Warp Speed (1981)

Article 5083 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-18-2016
Directed by Allan Sandler
Featuring David Chandler, Camille Mitchell, Adam West
Country: USA
What it is: Space mystery TV-Movie

When a spaceship bound for Saturn returns home stripped of its equipment and missing its crewmen, a psychic is sent aboard the spaceship to track down the events that happened.

I’ve encountered Allan Sandler before; he’s co-directed/co-produced a few movies with Robert Emenegger, sometimes in concert with Steven Spielberg’s sister Anne and various relatives of Cameron Mitchell (two of which appear in this movie). The movies generally have interesting ideas and concepts, but are otherwise not particularly well done, and sometimes it’s a bit of a close call trying to figure out whether its strengths or flaws dominate. This is one of those where the strengths win out; the acting and direction may be uneven, but I did find the story interesting enough to hold my attention, right up to a bizarre but not-entirely-unexpected twist ending. It’s a little confusing at first, and the cheapness of the production is a little off-putting, but I found it was worth the effort to stick with it. It’s probably the best of the movies I’ve seen from this director and his cohorts.

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