Beyond The Black Rainbow, what a waste of time

This movie has been getting rave reviews online, calling it an homage to classic seventies sci fi etc. The cover looks interesting, the plot synopsis doesn’t sound bad at all namely that a girl must escape from a sinister scientist at a facility.

The first hour of the movie is literally close ups on the scientist talking, and the girl as he makes her cry. For an hour, with blatantly false exposition thrown in like the dates given. Why would I sit through this? Unless a crazy person rambling on screen excites you and makes you want to go online to theorize about how much is real and how much delusion.

Thats basically what this movie is, along with a few minutes of plot movement.

I’m beginning to think those reviews are all plants who never watched the movie.

And the seventies movie homage appears to be limited to the fashions and haircuts and furnishings.

Are you familiar with lots of 70s sci fi? That’s enough to make me wary…

I loved PhaseIV which consisted of 25% footage of actual ants with no dialogue during these ant parts and found it compelling, it was what lead me to BTBR since the claim was that it was inspired by P4.

I’m beginning to think I just have bizarre taste in film.

Phase IV had one of the greatest visual talents in the history of film as its director, someone who knew what an interesting visual was.

I find it odd that anyone would pay homage to 70s SF films, since, until Star Wars, the era was pretty barren.

I am not sure what exactly the movie was playing homage to, unless they mean the poster or period fashions and furniture.

I’m wondering if the director thought he was paying homage to Tarkovsky, and failing.

Seriously being fair there are some interesting visuals and the barebones of a plot, you just have to sit through an hour of absurd exposition which may be unreliable. There is an interesting movie trapped in here against its will.

Not true. The 70s gave us Robert Wise’s The Andromeda Strain and the underappreciated The Terminal Man (both based on books by Michael Crichton, but arguably the better of the stuff he’s done) and Westworld, also based on a Crichton script. Cinefantastique claimed that the real 70s big-budget SF boom was kicked off not by Star Wars, but by Logan’s Run.

Also before Star Wars we had Harlan Ellison’s A Boy and his Dog (currently being condemned in the "stupid endings thread).

And we had Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, fer cryin’ out loud!

I haven’t seen the film the vOP mentions, but I lived through the 70s as a science fiction fan. I bemoaned the rarity of SF films, but they were definitely there.

I’m not denying there were many good SF films made in the 70s. But it was also a period when lots of dreck was made. Also, Zardoz.

And Laserblast.

I maintain Zardoz had a decent premise but was spoiled by people analyzing Connery’s erection.

That’s not what RC said – he called it “barren”.
Also, you can find plenty of dreck in any period. It’s Sturgeon’s Law. Most of the stuff that came out in the wake of [ui]Star Wars* was abysmal, but at least Lucas had opened the industry’s eye to the fact that Science Fiction wasn’t anathema to box office. That it wasn’t “too weird for Peoria” and could make a profit – a considerable profit. Before SW , unless you had a freally dedicated and driven director, they were lukewarm about any SF project. They’d been pushing and pushing for years to get a Star Trek movie made, despite the fact that they had a proven and known fanbase. It wasn’t until the success of Star Wars that the money people finally let them make it.

Maybe MrDibble meant to say that there some good SF films in the 70s. Even a desert will have an oasis or two.

Of the movies you listed, though, the only one that really stands out is “A Clockwork Orange”. The other movies might have interesting stories, but poor production quality and sluggish direction keep them from being anything but curiosities of the era.

I know what MrDibble said. I was pointing out that my response was to RC.
And I still disagree – Andromeda Strain was well made, directed by Robert Wise. I wouldn’t call A Boy and His Dog sluggish. I didn’t care for Logan’s Run, but it certainly wasn’t sluggish, and was thought popular enough to spawn a TV series.

Logan’s Run and ABAHD were fun entertaining movies, ABAHD is pretty much the blueprint for how to make an entertaining B movie on a budget.

And let’s not forget, “Silent Running” with Bruce Dern.

Robert Wise is the one who gave us Star Trek - The Motion Picture, which many people call the definition of sluggish. The Andromeda Strain suffers to a lesser degree. The first half hour where they discover the outbreak in [del]Raccoon City[/del] Piedmont up to the introduction to the underground [del]Hive[/del] Wildfire facility is pretty well done, as is the last half hour. The whole middle section though just lingers on how high tech and “sciencey” everything is. That may have been exciting in and of itself in 1970, but 40 years later it is just quaint. They should have either edited it down, or spent more time developing the characters.

I have only seen bits and pieces of ABAHD, but from what I understand it is more campish/cultish than a mainstream movie. Is Hairspray a good movie?

I happen to love Logan’s Run, but since I saw it as a kid there is a strong nostalgia aspect that makes it difficult to critique.

Dion’t be criticizing the Wise. He gave us The Day the Earth Stood Still*, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music. Dull his ouevre is not.

Certainly ABAHD is a niche film, but how is that relevant?

And my listing isn’t meant to be exhaustive. In fact, my point is that there are quite a few SF flicks from the 70s – I’m saying that it wasn’t “barren”. And a lot of them were awful. Most SF films are awful. It’s beyond Sturgeon’s law, though. I think that more that 90% of SF is awful (while 90% of everything may, by comparison, be awful) because most people have no idea what it really is, or how to do it. So we have lots of Damnation Alleys and Demon Seeds and not enough Clockwork Oranges.

*The good version, from 1951.

It’s not like that had to be awful. A movie that is almost entirely close-ups on a possibly crazy woman while she is in anguish is considered one of the greatest films of its era.

And if you want a good homage to (good) Science Fiction of the Seventies, it’s hard to beat last year’s Moon. (And it is the right era — Duncan Jones claims never to have seen 2001 before he made his movie.)

I dunno, 1971’s Attack of the Giant Slug still tops that genre.


This what i gathered: the scientist had a girl, her father and mother locked up and was studying them because the girl had super powers. She kills her mom and eventually escapes. The other 99% of the film was cool psychedelic stuff.

I don’t remember exactly but I gathered she was the daughter of the old founder who dies during the movie, and yes she has psychic powers and can kill people. It is hard to tell though just how malicious or dangerous she is in the wild, or if causing nosebleeds and killing people is just her trying to escape.

What was with the leather Noriega jacket the scientist dons? I’m pretty much stumped on WTF that is supposed to mean, especially since the movie is set in 83.