Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett star as Adam and Alex, May-September (okay… December) lovers on a distant space station whose blossoming bliss is intruded upon by an evil badly dubbed Harvey Keitel. (How do we know he’s evil? His greasy pony tail is a dead giveaway!) Keitel pops pills (called “Blue Dreamers”) like crazy and soon starts sniffing around Fawcett’s assets like a damned dog in heat. He also puts together his “helper” robot named Hector (who looks like a cross between the Terminator and Johnny Number 5). Hector’s mind is made out of pure living human brain tissue and is brought to life via “Fluidic Injection”. (Of course everything in this movie is given fancy schmancy names like “Abort Time” to give it more scientific meaning.) In order to remote control his sidekick, Keitel gives Hector a “Brain Drain” which gives it all of Keitel’s mental capacity, which means it now wants to bone Farrah and go on a kill crazy rampage. Hector soon learns he doesn’t need Keitel anymore and can function on his own so he rips off Keitel’s head and wears it as a hat. In the end, Douglas heroically sacrifices himself by tackling Hector into an acid bath so that Farrah may go live happily ever after on Earth and dress like a futuristic trollop.
Director Stanley (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) Donen, who you’d assume would be lost with this material considering he was a last minute replacement and the fact the movie features zero musical numbers, actually equips himself adequately to the sci-fi surroundings. He piles on some Kubrickian imagery and knows how to film an exploding body.
Keitel looks ludicrous and hearing his familiar gruff Bronx accent being replaced by a droll British one is quite discombobulating. He does have the greatest pick up line in movie history however: “You have a great body, may I use it?” When Farrah tells him she’s Kirk’s girl, Keitel retorts, “For his own personal consumption? That’s penally unsociable on Earth you know that?” I guess sexual harassment laws are more lenient in the future. (You really can’t blame him though since she’s running around that space station wearing next to nothing just asking for it.)
Douglas looks even more out of place, especially when saying shit like, “You always want instantaneous satisfaction!”
Hey wait a minute… Since Kirk’s name is “Adam” and he and Farrah are in a spaceship containing a “garden”, I think Donen was going for some kind of a half assed Biblical metaphor. I guess Keitel is supposed to be the Devil (easy enough to swallow) and Hector is supposed to represent the snake. This leads us to believe that the Blue Dreamers are meant to represent the apple since after they take the drugs everything goes to hell. Either that or Saturn 3 is just some crappy sci-fi movie and I’m overanalyzing the hell out of it and have way too much time on my hands.
In any case, Saturn 3 remains fitfully amusing despite its weaknesses. Sure, we’ve seen it all before, but have we seen it through the eyes of the man who directed Singin’ in the Rain? Didn’t think so. Simply put: The best poorly dubbed Harvey Keitel being torn apart by a rogue robot movie EVER.