Find That Film: The Black Hole

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For a period of time, Disney played with the notion of trying to make more adult fare.  There were a number of films where they tried to acquire an edge.  For the most part, this experiment failed, in that Disney broke off a second production company called Touchstone.  As long as these movies didn’t have the Disney name, they were much more successful.  The first time Disney made a PG rated film, it was a sci-fi attempt called The Black Hole (1979). As a more adult film, it’s an utter failure, but that’s not to say that there’s not a lot of good here.  It’s just that the ghost of Disney’s goody two-shoes past are all over this thing, and just when it seems things are going to get good and creepy, they take a turn for the goofy and slightly stupid.  Maximilian Schell seems to think he’s in a much scarier film than this turns out to be.  Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens weren’t even credited for their voice work (and it’s pretty damn good!).  Robert Forster, Yvette Mimieux, and Joseph Bottoms really do put in some good performances, and Anthony Perkins SHOULDN’T EVEN BE IN THIS MOVIE!  That’s not to say his performance isn’t excellent, because, come on…it’s Anthony Perkins!  What you can say about The Black Hole is that it actually became something of an influential science fiction cult film (a cult made entirely of people who were children when they saw it), it has music that is both amazing and horrible, courtesy of John Barry, and its two main villains are creepy and intimidating for a number of reasons.  Take the plunge and find The Black Hole.  There’s a good chance you’ll like at least some of what you see.

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