Starcrash (1979 Italy) (Spaced Invaders)

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Starcrash (1979 Italy) (Spaced Invaders)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:27 pm



STARCRASH aka The Adventures of Stella Star aka Female Space Invaders

starring MARJOE GORTNER * CAROLINE MUNRO * DAVID HASSELHOFF
co-starring JOE SPINELL * ROBERT TESSIER * NADIA CASSINI * HAMILTON CAMP (voice of Elle)
and CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER as the Emperor * Directed by LUIGI COZZI
Cool

An Italian cash-in to the Star Wars phenomenon, featuring a female smuggler of outer space, Stella Star (Munro) and her partner/navigator Akton (Gortner). Stella doesn't get to indulge in her illegal activities very much in the film; she's drafted into a special mission by the Emperor of the universe pretty quickly. The FX range from poor Harryhausen imitation to bad matting, cheap model work and the visual artists also seemed to have taken too much inspiration from Christmas lights in their depiction of outer space (red, yellow, orange, blue, pink, purple stars - all the colors of the rainbow!).  

Due to the central female protagonist,
this also recalls Barbarella (1968), though Stella remains quite chaste during the film.


This does have a quick pace in spots: early on, Stella is sentenced to life in prison and a couple of minutes later she's already staging an escape. She goes on a mission to find a hidden weapon and the Emperor's son (Hasselhoff) with space policemen Thor (Tessier) and robotman Elle (like the letter 'L'). Yes, Thor... some of this suggests mythological components (remember, Harryhausen): besides some of the FX creations (like a cheap female version of the giant Talos from Jason and the Argonauts), when we first see a hologram of the Emperor, he comes across as some Greek god, like Zeus, towering about 10 feet tall (how'd Plummer get involved in this? They must've made him an offer he couldn't refuse, eh).
The dialog is very cheesy and somewhat charming > Stella: "We Made it!"; Akton: "Not Quite! Look! A Neutron Star!" The main villain is Count Zarth (Spinell), who is always making threats and laughing that evil laugh ("I will be the Master of the who-o-o-le Universe!").
Akton, btw, reveals new powers every 10 minutes or so, including the ability to see the future (but he can't reveal anything, since there are rules, hokay? Another Jedi law we were not aware of?).  This becomes very derivative when the lightsaber duels are included - there's no doubt anymore as to what the filmmakers are ripping off - but Munro is very watchable and I can't help but grudgingly admire the energy & earnestness of most of the actors, including Gortner, who remains upbeat even as he knows he's doomed - that's a good attitude, by the cosmos!
The location work on a snow planet was OK; this moves to different locales quite a bit. There's a lot of stuff here - Amazons, creepy cavemen - and some of it actually is fun, with Stella showing off some martial arts; there's no lack of action, resembling a frenetic sixties Italian sci-fi goof-fest.
It does get quite ridiculous by the time of the big space battle near the end, when soldiers, in special missile containers, are crashing through the windows of enemy ships - in outer space (no explosive decompression in this universe?). This film may make a good companion piece to Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), though that other film is a bit more competent; I would rate that one a B sci-fi picture, while Starcrash is a C sci-fier. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10.  Munro could have had a prolific career in such low budget action sci-fi pictures, based on this. I wouldn't have minded seeing her in a few more of these. But, her film career was virtually over as the eighties began. Stella..!!!  Exclamation  Exclamation
STE-E-L-L-A-A-A-A Exclamation  Exclamation


Last edited by BoG on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:47 pm; edited 5 times in total
avatar
BoG
Galaxy Overlord
Galactus
Galaxy Overlord  Galactus

Posts : 3265
Join date : 2010-02-28
Location : Earth-1

http://bogscifi.forumotions.net

Back to top Go down

Stella Star!

Post  BoG on Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:35 pm



    THE IMDb Message Boards wrote:I have always felt THE BEST WORST LINE in cinema history is this one from STARCRASH -- Stella Star looking at an oncoming spaceship: "Look! It's a SPACE SHIP!"; You have to see it to believe it. Thanks for the report Captain Obvious!

I have two DVDs of STARCRASH, both of which were purchased at Amazon.com almost 3 years ago. Neither of the DVDs are high quality. The first one is from some company called Substance and actually looks like a DVD-R, with smudgy photos on the cover (you can see a couple of these above and below). The film picture is slightly widescreen and seems to have been copied from an Italian print (or video) because the titles are in Italian, as well as an intro scrawl (copying Star Wars)  which I can't read.
The 2nd DVD is from Smore Entertainment (what, you never heard of them?). It's a slightly better picture, 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The film on this DVD is titled FEMALE SPACE INVADERS. It actually looks like a professional DVD.

A word on Caroline Munro: she was just a lady who 'had' it - that star quality and that appeal, which translated well on the movie screens. I've been surprised for the past 30 years that she didn't have a bigger career; maybe she herself wasn't too interested in getting too big in films, with all the attendant headaches.


Here's a rundown at MovieFanfare.com (click image):

avatar
BoG
Galaxy Overlord
Galactus
Galaxy Overlord  Galactus

Posts : 3265
Join date : 2010-02-28
Location : Earth-1

http://bogscifi.forumotions.net

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum