Starcrash (1978)

I saw this for the first time probably in the mid to late 80s (and possibly not since then, I can’t remember). I was much younger then and less critical, and I still knew it was rubbish. With the passage of time, I’m perhaps more inclined to be generous and say it actually looks kind of impressive given the speed with which it was thrown together (apparently the effects technician had never worked on a film before and had just two days to build all the models). Or maybe it’s just that the copy I watched tonight was in French without subtitles—a friend of mine gave me it, having downloaded it without realising it wasn’t in English (I’m just using the BD art to illustrate)—and so I was watching it without understanding most of what was actually being said. It’s infamous, obviously, for being a knockoff of Star Wars produced hurriedly on the cheap in the great Italian tradition, and it accordingly has problems of credibility on many levels; I even noticed an error not listed in the film’s IMDB “goofs” page: on that first planet when the giant robot confronts them, notice how you can see its shadow on the “sky”. I mean, HOW GOOD IS THAT? If you’re trying to make your cyclorama look bleeding obvious, that’s how you go about it, all right, by LIGHTING THE SET WRONGLY… good grief. To say nothing of the way people seem to have no issues breathing unaided in the vacuum of space. It’s ridiculous, and yet I can’t say that it doesn’t possess a certain charm (I’ll give it points for its energy, too, it doesn’t slack off too much). Though whether or not that charm is illusory because I didn’t understand what was being said is something I’ll leave as an open question until I see it again in English…

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