Released in 1979, of all of Disney's releases The Black Hole is by far the most curious, if you exclude Something Wicked This Way Comes of course. Disney has always been known as the place of all things cute, yet The Black Hole was a rather bizarre stab at the sci-fi genre, taking the movies cast quite literally to Hell.
On the edge of a black hole, a deserted looking spacecraft sits. But when a space crew attempt to board it they find that all is not as it seems. On board the ship is Dr Hans Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell) a man intent on discovering what is on the other side of a black hole. A lone passenger, the remainder of his crew consists of robots, or does it?
A steller cast that includes Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Ernest Borgnine and the vocals of Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens; you would have thought the movie would have been a winner. Despite bearing a PG certificate in the UK The Black Hole is by far the closest to horror things ever got. The robots on the ship contain the remains of the once human crew, one of the movies heroes literally gets his stomach whisked out (although there is no sight of blood), and on the other side of the black hole sits hell. Try explaining this story to your average 8 year old, it does not paint a pretty picture regardless of how cool it might sound.
The familiar tones of John Barry can be heard in the movies score, a score designed to be so repetitive that once you have heard it a few times, it's never forgotten. The score is as dark and sinister as the rest of the movie. The addition of the quirky characters of V.I.N.C.E.N.T. the quirky intellectual quoting robot, and B.O.B. a similar robot well past his prime do little to lighten the mood. When you think that things are dark enough the movies heroin Kate played by Yvette Mimieux communicates via telepathy an alleged ability that many believe is associated with witchcraft.
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