This week: STARCRASH!!!
A few weeks back, I featured the film Food of the Gods here on 'Monday Morning Movie Madness'. I spoke of its star, Marjoe Gortner, and declared (to quote myslef): "His "Hollywood" acting career was short and dismal, but Food of the Gods was his true zenith, a shining, radiant flash of awesomeness in a career full of fraud, deceit, and weirdness."
As usual, I made my decision before all the facts were on the table. Due to the good taste and vigilance of I.C. reader "regis", I now stand corrected. Regis directed me to the trailer of a 1978 film called Starcrash, a spaghetti western/space opera/Star Wars ripoff/all-around amazing film experience directed by Luigi Cozzi and starring Mr. Gortner, Caroline Munro, David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plummer. In Regis' words, "There is life before Star Crash, and life after Star Crash. You will know what I mean after you watch it."
He was 100% correct.
Starcrash mastered what I like to call the 'Perfect Movie Equation', which is a can't-fail recipe for sci-fi/fantasy awesomeness. No other movie had perfected this equation before Starcrash, and none has done it since. The equation is as follows:
-Start with one (1) script, written by a non-English speaker (preferably Italian).
-Add one (1) cast of actors who are native English speakers. Have them perform the lines from the aforementioned script, unchanged, in an entirely over-dramatic fashion.
-Keep at least one (1) hot 70's chick in a bikini onscreen at all times.
-Add at least one thousand (1,000) lazers.
-Add several scenes involving stop-motion animated robots with swords.
-Remove all humor and/or pretense.
The result, of course, will be a mind-blowingly epic film, superior to Star Wars in every way and enjoyable by young and old alike. The result will be Starcrash.
This movie is a glorious mishmash of pastel and neon set design, special effects genius, codpieced costumery, and "spaceships" made out of common household appliances. There is NOTHING bad about this movie. From the opening credits to the end credits, Starcrash is an all-out assault on the senses, featuring awesome robots, laughable dialogue, lots of explosions, and, um, hot 70's chicks in bikinis.
Time will tell, but this might just be my new favorite movie EVER.
Skepical? Incredulous? Whatever, dude. You just CAN'T argue with a fight scene like THIS ONE:
Below: Hot 70's chicks in space bikinis.
The story here is a doozy: The Crown Prince of the Universe (an elegantly coiffed and made-up David Hasselhoff) has been kidnapped by the evil Count Zartharn, who is in cahoots with the evil traitor Thor, who also happens to be the chief of the space police. Mildly concerned by his loss, the Emperor of the Galaxy (Plummer) recruits Akton (Gortner) and Stella Star (Munro - did I mention she rocks a bikini for most of the movie?) to retrieve his firstborn, which results in a wacky adventure spanning the entire galaxy. Akton and Stella are also aided by a sweet robot named Elle, who for some reason has a southern accent and does battle with a pair of old-fashioned six-shooters. Cavemen, Amazon women, badly-filmed space travel, and swordfights ensue, with never more than a couple seconds elapsing before the next psychedelic episode unfolds. THIS is pure entertainment. THIS is all of my wildest movie fantasies coming gloriously true. THIS IS STARCRASH.
Above: L to R - Hasselhoff, Gortner, and Munro. Even when the script demands that she must be clad in a "spacesuit", the benevolent costume department supplies her with a see-thru spacesuit. AWESOME.
Below: Hasselhoff battles a stop-motion space robot with a lazer sword.
What's that? The image wasn't quite enough for you? No problem. Check out the clip below.
Unfortunately, Starcrash is nearly impossible to find, except in obscure mom & pop video stores in big cities. It's 'Unavailable' on Netflix (read as: "stolen by stoners"), and Amazon.com wants $100 bucks for it new and/or $70 bucks for it used. So you're pretty much shit out of luck. But if you're really, really lucky, maybe it will someday find its way into your VHS player, and you too will be exposed to one of the unparalleled high points in film history. Dare to dream!