Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blub, Blub, Blub

Sphere (1998)


Last night I tried to watch Sphere (1998), the movie version of a Michael Crichton novel. I say tried because it made me sleepy, and I gave up after they entered the spaceship, then I scanned through the rest and officially called it quits. I called it quits because I’ve watched this movie before when it was titled Event Horizon (1997). And before that it was called Galaxy of Terror (1981). (You could almost include Solaris on this list, but to nitpick, in that one, the planet did it not the ship.)

Each movie deals with a small crew entering a weird spaceship where strange things begin to happen to them (sort of like going to Disneyland for the first time). Several crewmembers are killed leaving a handful of survivors if not just one (also like going to Disneyland for the first time).

Each version of this story has the memories, dreams/nightmares or fears of the crew made real by the ship. Galaxy of Terror has the notorious giant worm rape scene (it’s the Dune sandworms favorite scene). Event Horizon has buckets of blood floating around as crewmen are ripped apart in hellish manners (Clive Barker must have this on a loop at his house). Sphere has a jellyfish attack. Wow.

Galaxy of Terror and Event Horizon basically imagine that a doorway or dimension into Hell has opened, which is the cause of all the shenanigans. I couldn’t understand what the heck was going on in Sphere even after reading the Wiki entries for the movie and the novel. They found a spacecraft from the future that had gathered the ET sphere in space, and somehow landed back in our time and gave the crew superpowers? I thought IT was making their subconscious fears come alive, but apparently it gave THEM the power to do that?

I love this Wiki entry on the novel, “Norman has a suddenly important role as he realizes he has to use psychology to keep the surviving team alive….” Norman the Psychologist realizes he has to use psychology to save the day - what are the odds (how Scientologists must HATE this book and movie). Reading that made me think of the Seinfeld episode where George must pass himself off as a marine biologist to date a hot girl. Later they’re walking and encounter a beached whale, and someone cries out, “Is there a marine biologist here?”


  1. Jellyfish attack, huh? I hope it wasn't an Australian Box jellyfish--I hear they's awfully virulent.

  2. LOL! "It's almost as virulent as the Australian Brown Box Jellyfish." "I need an antitoxin!"

    As much as I like Michael Crichton, I have to admit the novel didn't make much sense either.