1990s Sci-Fi Epic Blockbuster Flop Restored And Embraced By Fans

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

lost in space

Critics panned Lost in Space when it premiered in the ’90s, though the film fared pretty well commercially and earned a cult audience. Today, in a remarkable turn of events, the movie enjoys new life and appreciation among fans via a restored Collector’s Edition by Shout Factory. The re-release should reignite interest in the cult classic. 

Shout Factory

lost in space

Shout Factory is renowned for reviving classic films. Their special edition of the sci-fi film is set to ship by April 9 (in the US and Canada). It features a new 2K scan of the interpositive, ensuring a hugely enhanced visual experience. The set is priced at $29.99 and is available for pre-order. 

The Lost In Space Re-Release

lost in space

The Lost in Space re-release includes bells and whistles like DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, commentaries from director Stephen Hopkins, writer-producer Akiva Goldsman, and others, in addition to deleted/additional scenes, and more. 

The comprehensive package surpasses a mere restoration: it’s a celebration of the film’s unique, underappreciated place in sci-fi cinema.

The ’90s Lost In Space Reboot

lost in space

Premiering in the late 1990s, the film amounted to an ambitious adaptation of the 1960s TV series (of the same name). The movie sought to nail the same sense of adventure and wonder inherent to space travel, intertwining it all with family dynamics and futuristic tech. 

The narrative revolves around the intergalactic Robinson family—”Danger, Will Robinson!”—as they embark on a mission to discover a habitable planet. Of course, the space-faring Robinsons are soon lost in space (wink-wink) and thrown off course, eventuating an extraordinary, often funny sage through deep space. 

The New Lost In Space Story

lost in space

In 2058, with the Earth facing imminent uninhabitability, the Powers That Be launch the Robinson family on the spaceship Jupiter II. Their mission? Get to Alpha Prime, where the Robinsons are to build a hypergate for Earth’s population transfer.

Soon, however, terrorists sabotage the effort; their spy, Dr. Zachary Smith, steers the ship off course. The family thus encounters the derelict vessel Proteus, in addition to the memorably creepy, spider-like creatures aboard. All of this sets the stage for a thrilling sci-fi experience, benefitting from healthy doses of comedy, as the Robinsons battle baddies, leverage time travel, and save the world.

The Initial Reaction To The ’90s Lost in Space

Upon its release in 1998, Lost in Space endured a decidedly mixed reaction from critics. The experts admitted that the film boasted impressive special effects and a stellar cast (William Hurt and Matt LeBlanc, at the height of his Friends fame, shine). But the movie suffered from plot inconsistencies and, some critics claimed, failed to embody the original series’s unique sensibility fully. 

Roger Ebert particularly panned the movie–which today has a dismal 27 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an only marginally better 42 out of 100 on Metacritic (always the more charitable aggregator). 

However, Lost in Space’s box office earnings were more positive. Against an $80 million budget, the movie grossed around $136 million worldwide for a $56 million profit: not bad. 

Renewed Interest

Thankfully, the film’s saga did not end there; it transformed from a critical joke to a cult darling. In the following decades, fans came to appreciate the film’s ambition and quirky vision, alongside its singular aesthetic. They also disagreed with so-called professionals, embracing the movie’s nostalgic connection to the 1960s TV series. 

The restored version released by Shout Factory testifies to the enduring appeal of Lost in Space. 

Source: GenreVision