100 ATRO: #97 Sci-fi movies from the ’80s

In case you don’t know, “1000 ATRO” stands for “1000 Awesome Things Rip-Off,” an idea I, well, totally ripped off from this guy.

The other night MB and I were desperate for something to watch so we turned to good ol’ Netflix.  As you probably know, Netflix now offers movies and shows you can watch online.  This is great except most of the movies are either really old or really bad.  Yet somehow Outland, starring Sean Connery, seemed appealing.

Let me start of by saying that there were tons of really good sci-fi movies in the ’80s.  The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner, and Aliens are just a few.  But for every one awesome ’80s sci-fi movie, there are at least five bad ones.

Outland was one of them.

First of all, the plot.  (Spoilers follow so if you really want to see this terrible movie, don’t read on.)  I’m not even sure what it was.  It starts off promising enough.  Miners on Io, a moon of Jupiter, start to go nuts for seemingly no reason.  The reason turns out to be that they’ve been taking an illegal drug like amphetamine, sanctioned by the mining corporation so that they can keep working long hours.

I guess this is supposed to be a secret but doesn’t really seem like it.  And Sean Connery way too easily breaks into the head guy’s messages and finds out all the information he needs in about two seconds.

Then all these “bad guys” show up.  To tell you the truth, I spaced out during this part and don’t know why they were there.  To bring more drugs?  But the thing is everyone KNOWS they’re coming.  There’s even a big countdown clock: 15 hours till the bad guys show up! 12! 10! 1!

The bad guys show up very calmly in regular clothes and with briefcases.  Everyone knows they’re bad, and all the hundreds of people on the ship don’t do anything.  It’s all up to Sean Connery, and he basically one-handedly beats all these bad guys.

But what’s so awesome about ’80s sci-fi movies is all the ghetto “high tech.”  The green screen computer monitors, the huge click clacky keyboards, a futuristic telephone that’s basically a cheap TV monitor.  Sean’s weapon of choice?  A shotgun.  No lasers or vaporizers for this cowboy!

And for some reason everything is white and plastic, and everyone wears baseball caps and jumpsuits.  Everyone drinks coffee out of small white plastic mugs.  And cigarettes for everyone! though oxygen was probably pretty scarce out in deep space and all.

Then again, twenty years from now, today’s sci-fi movies may seem equally as badly awesome.


  1. If I am not mistaken this movie had a pretty memorable scene of a guy blowing up by going out in space without his helmet. Unless I am confusing my 80s space movies.