2014 SXSW Review: SPACE STATION 76

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

As a fan of science fiction, as well as spoofs of the genre, this was one film I could not pass up at the festival. Also, because I was born in the 1970s and grew up watching Glen A. Larson’s Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century on television, I had a feeling that I would have a great appreciation for the humor in Space Station 76.  The film may take place in the future, but it is a future envisioned during the 1970s.  The costumes, sets, special effects and characters of 70s sci fi get the spoof treatment here. In the titular space station, a new Assistant Captain arrives and this causes tension within the crew and residents of the station. Captain Glenn (Patrick Wilson), who had tensions and personal problems with his previous assistant, badly needs a vacation and time away from space and it is beginning to show in his work performance. The arrival of the new assistant, Jessica (Liv Tyler), causes an already troubled marriage between Ted (Matt Bomer) and Misty (Marissa Coughlan) to fall apart, as an attraction develops between Ted and Jessica. While the drama on the station heats up, problems in space may lead to tragedy as an asteroid threatens to destroy the station. 

I absolutely adored the humor and characters of this film; however there is a subplot that promises fun and excitement and builds up so much, that when the climax occurs, it ultimately disappoints. Other than that issue, the humor and writing by Jennifer Else Cox, Sam Pancake, Jack Plotnick (who also directs), Kali Rocha, and Michael Stoyanov delivers the entertainment. Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Marissa Coughlan, and Matt Bomer, do great work, recreating the characters and cliches that can be found in 70s science fiction. Performances and appearances by Jerry O’Connell, Kali Rocha, and Keir Dullea also provide chuckles and laughs. Those familiar with the era of sci fi that this film targets, will enjoy this movie and its jokes. As for those unfamiliar with the material, this may fly over their heads.


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