Scifi

Review of Starcrash

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Starcrash film posterRating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Starcrash seems to be something written by an immature Star Wars fanboy with 1,200 bucks and a couple of cameras. It somehow manages to have some measly starpower in a movie that is so wrought with poor special effects, low production values, and a convoluted plot born from the orifices of Alien: Ressurection. Starcrash is a terribly ill-conceived film, so it’s no wonder it has established a steady cult following decades after its release. A group of starfighters are sent out to destroy the evil Count Zarth Arn and stop whatever bullshit he’s up to. They fail miserably, but a survivor manages to meet up with a team of silly rogue-types and they ressurect the mission to take down the Count for good.

The plot is thin as 1% milk, and I can’t even say it has a huge charming appeal. But it is terrible, and for cult film fans, that could be the only requirement. Starcrash is the poor man’s Star Wars, 2 years after Star Wars became a thing. there were many of them around that time, Starcrash is the one most teetering between total hilarity and sheer awfulness.

Reason to Watch

Caroline Munro may not be a household name, but who cares. Her skimpy unproductive space fighting suit the “space-kini” and her overall badassery is enough to watch this thing three times over.

Context

Starcrash is an awful awful movie but it does sort of sum up the entirety of late 70’s action science-fiction flicks without all the overt presumptions following Star Wars.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Zarth Arn: By sunset I’ll be the new emperor. And I’ll be the master of the whole universe! 
  • L: Circuits don’t fail me now! 
  • Emperor of the Galaxy: For the space of three minutes, every molecule on this planet will be immobilized. But after the third minute, the green ray loses it’s power. Time will flow once more and everything will explode. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

An appreciation for painful ear-splitting dialogue

Trivia

The producers and studio executives told director Luigi Cozzi to make the film as much like Star Wars as physically possible without breaking legalities

There is known stateside DVD release of Starcrash.

Producers were extremely hesitant to show Starcrash to music composer John Barry fearing he will abandon the project

All of Christopher Plummer’s shots for the Emperor were done in a single day

Educational Content
  • Robots dissolve as they die
  • The original attention for Caroline Munro was to have her in the scantily clad space-kini for the entirety of the film, but producers feared not getting a pass in American markets
Justification for Rating

Sometimes, a beautiful model in space underwear isn’t enough to salvage a terrible movie

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tESwX3doaI

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Scifi

Review of Repo Man

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Repo ManRating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

This is one ridiculously bizarre film. Repo Man stars Emilio Estevez is a troubled comically cliche punk rock heathen. Yet, after a series of events, he finds himself driving to drop off something that you wouldn’t believe it if I told you items being carried in his trunk. The film really has two parts. The first is just a charming harmless little comedy flick. the second is a driveling borderline nonsensical series of science-fiction flair. Repo Man is dated and very much focused in its, umm, focus, but it is too over-the-top to pass up.

Reason to Watch

Emilio Estevez of The Breakfast Club fame is slowly turned insane by aliens. Yes, aliens. Sorry for the spoiler, but I couldn’t hold that back.

Context

Repo Man doesn’t have much to say about life, reality, what have you, but it is just too ludicrous to not be watched at least once in passing. the dialogue is almost self-parody of the era, and if the trailer didn’t clarify anything for you, the film sure as hell won’t.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Debbi: Duke, let’s go do some crimes.
    Duke: Yeah. Let’s go get sushi and not pay.
  • Duke: You say our names, we’re going to have to kill all these people, Archie.
  • Bud: Look at those assholes, ordinary fucking people. I hate ’em.
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A Netflix account, because you ain’t going to find this bitch any other way.

Trivia

You can see graffiti for the punk band The Circle Jerks, the same band that plays later in the film

The photo of aliens depicted in the film is actually condoms filled with water

Educational Content
  • Repo men have it hard and obtain greater success in proportion to the economy’s failure
  • If you own an air freshener business, endorse a movie about cars
  • Aliens are wimps if you own a car or have even a few collective brain cells
Justification for Rating

For all the oddities and bizarre encounters and stupidly funny acting by Emilio Estevez and some other one shot characters, Repo Man is a terrible average movie.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLGrXGEMOSo

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Scifi

Review of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensioRating: ★★★★★★★★★★

Review

On the surface, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is not a good move. I would not disagree if you though it was, in fact, a terrible abysmal film. Yet Buckaroo Banzai does something few films have managed to do well- it was brilliantly spoofed the entire science-fiction genre. it has played on the cliches and basic ideological bullshit stuffed into them, while being engrossing and entertaining throughout. The film is smarter and better than most its peers, and stands as just a ridiculous example of film making. Everything about this film cries out as being the last calling card for all sci-fi byproducts. None are greater than the one that single-handedly mocked all the cliches of the times in one fell swoop.

Reason to Watch

Buckaroo Banzai might kick your ass if you do not. Personally, I like my ass intact and have ordered a new copy of Buckaroo Banzai Across whatever through Amazon.

Context

It’s like Dune, except not as pretentious and bloated and more streamlined and awesome.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Perfect Tommy: Pictures don’t lie. 
    Reno: The hell they don’t. I met my first wife that way. 
  • John O’Connor: They’re only monkey-boys. We can crush them here on earth, Lord Whorfin. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

An awesome open mind and appreciation for Banzai, the Chuck Norris of his time.

Trivia
  • The latitude and longitude recited by the technicians during the “alignment” of the Oscillation Overthruster are the coordinates of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • President Widmark is clearly intended to look and sound like Orson Welles, who directed and starred in the radio presentation of “War of the Worlds” referenced in the film.
Educational Content

Well, for starters, there is an 8th dimension

Science fiction films as a whole are sort of dumb, no matter how many dimensions they add

Justification for Rating

However you spin it, this science fiction spoof is smarter, wittier, and basically superior to any legitimate science-fiction film ever made. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy holds its own as a film, but this came out decades before and stands the test of the time as the final capstone on terrible science-fiction, and what a way to bow out.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NG8Ipk9CnU

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Action

Review of Orca, The Killer Whale

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Orca, the Killer Whale movie poster

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Orca, the Killer Whale is a heartwarming tale of a killer whale and the captain that killed his mate. A new spin on Moby Dick, it features Richard Harris (known as the first Dumbledore to Harry Potter fans) trying to outsmart a pissed off killer whale.

Reason to Watch

The fine acting by the killer whale, squawking in horror as his dying mate gives premature birth to a rubber whale fetus, is a performance for the ages, and was sadly ignored by the Academy that year.

Context

In the great Hollywood tradition, this scientific travesty of a movie was green lit in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Jaws. The human acting is questionable, effects are decent, and you can tell when they are shooting captive whales in tanks. Produced by one of the high kings of 70’s and 80’s cheese, Dino De Laurentis, this is a pungent offering for fans of animal horror.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It is known that they have great memory and, even after many years, they will always remember the human being who has tried to harm them.
  • But you’ll murder him – you’ll sit here safe on the jetty, and shoot him through the eye? You’re not a man, you’re an animal! Its creatures like you science should be observing!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I did just fine with a bottle of spiced rum. Taking a shot every time they show a closeup of the whale’s mournful eye will get you loaded within an hour.

Trivia

In the mid-80s, Dino De Laurentiis considered a sequel to King Kong that would have had him going head-to-head with an Orca.

Educational Content
  • Killer whales are vengeful dicks, who will eat Bo Derek’s leg to teach you a lesson.
Justification for Rating

Vague references to Native American mysticism, vengeful sea mammals and a score by Ennio Morricone make for an entertaining, one-time experience. Sadly, as in most cases, the movie is nowhere near as epic as the poster.

Clip

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Action

Review of Killer Klowns From Outer Space

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Killer Klowns From Outer SpaceRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Space aliens that look like clowns are attacking the populace of a small town, and its up to a group of teenagers with an ice cream truck to save the day.

Reason to Watch

You always knew there was something wrong about clowns, something not right… This film reveals the secrets behind the clown conspiracy. Watch in horror as innocent victims are wrapped in cotton candy, only to have their blood sucked out by vampiric aliens using silly straws.

Context

Teen horror was big business in the 1980’s, and this toned down offering was intended to pullin crowds who were unable to get into one of the Friday the 13th sequels.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It was a space ship. And there was these things, these killer clowns, and they shot popcorn at us! We barely got away!
  • Killer clowns, from outer space. Holy shit!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A bag of circus peanuts, and some mescaline.

Trivia

Director Stephen Chiodo had hoped the shower scene would rival Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho, substituting a toilet bowl swirl for the shower drain.

Educational Content
  • Clowns are evil.
  • Small town law enforcement hates teenagers.
  • Clowns are evil.
Justification for Rating

This movie is great fun, as long as you don’t have a fear of clowns. Over the top sets, horrible dialogue and less than passable acting all add up to a hot time under the big top

Clip

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