The Black Hole

In the weeks since Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Interstellar came out, geeks have been debating the need for scientific accuracy in sci-fi movies. In Disney’s 1979 clunker The Black Hole — which might be better titled The Sinkhole —scientific plausibility is galactically unimportant. “It’s bad. It’s ridiculously bad,” says Ernie Quiroz, programming manager at the Sie FilmCenter, who has selected the film as a jarring intervention in the Interstellar real-physics debates. “The Black Hole is a cash-grab movie made in the wake of Star Wars. When it comes to science, who cares?”

While the flop was billed as a children’s flick, it deals with adult themes: life, death, heaven and hell. “It’s weird, heavy stuff for kids,” Quiroz notes. But the campy robots that dutifully aid the protagonists make adult audiences groan. “At ten, eleven or twelve, you’re like, ‘This is kind of cool,’” Quiroz says. “Then again, you’re like, ‘This is kind of stupid.’ Star Wars raised the bar so much that anything that came after looked ridiculous or silly by comparison.”

Thirty-five years after its unfortunate release, The Black Hole gives modern audiences a window into past visions of the future — visions that are at least funny, if not cinematically worthwhile or accurate.

This turkey shows tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the Sie, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $7 to $10. For more information, go to denverfilm.org.
Fri., Jan. 2, 9:30 p.m., 2015

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris