Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A long time ago, in a boot shaped country far far away... George Lucas's breakthrough sci-fi mega classic, Star Wars, was being put through the Italian exploitation film ringer by Luigi Cozzi. Cozzi, who had already made an unauthorized Godzilla film and would later go on to make an exploitation version of Ridley Scott's Alien called Contamination, as well as the hilariously bad Hercules starring Lou Ferrigno as a cash in on the fantasy movie craze of the 80's, undeniably took many liberties with Lucas' film. Cozzi also also managed to cobble together elements from old sci-fi television shows like Flash Gordon, Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, and movies like Forbidden Planet, and Barbarella. Many critics have labeled Cozzi's body of work as blatantly plagiarized hokey hackery, fashioned from the coattails of some many other successful films. The KVLT likes to think of his work as tongue-in-cheek revisionist. But beneath the borrowed ideas and trespassed intellectual properties, lies a film that has enough serialized charm and campy fantasy that set it apart from all of the other Star Wars inspired space cowboy flicks.
The plot can be easily summarized in one sentence with lots of parentheticals. A group of intergalactic smugglers, led by the scantly clad, femme fatale, Stella Star (Barbarella anyone?) and her clunky robot friend Elle (a 7th grade art project version of 3CP0 with a southern accent), are commissioned by the Emperor of the Universe(!) to retrieve his lost son, and to seize as well as destroy a weapon (that looks like a giant lava lamp) capable of mass solar destruction that lies in the hands of Count ZarthArn and his evil army.
After George Lucas stamped out the embers of The KVLT's childhood nostalgia with his unnecessary revisions and added scenes to his original Star Wars films, The KVLT gets an irreverent an thrill out of watching someone else tamper with and revise his ideas twenty years before he did.
Starring David Hasselhoff, Caroline Munro, Marjoe Gortner, Joe Spinell, and Christopher Plummer, Star Crash is a slightly more exploitative, but easily the best Star Wars knock-off of the 70's due to it's sheer an unbridled ineptitude. This movie has everything; light saber battles, space swimming, one of the skimpiest outfits on a female in science fiction history next to Princess Leia's slave costume, the absolute worst dialogue and dubbing ever, the most laughable laser effects committed to film screen, amazingly awkward fight scenes and action sequences, a large breasted robot with metal nipples, assorted crappy stop motion robots and various space creatures, Amazons, cloaked minions, cavemen, ultra phony sets and backdrops including a spaceship with very breakable bay windows, and a complete lack of understanding of gravity, astrophysics, and trajectory. The warped continuity that pervades throughout the entire film feels like the script of Star Wars read in non sequential order by a robo-tripping teenage wastoid whose second or third language is English. Or if you can't quite connect with that mental image, just imagine if Tommy Wiseau, the director of the neo-trash classic The Room, took the creative helm of the next Star Wars film. If you have not experienced this epic intergalactic trainwreck of trans-dimensional travesties, do yourself a favor and find a copy.
After watching Star Crash, The KVLT can't help but wonder what Star Wars would have been like with "The Hoff" playing the role of Luke Skywalker instead of Mark Hamil.
Fun Facts about Star Crash:
The original Italian title, "Scontri Stellari Oltre La Terza Dimensione", when translated into English reads "Stellar Clashes Beyond The Third Dimension".
Caroline Munro, who plays the female lead, Stella Star, did all of her own stunts.
David Hasselhoff also performed his own stunts and apparently, on the first day of shooting his stunt scenes, accidentally injured a stunt man by knocking out one his teeth.
Murray Leinster was the name of the first ship seen in Star Crash. He was an early Science Fiction writer and visionary of practical special effects in film.
TAKE THIS MR. LUCAS!