Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baywatch in space - Starcrash revisited

Written By: Ken Hulsey

Starcrash is Star Wars, Jason and the Argonauts, Barbarella and pretty much any fantasy film made after 1900 thrown in a blender. In fact I would dare any fan to find anything in Starcrash that is not "borrowed" from another film. To put it simply the film may very well be the king of the copycats. The films creators wanting to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars so badly that they felt compelled to clone it in detail.

In a galaxy of neon colored stars, two would be space pirates, Stella Star and Arkton, are forced into a quest to find a secret weapon that could destroy the ruling galactic empire. Of course there is the evil Count Zarth Arn who uses his forces to thwart the two as they search for it. Thrown into the mix are a tribe of Amazons and a missing prince who was believed dead, but turns out to be very much alive. All mixed in together with over the top laser fights and girls running around in as little clothes as possible. Hardly the kind of film that would be considered "original."



What is most compelling about this intergalactic mess of a film is its credible cast. Caroline Munro plays the films heroine Stella Star the sexy half of the space pirate duo. Munro tries her best to belt out lines with as much emotion as she can muster. There she is acting her little heart out while delivering cliche lines straight out of 1930s afternoon serials. The fact that she runs around most of the film in as little clothes as possible can only distract the viewer for so long before they realize that they are engrossed in a less than stellar movie.

No, you are not dreaming, Prince Simon is indeed played by a young David Hasselhoff. His part in the film comes near the end and acting is limited. Lets face it unless he is driving around in a supped up Trans Am or running down a beach....shutter, he isn't worth watching.

Christopher Plummer does an excellent job as The Emperor for what he has to work with. How such a good actor got cast in this stew is one for Ripley.

A review of this film would not be complete without mention of the low budget special effects this one showcases. It becomes very obvious early on that someone had a lot of model kits lying around and a lot of time to glue every piece to a model space ship. This worked for Star Wars, but looked just plain silly in Starcrash. Stop motion genius Ray Harryhausin must have lost his lunch when he saw many of his wonderful creations ripped off in such a cheesy manor. Again this is the only movie I have ever seen with bright neon colored stars. Who knew deep space looked so much like Las Vegas?

(More After The Break)



Star Crash is truly only worth watching to oogle the sexy Munro and laugh at the sight of Hasselhoff's REO Speedwagon hair style.

Starcrash (1979)
Aka: Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione, Female Space Invaders, Stella Star, The Adventures of Stella Star

Directed By: Luigi Cozzi
Written By: Luigi Cozzi & Nat Wachsberger

Cast:
Marjoe Gortner as Akton
Caroline Munro as Stella Star
Christopher Plummer as The Emperor
David Hasselhoff as Simon
Robert Tessier as Thor
Joe Spinell as Count Zarth Arn
Nadia Cassini as Corelia, Queen of the Amazons
Judd Hamilton as Elle/Jiakta
Hamilton Camp as Voice of Elle
Salvatore Baccaro as Neanderthal Man

Runtime: USA:92 Minutes / Italy:94 Minutes
Country: Italy
Language: English / Italian
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Sound: Dolby
Released: March 9, 1979

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