Saturday, 14 March 2015

Made in the 70s Saturday

The world is full of knock-offs meant to trick parents and grandparents, from toys to movies, and if you ever received a Go-Bot or a My Little Phony, you may have also been disappointed with a trip to see...


I thought my husband's enthusiastic embrace of The Starlost meant that he would be all over this 1978 movie. He kept hemming and hawwing and even my plea that the 16 people that read this blog regularly were losing out on a fun column couldn't persuade him. So I made some popcorn, got out my notebook and found it on YouTube. Later when he wandered out of his man cave, he asked "So what was it about?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know?" He was mystified.

"Well, it's about this space outlaw named Stella Star and she wears this leather space bikini - " He rolled his eyes at my description of leading lady Caroline Munro.

"And she travels with her space navigator and in their spaceship they get chased by space cops..."

My husband squinted at me something fierce as I continued. "And they go to separate space prisons...but then they are freed because the space emperor needs them to defeat the space devil, well, he looks like Satan, so they go to this planet with space Amazons and I don't know what they were doing there, but they face the giant space Amazon robot. Then they go to this other planet with space cavemen..."

He slowly walked away from me before I could utter another mention of "space". However, that's the best way to describe this movie in a time where science fiction films were not exactly taken seriously nor had great production values. Starcrash is no Star Wars, but while Stars Wars has roots in pulpy serials of the 30s and 40s, Starcrash has them proudly on display as Stella Star leaps into a new plot every fifteen minutes. When I realized that I didn't understand why things were happening, I thought it was a case of inattention. But nope, there are whole...holes...happening.

Is Starcrash a bad movie? Well, it's a bad movie, but it's also a FUN movie full of hilarious lines, goofy acting and out of the blue costume changes. It never takes itself seriously and Caroline Munro does such a good job as a plucky space heroine. It dares to be whimsical when so many movies opt for grim and dark. What's not to love about a robot with a Texas twang, David Hasselhoff wearing too much mascara and Christopher Plummer appearing as if he had wandered onto the wrong set? Star Wars it is not, but at least there's a ten minute laser battle near the end that must have been awesome on the big screen.

Oddly enough, Starcrash opened up a whole new genre of film for me. Surely you have heard of spaghetti Westerns? Have you heard of spaghetti science fiction? Looks like there is plenty more fun and weirdness to indulge in :-)