Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Buck Rogers 1.14: “Space Vampire"

Airdate: 1/3/80

Something is putting the crew of a space station into a catatonic state, and its commander Royko, thinks it might be a virus. Buck (one the station for Twikki’s service appointment), suspects otherwise, particularly after a space freighter collides with the base. After corresponding with Huer, Buck finds out that a “Vorvon” may be the culprit – in other words – a space vampire, with powers of sucking the life out of his victims and transforming them into brainwashed zombies. Wilma looks like she’s already been possessed by the fiendish bloodsucker, so Buck, whom everyone disbelieves, must devise a way of stopping the Vorvon. His plan? Get him to fly a rigged spaceship practically into a sun (daylight): the only way of destroying a vampire… 20th or 25th century!

Odd entry not so much for its subject matter but for its look – this feels like aschlocky 70s horror film, replete with weird synthesized score and bargain-basement special effects. Whether intentional or not (probably not), it’s still a refreshing change of pace from the TV-oriented, highly polished episodes of late. And it’s a real hoot, not to mention somewhat of a turn-on, to see Erin Gray writhing around, trying to resist vampiric possession – and then acting like a seductress when her efforts fail. Good to Christopher Stone, veteran actor of horror/sci-fi flicks and husband of Dee Wallace, as the commander.

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