Starcrash (Italy 1979)

Rating: *
Review Date: 8/2/15
Music: John Barry
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, David Hasselhoff, Christopher Plummer

Another pathetic and misguided attempt to cash in on the popularity of "Star Wars" (1977), this film is so amazingly awful that it defies all explanation. In a time of galactic civil war, Stella Star (Caroline Munro) is a smuggler on the run from the cops. She eventually gets captured and sentenced to hard labor (wearing a bikini, no less), but receives a pardon by the emperor (Christopher Plummer) in exchange for finding a doomsday device hidden on a secret planet. Assisting her on this mission is a ridiculous law enforcement robot who speaks with a southern accent. The good guys finally launch a massive assault against the bad guys, in a mind-numbing barrage of lame special effects that goes on way too long.

Everything about this film is a complete travesty. The story is absurd, the dialog is outrageously terrible, the characters are atrocious, the acting is stiff, the visual effects are appallingly bad, and John Barry's dramatic musical score doesn't match the material at all. It's a total mess any way you look at it, which is unfortunate because it's also Caroline Munro's only role as a leading lady. She is unquestionably beautiful and wears a number of laughably skimpy outfits, but her bright lip gloss is a constant distraction. Her delivery is also a bit weak, but a lot of that can be blamed on the material. Marjoe Gortner is an annoying sidekick, and a young David Hasselhoff appears to be in a constant state of confusion. And of course, there's that god-awful robot. Who in the world thought this was a good idea? It's like the filmmakers made every possible bad decision that they could. From a sanity perspective, it's about as crazy as Japan's "Message From Space" (1978), although that film benefits from a much higher budget and a more talented crew.