Post-holiday poverty stricken and desolate, I had no right to be perusing the used Blu-ray aisle in one of the last remaining brick and mortar stores in Philadelphia but I did so anyway like a delusional Delta Dawn. Normally, I just carry items around for a while, with no intention to buy, wearing an invisible hair shirt and scolding myself for contemplating things made superfluous through Netflix streaming. Every junkie has his Achilles’ heel though, and why did they have to put out that recent ROGER CORMAN collection on Blu-ray? I swore I’d stay away from the Blu-beast temptation but my PS3 slobbers karo syrup like a bullying VIDEODROME accomplice. I had to get me that copy of STAR CRASH because it was reasonably priced and I could skip a meal or rob a convenience store if I really put my mind to it.
You can’t deny STAR CRASH’s cast which includes both JOE SPINELL and CAROLINE MUNRO, before they starred in MANIAC, MARJOE GORTNER who, when I was a critter gave me serious heebie jeebies in EARTHQUAKE due to his crone mug, a still-sorta human seeming DAVID HASSELHOFF, and CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER acting as if he had taken a wrong turn somewhere and might as well make the best of it. PLUMMER may not be alone in his feeling that he showed up to the wrong party, Oscar winning composer JOHN BARRY (MIDNIGHT COWBOY) inexplicably lends his talents to the questionable cause. Up ‘till now I’d only seen STAR CRASH on an ancient VHS tape sporting murky stroganoff color schemes but I’ve always had a crush on its ludicrous nature and clunky stop motion animation. I point and guffaw when its pants fall down.
Well, I’m glad I dipped my cone into STAR CRASH’s rainbow jimmies on Blu-ray because it sure as hell showed me what’s what. Moments in, I realized that my eyeballs were about to get reamed. You want stars? Where STAR WARS offers stars in one lone color, STAR CRASH gives ya a whole assortment of glimmering lite-brite hues. As much as this movie gets labeled a rip-off of GEORGE LUCAS’ blockbuster its mise en scène is more bargain basement BARBARELLA. I know I’m looking at a junk pile, but it’s a junk pile of beautiful sparkling garbage. Oh and the special effects, they still suck but now they suck brilliantly. Now I know what to drive when my FLASH GORDON is in the shop. Anyone who has ever dived into a swimming pool filled with Gummi Bears will know exactly the sensation that this psycho slapdash space adventure provides.
What’s it about? Um. Smugglers who hate cops and then don’t and then encounter nudie Amazons and cave people and who have to save a prince? Something about red lava lamp dot monsters that float around and some torpedoes with soldiers hiding inside? I do comprehend that JOE SPINELL is the bad guy and he wants to wreck everything. If you like your robots there’s a really awesome cowboy talking robot named Elle (JUDD HAMILTON, Executive producer of MANIAC) who gives Twiki from BUCK ROGERS a run for his money in the, “My head looks like a dildo” department. Yeah there’s not much of a plot, just a series of sloppily strung together sci-fi vignettes with a major, semi-excellent battle with fake Lego looking spaceships at the end. Perhaps most confusing of all is PLUMMER’s final speech, which I think amounts to, “Let’s do this again sometime.”
Director LOUIS COATES (aka LUIGI COZZI) would go on to frappe ALIEN next with the splatter-tastic goo explosion CONTAMINATON. I love this guy; he’s in the business of making counterfeit Gucci handbags but insists on decorating them with a BeDazzler. Yes this was a wise investment after all, as I’ve watched it three times already playing it like one of those video fireplaces burning nonsense. STAR CRASH is terriblific and certainly not the worst STAR WARS rip-off ever made. (I think that honor belongs to THE PHANTOM MENACE.)
NOTE: I had no way of capturing screenshots from my Blu-Ray but if you’d like to see the glory I’m speaking of, I suggest checking out the images included with this impeccable review by GARY TOOZE over HERE!