Starcrash (1979)

Italy, 1979
92m
35mm film, Technicolor, 1.85:1
“recorded in Dolby Stereo”, English

An Italian science fiction film directed by Luigi Cozzi using the pseudonym Lewis Coates. A sequel was planned titled Star Riders but was never produced.

Plot Summary

Space smugglers Stella Star and Akton are offered a chance of freedom if they accept a mission from the Emperor of the First Circle of the Universe – they must track down the devastating new super-weapon being developed by the evil Count Zarth Arn. They must also rescue the Emperor’s son who has been captured by Arn and are accompanied by the police officers who originally captured them, Thor and his robot sidekick Elle.

Credits

Crew
Director: Lewis Coates [real name: Luigi Cozzi]
© [not given on screen]
Roger Corman presents [US version only]. A New World Pictures release [US version only]. A Nat and Patrick Wachsberger production
Produced by: Nat & Patrick Wachsberger
Screenplay by: Lewis Coates [real name: Luigi Cozzi] & Nat Wachsberger
Additional Dialogue by: R.A. Dillon
Directors of Photography: Paul Beeson, Roberto D’Ettorre
Film Editor: Sergio Montanari
Music Composed, Arranged and Conducted by: John Barry
Special Effects Directors: Armando Valcauda, Germano Natali
Electronic Visual Effects Supervisor: Ron Hays
Special Photographic Effects: Studio 4 *, Armando Valcauda *, Matteo Verzini *
Production Designer: Aurelio Crugnolla
Filmed at Cinecitta S.p.a., Rome, Italy

Cast
Marjoe Gortner (Akton)
Caroline Munro (Stella Star)
David Hasselhoff (Simon)
Joe Spinell (Count Zartharn)
Robert Tessier (Thor)
Nadia Cassini ([Corellia] Queen of the Amazons)
Christopher Plummer as The Emperor
Judd Hamilton (Elle)
Hamilton Camp (voice of Elle)
Daniela Giordano *
Salvatore Baccaro [neanderthal man – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Adventures of Stella Star, The – US title
Avaruussota – Finnish title
Avaruussota: Attack i rymden – Finnish title
Choc des étoiles, Le – French title
Choque de galaxias
Female Space Invaders
Ginga sensou – Japanese title
Rymddeullen
Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione – alternative Italian title
Star Crash – Sterne im Duell – West German title
Star Crash
Star Crash, choque de galaxias
– Spanish title
Starcrash: Ataque interstelar
– Mexican title
Starcrash uchyu dai sensou
– Japanese title
Stella Star
Sterne im Duell
– West German title
Uchyu icyodai senkan starship SOS
– Japanese title

See also
Star Wars (1977)

Extracts included in
Il mondo di Dario Argento 3: Il museo degli orrori di Dario Argento (1997)

Press

Cinefantastique vol.8 no.4 (Summer 1979) p.18
You could spend all 92 minutes of Starcrash spotting the allusions, parodies and rip-offs… [the effects] are skimpy and unconvincing… Munro does little but smolder and look sexy (which she does extremely well), whereas Gortner, playing a prescient alien, seems to deliver his lines in his own version of blank verse… This film is a big disappointment. – Judith P. Harris

References

Periodicals

  • Cinefantastique vol.7 no.3 (Autumn 1978) p.73 – review
  • Cinefantastique vol.8 no.4 (Summer 1979) pp.18-19, 27 – illustrated review (“Everything about it is strictly kiddie-matinee” by Judith P. Harris)
  • Delirium no.26 (2021) pp.12-14 – illustrated interview with Luigi Cozzi (King Cozzi by Chris Alexander)
  • L’Ècran fantastique no.8 (1979) pp.5-33 – illustrated interview
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.46 no.546 (July 1979) p.155 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Screen International no.113 (12 November 1977) p.11 – review
  • Starburst no.37 (1981) p.6 – note
  • Variety 28 March 1979 p.36 – credits, review
  • Video the Magazine March 1988 p.44 – illustrated review

Books

  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig pp.89-90
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.354 – illustrated credits, review
  • Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.751 – credits, video data
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.372
  • The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film by Sonja Fritsche (ed.) pp.172-187 – article (The Uncomfortable Relationship Between Science Fiction and Ital: Film, Humor, and Gender by Raffaella Baccolini)
  • Spaghetti Nightmares: Italian Fantasy-Horrors as Seen Through the Eyes of Their Protagonists by Luca M. Palmerini and Gaetano Mistretta p.36 – credits
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.661-664