Hammer Horror starlet and Bond girl villain Caroline Munro stars in her first lead role as the famed space thief Stella Star. Thought of as one of the universes greatest pilots she is accompanied by her top navigator Akton, two stellar thieves very good at escaping the hand of the law, but their luck is about to run out when they are captured by the intergalactic police team of Thor and his rambunctious robot Elle. Sentenced to life in prison, their sentence is quickly cut short when their expertise is needed in an urgent mission for the Emperor.
The Emperor had a scout ship sent out commanded by his only son, Simon (David Hasselhoff), with the mission to obtain the coordinates of the dark lord Count Zarth Arn's secret planet where his greatest and most powerful weapon the universe is stored! The weapon is the Doom Machine, emitting a radiant red glow the machine imposes images of fear in the minds of those it comes in contact with, causing them to go insane! The Emperor's scout ship had the unfortunate circumstance of being attacked by this weapon and four small shuttles narrowly escaped before the ship was destroyed. With time growing short before Zarth Arn's imminent attack on the Emperor's planet, Stella, Akton, Thor and Elle must work together to attempt to find the missing shuttles hopefully leading them to Zarth Arn's planet and the Prince Simon.
Starcrash is famed as the greatest of the "Star Wars ripoffs" during the late 1970's, but actually the similarities in between the two films were supposedly forced upon director and screenwriter Luigi Cozzi after the success of Star Wars, the script for the film had actually been completed prior to Star Wars release. Either way Starcrash would have been no match for Lucas's masterpiece, therefore the added effects only help to reinforce the film's low budget charm and overall campiness. What ultimately solidifies Starcrash as a B-movie classic is rather corny script, whether it's the goofy lines or the police robot who talks like a back woods hick the film does not disappoint in the "off the wall" department. But it's important to realize Starcrash is no spoof, this is not Spaceballs, while ridiculous and low budget Starcrash takes itself seriously and that's what truly makes it entertaining.
The shining light of the film has to be the lead actress Caroline Munro, whose supermodel face and skimpy skin tight costumes truly make Starcrash a standout film. Frankly in the looks department Munro gives Princess Leia and her slave costume a run for its money. Without Munro its hard to believe Starcrash would be as highly popular as it seems to be today. Other note worthy actors are the well known actor Christopher Plumber, who plays the Emperor, and everyone's favorite television actor David Hasselhoff, whose first big starring role was in this film. Call it irony that the film touted as one of the greatest B-movies of all-time would give birth to the career of one of the cheesiest television actors and hit singers (in Germany). But in all seriousness The Hoff probably gives one of the better acting performances in the whole film, second only to Plumber. Also noteworthy is Marjoe Gortner who plays Akton, his past history as a 4 year old ordained minister is about as strange as this film.
Overall, whether you want to look at Starcrash as an above average Star Wars ripoff, or as a highly entertaining B-movie, most individuals should be able to appreciate Starcrash for what it is, mainly because the overall production value of the film is quite impressive for something that had to of been created on minimal budget. This is no Hollywood production but a foreign made film, and while it can't hold a candle to the original Star Wars classics I'd take it any day over the highly overrated prequels. Unfortunately Starcrash hasn't really been given the treatment so many other B-movie classics have received over the years, so acquiring a descent quality copy of this film will neither be simple or cheap. A French two disc special edition is available with English audio but expect to pay around $30. It also includes a copy of the "sequel" (which neither contains the same cast or director) but is only playable in French. If anyone knows where a cheap copy of the English version of Starcrash II (aka Escape from Galaxy 3), or preferably even an online copy, let me know. But the original Starcrash can be found in parts on You Tube, albeit horrible quality, and much better quality version is obtainable on most torrent sites. Hopefully in the near future Starcrash will receive some worthy treatment in a legitimate US high quality (maybe even high definition) release.