Like many of the people out there we have in deed seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, we have not been ignoring it, we just don’t think there is much purpose in us showering the film with even more praise for being effing awesome in damn near every way. We could jump on the bandwagon and say just how brilliant the movie is, while complaining that it may have borrowed too much from the original Star Wars (sic New Hope); but what is the point. Everyone knows this and since we are not about to spoil the movie for the one person who hasn’t seen it four times we have decided to focus on something else. George Lucas complained that after Star Wars everyone was making space adventures, all of them poor; that is not exactly true. 1978’s Star Crash is a direct result of Star Wars, and while it admittedly sucks, it sucks so well it becomes awesome.
Written and Directed by Luigi Cozzi Star Crash stars Caroline Munro and David Hasselhoff, yeah that David Hasselhoff. Yeah sure it also stars Marjoe Gortner as Akton and Christopher Effing Plummer as The Emperor, but all you really need to read is David Hasselhoff to get an understanding of how awesome the next 94 minutes is going to be. There are spoilers after the leap, but seriously folks this movie is from 1978, you should have seen it.
On the ship of bad acting two men clumsily exchange dialogue about how they are hunting the evil Count Zarth Arn (Darth Vader) and how they are to locate him and report back because they have someone very important on board. They are immediately attacked by bad CSO and presumably destroyed.
Meanwhile on the starship Hottie McHottie from the Hottie Quadrent of Hotsylvania Stella Star and Akton are running from the space police. Having successfully escaped by making the jump to Hyperspace they come upon an escape capsule from the destroyed star ship. They rescue the survivor, but are taken captive by the overly efficient Space Police.
Convicted of piracy Stella and Akton are sentenced to life in prison on separate planets. Thankfully one of the planets requires that Stella perform hard labor in a radioactive wasteland with only a few leather straps as clothing. No sooner does Stella arrive than she plans, executes and successfully escapes from the planet to be rescued by Akton who had similar success in his first day in the big house. Immediately they are both granted clemency and told to go rescue the Emperor’s son.
Many many plot conveniences occur and much disbelief must be suspended in order for this movie to work, somehow Amazons are written into the plot, a giant naked bronze female robot makes an appearance, Thor is a traitor and Akton has indiscernible super powers that come in handy during a rave or when frozen solid.
A short while later cavemen smash the robot Elle, David Hasselhoff makes his appearance as the Emperor’s son by blasting laser beams from his eyes, and Akton commits blatant copyright infringement. Meanwhile Count Zarth Arn’s space station is revealed to be a giant fucking hand, and the only way to destroy it and save the universe is to crash the Floating City into it. In the end Prince Hasselhoff proposes to Stella and they all live happily ever after.
What to like
- This is an incredibly silly movie. It is like a seven year old wrote the story line. There is everything from Amazons to Giant Robots in this movie. This makes us so incredibly happy it is ridiculous.
- Judd Hamilton was Caroline Munro’s boyfriend at the time and refused to let her take part in the film unless he could keep a watchful eye over the production because he did not trust the production team. This is just hilarious, but unfortunately essential since the first thing they did was put her in an outfit that made Milla Jovovich’s orange bands from 5th Element look like a burka.
- We are not positive how the fuck they did it but John Barry composed the soundtrack for Star Crash. You may know John Barry more for his work composing the fucking James Bond theme song.
- They must have slipped Christopher Plummer a fucking ruffee at the bar one night for his role as The Emperor. Filmed in what must have been one day, on a set far away from everyone else his scenes add an illegitimate legitimacy to the movie.
- For a low budget Star Wars knock off the effects are charming and effective despite the fact that the space craft all appear to be made from Lego. The effects are so bad that they actually poses a charming aesthetic that works.
- OK, the acting range is pretty broad here. You have some passable performances from Plummer and even Hasselhoff, you have some bad acting from Munro, Hamilton and Marjoe and then first year film school performance from damn near everyone else. For some reason this doesn’t bother us nearly as much as the phoned in performances from the Star Wars Prequels and to some extent the actual first Star Wars movie. (Go back and watch it, the performances from Fisher and Hamill are a little stilted and they were among the best…except for Guinness and Cushing who were rockstars, even Ford doesn’t seem too interested in making the movie.)
What not to like
- When compared to The Force Awakens, Starcrash doesn’t really borrow that much from New Hope. That said, it is a direct rip off of much of the Star Wars story.
- Apparently the ruffee they slipped Plummer was simple, a free trip to Rome. The actor has been quoted saying he would do porn in Rome, as long as it was in Rome. We don’t want to think of Christopher Plummer doing porn and now that we have a mental image of it we can no longer watch The Sound of Music with a straight face.
- This movie is a little hard to find, but it is on Netflix US right now so go watch it.
Star Crash is infinitely watchable with a couple of beers and some good friends. While the movie has its short comings, it succeeds at being fun and just crazy enough to be enjoyable. This movie garners a 4 out of 5 on the Hasselhoff scale.