Indie film maker Damon Packard reminds us just how badly missed the glorious spectacles of seventies and eighties sci-fi are in this day and age, with a sobering look at how much we’ve become the dystopia that those same films warned us about.

All the trademark Packard-isms are here: the use of classic genre film snippets and clips as stock footage, schizophonic sound design, incredibly unique characters (not necessarily actors) and a visually bombastic editing style.

The basic plot involves the daughters of “ Logan’s Run” Sandmen Logan 5 and Francis 7, as well as the daughter of Princess Lyssa from Krull and I’m pretty sure Winston Smith (the protagonist from Orwell’s 1984). In Packard’s world, nothing is as it seems. There are movie within a movie digressions, characters addressing the audience directly, addressing each other out of character, bits of YouTube footage showing teen Jackass wannabe’s and even clips from the truly terrifying reality show, “To Catch A Predator” that weave an intricate tapestry of a society gone horribly wrong, our world right now.

What’s grabbed me upon repeated viewings is the dense subtext just under the surface of nostalgia and humor. You don’t have to be Michael Moore or Borat to hold a mirror up to this country and force it to look itself in the eye. Packard takes the most innocent and simple of examples: our beloved sci-fi epics of the seventies, and shows us that the once “sci-fi” version of our future has become our present, just without the spaceships and flying cars. It’s a “Dear John” letter to our collective childhoods. We’ll never be able to look at those movies the same way again because they have, in essence, become our reality.

When Fox News eerily reminds us of 1984, we’re all boned. It’s an uncanny fact that great classical writers of the fantastic such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, predicted our future (now present) science fact, in their (at the time) stories of science fiction. Surprisingly, Packard’s reprocessed interpolation of films once simply referred to as escapist fantasy has the same effect. The failure of imagination seems to be the undeniable prophecy we are already fulfilling, in a world where film making is being ruled by key demographic focus groups, and a feeding hose supplying a steady diet of regurgitated, unnecessary remakes is shoved down our gullets. The scary thing about this is that the docile public at large seems to lap up the pap willingly, while a very small minority screams for real change.

Big Brother is in fact, watching. The Nothing has won. And sadly, there is no sanctuary.

I came away from this movie with a heavy heart. I’ve joked in the past about how much our world has become Blade Runner, with all the crazy plasma screen billboards and motion sensitive technology and such. After SPACEDISCO ONE, that joke isn’t funny anymore.

SPACEDISCO ONE is a bittersweet and shockingly accurate statement about our current reality. I think what I love most about this movie and about Packard’s films in general, is that he proves creative people can still make a powerful statement in any medium, even with only the most basic of materials. Fortunately, in the face of the dire warning issued by SPACEDISCO ONE, it’s good to know that we still have a fighting chance to change our ultimate future and a glimmer of hope for imagination still exists… otherwise the film would have never existed in the first place. Bravo, Mr. Packard! - Jsyn

Early teaser trailer for SPACEDISCO ONE


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