The Adult Illustrated Fantasy Magazine Fan Page
Release Date - May 22, 1981 in Theaters. CED released 1983. Laserdisc released August 28, 1991. VHS released January 7, 1997. DVD released November 18, 1997.
Running Time - 1hr. 50min.
MPAA Rating - R
Distributor - The Ladd Company, Warner Bros.
The Internet Movie Database
(See DVD review below for additional details)
- Audio: English (Dolby Surround 5.1) and Spanish (Dolby Digital mono)
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, and French
- Dual Sided: 2.20:1 Letterbox Widescreen & 1.33:1 Full Frame
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Sean Connery Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Peter Boyle Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Frances Sternhagen Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: James B. Sikking Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Kika Markham Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Clarke Peters Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Steven Berkoff Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Jerry Goldsmith Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: Stars: Peter Hyams Biography
- Explore The Galaxy: The Making Of Outland
- Explore The Galaxy: A Perfect Model For The Future
- Explore The Galaxy: Designs For The Future
- Explore The Galaxy: Introvision
- Explore The Galaxy: Theatrical Trailer - 3min.
- Reel Recommendations
Director - Peter Hyams
Writer - Peter Hyams
Producer - Richard A. Roth
Executive Producer - Stanley O'Toole
Associate Producer - Charles Orme
Cinematographer - Stephen Goldblatt
Editor - Stuart Baird
- Sean Connery - William T. O'Niel
- Peter Boyle - Sheppard
- Frances Sternhagen - Lazarus
- James B. Sikking - Montone
- Kika Markham - Carol O'Niel
- Clarke Peters - Ballard
- Steven Berkoff - Sagan
Music - Score:
Composer - Jerry Goldsmith
Performer - The National Philharmonic Orchestra
Music - Leisure Club:
Composer - Richard Rudolph and Michael Boddicker
Performer - Ganymede
Music - Songs:
- Logic System - "Automatic Collect, Automatic Correct"
This movie wasn't made by Heavy Metal, but it was adapted into a comic, "Outland" by Jim Steranko. It was published in each issue from June to October 1981 and January 1982 of Heavy Metal.
Atmosphere and setting is what really makes Outland a good movie. It takes place on a mining rig on Jupiter's moon, Io. The setting is dark, dreary, and industrial. And the special effects and models fit seamlessly into the setting, so there's no lack of illusion that it's actually in space. However, even though the setting is in space, it has a familiar feeling to it. Most of the technology is things we use today. They don't have anything too fantastic, like laser guns or robots. Instead, they're still using shotguns and people are still doing the dirty work. That gives it a nice familiar feeling to it, and we can really imagine ourselves there. It also gives us the message that even though this is sometime in the advanced future, we really haven't changed that much. This can also be said for the people that inhabit this mine.
Although because many of the technology is 1981's vision of the future, one thing does feel dated. The computers look like an old Commodore with just a black screen and green text. However, this can be because it's just an industrial computer, so they don't need anything flashy, so it's acceptable.
The minimal use of a soundtrack also creates the right mood. The only song heard is in the bar, otherwise it has just a subtle use of the great score. And it works for this movie, where less is more.
The writing is also very well done. There's a good mix of action, dialogue, and suspense to give the movie a good pace. The movie isn't as fast paced as a lot of other movies, but instead spends a lot of time on the situation and characters, and that works well for this movie and gives us time to build up that suspense.
To top it off, the acting really holds everything together with its talented cast. The one exception being O'Niel's son. Luckily he's only on screen for a very brief time.
The only other thing that bothers me is the science of humans being exposed to space and the moon's atmosphere. In the movie we see a body exploding when exposed. However, this is incorrect. A person might not live very long when being exposed, but it still wouldn't be nearly as dramatic as exploding.
But those are minor things for the overall enjoyment of the film. I wouldn't call the movie a classic or even a must-see movie, but it is a good one and worth checking it out.
Normally if I have anything to comment on the disc, I'd add little notes in the DVD section. However, there's too many gripes I have about this disc, that I just had to have its own review.
This DVD was released in 1997, which makes it one of the first DVD releases out there. Part of me can understand that finely tuned quality wasn't as much of an issue as it is today. But it's now long overdue for another release, hopefully on blu-ray.
Let's start with the Special Features. There's a bit of reading, and the Outland trailer. Also it's double sided for either full screen or widescreen, which is nice. But that's all there is. No extra "making of" videos or anything like that. Even though it doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the movie, sometimes Special Features can be a nice bonus.
The first thing you'll notice if you're watching the Widescreen side, is that it's in Letterbox format. Rarely do you ever find a DVD that doesn't use anamorphic widescreen to fit your TV, but with this one, there will be black boxes, and depending on your widescreen TV settings, you might be forced to watch the movie in a windowbox.
The second thing is the quality of the picture itself. It's very low resolution and very grainy. It's possible, the graininess might add to the atmosphere of the movie, but I'd much rather see it cleaned up.
Hopefully we'll see another, cleaned-up release of this movie. Now that blu-ray's are getting more popular, hopefully that will happen soon.
Description On The Back Cover - Io, Jupiter's innermost moon, hosts mining colony Con-Am 27, a high-tech hellhole. There Marshal William T. O'Neil (Sean Connery) probes some mysterious deaths among the miners. In pursuit of the truth, he's alone. In Outland, writer/director Peter Hyams (Timecop, 2010) depicts a chilling extension of today's corporation-driven world. Dehumanization is vividly evoked in the environments of production designer Phillip Harrison and special-effects wizard John Stears, Academy Award winner for his work on Thunderball and Star Wars. The spellbinding result is "a movie of unexpected pleasures" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).