Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 13th, 2010
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
BluRay released: September 14th, 2010
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: Shout Factory
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $26.95
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.
Star Crash comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors are vibrant, flesh tones look healthy, black levels look very good and details generally look crisp. In all outside of some of the special effects shots. Which do not look as sharp as the majority of this transfer does. This is a strong transfer and easily the best this film has looked since its theatrical release. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clear, consistent and at times robust. With the special effects and the film’s score benefiting most from these audio mixes.
Extras for this release are spread over two discs. Extras on disc one (BluRay) include a theatrical trailer for the film (which can be viewed with audio commentary from Joe Dante or Eli Roth), a T.V. spot, radio spots, a the film’s French language trailer and several photo galleries (Designs, Story-boards, Behind-the-Scenes, Promotional Artwork, Fan Artwork). Other extras include a audio extra composer Mars of Deadhouse music, who discusses John Barry’s score for the film and a forty one minute interview with director Luigi Cozzi, who discusses the origins of the production, the cast and other production related topics. Rounding out the extras on disc one is a audio commentary with author and Star Crash expert Stephen Romano and a scene by scene trivia track.
Extras on disc two (dual layer DVD) include a twenty four minute segment with Armando Valcauda, who helped create many of the special effects featured in the film, behind the scenes footage with audio commentary, the original screenplay (illustrated with story-board and concept art), 17 deleted and alternate scenes and a career spanning seventy three minute interview with actress Caroline Munro. Also included with this release is a 12 page booklet with liner notes about the film that were written by Stephen Romano. Overall Star Crash gets a definitive release from Shout Factory.