27 August 2008


1978 – Italy
Director – Luigi Cozzi (as Lewis Coates)
VCI Entertainment, 2007, DVD

Starcrash is an homage, a science-fiction movie nerd film. If I had been able to make a seriously budgeted sci-fi film at 15, I would have done the exact same thing. Luigi Cozzi is not a man of subtlety. He knows what he likes, and he seeks to recreate it. He openly admits to stealing the Aliens concept to make 1980’s Contamination. What better way to extend the ecstasy of the original experience than to do your best to mimic it. Cozzi’s films are, for lack of a better term, cinematic masturbation.

Starcrash may very well be the pinnacle of that form, an amalgam of great moments from the best sci-fi nerd films very poorly redone . Lets begin with an egregious Star Wars rip-off opening. Within the first scene, we meet Marjoe Gortner’s character (the reason I picked this up) and soon, a plethora of other B-list actors and brutally dollar store special effects. First is his sidekick, Stella Star (Caroline Munroe). The two are on the run from the space cops and enter hyperspace to escape, but when they stop to check out an abandoned ship, they are busted and sentenced to hard labor by a goofy brain creature (which screams “directly stolen from another movie”, but I can’t place it). While doing penance in a balloon mine, Stella uses a guards laser gun to escape the barbarian movie set and “board” a model ship where badguys inform her of her clandestine mission with Marjoe…

Somehow, dirty drunk Italians, Stella and her dumb-redneck sidekick Robot-L end up landing a ship on a beach and blundering into a Jason and the Argonauts ripoff with a giant metal-boobed robot titan. Yes, this fucking open theft is such garbage!

Yes, there’s some snowy planet Empire Strikes ripoff, but wait! That movie hasn’t been made yet! Another search of another shipwreck results in Stella and the damned huckster-robot being captured by cave-dwelling dwarves. (insert 2001 rip) Suddenly they are almost rescued by a hideous monster guy in tights who shoots lasers from his makeup caked eyes, David Hasselhoff! What? Hoff screws up and Marjoe must perform the final heroics with his awesome laser-sword thing, damn what a genius concept.

Luckily our heroes have tripped and fallen into the right planet, the Evil Counts HQ basey thing, where he keeps his stop-motion robot-golems. Yes! Finally, a giant incredibly prolonged laser battle, with a few mercifully brief breaks, takes place between the good guys, who make some benevolent plans, and the Count, who does some evil-planning betwixt spaceship launchings. The Count, Zarth Arn, played to the absolute hilt by Joe fucking Spinell cackles a lot, and his evil space base, which is shaped like a giant evil claw, literally curls into a fist and shoots lasers at stuff, and goes down in sparkly space-flames as Zarth Arn and I both chortled our way into glorious idiotic hell.

Watch the Starcrash trailer at CultTrailers.
See some rad promotional art at Satan's Hope Chest.

The John Solie poster that became the video cassette cover.

The publicity shot that became the DVD cover of a different title.

Thai or Indonesian poster I got from somewhere.

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