Director: Robert Collector
Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Michael Praed, John Standing, Lisa Blount, Glenn Withrow
Where they’re headed isn’t the mystery. What’s taking them there is.
A group of experts in their own fields (a biologist, cryptologist and even telepath) join together for an exploration trip to the planet Volcryn where they hope to find alien life. They don’t however reach that far since they encounter a lot of trouble on their spaceship. The captain of the ship is unable to move and can only communicate with the passengers through hologram. When he decides that this is the last mission he wants to go on with the ship, the computer in the ship turns against the passengers who it feels are taking it’s only friend away from it.
Nightflyers is based on a novel by George R. R. Martin, mostly known for his A Song of Ice and Fire saga that the hit TV show Game of Thrones is based on. I’m sure the book makes more sense than the movie. The story here seems so weird and unfocused that you can’t help but wonder what happened to the project. The sets are well made, effects are mostly good and the visuals look fine. So what happened? If the movie had a bigger following then maybe we would know. According to imdb.com, director Robert Collector left before the editing was done and wanted to have his name removed from the movie, so that says something about how the production went I guess.
The pacing is very slow at first, it almost feels like a romantic spacemovie while watching the first thirty minutes. It does pick up after that, but it runs very uneven and feels like a very, very botched project.
The cast does a decent job. Catherine Mary Stewart is every nerds dream and it’s cool to see «Uncle Phil» from Fresh Prince in Bel Air pop up (James Avery). Michael Des Barres (former singer for the 70’s band Detective) does a very over-the-top performance as the telepath Jon. We get to little backstory and information about why exactly these people are here except that they are experts in their fields, so it’s hard to give a crap about most of them.
Nightflyers has a great look to it, but feels like a troubled movie that fails to keep you interested. This one is actually one of the few movies I think is suitable for a remake (!!!) these days. I guess it’s a movie that can be appreciated by sci-fi fans who can ignore it’s faults and appreciate it for what it could have been.