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Star Crash

January 10th, 2011 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

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!

Tags: I Have No Idea What This Is

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    OMG! I remember my parents bringing my brother and I to see this in the theatre. The theatre, mind you, not the drive-in. We got popcorn, soda, nonpareils, Raisinets and everything. My dad, who is into nothing, was actually into this hokey film. Now that I’m older I can definitely see why. Same reason he was into I Dream of Genie.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Ray Harryhausen wasn’t involved in this production. 🙂 The stop-motion is more stop than motion. But in the end, it has a charm all its own. This is simply one of those movies that I can’t surf by if it pops up on TV.

  • 2 David FullamNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Love me some Star Crash!

  • 3 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Perfect timing as Caroline turns 62 in a week. {Looks like she did the tradition of subtracting a year from her original bio so my 60th birthday tribute to her last year is off by a year}

    This one always had me saying “How did MST3K miss this one?”. Laser shots that are not always straight! The acting……acting? I guess “Space Mutiny” using footage from 1978 “Battlestar Galatica” was more readily available? BTW, I didn’t see the whole show but was any of this film shown in that recent Comedy Central roast of Hasselhoff?

    Anyway, yes, Marjoe’s character from “Earthquake” was creepy. I was about 8 when that came out and my father took me to see it. I can just see him cringing during the scene where Marjoe’s nutso character tries to rape the pre-“Dallas” Victoria Principal!

    I think I’ll watch my DVD of “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” …..which was done by Harryhausen!

  • 4 PinchyNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Poor Chris Plummer…..
    that Sound of Music money really must have been running low by this point.

  • 5 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I bet one of the outtakes is Christopher Plummer turning to the camera, shrugging his shoulders, rolling his eyes and saying, “Aaaaay, it’s a living.”

  • 6 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Believe it or not, this movie screened at the American Cinematheque a few years ago and Ms. Munro was there for the Q&A. I actually ran into her in the bathroom and she said “Hi!” in a very friendly sweet way and I got nervous, smiled and probably ran for my life! Why did I do that!

    What I remember most about her talk was that she thought the film was hysterical and was so good natured about the whole thing. She is a terribly charming woman.

    I don’t actually remember all that much about the movie either, except it’s whacko and I really enjoyed it!

  • 7 stexeNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Star Crash is indeed magnificent. I couldn’t believe how entertaining it was when I discovered it ten or so years ago, around the first time I first saw “The Humanoid” as well. Those two films tie on my list of the best ersatz-Star Wars imports.

    Saw “At the Earth’s Core” on netflix streaming last night, also starring Caroline Munro. How had I never heard of this masterpiece before? It’s as if Sid and Marty Krofft were suddenly given millions to put “Land of the Lost” on the big screen. Incredibly dated, and it came out just a year before “Star Wars”.

  • 8 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Star Crash is hard not to love. The extras on the Blu-ray include scrapped stop-motion scenes, one involving Munro battling a giant slobbering crab monster!

    Stexe, I just caught “At the Earth’s core” on MGMHD a couple months ago. What a crazy looking film and yep. it does feel like a big budget “Land of the lost” Doug McClure (who I always want to call Troy) is the man!

  • 9 David FullamNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Those pixelation shorts by the animator that we glmpse in the features are amazing.

  • 10 GuyMannNo Gravatar // Sep 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I’m pretty surprised that this flick isn’t offered on Netflix. WTF?

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