A small demolition crew (including their cryogenically frozen captain) travels around space blowing up unstable planets. But their 20-year tour of duty has begun to grate and boredom has well and truly set in.
An offbeat mix of sci-fi and comedy, Dark Star is a bona fide cult classic, that didn't find an appreciative fan base until the 1980s video boom.
Co-writer and co-star Dan O'Bannon (who went on to write Alien) makes great use of the crew's encroaching tedium. When an eventual crisis occurs, it's their apathy that generates the film's most suspenseful moments and biggest laughs.
Dark Star's one non-human character is an innocuous pet alien; a great example of rising above budget limitations, this 'special effect' is, hilariously, a beach ball with claws. The fact that it works so well is testament to the wit and panache of this sci-fi classic.