Ya know, as modern audiences we are pretty spoiled .Even the the worst and lowest budget movies can luck out and get some talented people to do special effects or computer work for them thus making the film look way better than it has a right to. Now we can turn on the worst of Syfy Channel movies and while the effects won’t be good they are better than the films usually deserve. Thanks to digital effects it’s easy for a movie to immediately turn to that route to handle their film’s more challenging special effects so they can fake it and move on. It may make the movies ‘look better’ but it also takes the fun and soul from these movies and most certainly saps any charm the film might have. Suddenly all these movies look the same, with the same effects, same actors, and same plots. Ah, but once upon a time this wasn’t the case. The movies may not have been good, the actors may still have closer to the letter Z than the letter A on the celeb lists but these movies still had so much passion, style, and charm that you still had to respect them and appreciate them, no matter how cheesy they were. Enter Star Crash, a movie with a pretty rabid fan following and more fun than ten of the modern films of the same ilk.
Star Crash follows the exploits of space adventurer Stella Star, a woman wanted by the galactic emperor for crimes and shenanigans against the empire. Part pirate, part sex-kitten, Stella is a woman who refuses to bow before any man and she is the only one that will give the universe a chance against a power hungry villain bent on destroying all who oppose him. Enlisted by the very people who have sought to incarcerate her for so long, Stella must join the Emperor’s forces and hunt down the secret weapon the evil Count is hiding somewhere in the uncharted places of the galaxy. Joined by a brave robot policeman, and a mystic Stella faces Amazons, cave people, robots, and living statues in her quest and at every step is faced with peril but fights on. As daring as she may be though, it is only through the help of her friends that she is able to finally face down the Count and his soldiers and it is only together that any of them, and indeed the universe itself has any hope.
This is the kind of movie that film nerds love because it takes faith and an open heart to really stick with and it is utterly worth it. This isn’t a ‘good’ movie in many ways but at every hurdle the film finds a way to keep you watching and keep you interested. Caroline Munro proves to be the perfect person to play Stella and brings a seriousness to her role that you need to keep the film from spiraling into ridiculousness. It is almost by her sheer will that the film works, and darn it, it does work. The effects are ambitious poverty row gags that still manage to inspire awe that they even dared attempt such things. One thing you cannot say about this movie is that it wasn’t ambitious or epic. What is funny is that in mimicing such movies as Star Wars it reminds you more of the very roots of such a classic series and that is the early serialized films that brought people to theaters in the thirties and forties.Star Crash captures that feeling even more than a film like Star Wars because it holds true to the senseless fun and never tries to explain things that you don’t necessarily care about. It isn’t about the why things are happening so much as how will they get out of this jam? And that is the fun of the movie.
You can spend all day and night obsessing over what is wrong with Star Crash, and that’s fine, but the thing is that this movie is exactly what it set out to be and that is light fun. This is no Summer blockbuster but I would bet most people watching this with friends some night or by themselves some afternoon would have a heck of a fun time with the movie, and that says a lot more than any big budget ever can.
6.5 out of 10
(PS – never let the number score stand in the way of enjoying a film. With a movie like this, it’s a FUN movie, not a great movie, but a fun one, and that’s the point, in the end.)