Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 29th, 2005
Original Title: Star Crash
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, January 1979
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Writers: Luigi Cozzi, Nat Wachsberger, R.A. Dillon
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, Joe Spinell
DVD Released: October 25th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Sorround
DVD Release: St Clair Vision
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $7.99
Synopsis: Stella Star (Caroline Munro) and her sidekick Akton are hired by the Emperor (Christopher Plummer) to find his missing son Simon (David Hasselhoff) and find out were Count Zarth Arn (Joe Spinell) who has created a secret weapon in which he plans to use in his takeover of the galaxy. Stella Star and Akton quickly need to find out where is Count Zarth Arn hiding this weapon of mass destruction and stop him before he can use them.
Star Crash like many Italian films made during the 1970’s and even more so in the 1980’s are carbon copy clones of successful Hollywood blockbusters. These films were often done with little or no budget and made quickly to cash in. Star Crash was directed by Luigi Cozzi who is also responsible for such Sci-Fi classics like Contamination and the revival of the Hercules character is a pair of movies starring Lou Ferrigno. Luigi Cozzi is obviously a man who loves the Sci-Fi genre and his enthusiasm for this genre is evident in every one of his films that he has directed in this genre. Despite his love the SciFi genre his films often tend to suffer from insufficient financing and nowhere is this more evident than in the special effects. Which to call them amateurish would be a compliment since they are hands down some the worst this genre had ever seen.
Star Crash has Star Wars written all over it with many of its characters and parts of its plot being an almost direct lift from the Star War’s film. To Star Crashes credit though is that there are elements in this film that would ironically show up in later films in the Star Wars saga. Most likely this is all just pure coincident that is nothing more than similarities due to both films being in the same genre of films. Star Crash has an impressive set of actors for a film that is essentially nothing more than a B film. Caroline Munro plays the role of Stella Star a character who has more costume changes than any other Sci-Fi vixen and let’s not over look that she is often dressed in skimpy outfits that accentuate her ample assets. Distinguished actor Christopher Plummer has a limited role as the Emperor. The roles is nothing more than filler and just about any actor could have played, still Plummer adds something to it a lesser actor might not have.
Then there is character actor Joe Spinell who plays the films residential bad guy Count Zarth Arn. Spinell as usually is menacing and he steals just about every moment he is in. David Hasselhoff even though he has top billing doesn’t arrive until the film is nearly 2/3’s overall and even in the scenes he is in his character Simon the Emperor’s son is to passive. All cheesy Sci-Fi adventures have robots that are often not all up there and in many instances in which he is the butt of every joke. The robot’s name is L and top things off he has the most hideous southern accent you have ever heard.
Star Crash may not be the most technically advance Sci-Fi epic to ever grace the silver screen, still in the end it is one hell of an adventure that offers plenty of laughs and nonstop action.
St Clair Vision presents Star Crash in a Full frame 1.33:1 that appears to retain the films original aspect ratio. The action always remains in the frame and there are no instances of noticeable cropping. St Clair Vision is another of what seems like an infinite amount of budget labels who release titles that are allegedly in the public domain or their ownership is murky. For this transfer they have exceeded all my exceptions as colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look natural. Details could be a tad sharper in the background and the foreground image is a lot sharper especially close ups. Surprisingly there is little if any print damage and grain is virtually non existent. Overall while this transfer is below the standards we have come to expect from cult DVD labels like Mondo Macabro and Synapse it is still one of the best looking budget DVD transfers that I have seen to date.
This DVD comes with only one audio option an English dubbed audio track in Dolby Digital stereo. This audio mix outside of some minor hiss sounds crisp and evenly balanced as there are no noticeable problems with distorted audio. Overall even though this audio mix is not the most dynamic mix it is more then adequate and gets the job done.
When this comes to extras this DVD comes with absolutely nothing. The DVD menu for this release is plain looking and there are only two options watch the film or chapter selections.
St Clair Vision’s Star Crash DVD is more then affordable and the transfer is the best I have seen this film look to date on home video.