Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Blackest of Holes.

A slighlty darker tale than the usual Disney outings of the time, and riding on the tail of the Behemoth that had thundered through our lives in 1978 to leave its footprint indelibly on the sidewalk of sci-fi, cinema history,The Black Hole was at best, a forgettable story with some very memorable characters and moments.
Vincent as the sass talking, hovering robot and Ol' Bob as a forgotten, obsolete model with a redneck accent were instantly endearing to the young, Disney staple viewer such as myself.
Maximillian Schell as Reinhardt was delightlfully, manical and menacing in equal measure

and the rest of a very solid cast (Anthony Perkins and Ernest Borgnine et al) gave adequate performances.
But I think as a movie for youngsters it is ultimately... unsatisfying. Watching it again as an adult, I still like it and think there is some great moments, but most importantly the very unsettling and spooky moments seem just as spooky as when I watched it as a kid.
That bit where Anthony Perkins rips the mask off of the face of a supposed robot to find a zombified crew member, is still vivid and chilling.

Which brings me to my raison d'blog: Spooky Robots.
Maximillian is at No.1. There you have it.

Not because he is singularly the most spooky of robots, but simply because in this film is he put in a context that makes him a truly awful thing. An enforcer and taskmaster to the zombie crew members. A sadistical, silent, bully whose only appendages seem to be for the sole purpose of shredding people he deems fit to shred. And that dog-like obedience and loyalty he expresses for Reinhardt, which culminates in the horribly spooky scene where Maximillian and Reinhardt embrace in space and then become merged as one atop a precipice in a Hell-scape within the Black Hole. Egad! Freakily spooky!

So ends the Top 5 Spooky Robots countdown. Please tune in to my next blog where we'll find out if I have any ideas left.
Big D out.


  1. I used to love the Maximillian action figure. He was indeed a top baddie.
    PS Dave, when you put Youtube links in your posts you can get them to fit the post by going into the HTML edit tab and changing the width of the wideo to 400.