  • Interspecies Romance: Not necessarily a romance but dear God...
  • Kick the Dog: Hector, you asshole!
  • Killer Robot: Hector.
  • May–December Romance: Alex and Adam are already enjoying this when Benson arrives.
  • Mr. Fanservice: We get several full-body nude shots of Kirk Douglas (from the back). He sure kept a good shape well into his sixties... ok, it's fanservice if you're into that. Otherwise it may be Fan Disservice.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alex. So much that all the other characters (even the robot) are fighting over her.
  • Mile-Long Ship: Swooping from above and set to bombastic orchestral piece in an almost identical establishing shot as the opening of Star Wars.
  • Mind Hive: Hector, near the end.
    Alex: Stop it! Stop using us.
    Hector: Well, you see my difficulty. I'm you. I'm Adam and the other one. I'm everyone.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only five speaking actors onscreen, six if you count the Killer Robot. Three of them carry 99% of the film, and one dies as soon as the robot starts going mental.
  • Murder by Inaction: When a gigantic ceiling claw ('cause all laboratories have giant ceiling claws) pins Benson down, Adam considers just letting Hector have him as he's about to close the emergency door on him. He turns out to be a better man than Benson, and goes back to save him.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The ship's locker-room, for whatever reason, has an airlock in its ceiling, complete with razor-sharp wiring crossing in front of it.
  • No, You: This exchange between Benson and a voiceless Hector:
    Benson: Now tell me, absolutely, can you talk or are you malfunctioning?
    Hector (through a screen): I AM NOT MALFUNCTIONING. I AM NOT MALFUNCTIONING. YOU ARE.
  • Not Quite Dead: Hector gets dismantled at one point, but manages to reactivate himself later on, and use the lab equipment to put himself back together.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Adam is swiftly approaching his mandatory "abort time".
  • Same Language Dub: Benson is dubbed by Roy Dotrice.
  • Smart People Play Chess: And they know when to sacrifice their queen.
  • Taking You with Me: How Adam finally kills Hector.
  • Tear Off Your Face: Once Hector has appropriated Benson's voice there is a Wham Shot of him standing in a corridor wearing his head.
  • Trapped with Monster Plot: With definite overtones of Alien, this film followed a lot of leaders.
  • Triang Relations: The dreaded Type 4. Plus one robot mental duplicate as a backup "A".
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Hector looks for all the world like a skinned, metallic corpse with tubes for veins and metal plates where its muscles would be. Slowly, more of it is revealed, until we come to its head... or lack of one. All it has on top are two insectile, twitching, glowing eyes on an arm. It doesn't talk — it merely flicks its eyes around to stare at you. When you combine those attributes with its measured tread, its deliberately inhuman movements and the fact that it's learning directly from the thoughts of the murderous, psychotic handler who has a stalkercrush on Alex, it invokes the eeriest elements of the Uncanny Valley, essentially recreating Frankenstein's Monster in space. But scarier. What happens near the end of the film isn't pretty either: Hector, his brain having been turned into a duplicate of his handler, has taken on his handler's madness as well, to the point that Hector tries to wear the man's head atop his own.
  • The Voiceless: Hector, at first. He later obtains Benson's voice, then Adam's, and he uses Alex's to send away The Cavalry.
  • Wetware CPU: Hector's three brains, which are stacked in a tube full of bubbling water.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report