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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Horror

Review of Bad Taste

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Peter Jacksons Bad TasteRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

When four members of the New Zealand Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS – well the movie is called bad taste) visit a small town in order to investigate a UFO siting they make some grisly discoveries and unveil a dastardly alien plot. The townsfolk have been murdered by aliens who, it turns out, are from the intergalactic fast food chain Crumb’s Crunchy Delights and human flesh is the delicacy they are seeking. A gore-fest ensues as Derek and his team do battle with the evil aliens. Lots of blood with a large dose of tongue-in cheek humor.

At times the movie has a somewhat amateurish feel but, for me, that just adds to its charm. Given that Peter Jackson made the film largely in his spare time, with the cast made up of friends and a budget tighter than a ducks ass I think a little slack should be cut.

Reason to Watch

Lots of gore, plenty of humor, man-eating aliens and an exploding sheep, what more could you ask for?

Context

Made over a four year period and funded by himself initially and completed with a grant from the New Zealand Film Commission. Peter Jacksons’ first foray into film – enough said really, a birth of a movie great.

Most Memorable Quotes

“I’m a Derek and Dereks don’t run!”

“Why can’t aliens be friendly?”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

A real late-night beer and friends movie and it is preferable to have already had a few prior to starting the film. A love of gore certainly helps and also those from the US need an understanding that a “mate” has a different meaning outside of the USA. Possibly also a visit to Christians of Facebook to really feel terrible.

Trivia

The film contains the only known cinematic depiction of a sheep being blown up with an anti-tank missile.

Educational Content
  1. People carrying axes are rarely friendly.
  2. Having a bayonet hammered into your heel hurts.
  3. Blood is very slippery so make sure to mop it up before someone gets hurt.
  4. Throwing pine cones at someone who has a chainsaw is likely to be an ineffective form of defence.
  5. Kicking a decapitated torso in the balls accomplishes very little.
Justification for Rating

The film has plenty of gore and enough humorous moments to make-up for some of its’ shortfalls.

Clip

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Scifi

Review of Phantom From Space

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Phantom From SpaceRating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

A UFO crashes in Santa Monica and an alien, which survived the crash, has found himself on unknown planet (or maybe he do know exactly where he is). After the accident sudden outbreak of radio and television interference and federal government sends group of investigators to track down the source of the interference. During the investigation they receive a large number of statements by eye-witnesses who saw a person in unusual outfit. Alien fails in his attempts to communicate with earthlings end ends up killing two people. While being pursued by government authorities alien takes off his spacesuit and thus appears invisible to the human eye.

Reason to Watch

Although the beginning of the movie is rather boring, but once it gets rolling it is very possible that it will hold you in your chair. And the scenes with invisible alien are very well done for a low budget movie like this.

Context

This movie was made in the 1950’s, the decade that brought us lots of vintage sci-fi films like “Day the Earth Stood Still”, “Forbidden Planet”, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”, “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” and many others.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

Pete: “How would you feel if somebody with a crazy helmet with pipes sticking out of it came at you in the dark!”

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

You need an alien detector that is capable to find out is there an invisible extraterrestrial specie in your house so you won’t be frighten with every noise made during the movie.

Trivia

Police sketch of the suspect really looks like some kids drawing and the reaction after revealing it to the eyewitness is good for some comedy movie.

Educational Content

If you have problems in communicating with other don’t just start killing them, it will only get worse.

Justification for Rating

Some questions remained unanswered at the end and that’s what I didn’t like in the movie. At the end we don’t know where the alien came from, what were his intentions and he dies leaving no proof of being here.

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