From The Vault: Starcrash Colin D Miller March 24, 2013 Editor's Choice, Features, From The Vault 4832 Sometimes I am a glutton for punishment. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed John Carter? But in all honesty, there are times when I think you can’t beat a good yet thoroughly awful movie and as terrible movies go, Starcrash is pure gold dust. Released in the shadow of Star Wars back in 1979, it was an age when film studios thought they could capitalise on the success of George Lucas’s space saga, simply by taking the word “Star” and adding any random word after it in a films title – there was Star Odyssey, Starchaser and finally this train wreck of a movie, Starcrash. Starring Caroline Munro as the scantily clad smuggler Stella Star and a pre-famous David Hasselhoff, Starcrash looks like it was written, directed and produced by a bunch of 8 year old kids. It really is pantomime stuff. As far as the plot goes, it’s about as far detached from reality as a film can be. The proceedings kick off with a wobbly constructed starship searching for the evil Count Zarth Arn. With a crew of what appears to be a bunch of people who have never attended any acting lessons before, the ship is attacked by a mysterious weapon that looks like a lava lamp. The weapon drives the crew insane and they then proceed to murder each other. Somewhere else in space, smuggler Stella Star and her sidekick with an incredible perm, Akton (Marjoe Gortner) are on the run from the Imperial Space Police, an organisation that is lead by the robot sheriff, Elle… who for some strange reason also has a Deep South, American accent. After encountering the aforementioned starship and a loan survivor who later dies in a bid to keep the incomprehensible plot moving, Stella and Akton are apprehended by Elle. With Stella sentenced to a life of imprisonment for piracy, she finds herself cleaning up nuclear waste in a skimpy outfit that is probably against every health and safety regulation in the galaxy. Naturally, its not much of a life inside and understandably starts riot to distract the guards and escape. From there, she is once again apprehended by Elle when randomly walking on board a starship, but this time he has a message from the Emperor (played by none other than Christopher Plummer). It transpires that the Emperor has mislaid his only son and thinks that a riot starting, scantily clad smuggler is the ideal individual to go out, look for him within “the haunted stars” and find the Count’s secret lava lamp weapon. At this point the film goes from bonkers to pure bat shit crazy, as Stella and her crew travel to cosmos in search of the Emperors son. On the various planets they explore they encounter evil Amazonian bitches, giant sword slinging female robots, savage cave men and yet more lava lamp madness. All that pales in comparison though when Stella eventually finds the Emperor’s son, the eye make-up wearing and intergalactically named Simon, played by none other than David Hasselhoff. When initially introduced during an action sequence he is wearing a powerful helmet that fires laser beams from its eyes. I’m not making this up. I don’t think I’ve ever chuckled so much for all the wrong reasons when watching a film The well respected in Germany singer even has a a run-in with some stop motion robots and proceeds to fight them off with Akton’s lightsaber. During all this, Akton is revealed to be, well I’m not quite sure what he is but he appears to have limitless powers and can see into the future. Akton has absolutely no backstory and he’s main purpose in the movie is simply to keep the plot moving forward. As far as villains go, the main bastard of the piece is Count Zarth Arn. To the best of my memory, he doesn’t deliver one line without any dramatic pauses. As events plod along, he’ll utter his tyrannical musings such as “I will destroy them…. Forever!” He even does it midway through a normal sentence, like a more maniacal version of George W. Bush. It makes me wonder if actor Joe Spinell read the punctuation in the script and acted it out down to a tee due to a complete lack of direction. As far as the special effects go, it’s all very slap dash. The space ships look like household objects painted grey and glued together with pritt stick. The back drop of space is full of multicoloured stars, like a 70s disco thrown into the cosmos. And as for the battle sequences, it looks like they’ve simple thrown the model space ships together during a cheap fireworks display. Starcrash is chock block full of questions – how can a robot keep a human alive in sub-zero temperatures by simply holding her hand? Why does Stella wear her skimpy prison outfit to several worlds after escaping? Can you really swim in space? Why on Earth is Christopher Plummer in this? Was the director his cousin or was he just in some financial difficulty? I don’t think I’ve ever chuckled so much for all the wrong reasons when watching a film before. It’s an extraordinarily bad movie, with such atrocious dialog exacerbated by the most stunted delivery possible. It’s a complete catastrophe of a movie and that’s what makes it so enjoyable.