Somehow I missed Supernova when it was released back in 2000. This surprises me because I was working at Blockbuster Video at the time and made a habit of taking out any new horror releases that we would rent. Maybe I didn’t realize what Supernova was. The poster/cover art doesn’t feel like a piece of Horror Science Fiction even though it is. One thing that was true of me during the 90’s and into the early 2000’s was that I avoided most new Science Fiction. Nothing felt as purely perfect as pre-80’s Sci-Fi so I concentrated my efforts there and left most new Sci-Fi by the wayside. Scream Factory’s release of Supernova on Blu-ray opened my eyes again to the movies I missed in my youth, mostly based on bad marketing campaigns or the evolution of shitty cover art.
It’s funny that my memory of this movie is all based on the traditional cover art that is featured on the Scream Factory released. I always scan stills and back story a bit when reviewing movies, and the only poster that keeps coming up is the one that states “All Hell is About to Break Loose’. Well if I had seen that back then maybe I might have been inclined to give it a watch. It has more Event Horizon in it than light hearted space adventure (as you can see from both of the posters).
Supernova is actually pretty “deep”. What I thought was just going to be a space hijack with dimensional vortex actually turned out to be a romantic picture that accentuated relationships and futuristic romance as well as what it means to be intimate over some now questionable special effects that were surely state of the art at the time. When you listen to Lou Diamond Phillips talk about this picture in the interview on the disc, you almost feel like you watched a completely different movie until you realize, hey… it’s all in there. The space travel, the tasteful lovemaking by starlight, the strange intimacy between Wilson Cruz and the ship’s computer, the gorgeous Robin Tunney in her birthday suit. Really there’s quite a bit to see and experience including a great piece of practical effects work in a scene involving Robert Forster.
As you’ll no doubt understand Supernova is an imperfect movie. It was plagued with reshoots and rewrites that saw several different directors at the helm and even Francis Ford Coppola got involved to rework this picture with Jack Shoulder. The story behind the movie as told in the making of feature is almost as intriguing as the movie. Better still is the fact that there’s a genuinely good alternate ending on the disc. In one ending you get the mega happy ending a la Wayne’s World and in another… you get the mega super depressing ending. I won’t say which is which but I hope you check out both endings. If you like listening to the sultry voice of Robert Forster then you should check out the deleted scene as well (that’s a joke…everyone love Forster’s sultry voice). Overall a solid extra package for a generally unpopular movie.
Supernova made no money and it had a significant budget that it never made up, and one almost has to feel bad for this little movie. James Spader, Angella Bassett and Peter Facinelli give great performances despite my distaste for this era in digital effects, they don’t look atrocious (most of you will say they look quite good). Today this movie is a probably a low budget, SyFy original picture with a nobody cast and all digital effects that may look similar if not better. So what might have saved it? Perhaps going with the premise suggested by the original efforts of writer William Malone… “Hellraiser in outer space” (of course when we finally see Pinhead get to outers pace that really didn’t get my goat either) [Nod to Wikipedia for that tidbit].
You can pick up Supernova from Scream Factory now:
In the farthest reaches of space, something has been waiting…
Beyond comprehension, beyond imagination and beyond the deepest regions of this galaxy... life as we know it is about to end! James Spader (The Blacklist), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) , Lou Diamond Phillips (Bats), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Peter Facinelli (Twilight) and Robin Tunney (The Craft) star in this terrifying sci-fi thriller.
In the farthest reaches of deep space, the medical vessel Nightingale keeps a lonely vigil for those in trouble. When a frantic cry for help pierces the void, the crew responds with a near fatal, hyperspace dimension jump into the gravitational pull of a dying star. The disabled ship rescues a shuttlecraft containing a mysterious survivor and a strange alien artifact. Now the crew must unravel a chilling secret and escape the nearby imploding star before the rapidly forming supernova blasts them and the entire galaxy into oblivion!
- The Making Of Supernova - New Interviews With Actors Lou Diamond Phillips And Robert Forster, Producer Daniel Chuba And Filmmaker Jack Sholder
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Theatrical Trailer