Friday, 14 October 2011

Classic Movie Corner: Innerspace (Warner Bros., 1987)

Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) is an alcoholic, ex-USAF pilot, who is the pilot for a test to be shrunk down, and injected into a rabbit. Jack Putter (Martin Short) is a Safeway clerk, and hypochondriac, who frequently sees his doctor about his phantom illnesses. The two are about to be thrown together in a adventure that will change both of them, and will face the evil Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy), and his two right hand men (and woman)(Vernon Wells, Fiona Lewis), who wants the two microchips needed for minaturisation and re-enlargement for his own purposes.

Directed by Joe Dante, and starring Denis Quaid, Martin Short and Meg Ryan, Innerspace drew it's inspiration from the 1966 classic Fantastic Voyage. Using the concept of miniturisation as the basis of the story, it was certainly different to the other sci-fi films of the time, with the added use of comedy, mainly from Short, and made it feel fresh, which it still does today (in my eyes at least). Quaid is excellent as the cocky and brash Pendleton, who relies on his past glories (which is mainly about landing a crippled F14 on a rolling flatop in near zero visibility), to get him ahead. Short is great as the hypocondriac Putter, and is the source of many of the laughs, and even throws a good one-two punch later in the film. Kevin McCarthy plays Scrimshaw with a comic malevolence, especially in the last 2/3 of the film.

The special effects, which is partly done by ILM and Rob Bottin (who did the excellent effects on The Thing and Robocop), and the effect of inside Short is nothing short (pun not intended) of outstanding. Sometimes you'd think they did somehow manage to shrink down Quaid and film inside a human body! Jerry Goldsmith again provides the music, and again it all adds to the atmosphere at key moments. At times, there are hints of his Rambo III score if you listen carefully, and with the added music by Sam Cooke and Rod Stewart's 1987 version of Twistin' The Night away, wraps up the whole package nicely.

An awesome 80's movie, with brilliant, state of the art special effects that still hold up today, a great script, a strong cast and great music. If you haven't watched it, shame on you. If you have seen it, watch it again.

Covered before in a smaller post in less detail.


  1. i love innerspace, nice slice of 80's sci fi. Dennis quaid was ultra cool then!

  2. I watched this again last night, and thought I had to do a longer write up on it, as the few lines I did in my 5 alternate sci-fi didn't do it justice.