Shout! Factory has finally released Stanley Donen’s sci-fi oddity, entitled Saturn 3, on a gorgeous Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.
Saturn 3 takes place in a lone research station on the third moon of Saturn, where Adam (Kirk Douglas) and Alex (Farrah Fawcett) carry on a happy-go-lucky existence with their dog, Sally. Weary of the overpopulated hum-drum life on Earth, they have remained on Saturn for exactly three years. All hell breaks loose when a young captain named Benson arrives, and is determined to replace one of the staff scientists with a robot named Hector. By way of modern science, Hector is directly linked to Benson’s brain, and is able to function at Benson’s will.
Things go awry when Benson’s true identity is revealed, and Hector goes haywire. This all leads to an explosive finale, involving murder and sacrifice, full of cheesy special effects and questionable performances from a cast that looks incredibly bored. This production was plagued with several problems. The original director was replaced by Stanley Donen – the director of Singin’ in the Rain. Saturn 3 is living proof that the man was born to direct musicals, rather than sci-fi rip-offs. You see, Saturn 3 arrived on the heels of Ridley Scott’s Alien, and the producers of this film foolishly attempted to emulate that success, with questionable results.
If anything, Saturn 3 is a trip for lovers of B-grade cinema. There is definitely a campy mood that runs throughout the entire feature. Saturn 3 has been given a superb Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory, and as usual, they have outdone themselves with this presentation. The picture is sharp and clear – probably the best that this film has ever looked – and the audio mix provides the perfect atmosphere, while placing the dialogue front and center. Special features are plentiful, and include an interview with actor Roy Dotrice, who had the enormous task of dubbing Harvey Keitel’s heavy Brooklyn accent; an interview with Special Effects director Colin Chilvers, additional scenes which were shown on network television, a deleted scene; a theatrical trailer, TV spots, and a still gallery; and an audio commentary from Greg Moss. In other words, good marks all around!
This release of Saturn 3 comes highly recommended, and can be purchased at Amazon.com.