STARRING: Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas, Harvey Keitel, Douglas Lambert

1980, 88 Minutes, Directed by: Stanley Donen

Saturn 3 is one of those movies which everybody who were involved with it wished never happened. Something they'd all rather see stricken from their CVs and the collective memories of all humanity.

Saturn 3 is very bad - all of which is surprising considering who were involved. First, there's almost legendary director Stanley Donen who will perhaps be best remembered for the classic Singing In The Rain. Then there's the cast. Sure, Farrah Fawcett, one-time Charlie's Angel and 1970s pinup icon, was never Meryl Streep - but what about Kirk Douglas? Douglas has done a whole lot better than this. Or Harvey Keitel - currently hot after having given great performances in the likes of The Piano, Pulp Fiction and Bad Lieutenant? Yet, despite this cast, the acting is achingly bad, almost of the quality one would expect in video cheapies.

But the person that comes off the worst is British novelist Martin Amis. Yes, that Martin Amis! The one who wrote London Fields, Einstein's Monsters and Time's Arrow. I'm convinced of it that one sure way of spoiling Amis' day would be to pronounce "You wouldn't guess what I saw the other day on video? Saturn 3!" upon seeing him. His screenplay is boring, has stilted dialogue, doesn't know what to do with its one-dimensional characters and/or storyline and is largely pointless.

The plot? Everything is idyllic for partners Douglas and Fawcett on a research station on one of Saturn's moons until psycho Keitel and his psycho robot sidekick Hector pitches up. You see, Fawcett and Douglas are working on experimental foodstuffs to feed a starving earth. Keitel is sent to "help out" because they are behind schedule with their research. It s easy to see why: Douglas and Fawcett are rarely seen working and rather seem to spend their time playing chess, jogging, sipping cocktails, etc. etc. Also, it is never explained why the research base should be located on one of Saturn's moons.

Soon both Keitel and the robot develop the hots for Fawcett. "You have a beautiful body," Keitel tells Fawcett what is probably the worst come-on line in history, "can I use it?" So cue Fawcett being menaced by the huge Hector robot and lots of running around. What the robot exactly intends to do with Fawcett once he catches her is also never explained.

But right from the opening shot of a huge spaceship floating through space (mimicking Star Wars) to the accompaniment of a bombastic score by Elmer Bernstein, which seems a cross between John William's Star Wars score and Also Sprach Zarachustra used in 2001, one knows that the people behind the film doesn't have a feeling for sci-fi. It all gets worse from there on. Having a woman menaced by a huge robot is old hat, but as The Terminator made a few years later showed, a lot can be done with people running around. Saturn 3 doesn't. Avoid.



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