Dark Star is a limp parody of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey that warrants attention only for some remarkably believable special effects achieved with very little money. [Pic began in 1970 as 45-minute USC Film School short. Final budget was $60,000.]
The screenplay cloisters four astronauts together on a lengthy extraterrestrial jaunt. To pass the time, the men joke, record their diaries on videotape, take sunlamp treatments, reminisce about their past earth lives and play with their alien mascot (an inflated beach ball with claws). Eventually their talking female computer misfires, the spaceship conks out and only one, an ex-surfer, manages to careen back to earth on an improvised board.
The dim comedy consists of sophomoric notations and mistimed one-liners.