Name my obscure movie from probably thirty-forty years ago based on nothing but a vague description! (...?)
January 9, 2008 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Name my obscure movie from probably thirty-forty years ago based on nothing but a vague description! (...?)

Thus far, AskMe's batting .500 on these for me (not due to lack of trying, though), and I'm hoping this'll make the success rate two out of three. Let's go!

Okay: I would have seen this on American TV back around '81-'84 somewhere -- not in a prime-time network slot, but on UHF, most likely. So the movie could easily have been as much as twenty years old at the time. Science fiction; all on a rocket ship or a space station or something. There's a bad guy aboard -- a saboteur? a serial killer? someone afflicted with Space Madness? I dunno -- and in one scene he pushes an unsuspecting victim out an airlock, minus helmet. The scene goes on and on and on as this poor woman suffocates, silently screams, and -- yes -- begins bleeding out of her friggin' eyes, finally dying what feels like about ten minutes later. Guh. This is all I remember about this movie, leading me to believe that a responsible adult must have been somewhere in the vicinity (dammit!). Sound familiar to anybody?
posted by kittens for breakfast to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by docpops at 9:19 AM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: I thought it might be, but I'm pretty sure it was something I saw on daytime TV before Outland would have wound up there. I've never seen it, though. Does it have such a scene?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2008

Saturn 3?
posted by Jakey at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2008

Outland has a similar scene, but it doesn't quite match up. A guy goes crazy on drugs and exposes himself to space without a suit, but he explodes in an elevator on the way down. It's not drawn out or anything. The bad guys on board thing matches up though.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:09 AM on January 9, 2008

Yeah, it sounds like a no-go, now that you mention it.
posted by docpops at 10:19 AM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: ...Martin Amis wrote Saturn 3? Whoa...

The Saturn 3 scene sounds more like it, but the release date (1980) makes it seem unlikely. I do remember for sure that the victim in the film I saw was a woman, so I think it's really, really unlikely. (I so have to see this movie now, though.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2008

Are you sure it's a film... because I've got vague memories of something like that in an episode of Space 1999?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:42 AM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: Could be. Sounds a little graphic for a TV show, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:48 AM on January 9, 2008

I remember very little violence in this movie, but it goes along the same lines as Silent Running. I didn't really end up watching it all the way through though as I dismissed it as a Space-Hippie movie.

Perhaps Saturn 3? I haven't seen that one either but it shares the plot you described.
posted by samsara at 10:49 AM on January 9, 2008

Doh, I had this sitting on my desk for awhile and didn't check with preview...nix Saturn 3 then :)
posted by samsara at 10:49 AM on January 9, 2008

It sounds like a scene from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall [based upon the Philip K. Dick short, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale]. Arnold and his costar inadvertently end up unprotected on the surface of Mars and go through a protracted suffocation scene complete with distorted faces and bulging eyeballs. A remixed version here.
posted by jamaro at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2008

I thought perhaps silent running too, but I looked through the plot again and I didn't see where it would have happened. It may be in there, though, if two of us thought silent running.

But I'm kind of thinking like fearfulsymetry it wasn't a film. Reminds me slightly of total recall (which is obviously not it).

Maybe this will help you narrow it down:
posted by cashman at 10:54 AM on January 9, 2008

Women in Spacesuits in TV and Film might jog your memory.
posted by iconomy at 11:42 AM on January 9, 2008

Expanding on cashman's link also try:

Moonraker for example (a James Bond film) has a similar "pushed out of airlock" cliche.
posted by samsara at 12:37 PM on January 9, 2008

Or perhaps Inseminoid?
posted by samsara at 12:48 PM on January 9, 2008

Hmpf. I don't know why the link I gave stopped working, but you can access the pages via the wayback machine.
posted by iconomy at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2008

I 2nd the vote on Space 1999. I saw this episode in the 70s (as a child, sneaking out of bed, late at night) and had nightmares for years. I can still picture it absolutely perfectly, despite having never watched the show again. It was really graphic for TV.
posted by Malla at 1:02 PM on January 9, 2008

"Outland" would be the best guess, but I don't think any of the movies mentioned so far had a female character pushed out of an airlock, into space. My guess would be the remake of "Solaris" (with George Clooney) but her death wasn't graphic, and it wasn't thirty-forty years ago.
posted by Rash at 1:19 PM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: I'm a little nervous to check Girls in Spacesuits from work, and I am definitely not clicking a link to an entry on Inseminoid until I get back home. In the latter case, though, I can't imagine that was ever on commercial TV at all (unless they changed the title). I'm starting to wonder about this "Space 1999" episode, though...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:30 PM on January 9, 2008

Outland has multiple asphyxiation deaths, but no women are killed that way from what I recall. It's more of a Western in space than the serial-killing bonanza it sounds like you're describing. But, you could watch it for fun. It's pretty good, especially if you like plucky-marshal Westerns.

Some serial-killer/space-madness possibilities to investigate from a little IMDB browsing:
Galaxy of Terror
Inseminoid (yeah, how's that for a title?)
posted by fidelity at 1:31 PM on January 9, 2008

Oh yea the other Inseminoid link is fairly safe, but I'd check the imdb one fidelity linked was also known as "Horror Planet" in the US.

But....I don't think Galaxy of Terror or Horror Planet ever made it to basic cable (without serious editing of course). Most likely a late night Cinemax-like show.
posted by samsara at 1:39 PM on January 9, 2008

kittens for breakfast, the women in spacesuits link is fine for work. It's very tame - small, grainy images of fully-clothed women. The one mention there that jumped out at me is in the 70s link - look for Stacey Dorning. She's shown without a helmet from an episode of Space 1999 in which it says that she was "left adrift in space in a spacesuit, with no hope of rescue....towards the end of the episode."
posted by iconomy at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: Hmmmmm...I looked over the transcript of the "Space 1999" episode "The Exiles" (here, if anybody is interested), and it sure sounds like it could be what I saw. I'm gonna have to track down the actual episode. Definitely the likeliest possibility so far, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:20 PM on January 9, 2008

While we're at it ... I have another movie that I think about occasionally ... I saw it in the late 60's/early 70's. It was probably made 5 - 10 years earlier than that. It was in color. Set in medieval or roman times. The only scene I remember is a man talking to a snake and the snake tells him that humans are weak because they have to where clothing.
posted by allelopath at 3:22 PM on January 9, 2008

Space 1999: End of Eternity is an episode where eventually the murderer wandering around onboard is pushed out an airlock... maybe you remember it a bit differently? Anyway, I agree that Space 1999 was pretty frightening- I remember a scary episode I saw as a child where these rusty-looking skeletal human chrysalis/mummy type things were going into or out of something that looked like an MRI machine.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:15 PM on January 9, 2008

I am a Space:1999 afficianado, and I don't think THE EXILES is as graphic as your description.

though it is a really good episode.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:48 PM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: I think it's possible I remember it as being much more graphic than it really was. I did used to occasionally watch "Space: 1999" in reruns as a kid, so...maybe? Hurm.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:03 AM on January 10, 2008

Total Recall? It's definitely got the agonizing death by decompression scene. But on a planet, not a spaceship.
posted by nax at 8:27 AM on January 10, 2008

Well there's definitely some episodes of Space 1999 on Youtube that could probably help jog some memory :)
posted by samsara at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2008

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