Star Crash: A Cinematic Hot Mess

Wow.

JoDee and I just watched the movie "Star Crash", an Italian movie released around the same time as Star Wars. Allegedly it was influenced more by Flash Gordon and Barbarella, but I think there was some definite cross-pollination with Star Wars during the making of the movie. What is clear though is the attention to detail to the special effects and stop-motion animation (which were stellar). What's not clear is if anyone actually paid attention to any continuity throughout the movie (or even overall plot for that matter). I'm not going into any detail on the movie itself (to do so would just ruin the sheer "WTF" moments of the film, including one that had JoDee and I both say "WHAT?!?" at the same time (and had me subsequently rolling on the floor laughing hysterically for a good minute or so). Suffice to say this is a movie that has some amazingly beautiful scenes and captures the silver-age comic book aesthetics better than any film I've seen thus far, but then ruins it with plot devices, physics, and outright "huh" moments that takes any pretense of suspension of disbelief and tears them out without a second's thought. Some have compared it to Plan Nine from Outer Space, which isn't totally fair to either movie. Plan Nine was comic book storytelling with all of the enthusiasm but none of the budget or skill to make it happen. Star Crash spends lavishly on scenes that don't really need it, and grows frugal on scenes that could have used some more effects. What could have easily been done with an actor in a suit is rendered in absolutely stunning stop-motion animation. Soldiers don't just die; they spark and explode and catch fire. Mechanical robot golems wage lavish metal sword fights against our hero who wields a laser sword that previously dispatched many cavemen with a single swipe. it makes no sense, and makes no apologies for making no sense. it just is.

Plus it also stars David Hasselhoff.

Star Crash is a movie that reeks "what the hell just happened" but does so with style. It makes no sense, and doesn't care to explain the plot. It's cheesy, overblown, and ludicrous; just like the comic books it tries to portray. It's not a great movie, or even a good movie, but I don't care. Will I recommend people see it? I'm not sure. But I know that I'm glad to have seen it.


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