The film was one of those that had some hype behind it prior to the film’s release. It had a nice marketing angle which included some very disturbing biomechanical imagery that harkened back to classic H.R. Giger artwork from both Alien and Dune. The film even had an interesting premise which was about a mental affliction caused by long exposure to space travel called “Pandorum”.
When the film finally came out to say that it bombed would be quite an understatement. While the ideas behind the film were interesting enough the overall execution of said ideas were haphazard at best and unimaginative at it’s worst. There’s nothing worst than a B-movie trying to stand out from the dregs and failing because it’s dull and boring. Yet, despite all that I’ve been fascinated by Pandorum ever since I’ve caught it on video.
German director Christian Alvart might be lacking some style in his direction of the film, but the cast itself manages to work their damnedest to make the film work. Ben Foster does his usual twitching performance where we don’t know if he’s about to go psycho on everyone around him or just curl up in the corner and start sobbing like a newborn. Dennis Quaid chews the scenery so much in every scene he’s in that his work in the film almost comes off as performance art.
Even the idea that people who were gentically-enhanced to adapt and evolve to their surroundings was a new one. The film even goes further by making the foundation of rapid evolution come from the ship itself. All the cannibalism involved just added that grindhouse touch to the proceedings.
The one thing that really brings me back to watching this film as one of my many guilty pleasure’s was this was the first film that introduced the world to Antje Traue. She’s better known as one of the few good things to come out of Man of Steel. Even in this first feature film for Antje Traue we already see examples of how much a badass she can be. It’s a shame that the film around her wasn’t better.
Pandorum never improves with each repeat viewing, but it doesn’t get worst either. It just straddles that fine line where one or two things changed for the better would’ve made it a good film. But for the life of me I have no idea why I like it and continue to watch it. Sometimes even bad films will push enough of the requisite buttons for people to like it and this film certainly pushed the right ones from me.