Prepare for Hyperspace! A pair of Galactic bandits, Stella and Akton her alien sidekick come across a badly damaged ship and its lone survivor while trying to outrun the galactic authorities. Unknown to the two of them, the lone survivor was sent by the Emperor on secret mission to destroy a mysterious super-weapon designed by the evil Count Zarth Arn. Stella and Akton are soon captured by the intergalactic robot lawman Elle and sentenced to prison for their space crimes. After escaping from prison Stella learns that along with Akton she has been recruited by the Emperor to complete the mission to destroy Count Zarth Arn's super-weapon as well as rescue the Emperor's only son Simon, who has gone missing somewhere in space. Can Stella Star save the universe from annihilation? You'll have to buy your own copy to find out.
Fans of "Starcrash" aka "The Adventures of Stella Star" will be blown away with what they see and hear in this new two disc collector's edition from Shout! The brand new 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is truly amazing and a real treat for any fan of this movie. Shout factory definitely spent some money on the video and sound remastering because I've never seen this film look and sound so good. The picture is crystal clear and the colors are crisp and vibrant. The new 5.1 Digital Surround Sound has breathed new life into this old Drive-In classic and I'm happy to finally own it on DVD.
Released from Shout! Factory under the "Roger Corman Cult Classics" collection this is not Luigi Cozzi's Italian Director's Cut version of "Starcrash" This is the American theatrical version and the one shown in theatres back in 1979, it's roughly 5 minutes shorter than the Italian version. This ultimate two disc version is filled with tons of special features and hours of bonus material along with interviews, still photos, behind the scenes footage as well as deleted footage from Cozzi's Director's Cut. Disc packaging and disc artwork for this collector's edition is well done, even the slip cover is reversible.
If a newly remastered picture and 5.1 Surround Sound aren't enough reasons to make you purchase the "Starcrash" Collector's Edition DVD then maybe the scantly clad Caroline Munro will!
Caroline Munro - Stella Star
Marjoe Gortner - Akton
David Hasselhoff - Simon
Christopher Plummer - The Emperor
Joe Spinell - Count Zarth Arn
Judd Hamilton - Elle - Voiced by (Hamilton Camp)
Robert Tessier - Thor
Nadia Cassini - Corelia, Queen of the Amazons
DVD Special Features: Disc One
- Interview with Luigi Cozzi
- Starcrash; The music of John Barry
- New Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer (1.78:1) and 5.1 DTS Surround Sound
- Two Commentararies by Writer and Starcrash Expert Stephen Romano
- Behind the scenes Image Gallery
- Promotional Art Gallery
- Fan Art Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer with Commentaries by Eli Roth from trailers from Hell and commentary from Joe Dante
- TV Spots and Radio Spots
DVD Special Features: Disc Two
- New Interview with Actress Caroline Munro
- 17 Deleted and Alternate Scenes
- The Complete Original Screenplay (DVD-ROM)
- 12-Page Booklet with Liner Notes by Stephen Romano
- Exclusive 20-minute Behind the Scenes Footage Reel
- Making of Special Effects by Armando Valcauda
Starcrash is a typical Sci-fi fantasy movie in the same genre of Barbarella and Flash Gordon. Through the years, this 1978 B-movie has gained some sort of a cult status. The special effect is crude, compared to today's standard and the plot is silly and sometimes laughable. Nevertheless, I found the film quite enjoyable. I won't spoil the fun by going too deep into the plot. I will only say that it is all about a scantily clad heroine saving the universe.
The cast is impressive. There are some very familiar names: Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music), David Hasselhoff (Baywatch), and Joe Spinell (Godfather), in their younger versions. But the star of the film is undoubtedly Caroline Munro. For the younger audience who doesn't know who she is, Caroline Munro is a British actress/model who appeared in many sci-fi, horror, and action films. She was that cute helicopter pilot in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, who winked at 007 before she shot up his submarine car with his Russian spy girl friend in it. She was also the beautiful slave girl in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. For a look at this British beauty alone, this movie is worth its price.
For someone to give this movie five stars it trying to say that there is no movie better. One stars means that is no movie worse. This is just to put the review in prospective. That said it is matter of taste and perception. Now let's move on.
For people that buys films for esoteric purposes such as ogling Caroline Munro be prepared for a disproportionately heavy bottomed body by an actor that turned down Playboy magazine and any film that forces her to display her birthday suit. Maybe the fashion style will come back.
The film does have some actors with a universal resume. One that comes to mind is Christopher Plummer. Christopher said that his worse movie was "The sound of Music" (1965) in which he sang "Edelweiss." So ipso facto to him this is not his worst film.
But wait! There is more. David Hasselhoff if you can consider him as more. This was probably the film that helped land him the part in the Baywatch Nights (TV series) (1997). But I am not sure.
There is a plot in this presentation. Stella Star (Caroline Munro) famous for this Corman movie and books, and her sidekick Akton (Marjoe Gortner) a couple of smugglers, in the spirit of Han Solo and Chewbacca, are tasked with finding the evil Count Zarth Arn, and rescuing the son of the Emperor. In the process they are betrayed by friends, restrained by scantily clad female baddies, sunspots, and cavemen wielding assorted bones.
For the technically incline the space suits look like they came from good will, the special effects are not special and the presentation makes b movies look expensive. Blu-ray just enhances the problems.
Here's the lowdown on this release (as I have an advanced copy, and not a screener, but the actual DVD), the movie included is the truncated Roger Corman (let's take out all of the good one liners for time reasons and to make this campy bit of inspired cheese, less cheesy, which face it, is the one reason to watch it, for it's cheese factor) version, which sucks space donkey testicles, as Corman's version manages to suck a lot of the fun out of this movie.
Here's the rub though, Shout! Factory has a nice gallery of the stuff that Corman cut out, courtesy of some lower grade Euro print, but the whole Euro version should have been included as a directors cut like they did with, Forbidden World, where the second disc held the director's cut, and as this set has two discs as well, they could easily have included the uncut version.
I have the, Substance version that came out years ago, and it's got all of the missing line included, but the major problem with that release is about 10 insanely loud pop sounds on the audio track that occur at odd intervals through out the movie (which tend to strike when you're least expecting them, thus startling the bejesus out of you) so it would have been nice if the international cut had been included here (minus the loud sound glitches) because as it stands, the Corman version takes a lot of the fun out of this film, which is too bad.
So if you have the, Substance version, you're gonna want to hold onto it (sound glitches and all) because that's the better cut of this film, even if the quality on the Corman version is better (and to think, I almost sold my, Substance version, having no idea that the, Shout! Factory version was going to be the far inferior Corman cut, dodged a bullet there :)
***UPDATE: In a letter I received from, Shout Factory concerning the non-inclusion of the long sought after Director's Cut on their recent release of, StarCrash, they said that (and I quote): "Yours is the first complaint we have received. If there were a lot of complaints, we'd look to see about maybe doing another version at some point", so apparently if they get enough complaints concerning this problem, then they will eventually do what they should have done in the first instance (and failed to do so).
So goto the, Shout Factory site and inundate them with emails requesting that the director's cut be included in a new version of this DVD (I had the email link here, but for some inane reason on Amazon's part, they bleeped it out (!!!)
on October 3, 2010
OK, I admit it, I bought this because I love Sci/Fi flix and the thought of watching Caroline Munro run around in a leatherette bikini just sounded too good. I knew I saw this way back when... but couldn't remember it at all so I grabbed it. What a terrible flic. Terrible terrible acting, and the special F/X look like they were done in the garage. Caroline Munro's butt was way to big for that bikini too...