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Star Wars Prequels Movies United Kingdom

Rediscovered Lucas-Commissioned Short "Black Angel" Released On YouTube 121

eldavojohn writes: Youtube now offers Black Angel, a short film shown in UK theaters before ESB. What was once thought lost is now found; enjoy. This may be the best half-hour you spend today, even if you must "set your clocks back 34 years," as writer and director Roger Christian advises. (Christian is also known for directing 2000's Battlefield Earth .)
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Rediscovered Lucas-Commissioned Short "Black Angel" Released On YouTube

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  • The book was good, but the movie was like... one of the worst movies ever made.
    • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:24PM (#49691591)

      What do you mean, one of the worst movies ever made?

      It's the worst movie ever made!

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:43PM (#49691793) Homepage

        Not according to IMDB [].

        It's 88th.

        I've actually seen R.O.T.O.R (the 70th worst of all time) -- trust me, it outsucked Batlefield Earth by a long shot. I've seen Leonard Part 6, number 59 on the list, and it was atrocious.

        Hell, the 6th ranked "The Hottie and the Nottie" has Paris freakin' Hilton in it (who has 2 of the top 20). Fortunately I've not seen that.

        You should really never underestimate how many absolutely terrible movies have been made.

        • Does the IMDB takes the actors and budget into account? BFE has to have the worst ratio of all movies ever made.

          • LOL ... I thought that was Waterworld.

            They only spent $44 million on BFE, after all. But, it might be the highest budget in the list of stinkers.

          • Why should they take those things into account? Bad is bad. Not everyone deserves a ribbon in the race.

            • Without excellent actors and a budget counted in millions, even relatively bad movies could be counted as "they did okay with what they had".

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          When Brain Smasher: A Love Story gets rated so much higher, then there's a problem with the ratings system. They knew the thing was bad, so bad, they skipped editing/post-production. The wires on the ninja are clearly visible, and other obvious "we know this is crap, so we aren't spending any more in post-prod" evidence.

          The ratings system misses when a movie is so bad it's good. There should be negative stars for a movie that's unintentionally good. When they miss the
      • Having not seen it or other ones that scrape the bottom I thing someone needs to undertake a study of this. Some other ones that should be in the running are Gigli, and The Hottie & the Nottie. I mean seriously didn't The Hottie & the Nottie suck so hard that it was pulled from theaters after opening night. Maybe such an activity is specifically banned by the UN convention on human rights, the US constitution, and the Geneva convention.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Hard to believe but there are far worse.

        Today you can watch BE in context and it's pretty funny. A lot of the dialog and plot is 'good bad' to the point of being laughable. You can see places where there are honestly good actors and directors working around such an unbelievably shit script written to promote the CoS cult's agenda and the result is.. Funny.

        A lot of the FX is pretty good for the era and a lot of the visual concepts are at least interesting. I love how the alien's tech is almost sort of future

      • Zardoz, The Room, Birdemic...

      • What do you mean, one of the worst movies ever made?

        It's the worst movie ever made!

        It surely deserves a place in the pantheon of bad movies, but to be exceptional, I think a bad movie has to be "so bad, it's good." That means it has to demonstrate a certain kind of ineptness that elevates it to a cult-classic of entertainment. The ineptness can be unintentional (Reefer Madness) or intentional (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes) but the ineptness has to be at the level of tragedy instead of mere lousiness.

        And let's not forget the acknowledged master of bad movies Ed Wood, and his most celebrat

      • Star Wars Holiday Special.

        That is all.

      • Go to Red Letter Media (of the Mr. Plinkett Star Wars prequels reviews fame []) and check out their Best of The Worst episodes. []

        Or just check out the Things [] review.

        Battlefield Earth is Oscar-worthy compared to some schlock out there.

    • The first half of the book was good. The second half was not good at all. Also, what was up with the whole "nobody in the entire galaxy can make sense of Psychlo math; oh wait, it was just that their number system had a different base this whole time. lol, whoops" thing?
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        And an atmosphere so unstable that any radiation sets off a chain reaction that destroys the planet? They must be well shielded from cosmic radiation and other things, which would cause problems with evolution, since radiation is believed to introduce mutations, most likely helping with the random mutations that got the planet where it is today.

        Or the ancient fighter jet that flies with no maintenance. I'm sure he just skipped the part where the hero read a book on aircraft maintenance and fuel and rebui
    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:29PM (#49691631)

      What? I've heard this repeated many times.

      The movie was awful. But it was _much better_ than the book.

      The only reason I finished the book is I was very stubborn back then. Like watching a slow motion car wreck, you think 'this has to get better'. Not unlike the 'Red/Green Mars' series. They only get worse.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:42PM (#49691781)

        Not unlike the 'Red/Green Mars' series.

        How much duct tape did it take to get Red Green to Mars?

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        The movie is better because if you sit there for 2 hours, it's done. No effort required. The book takes so much longer, and much more effort to just sit there.
      • You just have to read it early enough... Like when you're 11-14.
        Old enough to be interested in SciFi beyond simple space opera but not yet learned enough to be repelled by bad or pulpy writing. Though Hubbard sorta-kinda covered his ass there by claiming in-universe that the book was intentionally written that way.

        E.g. On the inside cover of my library copy someone wrote "money is an idea backed with confidence".
        Someone found that information so novel and fascinating, they had to write it down.
        On the inside

    • That the Psychlo howeward had such a volatile atmosphere that a single nuclear bomb could make the whole planet explode has always fascinated me. Such a planet can't develop a space-faring civilization. Once you give that some thought, the rest of the movie falls apart.
      • In the book, they locked open the teleporter network to thousands of Psychlo worlds, then set a nuke off on the homeworld. The fireball washed over the teleportation fields of other teleporter platforms and ignited thousands of planets in giant nuclear fireballs.
        • In the book, they locked open the teleporter network to thousands of Psychlo worlds, then set a nuke off on the homeworld. The fireball washed over the teleportation fields of other teleporter platforms and ignited thousands of planets in giant nuclear fireballs.

          I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but holy shit that sounds awesome.

        • In the book, teleporters all check in with the homeworld at a set date to send back ore and to replenish their atmosphere, food and workforce stock.
          As there is no hyperspace communication or FTL travel, once the Psychlo world gets turned into a "radioactive sun", everyone just keeps checking in, one at a time, and blowing themselves up.

          To clear up...
          Not every planet got turned into a sun. That happens only to the main planet which had that special breathing-gas of theirs which reacted violently to uranium.

      • Even their aircraft worked on a form of teleportation.

        As for the nukes... it was actually a case of many dirty bombs exploding under an energy shield, down through a hollowed out core of the planet which was mined for hundreds of thousands of years.


        Finally they projected it. What a brilliant picture! They had thought it might be fuzzy such as you get with heat waves. But the light that had traveled for over a year was crystal-clear and straight.

        There was the imperial City of Psychlo. Circular tram rails, streets down from its cliffs like conveyor belts. They even carried the idea of mining into their city design.
        Huge, bustling Psychlo! The center of power of the universes. The hub of the great, cruel claw that raked the bones from planets and peoples everywhere. There was the three-hundred-two-thousand-year-old monster itself, spread out in its sadistic and ugly might!

        Neither Jonnie nor Angus had ever seen a live city of that size before. A hundred million population? A billion? Not the planet, just the city above the lower plain. Look at the trams. Rails that ran in circular spirals. Cars that looked for all the world like mine cars but full of people. Mobs in the streets. Mobs! Not riots. Just Psychlos.

        You ever see so many beings? Even in such a tiny size one could see mobs!
        They were daunted.
        They compared it to their own towns, even to their own ruined cities. These didn't measure up to it at all.
        What arrogance to attack anything like that.
        They were so awestruck and impressed they hadn't even been looking at the transshipment rig of Psychlo. They missed the beginning and had to track back.

        They adjusted the projector lens and position to get the transshipment platform of Psychlo more centered and enlarged.
        And then they saw the whole sequence, just as it had occurred right after Jonnie and Windsplitter had raced across the Earth platform.

        First, there were the Psychlo workers racing out to leave the platform clear for the incoming semiannual from Earth. There were flatbeds lined up to receive coffins and personnel.
        There was the first shimmer of arrival of the Psychlos Jonnie and Windsplitter had knocked down.
        Then a small puff.
        There were the Psychlo workmen flinching back.
        A force screen had gone on! A dome over the platform had closed instantly to contain that small explosion. It could not have been an atmosphere armor cable. Some sort of shimmering, sparkling screen. Transparent but very much there.

        Trucks had time to start up before anything else occurred. One huge emergency truck had lunged nearer the platform, evidently to handle the minor blast. A whole minute went by.
        Then the first lethal coffin exploded!
        A big âoeplanet busterâ nuclear bomb, nestled into a bed of dirty mines.
        The force screen held.

        The holocaust was contained. The boiling, ferocious blast had not even bulged the screen.
        Then another shock as the second coffined âoeplanet busterâ went off.
        The screen held! Good lord, what technology to build a screen like that. What power it must take to hold it.
        Another shock inside that dome. The third planet buster. It and all its ancient, very dirty atomic bombs. The screen held.

        Psychlos were racing toward it from far off. Those near the platform were flattened by concussion transmitting through the screen.
        The fourth contained bomb went off. The screen still held.
        But the transmitted concussion had hurled the emergency truck backward. Nearby buildings lost their glass.
        The ground was shaking as though hit by gigantic earthquakes.

        A nearby building suddenly dropped downward as though sucked from below. Other buildings began to go the same way.
        The fifth bomb went off!
        And seen in slow motion, first narrowly, then more broadly, the entire scene went into a churning, boiling mass of atomic fire.
        No, something more! Molten, flaming fire was erupting in spots all over the plain.
        They widened the angle quickly.
        The whole Imperial City of Psychlo was sinking and all about it sprayed up rolling oceans of molten fire.
        The circular trams, the mobs, the buildings, and even the towering cliffs were drowning in a tumult of liquid, yellow-green flame.
        They hastily widened the view.

        And they saw the entire planet of Psychlo turn into a radioactive sun!

        The recording ended. They sat limp. âoeMy god,â said Angus.
        Jonnie felt a little sick. Psychlos or not, he had just watched the end product of all their planning and risk a year ago, and he was hit with a feeling of guilt. It was not easy to take responsibility for that much destruction.
        He had thought the bombs would wipe out the company headquarters and perhaps the imperial City. But they had created a new sun.
        âoeWhat happened?â said Angus.

        Jonnie looked at his feet. âoeI pulled ten tabs out of those coffins. We didn't want to set a time fuse and then have them go off on Earth. We knew the bombs were a bit contaminated. Had radiation leaks. They were old and their cases were old. We handled them in radiation suits.â

        He made a dropping gesture with his hand. "In the fight, I dropped the fuse tabs on the platform. I forgot them. They must have been slightly radioactive, and when they hit the Psychlo platform, they made a small puff of explosion. They are what caused the minor recoil last year.
        âoeThey triggered the force screen on Psychlo that the Chamcos mentioned. And that force screen was good enough and strong enough to contain the blasts.

        âoeI read in a book Char had that the crust of Psychlo is riddled with abandoned mine shafts and tunnels, a complete sieve. They call it semicore mining. The blasts went down. One after another they pounded deeper and deeper toward the molten core of Psychlo.
        âoeThe fifth explosion penetrated the core. The next five exploded in that.
        âoeI think all a nuclear weapon does is simulate a chain reaction into existence. And in addition to blowing out the planet crust, the fusion continued. And is probably still going on and may well go on for millions of years.
        "Psychlo is no longer a planet. It 's a flaming sun!â

        Angus nodded. âoeAnd all the transshipment rigs in the whole Psychlo empire, keeping schedule, not knowing about it, fired into that radioactive sun and blew themselves to bits!â
        Jonnie nodded, a bit spent. âoeJust like we did in Denver a year later.â He shuddered. "Terl fired himself into a holocaust. Poor Terl.â

        That's what it took to yank Angus out of it. âoePoor Terl! After all the rotten things the demon did? Jonnie, I sometimes wonder about you. You can be cool as ice and then all of a sudden you come out with something like 'poor Terl'!'
        âoeIt would be an awful way to die,â said Jonnie.

        Angus straightened up. âoeWell!â he said just like he had popped up out of a dive in the lake. "Psychlo is gone! The empire is gone! And that's one thing we don't have to worry about anymore! Good riddance!â

    • ouch... i just read your comment, after i posted mine []!
    • To be fair, they took a 1200 page book and made a movie that was an hour and 20 minutes long. How much can you really expect.

      If you added up all the LOTR books together it is about the same size, and they made 3 movies that were like 12h long if you look at the extended versions.

      I liked the book, the movie of course was disappointing. However as some pointed out, there are plenty of worse movies out there. However the real analysis of "Worst Movie Ever" has to be some index of Movie Budget VS Movie Suckage

      • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

        uh, where'd you get that time from? BFE is 1h58m.

        • Math isn't my strong suit apparently...

          I originally said 1.5h, then looked at wiki:

          saw the "17min" and changed it lol... apparently my memory is better than my maths...

          • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

            I was gonna say, not only was that abortion a waste of two hours of my life, it made me think it'd taken 45 minutes I didn't have in the first place?? o.0

            To borrow a colloquialism, "LOL". And "Movies so full of holes they have time warps".

    • The book was good

      Any idea who wrote it?

      • One of the greatest space fiction writers to ever live: L. Ron Hubbard. He was a master of telling people shit he just made up.
  • by skoskav ( 1551805 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:29PM (#49691629)
    The SSL certificate for the video source won't validate, making the youtube video halt downloading after a while.
  • Maybe the only good film ever directed by some guy who worked on Star Wars and has a tie to Lucas. I guess it gets a weak "yea" but this guy is not a good director. I had an unusual chance a few years ago to have a personal conversation with an actor or actress (I'm unwilling to name who I talked to) who appeared in "Prisoner Of The Sun" which finally got released last year and was directed by Christian. I specifically asked about that film and the person who acted in it said that they had doubts that it
    • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:50PM (#49691867) Homepage Journal

      IMO, you won't miss much. I was bored before it actually started, by the director's monotone, talking about how wonderful a film it was, and how Lucas copied him in one of the SW movies. Yawn. Then, the opening credits took about five minutes (which is to say, five minutes of Scottish scenery, with bland music, followed by a few seconds of the title), then about five minutes of the protagonist riding his horse though Scottish scenery, with bland music. So you're nearly halfway through before anything happens at all, including dialog.

      And whoever choreographed the fight scene has never been in the same room with an actual sword - they couldn't even cut the scene well enough to hide the fact that the protagonist is staring constantly as the stunt man's hands to avoid breaking his fingers.

      So, as I said, you won't miss much. Unless you like Scottish scenery and bland music.

      • I would also add that this film short needs much tighter editing (my sense is that this could be cut down to 6 minutes), and a lot of the footage is dark, muddy, because there wasn't enough lighting on set.

      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        My experience with lost/rediscovered films like this is that they were usually lost for a reason. Nobody cared enough to keep it safe when it was new, and today it is at best a historical curiosity. More often the film is just straight up boring or terrible and maybe it was lost for a reason.
      • yeah, I turned it off after nine minutes and switched to Adam Savage building a Kirk chair, which was more dramatic and better-shot. The director was both disrespectful of the audience's time and too lazy to use more than one camera on any given scene, or go back and get secondary photography with the o. I was watching his long zooms and imagining all the obvious good shots he was ignoring. Poor UK folk who didn't know to show up 30 minutes late to ESB. The dude was incredibly lucky to get the opportu

      • yeah, I turned it off after nine minutes and switched to Adam Savage building a Kirk chair, which was more dramatic and better-shot. The director was both disrespectful of the audience's time and too lazy to use more than one camera on any given scene, or go back and get secondary photography with the one camera he could afford to rent. I was watching his long zooms and imagining all the obvious good shots he was ignoring. Poor UK folk who didn't know to show up 30 minutes late to ESB.

    • 'American Graffiti' was good, George's last good movie.

      • I remember that I liked 'Star Wars.' Not enough to see any of the sequels, tho. I have a faint memory of enjoying it in the theater in 1977.

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      I had a long conversation over lunch just a couple years ago with a Star Wars actress, the content of said conversation shall remain private. Jus' sayin', "I had lunch with Camie Loneozner!" :D

  • Christian is also known for directing 2000's Battlefield Earth

    Which is, among other things, a very funny movie - after i saw it, i always wondered why it is considered "one of the worse movies" (as i read about in some "lists")... people missed its humor.

    • Are you sure you're not thinking about Starship Troopers? I liked the over-the-top parody of "everything is militarized" point of view from the first day I saw it.

      • Are you sure you're not thinking about Starship Troopers? I liked the over-the-top parody of "everything is militarized" point of view from the first day I saw it.

        I am sure i am thinking about Battlefield Earth - more sure because after i posted my comment i saw an earlier writing "Battlefield Earth... sucks"! I even double cheched in the internet before i anwser to you...

        Never watched Starship Troopers - i will check it. By the way, one reason i liked Battlefield Earth was because its humor had much to do with "military relations" (i cant think a good term in English), and it reminded me many things from my own military service.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      It's the modern "Plan 9 from Outer Space": So bad it's good.

      • It's the modern "Plan 9 from Outer Space": So bad it's good.

        But Battlefield Earth was supposed to be funny (as it was... i think!), more of a "parodic" way, not in a ridiculous way as "Plan 9 from Outer Space" ended up to be - well, haters gonna hate...

        • The funniest part about BE? The clams think it's a good book and the movie was a disappointment.

          In fact the director did an admirable job of taking a total POS book and making a slightly less bad movie out of it.

          The worst part about BE the book? It set the clams off on the 'Invasion Earth' series, which is EVEN WORSE. Especially the early ones L. Ron had a hand in.

          • You comment just helped me join the pieces and answer some questions i had about the movie - like an "epiphany": yes... Scientology, Travolta, the scenario...

            And i glad someone other than me also finds it "NOT the worst movie ever" - actually, as i said I find it funny enough!

        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          I thought church brass got their finger into the mix and mucked it up because they are newbies at directing and driven by ideological concerns.

          • Someone else replied to my comment yesterday and i managed to make the connection with Scientology, something i totaly had missed, and something you confirm - not much Scientology here in Greece (thank God - i am religious -Greek Orthodox Christian-, you can say whatever you want about us, but i am telling you that the very few of these Greek Scientologist guys -about a dozen, not more- are seriously crazy... hospitalized crazy...).
  • Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 14, 2015 @02:51PM (#49691879)
    I thought it was a total piece of crap. If this is their idea of drumming up interest in a new film, I'll pass thank you. I'm angry because I lost a half hour of my life over that piece of crap. 34 years ago it would have also sucked!
    • I saw this on Netflix last year, and yes, I wish I could get that half hour of my life back.
    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      I felt the implied recommendation was a new low for Slashdot.

      About 3 minutes of story dragged out over 30 minutes.

      (At least, I hope there was a story beyond just a creepy pedophile stalking a child and attempting to murder her legal guardian for reasons I prefer not to try to imagine.)

  • I have watched it, and I know the story as shown, but there are a lot of symbolism which escapes me.
    • I have watched it, and I know the story as shown, but there are a lot of symbolism which escapes me.

      No there isn't. That is the movie. It really is just shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good god. I only watched it cause I had a half hour to kill before picking up the kid from school. The time would have been better spent picking lint from my navel.

  • No Jessica Alba. Doh!
  • Just no (Score:5, Funny)

    by timepilot ( 116247 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @04:27PM (#49692801)

    This may be the best half-hour you spend today

    Only if the other 23.5 hours were spent getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick. What a load of crap.

  • "Men's Rights Activists Call for Boycott of 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' Citing Feminist Agenda"

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.c... []

    The real money shot of this article is this quote from the "men's rights activist":

    "men in America and around the world are going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted AND tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in f

    • To be fair, "American culture" is just whatever we've stolen from everybody else and claimed as our own. Mad Max is as American as Hamburgers!
      • Mad Max is as American as Hamburgers!

        We didn't steal Mad Max. It is an Australian character, written by Australians, acted by Australians and directed by Australians.

        Mad Max is as American as kangaroos.

        Hell, even Tom Hardy the new Mad Max, is a British actor.

        • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

          Mel Gibson was born in New York, didn't move to Australia until after he had turned ten.


    • Wow. That is certainly the first time I've ever seen someone describing Mad Max as "socialist". Oh, us poor men, to be duped by explosions and pretty women into watching communist propaganda! Before you know it, we'll sing the International, while embracing our inner female. Shortly after that, the USA will fall to North Korea and we're all going to be enslaved in the uranium mines...

      Well, this certainly made my day! Thank you ;)

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Got that? "..a piece of American culture."

      To be fair, Australia loves to emulate the US. A lot of our car culture comes from the US with our most popular cars having big American engines that produce stupidly low amounts of power for their displacement as well as handling that wouldn't be envied by a river barge.

      The Ford Falcons used in the original Mad Max were basically American designs made in Australia.

      I'm kind of curious how they consider it an assault on mens rights... but I'm worried that the

  • It was actually called "White Angel", until 2008 when Lucas decided it wasn't urban enough, and CG'd the titular character.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein