Destniation: Outer Space (2010) – By Duane L. Martin

Captain Mike Jackson (Josh Craig) is an out of work space jockey who now spends his days drunk and fishing.  That is, until his former best friend shows up and tells him that he’s been given a new assignment by his father, Director Jackson, to test out the new, faster than light speed rocket.  The test is successful, but Captain Jackson is knocked out during the flight (or passes out since he can’t seem to stop drinking), and wakes up in the middle of an asteroid belt.  Some fancy flying saves his life, but in the process he takes some hits and a fuel hose is damaged.  Venting fuel and with no chance of getting home, he makes for the nearest planet, where he crash lands in the snow covered mountains.

Fortunately, there’s a town nearby, and that town has a bar, so naturally that’s where he ends up.  While he’s there, he meets up with Yureena Null (Catherine Hansen) who claims to be a mechanic who can fix his ship, but in fact she turns out to be a space smuggler.  Her and her two thugs kidnap Captain Jackson and intend to sell him into slavery, but before they have the chance to do that, they’re attacked by another ship.  Captain Jackson uses the distraction to escape, but then finds himself alone in the middle of space in an escape pod.

After days of traveling with no control over the pod and his rations depleted, Jackson decides to just end it all by opening the hatch so he can be sucked out into space.  Just as he does however, he’s teleported into a large ship and deposited on a planet where he wakes up in a tent with a girl taking care of him.  It turns out, he was rescued by a robot named A.D.A.M. who has a way for him to get back home, but to utilize it, he has to break into a base on another world and lower their defenses so A.D.A.M. can teleport in and complete the unfinished device.  It’s not that simple though.  Captain Jackson has to make a decision.  Let A.D.A.M. complete the device so he can go home, which would also allow the war-like Ominai to use it to travel to other worlds (including Earth) to conquer them, or destroy the device, thereby eliminating his only way home.  You can probably guess which option he chose.

Christopher R. Mihm makes retro films, and he does a really damn good job of it.  Destination: Outer Space is far and away his most ambitious effort to date, and it shows in virtually every aspect of the film, from the story to the props to the visual effects, this film trumps anything he’s done to date.  I was particularly surprised by the huge jump in the quality of the visual effects.  The spaceship flying through space and then navigating around the asteroid belt was incredibly well done.  At times, during these scenes, you almost forget you’re watching a retro film.  They look that authentic.

As for the acting, it was actually quite good, in a cheesy, fun way.  Josh Craig’s opening scene where he’s drunk and fishing is pretty hilarious.  Something I’ve dinged most of the past films on was the halting line delivery used by Josh Craig for his characters.  That line delivery is mostly absent with his character in this film, yet is still used by the voice of his father, Director Jackson, which is to be expected I guess since he was the character that was doing it in the previous films.  Still, it’s nice to see that that speech impediment wasn’t passed on to his son…at least not in this film.  Speaking of odd speech patterns, Catherine Hansen as Yureena Null had a rather odd way of talking.  It was mostly normal, but…well it’s hard to explain.  You’d have to see it.  I thought it was rather clever though and really worked well for the character.  One rather stupid (read stupid-funny) line she had though was when she said she didn’t recognize his species (keeping in mind that she looked 100% human).  I was sitting there thinking, "Uh, he looks just like a male version of you!  Duh!"  He also looked just like her two male henchmen, so I’m not sure what the deal with that was, but again…it was funny.

Captain Jackson’s fights with the Oculon (human bodies with a big eyeball for a head) and the Ominai (the war-like people who ran the base who used stun-cattle prods for weapons) were quite amusing as well.  The scenes with the Oculons were particularly amusing, especially when he speared one in the head and when he picked up his spear, the head came with it.

Something else I want to mention are the subtitles.  It’s unusual to find subtitles in independent films, but even more unusual to have them actually be an active part of the fun.  Chris has always had fun with the subtitles in all of his films, and this one is no exception.  Sound effects and funny action descriptions abound, so if you don’t watch this film with the subtitles turned on, you’re really missing a big chunk of the fun.

Christopher Mihm has really outdone himself with this film.  It’s fun from beginning to end, and the visuals are just outstanding.  The only small thing I can think to ding this film on would be that the scene before the test flight started seemed to drag on a little too long, but other than that, the movie was spectacular.  The camera shots, the editing, the effects…all of it.  The best part is, at the end it says, "To be continued…".  I can’t wait!  If you’ve never seen one of Christopher Mihm’s films before, make sure you see this one.  This is a film you definitely don’t want to miss.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s page on the Saint Euphoria website at http://www.sainteuphoria.com/dos.html, and be sure to check out all of his other great films as well while you’re there!