Pandorum rounds off a steller year for Syfy

Pandorum Poster

Yes, we did not know how to market this film.

Since nobody saw this 40 million dollar price tag in theaters we should all be ashamed of ourselves.  I blame the fact that the studios withheld a critic screening of it which usually screams crapfest, and any real critic with the moxie to see a movie with the masses did not really scream high praise for the film.


Boy were they wrong.


This movie just proves that 2009 was one of the best years for science fiction in film (and 2010 will be the year for sword and sandal films) this one being of the sci-fi horror type.  I even gave this movie the disservice of watching it on a nice and sunny morning rather then late at night (which I will correct soon) and still enjoyed it and it creeped me out. 


Antje Traue Pandorum

Awww crap I've turned on Alien Resurrection again.

Initially the screenwriters did not think they were going to get a dime for the picture and thought they would be making it in some abandoned warehouse for less then a million dollars, glad that did not happened.  Someone somewhere has probably been fired because this movie got a 40 million budget and obviously director Christian Alvart spent every last dime of it.  I went into the movie expecting lame monster effects and just a cheap looking movie, but this movie can hold its own in terms of set design next to any Alien. (Even the main girl in the movie is wearing that weird puffy vest that Sigourney wore in Alien Resurrection).   


With that said, that is the films biggest flaw, is the fact that it is a complete fucking rip off and mash up of Alien/Event Horizon/Leviathan/The Descent and tons of other stuff.  But it works, and I think gives it enough of its own spin that it is a success (I mean we’ve all said what other films Avatar is and that didn’t effect its gross).  Also the acting is solid, I was really surprised by Foster.  He does a good job as the leading man and Dennis Quaid plays it pretty straight.  I think the films biggest success in the mash up of films is that you have two movies at play for most of the movie.  Fosters character is on the run from the mutants and he is in a The Descent in space film while Dennis is all by himself in more of a Event Horizon psychological thriller film.  While I will say Fosters movie is better then Quaid’s they both work. 


I think a big problem a lot of people will have with this movie is the fact that there are two sorts of movies playing out.  While neither of them really as good as the movies they are similar too they are good enough not to be dismissed (I think its better then Event Horizon though, and Paul W.S. Anderson produced it).  I think having his name attached to this movie also hurt it because it was ultimately going to bring up the Event Horizon comparisons, but if you liked that film you should enjoy this one as well.   I can only hope that Paul stays away from film making and tries to become a Luc Besson of America and just helps get good talent out there (or old talent back, Russell Mulcahy).


Also a HUGE aspect of the movie that was overlooked and will become better known to geeks worldwide in a few years, Stan Winston studio.  While everyone was too busy trying to figure out what a Terminator would look like, Stan’s monster house made the awesome looking mutants for this film.  The director of the film sounds like a stereotypical creepy artsy German guy which was very funny, can’t wait to see what else he does.     


Just listen to Christian Alvart speak and try to not think of creepy crazy German serial killer:


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46 responses to “Pandorum rounds off a steller year for Syfy”

  1. Hawaiian Organ Donor says :

    I’ll see this just so that you’ll have one more person to discuss it with Koutch.

    • koutchboom says :

      Cool I hope you like it. What I’m gathering is, go in with low to no expectations you’ll have a good time. Go in with HUGE expectations you’ll be dissapointed.

      • koutchboom says :

        And I don’t know where these high expectations came from. Some unknown director a pretty standard trailer with kind of middle of the road actors. There was no real fan fare leading up to the non opening it had, to me going into the movie I expecting nothing but suck.

  2. Droid says :

    I even gave this movie the disservice of watching it on a nice and sunny morning rather then late at night (which I will correct soon) and still enjoyed it and it creped me out.

    Crêpes on a nice sunny morning!?!? Yum!

    • koutchboom says :

      Man I wasn’t sure about that one. Creeped comes up at a mis spelled word on Word.

    • Droid says :

      Yeah it’s creeped. Word don’t know shit.

      And I was just being a smart ass.

      I’ve had this for ages. Just haven’t watched it. Like a billion other flicks.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I know, it was just funny because as I was writing it I was like, no its gotta be creeped. And even after I posted it and reread it was still unsure about it.

        As for the movie, same thing I told HOD. Just get over the fact that you’ve seen a lot of it before and enjoy it.

      • Droid says :

        Well technically the past tense of creep is crept. But it’s much of a muchness to say creeped IMO.

        So I can enjoy it like T4?

      • koutchboom says :

        Man where’s that English nerd when you need him.

        Actually you are not far off from saying its like T4. Though I think it only steals one complete scene from any other movie (The Descent)unlike T4’s entire running time. It just has similar ideas.

      • koutchboom says :

        I would say its better then T4 though, because with that movie there expectations are reasonable and understandable. With this, they just seem misplaced. Over at AIBN I was talking with someone who hated it and yeah his points where valid, but he was going over the technical aspects of space travel and what not. SO if you need your space movies to be sound in terms of that could actually happen, then this may not be the movie for you.

  3. koutchboom says :

    Hahahah reading about Christian Alvart’s other film Case 39, people are questioning his budget. I wonder if he has the same access to that nazi money that Dr. Uwe Boll has.

    • Droid says :

      Didn’t he also do Silent Hill? Which I also haven’t seen. Is Case 39 the one with Skeletor?

      • koutchboom says :

        Naw Silent Hill was the Brotherhood of the Wolf guy (crazy frenchmen). Yeah Case 39 has Zellwinger, did you see it?

      • Droid says :

        So it’s a different euro trash director then? hmmm… They are easily confused.

        I didn’t see Case 39. I hate Zellweger and try to avoid her if I can.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I think thats becoming a trend these days with her. Can’t blame you.

      • Droid says :

        Well I admit I do like Jerry Maguire and Me, Myself and Irene. I just loathe Bridget Jones and also she irritates me immensely.

      • koutchboom says :

        I do want to see that movie with her and Vincent D’Onofrio about Robert E. ‘Bob’ Howard, The Whole Wide World. Where she said that Vinnie D’O taughter her everything about actinig. So I know she’s a liar to boot.

      • lordbronco says :

        Whole wide World is one of the most underrated movies ever made and not seen. I think it was D’onofrios Siren Song to movie acting-though we was good in law and order here in the states. WWW is incredibly bleak though-but it has an interesting twist.

      • Droid says :

        He taught her everything she knows about sugar water.

  4. koutchboom says :

    Yeah let me know what you think if you do. I’m just curious to see if anyone else likes it since out of people I know (i mean as far as knowing each other on here goes) both didn’t like it (one was a computer friend one was an actual friend). Not enough people have seen this that I know to get into any real discussion of it. I mean Basement spoiled the whole movie on AIBN if you are curious.

  5. herrmilflover says :

    Well, as I said in the Gummer thread last night, I did see this in theater, therefore I shall smile smugly at the rest of you, since I have nothing to be ashamed of.

    Okay, that’s a lie, I’m sure there’s plenty of shit I should be ashamed of, but not seeing Pandorum isnt one of them.

    I didnt mind the movie ripping off other movies too much since it did most of it pretty damn well. I had trouble getting into the story and it lost me along the way because of a few things I thought didnt work, and thinking about it some more today, the stuff that did bother me probably wouldnt annoy me so much on a second viewing, so I might give it another go sometime. I wont spoil anything since nobody saw it, and it’s definitely one of those movies that works better the less you know going in. I agree that low expectations is also a good thing here.

    As for why it flopped, I’m sure those horrible posters had a lot to do with it, they were creepy, but more in a ‘WTF is this?’ way than an intriguing one, plus what they showed really had nothing to do with the movie.

    • lordbronco says :

      I too watched this in the theater, and wanted to like it more than i did. What bugged me was that it was named “Pandorum” after “Pandora” in Avatar-which made me think sleezy cash grab producer tricks.
      Also another movie that has been beaten by a video game-“Dead Space” which I just beat once and for all. Which is now being made into a movie. Which I wouldn’t even bother to try and adapt, because the script of the Game dead Space is actually thin as tissue paper. he he-yeah i Did just write that

      • herrmilflover says :

        There is also an animated Dead Space movie that I believe came out before the game itself did, but it didnt look very good except for all the gore so I never bothered with it.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I bet that $13 million worldwide gross really paid off calling the movie Pandorum especially since it came out 3 months before Avatar and no one knew what the hell Pandora met. Those sly producers and their tricks!

        But hey maybe they were looking at the back end in DVD sales.

  6. Continentalop says :

    Cung Le is in this, MMA fighter. Proving once again that anything with MMA will draw me to a discussion.

  7. jarv says :

    It’s creeped.

    Crept is technically correct, but means something different- if you are walking slowly and softly rhen you are creeping. If you were doing it in the past then you crept.

    If, therefore, something creeps up on you, and takes you to the superlative and exhausts your capacity for creeping then you are creeped out.

    And all spellcheckers are shit. I rely on them due to typing perenially hung over and the fucking Firefox one missed my ine in Flash

  8. ThereWolf says :

    Just watched Pandorum.

    On the whole I liked it. Again, like Event Horizon, you sit through the movie and pick out all the steals – that’s distracting. At the moment, I’m thinking Event is better because it’s more focused.

    The reason I say that is coz I got lost with Quaid’s character – who he was and what was he doing – though when I’ve watched it again that aspect might come more into focus for me.

    And yeh, much better than T4. But that’s not difficult.

    • Droid says :

      Pandorum is better than Event Horizon. It has a second half that isn’t absolute garbage.

      • ThereWolf says :

        I think I probably will change my mind once I’ve seen Pandorum again.

        It’s just coz I can’t work out what’s going on with Quaid’s character…

        Plus it reeks of ‘The Descent’ – which is no bad thing but I shouldn’t be thinking ‘Descent’ every time the mutants are on screen.

      • Droid says :

        I picked what was going on with Quaids character almost immediately.

        Pandorum is like EH in that the first half is much better than the second. Just that Pandorums second half isn’t complete shit.

      • ThereWolf says :

        I picked he was ‘off’ immediately and that it would become relevant why.

        The ‘why’ got lost, I thought.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah also Event Horizon didn’t hold up well. Pandorum I think will hold up.

        But yeah Pandorum is made up of a bunch of other films.

  9. ODB says :

    The guy that produced this directed Event Horizon. So it’s not a rip off but a mythology gag. The monsters are also a fusion of the creatures from the creatures from Eden Log and The morlocks from the time machine. Not really much like the Descent since the theme is much like the time machine and one of the characters being Eden.

    Also it’s obviously a homage to several scifi flicks. Tons of directors do this.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomageShot

    As a matter of fact: The Descent ripped off the time machine first.lol

  10. Pandorum says :

    This is a neat read about all the metaphors that were in this movie. If anyone is interested in reading.

    http://www.screened.com/profile/handbanana/movie-analysis-symbolism-in-pandorum/118-5063/

  11. Devious One says :

    I recently performed a reexamination and would like to hear your thoughts on it.

    http://onedeviousbastard.blogspot.com/2011/07/movie-analysis-symbolism-in-pandorum.html

  12. Devious One says :

    Btw, the director has a reglious background and he did mentioned that the film was an allegory…

    • Jarv says :

      Without turning this into a dissertation and there’s no doubt that there is some religious imagery to it, the link between Dante and Pandorum is tenuous.

      Dante is on a journey of discovery throughout Inferno. He merely listens to and witnesses the events. Odysseus may have blinded the cyclops, but Dante didn’t, and although I do like the idea, I don’t think it quite meshes.

      I do, however, take the point about Creation allegory- the finale is quite literally out of the darkness into light.

      At the end of the day, while I quite like Pandorum, I don’t think it is that deep a film.

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