Directed by Luigi Cozzi
Written by Luigi Cozzi (as Lewis Coates) & Nat Wachsberger
Cinematography by Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli & Paul Beeson
Music by John Barry
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, Robert Tessier, Joe Spinell & Nadia Cassini
1.85:1 anamorphic/French/Italy/PAL Region 2
Review from the Neo Publishing DVD
The Emperor of the Universe' spaceship, the Murray Leinster, is attacked by red energy spheres. But before the ship crashed, three escape pods were launched... hence the possibility of survivors.
Enter space pirates and adventurers Stella Star (the ever delicious Caroline Munro) and Akton (the goofy looking Marjoe Gortner) as they are escaping from the hands of the space police known as Thor. Later, they find one of the survivors but he soon dies. The pirates are then captured by Thor (Robert Tessier) but manage to escape to later once again fall in the hands of the space police.
This time he has been sent by the Emperor of the Universe to recruit them. They must complete a secret mission to discover the hidden planet of the evil Count Zarth (Joe Spinell of MANIAC fame) and disarm his weapon of mass destruction.
Make no doubt about it, while STARCRASH was made by the producers only to cash in from the worldwide success of STAR WARS. Still this is a very personal film from lifetime sci-fi fanatic Luigi Cozzi. Stop motion animation, Caroline Munroe, Amazon chicks, huge spaceship, David Hasselhoff's affro, lasers and did I mentioned Caroline Munroe?
STARCRASH was made for about $1 million and ended up earning $16 million in the US alone where it was distributed by Roger Corman's New World Pictures while Edmondo Amati's F.I.D.A. distributed it in Italy. The next year Roger Corman would produce his own STAR WARS rip-off, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS.
Still its important to note that STAR WARS itself was heavily influenced by FLASH GORDON. But more importantly from Jack Kirby's "New Gods" comic books from his "Fourth World" saga of the early 1970s. The evil in "New Gods" was known as Darkseid (which was two characters just like Dark Vader and The Emperor) and a mysterious power known as "The Source" (read = The Force). Kirby also had a young hero warrior called Orion who later learns that his enemy is also his father and their fight will decide to fate of the galaxy (read = Luke Skywalker). And I could go on and on about other "similarities" where characters and planets of "New Gods" were used in the STAR WARS universe... even in the prequel trilogy. So who rip-off who? Ok back to STARCRASH...
The beautiful Caroline Munro is always a nice actress to grace the screen, prior to this she had just been a Bond girl in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Here she's playing the best pilot of the galaxy who got her name, Stella Star, because she was born under twin suns.
Christopher Plummer is the Emperor of the Universe, yeah you've right that right and he's hilarious at it since he's pretty much the only one playing his role very straight foward. His Imperial flag ship has a green ray that can halt the flow of time for 3 minutes... cool! Joe Spinell is great as the evil Count Baron Zarth Arn of the League of the Dark Worlds. He surely gives the most over the top performance of the bunch. David Hasselhoff plays the young prince Simon Raima, yeah that David Hasselhoff of BAYWATCH fame and supposedly huge star in Germany. The beaufiful former Playboy Playmate Nadia Cassini has a small role as the Amazon Queen Korellia. As for Marjoe Gortner, the less said the better.
Neo Publishing have released STARCRASH in a two disc jam packed edition. Fans around the world rejoiced when this edition was announced... but we weren't prepared to such a poor edition. The movie is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio but its a mess! The image is filled with scratches, dust, noise, grain and dull, washed out colors. This has to be one of the worse image transfer ever, yeah I'm talking Simitar's BAY OF BLOOD bad, a real shame!
As for the audio department, we get the movie dubbed in French in DTS, 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Dolby Surround. There's also a 2.0 Dolby Surround mix in English and Italian. Unfortunately they both have burned in French subtitles. As expected, there's nothing special about the audio track either... not even the DTS track which is poorly mixed. We also get the trailer in French, bios and filmographies on Cozzi, Munro, Hasselhoff, Spinell, Plummer and Gortner. Finally there's some "technical" specs on the film. The movie is separated in 12 chapters.
The second disc is loaded with some rather cool extras. First there's 'Luigi Cozzi: Le Tunnel sur Le Monde". For about 40 minutes Luigi talks about himself, how he became interested and involved in cinema, the Galassia fanzine, his first camera, the comics he drew, friends he made (Mario Bava and Dario Argento being certainly the two most important), Forrest J Ackerman's Famous Monster of Filmland and his movies.
'Making of STARCRASH' is a very interesting 80 minutes documentary on the movie that Luigi made for Italian television back in the early 80s. This was sourced from the very last VHS copy by owned Cozzi himself. Most of the time the image looks terrible but this is a lot of fun. Along with his cast and crew, Cozzi takes us behind every little details of the making of his epic film. Caroline Munroe is interviewed and seemed a little shy which really surprised me. The highlight of this documentary is without a doubt Cozzi's comments about the American producers of the movie, priceless! We also get a 'Still Gallery' which consist mostly of lobby cards from around the world. And finally there's the abomination that is STARCRASH II included.
In 2005, three versions of the movie were released on NTSC Region 1. Substance released a 1.85:1 letterboxed while Retroflicks' version was 1.66:1 letterboxed and St. Clair Vision released the movie as FEMALE SPACE INVADERS with a terrible 1.33:1 Full Frame transfer. None of these versions are as complete as the Neo Publishing edition but as mentioned above looks terrible too. A video game was made for the greatest computer of all time, the Commodore 64. Emulators of this game are widely available online.
( Original title: Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione )
Directed by Bitto Albertini (as Ben Norman)
Written by John Thomas
Cinematography by Sandro Mancori
Music by Don Powell
Cast: Sherry Duchaman, James Milton, Don Powell & Crister Avram
1981/84 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Surround
1.66:1/French/Italy/PAL Region 2
Review from the Neo Publishing DVD
You think STARCRASH was cheesy bad?! Well you haven't seen its sequel (in name only). Thank God that director Luigi Cozzi had nothing to do with this crap. Imagine the worst movie you've seen... well its a masterpiece compared to STARCRASH II.
Sherry Duchaman stars as Belle Star who's joined by Lithan (the goofy looking James Milton). They are escaping the attack of the evil lord Ureklon (Don Powell who wear the worst costume in sci-fi history). The two escapists find themselvse in a blue planet (guess which planet it is?! Duh!) where they discover love, throwing rocks and threesome. And no, we don't get any nudity... what a tease!
Knowing that the director's previous movies were BLACK EMANUELLE and BLACK EMANUELLE 2, its easy to understand why STARCRASH II went that direction. The lovely Sherry Duchaman also appeared in one of my all time fav zombie classic, ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST. Still this is no excuse for such a terrible movie. I will be forever traumatize for enduring that crap for 84 minutes.
As for the transfer, the movie is presented none-anamorphic in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The image looks very bad, imagine a poor VHS transfer. As for the audio, there's nothing really special about the 2.0 Dolby Surround French track. It sounds pretty average. No English subs are available. Now I'm asking myself... why the awful love song at the beginning? Why the dancer number? Why did I watched this?
( Original title: Giochi Erotici Nella 3a Galassia)
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©
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