Thursday, October 8, 2015

Young Fears 8: The Black Hole

Each October I like to run a series of Halloween-themed posts on this blog. All this month, I'll be telling anecdotes about things which frightened me while growing up.

Continuing yesterday's subject, let's look at another live action Disney film which has the power to creep kids out; how about The Black Hole?

I don't think I was quite prepared for The Black Hole on first viewing. I had a children's storybook of the film (using illustrations, not photos) and had cereal box toys of all the film's robots. It looked like a fun adventure film with good guy robots and bad guy robots. How was I to know? Damn that Maximilian. The scene where Maximilian executed one of the heroes using the spinning blades in his hands was way, way, too intense for me as a child. The revelation that the ship's supposedly robot crew were actually unholy cybernetic abominations was nowhere near as terrifying to me as that stone-faced robot silently killing a man on screen.

The Black Hole sure wasn't Star Wars - in terms of quality or suitability for children - but when I saw the film again as an adult I was impressed to see how well the special effects stood out, especially compared to so many of today's CGI-laden snore-fests. But that Maximilian... he's the one character whose name I know off the top of my head and with good cause: you don't want to turn your back on him.

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