Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction story "Nightfall" posited a world bathed in perpetual sunlight because of its six suns, which are all in constant orbit so one is always shining. But once every 2,000 years or so th... more »ere is an eclipse that throws the plant into darkness and drives people mad. Asimov is after a comparison of religious superstition and scientific knowledge here, centered on the poetic sense of awe evoked when darkness falls and the stars are visible for the first time. The present filmed version loses all the poetry, exacting science, and subtlety of its inspiration and adds instead the wooden, uncommitted acting of David Carradine (Kung Fu) as a scientist, hordes of Indian extras (it seems to have been filmed in Bombay), and some botched pyrotechnic battle sequences. Clearly the filmmakers lost their way from story to screen, opting instead for a Raiders of the Lost Ark feeling, with lots of lame action and adventure usurping the story's core concept. The Asimov story has garnered top honors in poll after poll, including one done by the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the packaging tries to capitalize on that cachet. Understandable, since this movie has nothing else going for it. --Jim Gay« less
Martin Asiner | jersey city, nj United States | 06/09/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I first read Isaac Asimov's short story "Nightfall", I was stunned and left gasping at its powerhouse of a closing. When I finished watching the filmed version, I was also stunned and left gasping--but for quite different reasons. All the mystery and beauty of the short story that sought to explain a millenia old phenomenon of a planet's first and last nightfall was not only lost in the movie, but even on a technical level of competence, from the wretched directing of Paul Mayersberg to the incompetent acting of David Birney and David Carradine, this movie quite unintentionally presents both a challenge and a dilemma to those whose job it is to pass judgment on its merits. For truly abysmal efforts like ROBOT MONSTER or PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, these efforts nevertheless retain the saving grace of something that clicks with the audience, whether that something be the excessive exuberance of John Barrows waving his arms in a gorilla suit from ROBOT MONSTER or the perversely androgynous heavy-handedness of director Ed Wood in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Even 'bad' movies can have a style of their own that comes into play usually late at night in a marijuana filled college recreation room. But what separates the fun of enjoyable bad movies from the torture of having to sit through garbage like NIGHTFALL is the deadening seriousness of the collective hands of all concerned from director to writer to actor. In such movies as this, there is nowhere to be found any lightness of attitude or just plain old fun. It is as if such films serve only to remind the audience that there are indeed moments in our lives that call for infinite patience while someone drives sharp needles under our fingernails. Yet, I do not want to have to pay for such dubious pleasure. With films like this one, I did."
Miserable And Vile (ZERO star rating)
Martin Asiner | 03/23/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, I am thinking it is very very bad, and not good at all. Do you understand?I won't describe it, but at least one scene was simply vile, and simply wasn't needed.The original short story is fine. The long book which Silverberg wrote is fine also. But this movie is not in tune with either Asimov's or Silverbergs writing.Even if I wasn't comparing it to a previously published story, I would say this movie is miserable. And vile.The script is miserable. The acting is miserable. All of it is miserable. And some of it is vile.This is what I am thinking. And by the way, it sucks worse than any movie I have ever seen. And some of it is vile."
Truly insulting to Asimov fans.
esinsel | Pittsburgh PA | 02/15/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many complaints for this film that it would take too much time to enumerate. On a world with 6 stars and constant light, the entire planet is of a middle-eastern/Indian skin tone, except for our handful of protagonists, who are surprisingly caucasian. The societal conventions, including such things as dress and makeup are also uninspiringly late 20th century American, down to lipstick and pony tails. Our heroes use camping lanterns to explore caverns yet whip out laser pistols to fight off sword-wielding attackers.Robe-wearing religious fanatics are our antagonists, and seeing a similarly clad David Carradine confronting them makes one expect to see a sudden kung fu showdown, and a Japanese anime-style soundtrack clashes horribly with all too 'Roger Corman' plain cinematics.An hour and a half of my time I wish I could get back."
Run-- Do Not Walk Away from this film...
Tim OBrien | Miami, FL USA | 02/17/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was a big Asimov fan and made the mistake of seeing this film when it came out in the cinema, since it was the first movie made from an Asimov idea since "Fantasic Voyage" YUCK! Over half the audience LEFT the movie and by the time it was over I wished I had, too.This movie has nearly NOTHING to do with the original novella and undoubtedly was the major reason that no other works of Asimov have been adapted to film (even though they are among the most deserving to be adapted)I continuously wondered throughout the film what major chemicals the cast and crew were consuming throughout the production. The acting, the cast and the production values are among the worst I have ever seen outside of old 8mm student films with budgets of less... I think we have a film here that can easily displace "Plan 9 From Outer Space" as the worst movie of all time.Please boycott this film."
Torture to endure from start to finish...
HerOdyssey | 12/17/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, okay, this movie was as rotten as a reeking week old carcass under the blazing sun. I can lament for hours about the MANY horribly done 'effects' and the fact that it did not match the original tale, clinging only to several very BASE-ic threads to what was an Asimov Masterpiece. I could also go on and on about how this horrific movie was cast with what I would think are the dregs of the Screen Actor's Guild (if not just ordinary passers-by abducted off the streets of Calcutta and forced to perform in this heinous waste of celluloid under the threat of their demise) -- but I can only say this... As horrid as it was... as tasteless, and wasteful of cash and human life-moments as this travesty of film has been, it is not half as horrid as its 1988 predecessor. *That* movie was some product of a bodily function from a mushroom-dazed idiot, and like some movies & games have been known to induce epileptic fits, this movie nearly caused me catatonia. Anyway... this movie bites the big one, but if you enjoy MST3K as a show, and like to do as they did... it's the perfect candidate for such activities. For anyone who enjoys Sci-fi, and is looking for good entertainment, find the book by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, and read that... These film adaptations of the story (probably spawned from some evil parallel universe) should be shot into the sun."