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Starcrash - Shout Factory - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Directed by
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AKA: Stella Star, Female Space Invaders, Le choc des etoiles, Star Crash Stjerne Duel, Ataque estlar del tercer tipo, Avaruus sota: attack I rymden, The Adventures of Stell Star, Star Battle Encounters, Starcrash Ataque interstelar, Starcrash uchyu dai sensou, Scountri stellari oltre la terza dimensione, I sygrousi, Sygrousi astron ston trito kosmo

Directed by:
Luigi Cozzi
Written by:
Luigi Cozzi, Nat Wachsberger
Produced by:
Nat and Patrick Wachsberger
Cinematography by:
Roberto D' Ettorre, Paul Beeson
Editing by:
Sergio Montanari
Music by:
John Barry
Special Effects by:
Paolo Zeccara, Ron Hays, Germano Natali, Armando Valcauda
Cast: Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, Joe Spinell, David Hasselhoff, Robert Tessier
1h 32min

Distributor: Shout Factory

As a kid I always found myself preferring the Star Wars rip-off movies, whilst all my mates were into big George's world eating beast. The Black Hole, Battle Beyond the Stars, and Starcrash are all examples of what the era was like for clones.

Movies like these made it worthwhile for a little me, treasure hunting through the video shops in my area. Starcrash was in fact one of the first of the imitations to emerge. Low budget, no sense, but a lot of heart.

Opening by using a direct steal from Star Wars as a huge angled ship -- a clearly plastic one, looms overhead. In this world, space is cheap. It approaches loads of red lights floating around which seems to infect the crew with a dose of terrible acting as they roll about moaning in their funny helmets and uniforms. Suddenly, the ship has faded away.

Enter the siren looking temptress, Caroline Munro as Stella Star, and her male sidekick flying about being chased for smuggling. The police appear on the screen, a bald headed Robert Tessier as Thor, and a police robot thing which looks like, as my Horror Soulmate stated, a “metal cock.” By the way, Stella's sidekick is an alien telepath called Akton with curly hair.

“Let's hope this starbuggy stays together!” she says as they leap into hyperspace and narrowly avoid a neutron star, then end up close to the “border of haunted stars.” A brief moment as their craft kind of speeds up film around a planet had us both looking at each other in bewilderment. They do however chance upon an escape pod from the earlier plastic craft, so Stella kind of swims in space superimposed to the pod where she discovers an unconscious man. “He keeps talking about red monsters.” says Akton who is reading the man's thoughts.

The police surround and capture them with their sinister laughs. Enter the legend who is Joe Spinnel, playing Count Zarth Arn who wants the survivor, so he calls up two funky stop motion bladed robots.

Stella and Akton are sentenced by a totally messed up head in a jar -- with tentacles! Stella ends up with forty years hard labour in a mine, wearing the infamous skimpy leather seen in many many stills over the years. Planning her swift escape there's terrible laser gun battles to behold and even worse sound effects. Met by a huge ship landing, she boards apprehensively looking hard. “You can drop the rifle ray,” says Thor, holding his own weapon and standing with his Texan sounding police robot called Elle. They have a deal to make. Due to Stella's skills as a pilot, she has to head into the haunted stars and look for a weapon which has been created by the evil Count. It seems the galaxy is split into two, one half is ruled by the Count as the League of Dark Worlds. His weapon is so vast and so large. The ship we encountered at the beginning was apparently looking for this before the red lights screwed it. May be a chance that the ship's commander is still alive somewhere -- he's also the Emperor's son. (The Emperor in this movie is a good guy).

Off they go teamed up with Thor and Elle, they fly through the multi colored Christmas lights... erm, I mean the stars. Stella and Elle take a shuttle to make planet fall onto a beach and find remnants of the ship. “We must be careful,” says Elle, “We are in the evil Count's domain.” Three skimpy clad Amazonian women on red horses ride across the sand and take them home. Elle is shot for some reason, revenge, I think. The Queen Amazon has some serious issues. Elle does however survive and kill a few women who are all skinny, no curvy girls. Hmm, modelling school on some distant planet.

Escaping, they are chased by a massive robot guardian like a drunken broken Ray Harryhausen had a funny turn. It strides after them, but falls to laser blasts from Akton and Thor. It wasn't so tough. So the search continues. It transpires that Thor is working for the Count which leads to a funny fight between himself and Akton including loud punches and grunts. Soon they hit the red light district of space. “I am out of control! My circuits!” screams Elle. “My head” yells Stella. Akton is unaffected and afterwards he explains with a cheesy grin, “We've just survived an attack by the most powerful weapon in the galaxy.” Oh, ok.

The rest of the film has puffy faced cavemen, David Hasselhoff in a golden mask -- I mean an energy shield mask, stop motion droids, and a floating city which is just a heap of junk.

In the final sequences, time freezes for three minutes so our heroes can save an exploding planet. There's prolonged scenes of flying fighters, and the Count grinning and shouting, “Kill! Kill! Kill them!”

Joe Spinell is in top pantomime villain form, all wild cackles, gestures, loving it. On the opposite end of the scale, Marjoe Gortner is simply cocky and irritating as Akton. He's a dick! He has a smug answer to everything apart from how crap his acting career was!

The costumes defy belief, so over-the-top. I suppose looking at Caroline and the Amazonian women, a lot of teenage boys would have been surrounded by used tissues at the time -- I was too young to even consider such things when it came out, being a young lad excited by special effects instead. As for the acting, well, Christopher Plummer as the Emperor is sheer embarrassing, but Caroline Munro (even though her voice sounds quite disjointed from reality) Joe Spinell and Robert Tessier do their duties. Nothing can prepare you for
Starcrash. It's a tongue in cheek colorful product which is very action packed with exploding toy space ships as well and a cut price lightsaber battle.

The musical score is decent, moody and sweeping, then heroic and corny at other times. John Barry did the honours, and is also the man behind The Black Hole, King Kong '76, The Man with the Golden Gun, and many more up to present times by composing the Born Free theme to Madagascar 2.

Starcrash is a cult epic which earns its wage as a watchable romp through Lucas rip-off town. Lewis Coates, the alias of Luigi Cozzi (Contamination, Hercules) ups the action and throws away the logic. Cool.



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 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

 – Audio Commentary with Stephen Romano
 – Interview with Armando Valcauda
 – Rare Photos, Original Drawings and More
 – Interview with Caroline Munro
 – Interview with Director Luigi Cozzi
 – Behind the Scenes Footage, Stills, Posters
 – 12 page booklet
 – Deleted and Extended Scenes
 – Theatrical Trailer w Commentary
 – The Original Script (DVD-ROM)

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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