Greetings from the edge!
Stow your tray tables and return your seats to the full snarky position for a heaping helping of Star Wars exploitation with Star Crash. The star babes have never been so buxom or the hoffs so hassled in this Italian production starring Bond girl Caroline Munro as Stella Star with appearances by Christopher Plummer as the Emperor ( who apparently shot almost all his scenes in a single day… and it shows ) and David Hasselhoff as Prince Simon ( who got food poisoning so bad that any time you see his character in a mask, it’s a production assistant ).
With special effects by Ms. Smith’s middle school film club and a script that might have made sense to the writer after whatever pharmacological cocktail he ingested before sitting down at his typewriter, Star Crash does not so much promise as threaten the viewer. Jonah and the bots will need to use The Force ( or at least the similar to, but legally distinct, equivalent ) to squeeze some entertainment from this week’s sci-fi fiasco.
We kick off this episode with the satellite’s crew dressed as frat rats and co-eds playing spin the bottle with uncomfortable results and the invention exchange featuring bandito-themed condiment servers and copyright-infringing robot remodeling.
Allow me to take a moment to mention Robert Tessier, who appears in Star Crash as Thor, a green alien not an Asgardian god, but I like to think they were attempting just a little early Marvel-sploitation. Tessier is one of the classic movie heavies, being the villainous muscle in films and series like Hard Times, Buck Rogers, The A-Team, and The Incredible Hulk, and starring as Mr. Clean in commercials. During his tenure as a baddie, few pulled off the menacing thug or evil henchman better, and for that, I salute him.
Star Crash is a strangely dull film, with a nonsensical plot featuring killer red space bubbles, cavemen, a gigantic robot with inexplicable boobs, and more costume changes for Caroline Munro than an entire season’s worth of Broadway musicals. It’s difficult to say what they were going for… but whatever it was, they didn’t get it.
Our special guest appearance this episode features Jerry Seinfeld as “Freak Masterstroke” a galactic entrepreneur. He arrives at Kinga’s moonbase to hear her business pitch but, after a brief back and forth with Kinga and Max, leaves them frustrated and disappointed. Much like the original viewers of Star Crash pre-riffing.
I was especially grateful to the whole MST3K crew this week. Without their wit, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have made it through this cinematic train wreck. They were relentless with worthy mockery and even a couple of amusing musical numbers, but not even their humor can totally save this film. Still well worth a watch for the riffing, but not destined to be an all time favorite.
Join us next time for episode 7: The Land that Time Forgot, a 1978 film with more dinosaurs, U-boats, and Doug McClure than you can shake a remote at. Based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs and scripted by Michael Moorcock, how bad can it possibly be?
And always, remember, “Keep circulating the tapes!”