"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 German VHS Version and the German DVD 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.
The European DVD version sadly is incomplete, two scenes are misisng from it. The scenes are on the US-Blu-Ray, but again missing on the European Version in the bonus material.
Interestingly enough, the picture of the VHS and DV are not from the same master. There are notable differences. The are the same in respect to horrible Pan & Scan.
Right at the start, the Columbia logo is missing (not included in time count).
Interestingly the opening crawl for the German version on VHS was newly created and more simple than the original one, which is found on the DVD-Version. 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. The DVD also has errors in the music, which are not present on the VHS.
Here is the first missing scene. Zarth Arn moves through his command center, before ordering his golems to appear.
To make the confusion complete, the scene is on the Blu-Ray, but in Germany, they seemed to have lost to dub for it, as it is jsut subtitled. The subtitles also are junk, since instead of "Golems", he calls them "Knaben" (knaves), which makes no sense.
The second missing scene shows the justice planet. The cut is obvious due to a jump in the music.
This means 13 Seconds of material are missing.