Todd from Die Danger Die Die Kill is responsible for many of the best reviews on Teleport City, including reviews of two East German science fiction films produced by DEFA. I got a chance to return the favor (a little) by writing about a DEFA science fiction film, Eolomea, for his site.
That Ikarie was a high profile undertaking for the studio is clearly evidenced by the obvious expense that went into the film’s large cast, it’s for-the-time above average special effects and, above all, Jan Zazvorka’s production design.
Despite the attempts at post-Star Wars special effects, To the Stars By Hard Ways fits more comfortably with the contemplative science fiction of the 1970s
This German-French-Soviet film is very much like an episode of Star Trek — with all the well-meaning ham-handedness that implies — only with more grime, blood, and full frontal male nudity.
An expedition crew — comprised of four women and two men — heads out from the planet Cynro toward the unexplored planet Tem 4 in response to a mysterious distress call. Due to the length of the voyage, many months have passed by the time of their arrival, at which point the conveniently humanoid inhabitants of Tem 4 claim no knowledge of the signal.
It is simply a visual treat, and the amount of imagination apparent in every aspect of its design is a joy to behold, with a story that is solid and economical enough in its construction to easily survive instances of ideological lip service.