In 2191 the interplanetary spaceship the Arcturus makes its maiden voyage from Earth to Jupiter. The ship is controlled by an onboard computer called the Main Cerebral (voice of Neil Ross). An unidentified emergency instructs the passengers and crew to abandon ship. A few people are still on board. Third Astrogator Lieutenant Simmons (Joe Penny) runs into Fiona Harrison (Kristine DeBell), a passenger who went back to her room for her pet bird, Dwayne. The two then head up to the bridge deck to try to find out what the emergency is. They meet Roz Keshah (Carl Lumbly), a reporter who was assigned to cover the Arcturus’ maiden voyage. Roz had been waiting for a rescue team to help him with two people who were trapped in a room down the hall. Simmons manages to get the door open and frees Lord Dematte (Sandy Kenyon), the director of the Whitestar Lines, the company who created the Arcturus, and his assistant Lady Lima (Jordan Michals).
The now five remaining evacuees head for the bridge. On the bridge they find Captain Montaine (Christopher Cary). Dematte accuses Montaine of sabotaging the ship. Montaine informs Dematte that Main Cerebral has taken over the ship and no one can override it. The captain also tells them that there is an escape pod on the bridge that they can use. Montaine, being captain, decides to stay with the ship.
The remaining evacuees board the lifepod. Cerebral tries to prevent the lifepod from leaving. When Dematte forces the Arcturus to release the pod it becomes damaged. While Simmons tries to make repairs enough to get them to one of Jupiter’s moons the rest of the evacuees learn the real reason Dematte is so determined to get away from the Arcturus. All the while the Arcturus itself is trying to catch up to the lifepod.
“Lifepod” was released in 1981 and was directed by Bruce Bryant. It is a low budget science fiction movie. This is the one and only film that Bryant ever directed. The film was produced by Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler. Emenegger and Sandler are not as involved with this film as much as they have in the past. Emenegger also did the music for it but other than that they were just executive producers.
There are some issues with the plot and the pace but the overall film is not bad. There is a decent amount of suspense and tension to keep you interested. The film is underrated and practically unheard of. The budget is very low and the special effects far from stellar but the movie still holds its own for the most part. What you end up finding out is that the computer, the Main Cerebral, has more humanity than Dematte does.
The name of the spaceliner company that Dematte runs is the White Star Line II. This is the same name as the British shipping company that built and launched the Titanic in 1912. The movie also references the ship reaching one of Jupiter’s moons called, Haiti. There is no such moon, however, there are several unnamed moons so by 2191 they could have named one of them Haiti.