Stacrash (1978) starring Caroline Munro, Marjoe Gortner, David Hasselhoff, Christopher Plummer
Editorial review of Starcrash courtesy of Amazon.com
Is there anything Starcrash doesn’t have? Robots, hyperspace, troglodytes, Caroline Munro in a space bikini, “reality” star Marjoe Gortner as an alien, a pre-everything David Hasselhoff, and–most incredible of all, under the circumstances–a terrific score by the great John Barry. This jaw-dropping 1979 Star Wars knock-off is something of a cult item, prized in equal measure for its anything-goes visual attack (the universe glitters with Christmas-tree lights) and its ludicrous dialogue and acting.
Munro plays Stella Star, a space smuggler traveling the stars with sidekick Gortner (the former child evangelist who had a run of roles after the success of the 1972 documentary Marjoe). There is a plot of sorts, but mostly Munro stands around trying to channel Raquel Welch while director Luigi Cozzi kicks the story from one outlandish set to the next. Hasselhoff shows up halfway through, looking as though he’s auditioning to be a dancer at Studio 54–but everybody else in the picture looks that way too, even veteran villain Joe Spinell, as the universe’s cape-clad personification of evil. Cozzi tosses in a little Ray Harryhausen-style stop-motion animation, multiple references to other sci-fi classics, and lofty Christopher Plummer as a space Emperor demanding his forces to “Halt the flow of time!”
Barry’s music (this is the same year he did The Black Hole) is truly enjoyable, and one theme suspiciously resembles a key melody in his subsequent Out of Africa score. The dialogue, meanwhile, sounds as though it’s been translated into English from Japanese, and is delivered in styles that range from the incompetent (Munro) to the deranged (Gortner). Clearly, this is a prime candidate for Bad Movie Night, something that becomes clear even before the “Amazons on horseback” come galloping into view. Shout! Factory’s two-disc Special Edition has lots of goodies, including a long interview with Cozzi that explains a lot. –Robert Horton
Product description of Starcrash
Prepare yourself for a vintage science fiction adventure film you will never forget, as the sultry Stella Star (Caroline Munro) and her alien sidekick Akton (Marjoe Gortner) team up with robot lawman Elle (Judd Hamilton) on a high adventure to save the universe. It is a cosmic mash-up of daring escapes, wild special effects, beautiful women in sexy space bikinis and nonstop action on a dozen alien worlds.
Roger Corman presents the ultimate European space opera, a colorful and dazzling chase through the galaxy that will blast you through the blackness of a hundred million nights!Kicked into hyperspace by a maelstrom of ingenious low-budget special effects and the talents of Academy Award winning composer John Barry, the film was a smash hit in 1979 when the wild and humorous sci-fi adventure hit theatres. For over 30 years the film has gained a massive cult following, inspiring devoted legions of Crashers fan clubs and more. Now, for the first time on DVD, the film is presented in a deluxe two-disc special edition.