Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Starcrash (1978)

Director: Luigi Cozzi

Starring: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, Joe Spinell

More info: IMDB

Tagline: The ultimate inter-galactic adventure

Plot: A pair of smugglers manage to pick up a castaway while running from the authorities, who turns out to be the only survivor from a secret mission to destroy a mysterious super weapon designed by the evil Count Zartham. The smugglers are soon recruited by the Emperor to complete the mission, as well as to rescue the Emperor's son, who has gone missing.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Can you hear the sound of "suck" in space?

#38 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)


When it comes to jumping on the bandwagon once a genre movie becomes a huge success, the Italians don't fuck around. They're quick to take advantage of every big sci-fi, western, horror, thriller, crime, sword & sandal, sword & sorcery, jungle adventure picture that makes money. STAR WARS was out for probably 2-3 months when the wheels were set in motion to make this picture. In some ways I'm glad they did and in others I wish they didn't.

STARCRASH is a mixed bag. It's a low rent STAR WARS ripoff that's so-bad-it's-good but that only takes you so far before you're just plain bored. The first half is rife with cheesy special effects, bad acting, bad dialogue, the works. Hasselhoff doesn't show up until the second half and he doesn't offer much fun except for big hair. Basically the first 45 minutes gives you everything you'd want in a bad movie and the second 45 repeats it over and over and over...

The cast of, ahem, characters:

Stella Star (Munro) / Princess Leia & Akton (Gortner) / Luke Skywalker

Simon (Hasselhoff) / Han Solo

The Emperor (Plummer) / ???

Count Zarth Arn (Spinell) / Darth Vader

Elle (gay-ass robot) / C3PO

For as much as I love John Barry's music, his main theme, while trying to be a triumphant SW ripoff, is limp in comparison because of the much too small orchestra. Even still, it could have been better. His score for THE BLACK HOLE the very next year is an infinite improvement.

I watched this in an optimum setting - outside on a big screen with a dozen friends, many with alcohol. It helped but it just wasn't enough. We laughed our asses off and goofed on it with lots of great jabs being thrown out. At one point I hit the display button to see how much time was left and there was another 40 minutes and then it suddenly turned to a sea of groans. I just can't imagine sitting through this again. The trailer suggest something special and bad. In a way, it is. The first half is special and the second half is just plain bad.

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