In 2168, A.D. nine people board a lifepod and escape the fatal explosion aboard their interplanetary spaceship, only to learn that the explosion was sabotage and the saboteur is among them. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adve... more »nture
A made-for-TV riff on the Alfred Hitchcock oldie "Lifeboat," with the survivors of a starship disaster take off in an escape pod and slowly coming to the realization that the fact that the saboteur who destroyed their craft may be among them. Interesting genre-twist with an impressive cast including Robert Loggia and Ron Silver.
LOST IN SPACE
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 07/17/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"LIFEPOD is an adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic LIFEBOAT, and while there is no real comparison in terms of quality, LIFEPOD is a darkly engrossing tale of betrayal and hope. The cast is uniformly very good, with Robert Loggia, Ron Silver and CCH Pounder being the most familiar members. The movie is good in making the viewer feel the desperation and fear of being abandoned in outer space with low rations of food and water, and of course, the inevitable saboteur who wants them all to die. For a movie that was made for tv, LIFEPOD has high aspirations and almost achieves them."
Almost completely sucessful
Rebecca L. Prasuhn | Fremont, Ohio USA | 11/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"its got a solid storyline (which by nessesity leaves the characters somewhat underdeveloped), solid acting from all involved (CCH Pounder really made you feel for her), solid direction, good pacing, intense drama.... and special effects so godawful that you cant suspend disbelief when they're onscreen.....but watching a movie for the effects is essentially being shallow, so I'm only taking one star off.
I remember seeing this when it aired on TV in the early ninties...and now that i've seen it again, its about as solid as low-low budget TV science fiction gets...meaning its all good except the effects work."
2.5 stars out of 4
One-Line Film Reviews | Easton, MD | 05/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Bottom Line:
Lifepod really has nothing in common with Hitchcock's Lifeboat aside from the basic premise of "people stuck together in a confined space, one of whom is an enemy" so it should be assessed on its own terms; judged alone, it's an enjoyable and reasonably successful sci-fi film that will keep you entertained even if the low production values become increasingly obvious as the film progresses."
A Pretty Solid SciFi-Laced Whodunit
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 05/18/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Were you to glance at Lifepod's short list of credits, you may find names like Pen Densham on story duty and Jay Roach responsible for the teleplay but the core of this science fiction tale can actually be traced back to 1944 in the form of the classic Alfred Hitchcock short story, Lifeboat.
While the original (which has been told again and again throughout the years) uses the isolation and desperation of being stranded on the ocean as the backdrop of a tale of suspense, this incarnation ups the ante by relocating the setting to the void of space itself.
What is unchanged between versions is the basic idea that a massive vessel is destroyed from the very onset and only eight individuals make it off alive (in this case in a tiny self-sustaining escape pod). Not only do the eight survivors begin to suspect sabotage as the reason the passenger liner crashed in the first place, a string of deaths in the lifepod makes them realize the saboteur is among them!
Like most of Hitchcock's works, the prose works off the concept of suspense as its catalyst to keep things moving. Each of the survivors has a motive for potentially doing the dreadful deed and this is presented early enough on to allow the viewer a long opportunity to make up their own mind as to which among them actually did it based on the facts presented along the way.
At 90-minutes, the pacing of the film is just about perfect even if the ending does feel a tad bit rushed. Surprisingly, this is one of few films I've ever encountered that actually has a bit more intricacy in its plot's back-story than is presented in the film itself. In other words, read the back of the DVD case before going in as it contains information that aids in the tale's depth that is otherwise only briefly touched upon in the actual film itself.
So I think you get the idea that the story itself works on many levels but now let's try to take a stab at the ever critical issue of the visual effects as, after all, space-set science fiction demands a certain level of visual flair to convey suspension of disbelief. To that end, the film's coming to be in the year 1993 actually helps it more than hinders it in terms of effects work. Very shortly after the film was produced, the industry collectively shifted to the use of computer-generated imaging to accomplish difficult imagery and unfortunately, in the case of relatively modestly budgeted pictures such as this, usually results in sequences more fitting to a video game than a feature film.
That said; Lifepod is truly one of the last pictures to boast visuals consisting primarily of miniatures, models, and other various practical effects. In this case, it works well and keeps the gritty feel of the interior sets consistent. Honestly, if I had to draw a rough comparison of the tones to other established franchises, I could go as far as to say there are a few similarities that hint toward (or at the very least, pay homage to) the Universe established in the ALIEN films: The coolest of which here includes tech-specialist little-people with robotic appendages (nicknamed "toolies") who fit easily in the ship's internal duct work/ wiring passages.
The cast is surprisingly solid for what was initially a made-for-tv movie and includes the gruff Robert Loggia, well-rounded CCH Pounder, and the ever-villainous Ron Silver (who also handles directorial duties of the picture).
In all, there isn't much about Lifepod that disguises the fact that it was a fairly modest production at its onset and made its debut on the Fox television network back in 1993 (long before George Lucas would revisit Star Wars and Paramount would decide to retool and retell Star Trek). The best way to approach it, in my opinion anyway, is to go in expecting a fairly interesting Hitchcockian tale of suspense with enough science fiction integrated to appeal to those of us fascinated with the perils of space exploration.
Considering the fact that A) We got a DVD release of this relatively low-key motion picture at all and B) It retails for under $5 at most stores, it's pretty hard not to recommend adding this one to the collection for an evening's worth of solid entertainment."