Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reviews:

Event Horizon (1997)

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Though Jaws is unavailable on DVD, there are 492 copies of Mercury Rising at my video store alone. They should simply have done with it and make every movie Armageddon.
Recently I gave in to the overwhelming pressure put on by the behemoth studios and rented Event Horizon, the action/sci-fi/horror epic starring Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne.

An event horizon is the area of a black hole from which no matter can escape. Or it is a crappy movie starring Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne. I personally would accept either answer. In the film’s reality, Event Horizon is the name of a ship designed by Sam Neill, who recently starred in a series of commercials hawking some sort of communications product wherein he peeps through a telephone jack at people doing the bunny hop around their office. It’s disturbing to think that New Zealanders might be secretly looking at me while I work. It’s hard enough to work with my dog talking to me all day long.

Anyway, the Event Horizon attempts time travel by creating a wormhole and flying through it. A wormhole, as I understand it, is an anomaly in space where .. . hell, I don’t know. I think it has something to do with Worf or Hobbits or something. The Event Horizon gets lost in this wormhole and comes back seven years later, after blowing the mortgage payment on booze and cheap women, I guess. Neill plays the ship’s designer, who leads a team of Space Soldiers, I think, to find out what happened to it. The movie, after whizzing its initial attempts at both action and sci-fi, tries out horror, and fails at this as well. Stealing an idea from countless Star Trek episodes, the ship begins recreating the inhabitants’ worst fears and presenting them in short little playlets. The reason is unclear, but suffice it to say that the makeup designer got to smear lots of stuff with ooey, gooey blood! It’s a moist movie, and sticky as well. There are lacerations and sores; eyeballs explode. It’s as though the kid who wrote “Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts” grew up and made his own movie.

You see, the ship went through the wormhole and ended up in hell. Not the “long line at RadioShack” kind of hell, or the “my date wants to see Somewhere In Time” type hell, but the actual dwelling place of Satan and his minions. Apparently Satan made some calls, found out where the ship was from and, rather thoughtfully, tried to return it to its owner. Only now the ship has the stink of evil all over it, which reduces its long-term resale value. Most of your evil vehicle owners will carefully detail them and may even put sawdust in the transmission so the buyer doesn’t notice - so, caveat emptor!

My problem with the whole concept, that being that the human race is a mere plaything to unspeakable supernatural evil, is that never once does anyone even think to mention God. You may say, “But the filmmaker’s presenting a reality without God.” And then you’d offer me a sandwich and get me a juice box. But then I’d reply, ‘Perhaps, but that’s unfair in my book, because he’s stolen the concept of hell from Judeo-Christian tradition but carelessly left out the central theme of that tradition.”
Then I’d accept your sandwich and ask if I might just have a glass of water, thank you.
You might then say, “But then if someone introduced God into it, He, as the creator of everything, would simply squash the evil, and there’d be no movie.”
And I’d go, “Yeah, but ... look, let’s not fight. Let me just finish my sandwich and I’ll get out of your hair. Suffice it to say, it’s a stupid movie.”

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"Event Horizon" availabilty on video and on DVD from Amazon.com

Books by Michael Nelson available from Amazon.com include Movie Megacheese. Mike's episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are available from Amazon.com on both video and on DVD, and he co-wrote the MST3000 book

This movie airs from time to time on the SciFi Channel or USA Network

Sam Neill is also in MonsterVision movie In The Mouth Of Madness

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© 2000 Michael J. Nelson. All rights reserved, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles & reviews. Mike Nelson is no relation to Lloyd Bridges and has never run low on air while hunting around under the sea.