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August 29, 2010


Outland (1981).

It is easy to consider Outland a SF remake of High Noon (Solo ante el peligro in Spanish), but in doing so, we miss a lot of greatness this Hyams' film.

Celebrating Connery's 80 anniversary (the same day Gene Simmons turned 61, a great day) let's include in Tonnerre de Brest this movie, that is one of my all time favourites.

Connery here plays the role of Marshal O'Niel. In this movie the Gold Rush is transformed into titanium mine in Io, the moon of Jupiter. And O'Niel knows something goes wrong. 

A drug that keeps the miners working hard but also makes them psychotic is being dispensed by the owners of the mine, the very people that contracted him as Marshal. 

Sheppard, his direct boss, has contracted a gang of killers to get rid of O'Niel. They are coming in the next shipment, like the next train in High Noon.

But O'Niel interacts with all people at the base in the Jupiter's Moon, only to find the outpost doctor on his side. One scene that keeps in my mind is when he has to put his arm into a pot of boiling soup to rescue a pack of the drug, with its consecuential injury. Boy, he was brave.

And the ending. Ah! the ending. But you must see it for yourself.


Outland is a 1981 science fiction movie starring Sean Connery. It has been described as space western, that is, a Western set in the future, with a specific nod towards High Noon. Connery's character is the federal marshal of a mining colony on Io, a moon of Jupiter, rather than in the Wild West.
The manager of the colony (Peter Boyle) is part of a drug smuggling ring that brings a drug called Polydichloric Euthimal, an amphetamine into the colony in order to maintain high production levels. Unfortunately, with sustained use over a period of time, the drug causes hallucinations and psychotic behavior. After several miners experience hallucinations and die in mishaps, the marshal (Connery) investigates and uncovers the smuggling ring. The marshal confronts the manager to stop the drug shipments, but the manager says that nobody else wants the drug shipments to be stopped. The manager contacts his smuggling ring and several assassins are sent to the station to murder the marshal. With the sole help of the station doctor (Frances Sternhagen), the marshal evades the assassins through a desperate kill-or-be-killed chase throughout the colony. * This film is notable because it was one of the first science fiction genre films to use "retro" ballistic weapons such as revolvers, automatic pistols, machine guns, and shotguns, rather than "energy" weapons such as lasers or other ray guns. * The song "High Moon" by the heavy metal group Star One is based on the events in this movie. * The Italian and Spanish title translate to Atmosphere Zero because several people die exploding by sudden exposure to the vacuum of space; however, the real effects of exposure to the vacuum of space are not so dramatic. * Selected premiere engagements of Outland were presented in Megasound, a high-impact surround sound system similar to Sensurround. * Polydichloric Euthimal is the name of a fictional drug and is original to Outland. In the film Terminator 2 Judgement Day it is the name of the substance used to destroy Cyberdyne headquarters. It's a molecule depicted in the film The Relic.

Directed by Peter Hyams
Produced by Richard A. Roth
Written by Peter Hyams
Starring Sean Connery
Peter Boyle
Frances Sternhagen
James Sikking
Kika Markham
Clarke Peters
Steven Berkoff
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Release date(s) May 22 1981 (U.S. release)
Running time 109 min.
Language English

[text and video via CMatomic]

More about Outland:
Images taken from Wikipedia (poster) and Film Fetish (Sean Connery)


Guely of Sweden said...

I saw this one long ago. I found the DVD quite cheap and i think i gonna get it next week.Connery is always worth watching. Interesting review

Valentín VN said...

It would be a nice buy.

And, yes Connery is usually worth watching.

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