Black Horizon Release Date: 2003 Genre: Adventure | Action | Fantasy Director: Ed Raymond (aka Fred Olen Ray) Writer: Steve Latshaw (Rangers, Curse of the Komodo) Starring: Ice-T, Michael Dudikoff and Hannes Jaenicke Delayed roughly a year thanks to the Columbia space crash, Black Horizon, formerly titled Stranded, is a movie that writer extraordinaire Steve […]

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Black Horizon
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Adventure | Action | Fantasy
Director: Ed Raymond (aka Fred Olen Ray)
Writer: Steve Latshaw (Rangers, Curse of the Komodo)
Starring: Ice-T, Michael Dudikoff and Hannes Jaenicke

Delayed roughly a year thanks to the Columbia space crash, Black Horizon, formerly titled Stranded, is a movie that writer extraordinaire Steve Latshaw has called the end of the shoot ‘em up, stock footage packed, films of the past ten years. As a fan of the genre despite shitpiles like Desert Thunder, I’m disappointed by his statement. If this truly is the end, well, I can’t help but wish that the genre had a better send-off.

Those crazy Russians. After all these years of being designated as America’s bitch since the Cold War, they apparently still have a fledgling space program. In Black Horizon, it’s going to get them in quite a bit of trouble, as a group of astronauts become stranded in an obsolete station with certain death at hand. With all the usual space shenanigans happening (people trapped without oxygen, meteors coming), the Americans decide it’s time to bail them out, bringing in Ed Carpenter (Dudikoff) to do it. Apparently his character performed a dangerous underwater rescue many years ago, and somehow, this is what qualifies you to rescue Russian astronauts.

Together for what feels for like the 25th time, Fred and Steve went into Black Horizon with the idea of making a movie a tad bit different from their past efforts. On this front, they succeeded. If you take a look at Fred and Steve’s film roster, so many of them involve terrorists, hijackers, and other assortments of bad guys. Minus a time padding subplot involving Ice-T and the very un-Russian Robert Donovan, Black Horizon is all about heroic feats. It may not be a great movie about heroic feats, but in a genre that’s all about cigar chomping, gun toting, tough acting antagonists, it was refreshing change. Unfortunately, it’s just not a very good movie. I honestly believe that Steve Latshaw is a good writer who is very passionate about the films he’s responsible for. He was even able to add some depth to many of the movie’s stock characters. But Black Horizon had a typical Phoenician Films budget, causing Steve to write an action film that is sans any real action.

Best part of the movie, as spoken by the evil Russians who are planning to allow the crash to happen. “But Sir, your niece is on that flight.” (pause) “We’re not close.”

DVD: As you’d expect, we’re barebones… Except for, of course, a commentary track by Fred Olen Ray and Steve Latshaw. While a tad bit more serious than Fred’s past commentaries, this one does touch upon more of the filming process than others. As has been the case for quite a while, the origin of the producer credit Hugh Janus is revealed.

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