Saturday, May 24, 2014

Starcrash, a Caroline Munro Spectacular!

The definition of a true B Movie aficionado?  He/she chooses to watch Roger Corman's 1978 epic "Starcrash" over "Star Wars."  The advantages of this Corman classic are obvious, Caroline Munro beats Carrie Fisher any day of the millennium.  Also, for you ladies, David Hasselhoff trounces Mark Hamill in any galactic sphere.  Also, Joe Spinnell ("The Last Horror Film" and "Maniac") has THE BEST evil laugh in movie history.  "Starcrash" has developed quite a cult following over the decades, which includes your's truly.
The plot:  A spaceship approaching a mysterious ice planet is destroyed by a warship from the League of the Dark Worlds.  Three launches jettison from the doomed ship before it's destruction.  Simultaneously Stella Star (Munro) and Akton, played by Marjoe Gortner ("Earthquake") are chased down and arrested by Thor (Robert Tessier) of the Imperial Police, for intergalactic smuggling.  Both are sentenced to centuries of hard labor (the picture above is Stella in her prison outfit).  As Stella pulls off a daring escape, her freedom is short-lived, as Thor tracks her down. Instead of returning her to hard labor, he brings her and Akton to see The Emperor (Christopher Plummer) who rules over all the good planets in the galaxy.  The Emperor asks our smugglers to track down the jettisoned launches from the aforementioned spaceship.  The leader of the evil side, Count Zarth Arn (Spinnell) ordered that ship destroyed because they were getting too close to The Count's secret weapon.  This weapon, the size of a planet, could make The Count "The Ruler of the Entire Universe."
Oh yes, The Emperor advises our heroes that his son, Prince Simon (Hasselhoff) was aboard one of those launches.  With the help of a trusty Texan-android named Elle, they set off on a rescue and destroy mission.  The first two launches are easy finds, but do not yield Prince Simon.  Stella is like Jim on "The Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom."  She gets sent down to the planet to scout around and get attacked while Akton stays aboard the ship and watches (kinda like what Marlon Perkins did in that show).  On one planet, Stella is abducted and slated for a mind-scan by paranoid Amazon women (see picture below).  Thanks to Elle, she fights them off with fists and guns.  On another planet, a tribe of cavemen molest her, string her up, and start to cook her.  Fortunately for her, Prince Simon rescues her.  Good luck for them, this planet just so happens to house the secret weapon, and with the help of Akton, who finally decides to beam down and lend assistance, they invade the control room.
As our trio converge on the weapon, The Count and his evil robot troops ambush them.  With the balance of the universe in a precarious state, can Stella, her nerdy pilot, and the very buff Prince Simon overcome galactic odds and destroy The Count and his forces?  Is it possible to buy a "Starcrash" lunchbox on eBay? I want one! The ending is exciting and features epic battles and secret weapons.  Christopher Plummer and Joe Spinell are fantastic as mortal adversaries.  Caroline Munro looks fantastic throughout and  is on camera for the majority of this 92 minute masterpiece.  If "Star Wars" seems preachy and tiring to you, catch "Starcrash" for one heck of a good time.

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