Starcrash (1979)

STARCRASH (1979)
aka Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione
Article 1802 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-19-2006
Posting Date: 7-19-2006
Directed by Luigi Cozzi
Featuring Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer

Space smuggler Stella Star is recruited by the emperor to investigate a secret weapon begin developed by the evil Count Zarth Arn and to find his missing son.

As if you couldn’t tell from the title (and the pseudo-John-Williams soundtrack) (and the title graphics), this is a STAR WARS ripoff. Well, even ripoffs can be amusing up to a point, and one nice thing about this movie is that it occasional references something other than STAR WARS . For example, I like the fact that the ship during the opening of the movie is named the Murray Leinster, and then there is the JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS reference with the giant metal robot (even if she’s poorly animated), and I’m further amused that one of the villain’s henchman is named Elric (a name that should be familiar to Michael Moorcock fans). Still, this kind of thing wears thin pretty quickly, and the movie gets fairly tedious. Still, if you’re a Caroline Munro fan, she does what she does best here (which has nothing to do with filling out roles and everything to do about filling out costumes). The movie even has the token “great actor” in a significant role (Christopher Plummer), but even his performance disappoints; he adds way too many “significant” pauses during his speeches. Still, he comes across as better than Joe Spinnell, who overacts shamelessly in the Zarth Arn role. Still, I’m not sure he can be held entirely responsible because only two of the English-speaking actors in the movie were allowed to keep their own voices in the English dubbed version; David Hasselhoff and Plummer.

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