"Holy trash grenade, Batman!"
There is simply no other way to describe this creation by the name of Star Crash. In the year 1978, the big science-fiction fever had broken out in the audience and producers alike after the release of Star Wars. While one group of producers tried to create original works to enrich the genre, others just wanted to make a quick buck and jumped onto the driving train.
The comparison here is between the uncut European version and the cut US-Version.
Star Crash definitely belongs into the latter category. The brothers Wachsberger wanted to create a movie as fast and cheap (ESPECIALLY cheap) as possible in order to get a small share from the craze and scam naive moviegoers into watching it. Since 20th Century Fox would obviously have made trouble during prodution in many countries (after all they now know what they had with the Star Wars fanchise), they decided to produce the movie in Italy, where copyright was pretty much ignored at that time and chep knock-off movies had a long tradition. The got Luigi Cozzi as director and screenwriter, before starting production.
The end result speaks volumes.
The story of Star Crash is hard to top in its idiocy and also very inconsistent with itself, although you can't accuse the movie of a lack of (although unintentional) entertainment value. It doesn't take long for something new to happen, even though as said, most of it is either idiotic or duds. The climax of this madnessis without doubt the torpedo scene, where the fortress of the Count is attacked with torpedos. Instead of exploding, they, they crash through the windows and open up, with soldiers jumping out (two per torpedo) and opening fire with hand arms.
That many things were shamlessly stolen from Star Wars is very obvious, starting with an opening crawl, over very similar flybys of star ships and ending with an actual lightsaber, everything from the arsenal of plagiarism is used.
The effects of course won't stand back at this. While Lucasfilm made it an art to create totally believable star ship models from everyday items, the star ships in Star Crash look like hug, flying piles of junk. The background of space also looks like colorful christmas lights. Of course the effects look like shit (especially the failure of stop-motion) and in return should make you sing the praises of ILM, who managed to create so much better with just a million Dollar.
The music, oh wonders, was written by John Barry, creating the question why he, of James Bond fame, would lower himself for this. It doesn't matter anyway, since any effect the music could create is destroyed by the horrible sound mix.
The cast are mostly unknown failures with zero acting talent, only three of them actually are worth a mention:
The production suffered from constant money problems and distributor United International Pictures jumped ship, so that New World Pictures had to step in. During productions, numerous mishaps happened. Hasselhoff accidently knocked out a stuntman's tooth, the kissing scene at the end between Simon and Stella wasn't shot, since the actor who played Elle was the husband of Stella's actress (and who had of course something against it). Hasselhoff got food poisoning in Italy, meang his first scenes had to be shot with a double wearing a shitty-looking golden mask.
Trash-king Roger Corman saw enough potential for some quick Dollars to buy the rights for the USA. He severely cut the movie in a futile attempt to make it more serious. Therefore a distinction must be made between the european and american versions of the movie.
While the movie was always uncut in Europe, the Blu-Ray annoyingly only had the cut US-Version in HD, also resulting in annoying sound atrifacts. The uncut version on the same disc is only in SD and horrible Pan & Scen 4:3. Sadly, it's not complete, either, since a logo (not included) and two short scenes are missing. The scenes in return are on the Blu-Ray (strangely enough, only with subtitles, despite being dubbed in Germany). Therefore, the VHS also only true uncut version, is used for this comparison.
As seen below, the picture of the VHS is very blurry and pale. The picture is most horrible Pan & Scan, where the picture actually even got zoomed a little more.
Interestingly enough, the picture of the VHS and DV are not from the same master. There are notable differences.
Die Kürzungen der DVD werden in einem seperaten Schnittbericht behandelt.
Right at the start, the Columbia logo is missing (not included in time count).
Major Bradbarry arrives on the bridge and talks with Commander Clark. The Commander explains they have entered the center of the lost stars but haven't found the fortress of the enemy. The Major warns, they the enemy could be close by.
Major Bradbarry tells Commander Clark that they are only ordered to find the planet of the Count and nothing else. Since the have a VIP on board, they can't risk anything.
Commander Clark continues that they have already scanned the planet and found nothing. Suddenly the alarms go off and it's reported a force field is approaching them.
The opening crawl where the story is told, got removed in the US-version. The opening credits start right away.
As seen above, the opening crawl for the German version was newly created and more simple than the original one. With good reason. The original crawl, as seen below, was embarrassingly much like Star Wars, except it is a complete technological inferno. The lines turned into one white mess, the scroll was way too fast to read it and the lines simply vanished after a while, instead of fading into space.
Stella orders Akton to speed away from the police.
Stella tells the police to kiss her ass.
Akton acknowledges Stella's orders.
The start of Stella's escape through the wilderness is missing.
A shot of Stella approaching the space ship is missing. It probably got removed because of the really bad matte painting, which doesn't even look remotely real.
Stella acts very melodramatic when she expects them to bring her back to prison, causing Elle to say it was just a joke (?).
Here a bigger part is missing.
Thor and Elle at once prepare the lift-off and soon the space ship is blasting off towards another planet. Thor explains it's the prison planet Secam, where here pal Akton is imprisoned.
Elle thanks the prison director, who returns that they have mere two hours for their next assignment. Everyone leaves afterwards.
Akton gives off way more technobabble about possible places where the Count could have hidden his machine. Thor looks at him as if Akton is making a fool of him (which he probably does).
Stella points out the lost stars.
The space ship is seen way longer. One perspective of the bridge is missing, too.
We see the ocean and Stella rips into Elle for being careful, while admiring the beauty of the ocean.
One view of the giant gynobot is missing.
One quick scene of Akton is missing. Probably because of his stupid "Fire! Fire! Fire!".
Another short Akton scene cut because of "Fire! Fire! Fire!".
Stella gives off some smart-ass comments about the planet.
Thor says proudly, theat he'll return as Zarth Arn's prince of darkness, causing Zarth Arn to laugh diabolically.
Akton and Stella make fun of Zarth Arn and his weapon, then Stella notices to knocked-out Elle. Akton says the repair is no problem. He orders Stella to steer the ship in the meantime.
The dialogue between Stella and Simon is a bit longer.
Stella, Akton and Simon talk much longer about the superweapon and why they survived its effects. The scene probably got cut because of excessive technobabble.
A longer and nice Zarth Arn-scene is missing!
Elric reports zu Zarth Arn, who right at the moment is busy enjoyign to company of his sizable harem, that the Emperor's forces are about to attack them. Zarth Arn is angered and orders Elric to mobilise all of their forces. Zarth Arn then boasts how he'll crush the Emperor.
A torpedo flies through a window.
Another torpedo flies through a window.
The Emperor inquires during the battle where the legions of the Count are. Stella reports they are about to attack.
Another torpedo flies through a window, the soldiers are roasted right after jumping out. Zarth Arn meanwhile continues to send his soldiers into battle.
Another torpedo arrives (you now have to wonder what was so objectionable with these torpedos).
Zarth Arn orders Elric to come with him.
Stella and Elle talk much longer, while boarding the shutte to travel to the flying city.
Ignoring the Columbia logo at the start, the US-version on the Blu-Ray is missing
4 Minutes snd 57 Seconds