Thursday 21 July 2011

The Killings at Outpost Zeta [1980]

THE KILLINGS AT OUTPOST ZETA is an American sci-fi film that was produced and directed by Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler.  It was originally released at some point in 1980 which I have not been able to determine.  It stars, if that's the right word, Gordon De Vol, Jacqueline Ray, Jackson Bostwick and Stan Wojno.  It's about an elite team which heads to a remote planet to investigate a series of deaths.

NB.  Only small stills for this one because it's such a ropey print and enlarged they look terrible.

If you can get past the bargain basement costumes and sets, there's the germ of an interesting story here.  The premise is a good one, so much so in fact that you wonder why more sci-fi films haven't used it.  Admittedly the plot does then develop along predictable lines but some thought at least was given to dreaming up an unusual monster and there's perhaps more science than you'd expect from such a cheapo production.

The landing on Outpost Zeta
The alien landscape is pretty good too and shows what can be achieved with a red filter, a smoke machine and a bit of imagination.

Spacemen venture forth from Outpost Zeta
On the downside, the aforementioned sets and costumes, and indeed the props, are pretty laughable: everything is red or white, or red and white. Some of the acting is pretty shocking too, although it must be said they don't have much to work with. The last half hour drags pretty badly, after a sprightly opening.

Red with white piping.  White set.
Red and white.  White set.  Red prop.
Red and white.  White set.  Red and white props.
This one looks like a still from a Beastie Boys video.
I can't tell you much about the actors I'm afraid because there's no proper credits list which attributes which role to which actor.  I can tell you that Emenegger and Sandler collaborated on a number of projects in the early 80s including ESCAPE FROM DS-3 [1981] which I have managed to track down and will endeavour to write up soon.

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