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Episode Guide: 1106- Starcrash

Movie: (1978) An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon owned by the evil Count Zarth Arn.

Opening: J&B are playing spin-the-bottle
Invention exchange: Kinga takes the salsa-filled sombrero to the next level with the Band-Eat-O; Jonah has BB-Servo
Segment 1: Crow has a new screenplay: “World War Space”
Segment 2: Jonah becomes Ackton and the bots are impressed
Segment 3: Venture capitalist Freak Masterstroke visits
Closing: J&tB are playing Starcrash and the Torpedo Sketch
Stinger: Acton is pleased
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (66 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5)

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• I liked this one a lot, and I laughed almost continuously. Amazingly, this was the first time I’d ever seen this movie (many of the commenters seemed INTIMATELY familiar with it). It is a painfully obvious observation but … what a dumb and completely incoherent movie.
• Great song in the theater: “A Stranger’s UFO.”
• Callbacks: “Chili peppers burned his gut.” (Sidehackers); crappy effects are powerless against me (Prince of Space ), “Pumaman?”
• A notable comment/question on Twitter: No riffs about Marjoe Gortner? Do they not know who Marjoe was? A good question.
• I guess the big news for this one is Seinfeld’s appearance. Joel really called in some favors with the stunt casting. And this one, while a bit random, works. The performance: GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!
• The many names of the spaceships would be a great Ward E list.
• Patton says: “It’s moon o’clock and 200 degrees below zero.” Is that a KTMA reference?
• Two PG-rated moments for this usually G-rated show: “Well, I DID just save you…” and the use of the term “titty-twister.”
• Jonah removes Tom’s head in the theater when he won’t stop the spaceship names.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director Luigi Cozzi did the story for “Devil Fish.” Caroline Munro was also in “At the Earth’s Core” (later this season). Omero Capanna was also in “The Pumaman.” Behind the camera: Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography for “Moon Zero Two.” Assistant director Goffredo Unger was an actor in “Devil Fish” and “Hercules Against the Moonmen.” Special effects director Germano Natali also did special effects for “Devil Fish.
• Fave riff: “That’s the thing about this movie: it’s not afraid to take its time to aggravate you.” Honorable mention: “That’s not the part I would have started with, but yeah go ahead.”

144 Replies to “Episode Guide: 1106- Starcrash”

  1. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    I’d like to begin with an admission: I LOVE Starcrash.

    Yes, you read that right. I have an undying admiration for this bizarre, languid, over the top Star Wars cash in from 1978. It’s just so earnest, so fully of spectacle, wonder, and “golly gee-ness”. It’s got a hell of a soundtrack courtesy of John Barry, lush photography, brilliant production design, and imaginative directing by Luigi Cozzi, credited in this version as Lewis Coates.

    Plus, it’s just plain fun. It’s got robots, lasers, dozens of spaceships, crazy costumes and high adventure. Above all though (at least for me), this film stars the astonishingly gorgeous Caroline Munro, an 11 if I ever saw one. I’ve been in love with her since seeing Ray Harryhausen’s The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and if there ever was an actress more beautiful, I’ve never seen her.

    So yeah, I love Star Crash. But I’m no fool. I’ve long considered the movie prime riffing material, and it was on my short list of movies I REALLY hoped they’d tackle in this season. I wasn’t dissapointed in the end result. While it’s weird watching them riff a movie I love so much (it’s not the first), I have to admit, the result is another highlight of Season 11. Brilliant and fun from beginning to end.

    And I still love the movie. And Caroline. :)

    A few observations:

    -The Band-EAT-O is another stolen invention. The guys STILL haven’t caught on! And as a bot builder, don’t think I’m not tempted to build my own BB-Servo!

    -Holy CRAP they cut the hell out of this movie. As a proud owner of the film via two disk Blu-ray Collector’s Edition, I can say that quite a lot was trimmed. It’s painfully easy to tell, thanks to the music. John Barry’s amazing score is present in the background of almost every scene, so if you listen carefully, you can tell where there are cuts due entirely to the music jumping. The full version is definitely worth watching.

    -That is NOT Caroline Munro’s real voice. Despite being **** in English, there is still a lot of dubbing in the US theatrical version being rigged here. Weird.

    -Callbacks: “And chili peppers burned his guts!” (Sidehackers); “Its BOLD!” (The Starfighters); “Your crappy effects are powerless against me!” (Prince of Space); “Pumaman!” “Pyuma-man?”

    -Classic MST3K Bits: “YOU go for hyperspace, I’m bitter.”; “Rose… bud…”; “PIGS IN SPACE!!!!”; the Three Stooges “HELLO! HELLO! HELLOOOO!”; “C’mon, gurths!”

    -And no, I’m not going to rattle off the Star Wars References this time. The whole experiment is a Star Wars reference!

    -A special moment: being a fan of the film, I knew exactly the riff I wanted them to do for the reveal of the Count. Sure enough, Jonah does his now trademark Frank Nelson “EEEEYYYYEEEEEEEESSSS?!?!” as the Count turns around. Someone in the theater cracks up. I think it’s Baron. I can’t blame him.

    -I like Caroline Munro. A lot.

    -The UFO Song is MST3K’s first original “movie segment” song. It seems like an experiment to see if that kind of comedy can work outside of the host segments. I say: mission successful! It’s a hoot!

    -In Segment 1, Crow returns to his screenwriting career with “World War Space”! It’s awesome to see this element of his character return, and the segment is pretty funny! And longtime MSTies know this isn’t Crow’s first Space Opera. :)

    -Words cannot express how much I appreciate the riff “It’s Talos with breasts!”. Jason and the Argonauts is one of my favorite movies, and it’s pretty obvious that’s what they were “ripping off” with this scene. They also stole the skeleton warriors concept too. Luigi has always insisted that these elements were tributes and not ripoffs, and if that’s the case, he’s got great taste in movies. Harryhausen references for the win!

    -Jonah is hilarious as Akton in Segment 2. I think Tom’s “Pblblblbleeeeeeeease!” is a Roger Rabbit reference too, so bonus points from me!

    -I loved the Lon Chaney Jr. reference during the dissolve shots. I’m a Universal Monsters buff.

    -The Hasslehoff reveal riff was perfect. I was wondering how they’d handle the dramatic mask removal. They nailed it.

    -Caroline Munro is neat. :)

    -HOLY CRAP, MST3K MADE A BIONICLE REFERENCE!!!!!!!! Bionicle was my collecting obsession when I was a kid. I have boxes of the little bastards, and they are high on my nostalgia list. I have a lot of fond memories of saving money to buy the sets, building them, and staging epic battles with my brother. I was pinching myself after hearing the references. Well played.

    -Wow, Freak Masterstroke. Seeing Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of MST3K is surreal, but incredibly appropriate considering his relationship and history with Joel. It kind of feels like a long time coming, in a way. As usual, he’s hysterical. And he may have a point… I wouldn’t mind having Jonah and the bots as apps on my phone! I guess you could say he’s… got something. :)

    -The Starcrash Action Toy Sets bit had me in stitches. Absolutely hysterical, and very Joel-era. My favorite: The Upside Down Gun! I can’t count how many times I flipped my toy guns over and pretended they were spaceships when I was a kid.

    -When Tom makes one too many toy set jokes, Jonah channels Joel by removing his globe and tossing it across the theater.

    -The found objects on the floating city bit is a wonderful game of “I Spy” that I play every time I see the movie. I find it at once hysterical and endearing that you can literally see the model kit plastic glued to the spaceships in this movie. It really reminds me of the earnestness of Best Brains, and the way MST3K does things.

    -Related to my admiration of this movie, I really do love the Emperor’s speech at the end. Cristopher Plummer has one of those comforting voices I could listen to all day, and he sells every word he’s saying. I like that the riffers are largely quiet during the scene, giving it a “He learned to late that man is a feeling creature…” vibe.

    Jonah again knocks it out of the park in the final segment with a second impersonation of a movie character, this time the Count. It’s also interesting to note that there are apparently multiple Crows and Servo’s wondering the ship, something that has been hinted at before this season. I wonder what’s going on…

    -Paul Chaplin and Mary Jo wrote for this episode!

    -End Credits Music: united Servo; The Canada Song; Livin’ in Deep 13; to earth; sidehackin’; wild rebels

    Favorite Riff: “Oh, now they’re just just openly ripping off Spaceballs!”

    Honorable Mentions: “No, THEY are meeting MY hair!”; “I know it’s the future, but I’m not ready for THIS love scene.”; “Ooh, right in the Shatner!”

       19 likes

  2. jay says:

    Just like last week’s episode the monster did not show up until late in the movie, only time it was Hasselhoff with eyeliner and a poodle perm. Aaaagh!!!

       8 likes

  3. I really wanted to like this movie more than I ended up doing. After “Avalanche” I was thinking the season was really getting underway, and the two movies coming up in a row I thought would be excellent.

    This one — not so much. It actually wasn’t even as funny as “Beast”. Part of that might have been the obvious campiness of the movie itself. When a movie doesn’t take itself very seriously, it’s hard to make too much fun of it. I also am SO tired now of “Star Wars” and the satires that have been done that it just felt very old. I think Jonah and the Bots did a decent, but not great job.

    6 out of 10.

       5 likes

  4. davidmello says:

    This is also the first time that it will dawn on Kinga and Max that lousy movies won’t drive Jonah and the bots insane, but might drive the Mads out of their minds.
    Just like their dads.
    I suspect Jonah isn’t familiar with what Marjoe’s evangelist past or the famous documentary, but it would have been interesting if Jonah tried to apply Marjoe’s style to his role in this movie.

       1 likes

  5. Droppo says:

    BB-Servo and the “this isn’t Star Wars” song were worth the price of admission.

       2 likes

  6. Volcanosaurus Rex says:

    I like this episode, mostly because the insane movie is such a wreck that Starcrash seems like an apt name. I can’t tell if it’s bad on purpose, or if it was made in earnest by a bunch of teenagers. It seems like a story written by high schoolers who were inspired by Star Wars, who had vivid imaginations and lots of enthusiasm for hot girls in leather space lingerie, and who had no idea how to fit their ideas into any sort of context. I can’t imagine that any footage that was cut for this episode would make the movie any more coherent.

    I have so many questions after this movie—Why does the “Emperor of the First Circle of the Universe” talk like he can’t think more than one word ahead? WTF is the deal with the projected, tentacle-y alien judge? What was the reasoning behind the weird delivery of the “they found one DAMN survivor” line? Why did the inexplicable “Amazons on horseback” capture Stella and Elle, and why did more of the Amazons suddenly attack them when they were already captured? Why does Zartharn have such an intensely bulgy-eyed yet wooden expression? How do they just torpedo soldiers into the enemy ship without them, and everything else, getting sucked out into the vacuum of space? Sheesh…

    On the plus side, it was refreshing to see a female protagonist with actual fight scenes, even if the choreography was cheesy and she was in her underwear most of the time. Also, I really like the emperor’s throne, for some reason.

    As far as the episode itself, the jokes are all great, and like in the previous ep, seem to have settled into a more natural rhythm. I love the nerdy “Stranger’s UFO” song in the theater. The running gag of the spaceship names is fun too, especially “Thor’s… Dead Now.” BB-Servo was cute, and the Seinfeld cameo was fun, but the other host segments were pretty forgettable. Also, the bead curtain is back on the bridge, why?

    Favorite riffs:
    Well, I was about to do something seriously badass…
    “Star Shrek”
    Alright alright alright, space McConaughey!
    [huge explosion during escape scene] Oh, well, they almost made it…
    We need a pole that goes up!
    Perhaps you don’t recognize me with my red arm…

       2 likes

  7. I found this episode similar to Catalina Caper and Hobgoblins, in the sense that they’re riffing a film that *seems* to be trying to be funny in it’s own right, and that kinda bogs the riffing down. That said the film offers plenty of riffing material.

    They make a joke about how it would have been awesome if this film had pre-dated “Star Wars” given how much it clearly steals from said film…. then later Jonah comments that they’re ripping off “Spaceballs”…. a film that it *did* pre-date! HA!

    Ugh, AGAIN they felt the need to acknowledge the fact that Servo has no eyes. Clearly someone on the writing staff must really be bugged by this.

    Missed Riff Opportunity: The seats on Akton’s ship look SO MUCH like the dune buggies from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, i was waiting for one of them to make a riff on that, but…. nothing. Bah.

    The voice of the robot L sounded so familiar to me, I couldn’t pinpoint where I’d heard the voice before or who the actor was. A look on IMDB, and I realized why the voice sounded so familiar. It’s the same guy that voiced Gizmoduck on “DuckTales”! (Whoo-Hoo!)*

    It’s funny that there’s a “Guardians of the Galaxy” riff at one point, and David Hasselhoff is in this film, given that Hasselhoff has a couple cameos in Guardians Vol. 2. Something that the writing team probably weren’t aware of when writing this episode. Interesting coincidence.

    I loved the running gag about the pole-sliding.

    Not to get on the “Sci-Fi Channel era hating” bandwagon, but let me just say that if this movie had been featured during the Sci-Fi era, they would have been making wisecracks about Stella’s clothing (or lack thereof) every 2 minutes or so. I was glad that here they made only one joke about it, and then left it at that.

    Some nifty theater interactions: Crow pretends to have a convo with a guard in an elevator, then later he acts like an elevator operator, Servo goes sledding, etc.

    Seinfeld’s cameo was only interesting to me due to the fact that Joel said a few years ago that he offered the show to Seinfeld back in 1989 to host, but Seinfeld couldn’t because he was in the midst of getting his sitcom on NBC together. Other than that, I found his cameo pointless and forgettable. In general, Seinfeld never comes off well when having to do material that wasn’t written by him (unless it’s Larry David writing for him), so usually cameos by Seinfeld are awkward as Hell, hence why he rarely does these cameos on shows.

    Overall…… the episode was kinda…. average. I laughed consistently, but personally with a Star Wars knock-off, David Hasselhoff & Christopher Plummer playing son and father, a robot with a strange southern accent, you’d think this episode would have had a gold mine for riffs, but a alas, it’s just average.

    * = And, now the DuckTales theme is in your head. Sorry!

       4 likes

  8. privateiron says:

    I liked this episode, but given the movie they had to work with, I was expecting super classic. The opposite of Avalanche, which is a hard little pill of a movie, but they really go to town on it with the riffing.

    Why did they shoot Plummer in the corner with his back to the camera? I usually find “is he going to the bathroom?” jokes tiresome, but that one was completely justified. Poor Plummer, I have seen him in some real dogs, but he usually carried on with what he had. Here you could see he was in actual pain delivering these lines. And Guiness complained about Star Wars dialog; he should count himself lucky.

    That said, the movie being so lovably nuts pulls you through this one with some sold entertainment. And the ship lists were great!

       4 likes

  9. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Meep Morp.

       3 likes

  10. underwoc says:

    Ah Starcrash… the sword and sandal movie in space (though David Hasselhoff is no Steve Reeves). It’s so ambitious and for the era and budget, the special effects are decent. But the Ackton… err I mean, ACTING just doesn’t take itself seriously enough.

    I agree with others – the overall feel of the episode is a bit of a letdown, but the movie does so much of the work for the riffers. The UFO song is a great way to fill the dialogue-less spaceship exploration scene, and while I like their delivery, a little more Jan &Dean style harmonization would help.

    I’ve never been a huge Seinfeld fan, so that bit didn’t do much for me.

    Loved the ending bit with the bots and the torpedoes though – one of the most pure “MST3K” bits to date in my opinion.

       3 likes

  11. majorjoe23 says:

    Here’s what I gathered together for Starcrash:

    Birth/death dates
    Director Luigi Cozzi, born Sept. 7, 1947
    Writer Nat Wachsberger, born Oct. 4, 1916, died Feb. 1, 1992
    Actor Marjoe Gortner, born Jan. 14, 1944
    Actor Caroline Munro, born Jan. 16, 1949
    Actor Christopher Plummer, born Dec. 13, 1929
    Actor David Hasselhoff, born July 17, 1952
    Actor Robert Tessier, born June 2, 1934, died Oct. 11, 1990
    Actor Joe Spinell, born Oct. 28, 1936, died January 13, 1989
    Actor Nadia Cassini, born Jan. 2, 1949
    Actor Judd Hamilton, born Feb. 28, 1942
    Actor Hamilton Camp, born Oct. 30, 1934, died Oct. 2, 2005
    Actor Salvatore Baccaro, born May 6, 1932, died March 13, 1984
    Actor Omero Capanna, born April 4, 1942, died Oct. 11, 2003
    Actor Candy Clark, born June 20, 1947
    Actor Dirce Funari, born July 24, 1957
    Actor Cindy Leadbetter, born June 15, 1955
    Cinematographer Paul Beeson, born Nov. 16, 1921, died July 19, 2001
    Film editor Sergio Montanari, born Oct. 22, 1937
    Composer John Barry, born Nov. 3, 1933, died Jan. 30, 2011

    MST3K connections
    Director Luigi Cozzi came up for the story for Devil Fish
    Actress Caroline Munro was also in At the Earth’s Core
    Actor Omero Capanna was also in The Pumaman
    Cinematographer Paul Beeson was director of photography on Moon Zero Two and Lost Continent
    Assistant director Goffredo Unger was an actor in Devil Fish and Hercules Against the Moonmen
    Special effects director Germano Natali also did special effects for Devil Fish

    Other dates
    Feb. 26, 2012, Christopher Plummer becomes the oldest actor to win an Oscar for his role in Beginners.
    Oct. 2, 1970, Christopher Plummer married his third wife, Elaine Taylor
    May 4, 1962, Christopher Plummer married his second wife, Patricia Lewis
    Aug. 19, 1956, Christopher Plummer married his first wife, Tammy Grimes
    Dec. 8, 1989, David Hasselhoff married his second wife, Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff
    March 24, 1984, David Hasselhoff married his first wife, Catherine Hickland
    March 7, 1979, Starcrash premiered in Los Angeles
    Dec. 21, 1978, Starcrash released in West German
    March 9, 1979, Starcrash released in the USA
    March 30, 1979, Starcrash released in Spain and Finland
    June 8, 1979, Starcrash released in Denmark
    July 26, 1979, Starcrash released in Colombia
    Aug. 28, 1979, Starcrash released in the Philippines
    Aug. 30, 1979, Starcrash released in Mexico
    Sept. 8, 1980, Starcrash released in Turkey

       3 likes

  12. majorjoe23 says:

    I also put together some dates for people related to the new season of MST3K:

    Jonah Ray (Jonah Heston), born Aug. 3, 1982
    March 27, 2007, Jonah Ray’s first album with an MST3k-inspired name, “This is Crazy Mixed-Up Plumbing” is released
    March 15, 2012, Jonah Ray’s second album with an MST3k-inspired name, “Hello Mr Magic Plane Person” is released

    Hampton Yount (Crow), born June 12, 1982
    Baron Vaughn (Tom Servo), born Dec. 18, 1980
    Felicia Day (Kinga Forrester), born June 28, 1979
    Patton Oswalt (Max/TV’s Son of TV’s Frank), Jan. 27, 1969
    Sept 18, 2016, Patton Oswalt wins an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his Netflix special Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.
    Feb 12, 1917, Patton Oswalt wins a Grammy for Best Comedy Album for Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.
    Rebecca Hanson (Gypsy, Synthia), born April 22, 1976
    June 12, 2009, Rebecca Hanson married future MST3K co-star Tim Ryder

    Har Mar Superstar (Sean Tillman), Skeleton Crew Bandleader, born Feb 6, 1978
    Sept. 20, 2013, Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak declared it Har Mar Superstar Day in the city.
    Grant Baciocco (Crow, M. Waverly puppeteer), born May 20, 1974
    Erin Gray, Born January 7, 1950
    Mark Hamill, born Sept 25, 1951
    Neil Patrick Harris, born June 15, 1973
    Jerry Seinfeld, born April 29, 1954
    Joel McHale, born Nov. 20, 1971
    Wil Wheaton, born July 29, 1972
    Robert Lopez, composer of Our Love is on Wings (You Can’t See), born Feb 23, 1975
    Tim Blaney (Gypsy puppeteer), born April 23, 1959

    Feb 14, 2017, New York City #WeBroughtBackMST3K Red Carpet Backer Screening of Reptilicus
    Feb 16, 2017, Chicago #WeBroughtBackMST3K Red Carpet Backer Screening of Reptilicus
    Feb 21, 2017, Los Angeles #WeBroughtBackMST3K Red Carpet Backer Screening of Reptilicus

    Nov. 25, 2016, Joel releases the long lost K01 and K02 episodes Invaders From the Deep and Revenge of the Mysterions to Kickstarter backers

    Sept. 26, 2016, filming starts for season 11 of MST3K

       5 likes

  13. jay:
    Just like last week’s episode the monster did not show up until late in the movie, only time it was Hasselhoff with eyeliner and a poodle perm.Aaaagh!!!

    Accdg. to IMDb Trivia, it was the other way around:
    The reason Marjoe Gortner plays the man who can do everything without telling us why, is that he was originally scripted as a lovable alien creature, and Hasselhoff would be the obligatory handsome hero, but Gortner didn’t want to wear the cheap makeup effects. So we had…..two of them.

    Brandon Pierce:
    Missed Riff Opportunity: The seats on Akton’s ship look SO MUCH like the dune buggies from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, i was waiting for one of them to make a riff on that, but…. nothing. Bah.

    So many obvious missed riffs, all over the place: :)

    – (Akton thumps Thor over head)
    “‘Nothing goes over my—OO, I caught that!”’

    Count: “You two are to stay here and prevent them from leaving this room at all costs!”
    (Python voice: ) “So, you stay here, and we leave the room, then?”

    “How can we stop those Golems?”
    “Take the holy Shem out of their mouths?”

    – (Robots “skate” to the attack)
    “Y’know, I’m seeing something sort of Rankin-Bassish about the way they move?”
    “Well, they just have to put one foot in front of the other…”

       4 likes

  14. snowdog says:

    Ah, only the third MSTed movie that I had caught in the theater on release. I was thirteen when StarCrash was released and my small-town theater didn’t have the correct lens for the film, so the planets looked like multi-colored Easter eggs. Saw it twice anyway, because it was a lot like… that other movie a few months earlier. I remember that they showed a trailer for the upcoming Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.Good times.

       5 likes

  15. gf120581 says:

    This movie…this movie….wow. I knew it’s reputation and knew it was a popular choice for riffing, but talk could not prepare me for the sheer insanity of it all. This movie is like if someone watched their kids play some made up game with their Star Wars figures and thought, “Hey, this would make a great movie!” And thus we get our new “Space Mutiny.”

    Random thoughts:

    – Poor BB Servo. Please don’t smash his globe, Lucasfilm lawyers.

    – Crow’s still doing screenplays! Hopefully this new project doesn’t suffer the fate of “Earth vs. Soup.”

    – This is the THIRD movie I’ve seen that features both Caroline Munro and Joe Spinell (The Count). What an odd recurring screen pair.

    – Who fires torpedos filled with soldiers? THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS.

    – The parade of ships with the names is where it really felt like “Space Mutiny.” Worthy of Big McLargeHuge.

    – Christopher Plummer really didn’t put much effort into earning that trip to Rome, did he?

    – The Southern-accented robot was voiced by Munro’s then-husband.

    – Munro was dubbed by “American Graffiti” star Candy Clark, then married to Marjoe Gortner.

    Favorite riffs:

    “Believe it or not, I’m not William Katt.”

    “This is like a community theater production of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.'”

    “Why do the horses have Crocs on their heads?”

    “Where did all of these ships come from? I didn’t sign the purchase orders!”

       6 likes

  16. tibber says:

    Wow, shocked at the lukewarm responses so far. This is the best episode of the season for me. The riffing is great and perfectly paced, the host segments are great, just great all around. I’d honestly put it up there with some of the classics of yesteryear. “I get paid by the pause.”

    Here’s my question about the movie: I’m not shocked that Hasselhoff or Christopher Plummer are in this, name actors turning up in the most random Italian films is a long and storied tradition. I’m not even surprised at the presence of Joe Spinell, although casting him as an intergalactic warlord is one of the stranger pieces of casting I’ve come across in a movie lately. No, what I want to know is, how in the world did they get John Barry to do the music?

       7 likes

  17. GizmonicTemp says:

    Wow. Just… wow.
    I had never seen this movie before the Mst3k treatment, and I’m glad my first exposure had the Mst3k buffer. It was apparent from frame one what they were going for. Please pay special attention to Stella Star’s clothing. Yes. Special attention. :)
    The director claims that production for this movie was parallel and totally coincidental to “Star Wars”, but it amazes me how many of these movies had light-saber-type weapons. See “War of the Robots” for yet another example.
    Did anyone else think it was odd that “L”‘s voice was a southern-USA accent? Concerning this, I have a theory. First, this movie was Italian. Second, the person who did “L”‘s voice is a professional voice actor, meaning he could’ve sounded like ANYTHING. This leads me to believe that the director wanted an “American” sound and immediately went to the stereotypical. Interesting.

    Mmmm, Stella Star…

    I read that Christopher Plummer took this part because it was a free 3-day trip to Rome, which he LOVES. I loves me some CP, but he must REALLY like Rome to play a part of an emperor… oh yes, who also has a time-machine-of-sorts.
    I also got a real kick out of how they perceived outer space. It’s very colorful. Not boring, not vast, actually quite cheery! I could get into this outer space!

    Stella…

    Oh, as for the Mst3k treatment, I give it an above average grade. Definitely not “Cry Wilderness”, but above “Hollow Mountain”.

       6 likes

  18. bartcow says:

    I love love love this movie. I was so happy to see it on the list of movies to be riffed. While I wish they hadn’t had to cut as much as they did, it’s my favorite episode so far (it gets a bump because I like the movie itself). The blu-ray is definitely worth it, if you’ve become inured to cheesy movies (decades of nightly MSTie viewings will do that).

    Plummer’s speech at the end with the evocative Barry score behind it is actually somewhat moving, considering all the wacko stuff that happened before it. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut etc etc.

    5 stars.

       2 likes

  19. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    “James Hetfield ruins another Metallica concert.”

       1 likes

  20. Steve K says:

    Ackton: “Look: a neutron star!”
    Jonah: “A glow-in-the-dark star?”
    Crow: “Yeah, they ALL do.”

       2 likes

  21. WeatherServo9 says:

    Hasselhoff? Check. John Barry doing the music? Check. Christopher Plummer collecting a check? Check.

    All of the general weirdness aside, there are two main things about this bizarre little experience of a film that stand out to me.

    The first is the inclusion of Marjoe Gortner as some kind of weird alien robot or android or wizard or robot android wizard or something. He’s an interesting person to me (the actor, not this character) because he had a similar kind of experience with religion to the one I’ve had in my life. If you’ve never seen the documentary Marjoe, it’s really worth a watch. After he realized he didn’t want to pretend to be a Christian for money anymore, Mr. Gortner tried his hand at movies and was in a few, mostly in the 70s. No, I mean, the 1970s. He’s kind of an odd-looking fellow and doesn’t exactly have movie star looks, but there is something compelling about him. Kind of a very low-rent Matthew McConaughey, if Matthew McConaughey had a white afro.

    The second thing that I really love about this movie is the very last monologue, right before the end, delivered by Christopher Plummer. Much could be said about his slumming in this film in general, and his weirdness and detachment and how it often feels like he’s not quite actually in the movie. I don’t know whether or not to think of his character as some kind of brave, royal hero because he just seems clueless most of the time. But my goodness, that last scene with him where he goes on the most rambling speech I think I’ve ever heard in a movie is just wonderfully odd. It’s something like:

    “Now some big things have crashed into each other and the galaxy is at peace. Well, at peace until the next villain comes along, I mean. Which I’m sure another big villain will come along again any time now and we’ll have to do this all over again. And by we, I mean you, since I don’t really do much. But, until then, enjoy this wonderful (if short-lived) victory that cost lots of people their lives and continued this galactic empire which seems not very different from the people we were fighting. It’s a happy ending, is what I’m saying. Now will someone please tell me when this scene is over? Is the camera still rolling?”

    I can’t quite believe they left it in the film that way, but then the filmmakers made a lot of questionable decisions.

    In general, I’m disappointed by The Hoff here, as I find him kind of boring in this role. His attempt at some sort of accent is sometimes funny, but it’s mostly just sad. And I’m still not sure exactly what crashing the big thing into the other big thing accomplished (other than killing a lot of innocent people, probably). But I do enjoy the robot with the southern accent. Seinfeld showing up is a real WUUUUHHHHH??!! moment, but I derive some pleasure at the thought of him standing there in that little set reciting those lines to the camera all by himself. No audience, no one to play off of, just a big industry A-lister talking into a camera. It’s kind of neat, actually.

       5 likes

  22. Sitting Duck says:

    Starcrash passes the Bechdel Test, but surprisingly not on the Amazon planet. Stella and a female prisoner at the penal mine talk about the prospect of escape.

    Having seen it unriffed at RavenCon 2012, I can say with some confidence that the uncut film makes absolutely no sense either.

    Also at said RavenCon screening, the presenters referred to Elle as Darth Saunders.

    A Stranger’s UFO sounds like it uses a Beach Boys’ tune. Which one is it (assuming that they’re not just aping that style)?

    On a related note, does Jonah play guitar, or is he just miming it?

    Nice to see Crow go back to his screenwriter ambitions. And that logo was a nice piece of work.

    The first time I watched the ship launching scene, the litany of names they rattled off had me laughing so hard I was hyperventilating.

    This is as good a place to mention it as any. Is it just me, or do Muppet-based riffs occur more frequently here than they did in the original MST3K?

    majorjoe23:
    Feb 12, 1917, Patton Oswalt wins a Grammy for Best Comedy Album for Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.

    Also when It’s a Long Way to Tipperary won the Song of the Year Grammy. :P

    tibber:
    No, what I want to know is, how in the world did they get John Barry to do the music?

    Probably the same way Tom Laughlin got Elmer Bernstein to do the soundtrack for The Trial of Billy Jack. Job opportunities in the movie industry that you won’t be ashamed of aren’t exactly plentiful, and the rent don’t pay itself.

       4 likes

  23. GizmonicTemp says:

    Luckily, Sadly, I have not seen the entire version and don’t know if I honestly could stomach it. Since I’ve been reading that a lot of it was trimmed, could someone enlighten me on the trimmed portions? Ya know, just for kicks.

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  24. Sitting Duck: Also at said RavenCon screening, the presenters referred to Elle as Darth Saunders.

    Ah, another Netflix captions viewer–I assumed it was “L”, but wanted to check other posters to be sure, as Netflix’s rendering did seem a bit odd.
    (“Elle–The cantankerous robot named after womens’ fashion magazines!”….Or maybe L has a sister, that would make sense.)

    This is as good a place to mention it as any. Is it just me, or do Muppet-based riffs occur more frequently here than they did in the original MST3K?

    Yes. Very. And throwing sharpened Psychic Lawn Darts at obscure ref sources even J&tB wouldn’t touch.
    We’ve already had a scene-specific Fraggle Rock reference in Avalanche, a specific Dark Crystal ref shows up in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II, and they try to stop themselves doing too many obvious Sam the Eagle references on “At the Earth’s Core” in between the “hi-ho!” Kermit references, along with the Rowlf tribute.

    Probably the same way Tom Laughlin got Elmer Bernstein to do the soundtrack for The Trial of Billy Jack. Job opportunities in the movie industry that you won’t be ashamed of aren’t exactly plentiful, and the rent don’t pay itself.

    John Barry did a lot of work in the 70’s between 007 movies, but I’m guessing he did much of this score sight unseen while it was still in production.

    underwoc:
    The UFO song is a great way to fill the dialogue-less spaceship exploration scene, and while I like their delivery, a little more Jan &Dean style harmonization would help.

    Normally, listening to the whole “sci-fan” themed song would be the stuff of long host segments, but the fact that the movie had even longer, longer dead spaces to fill was just pure economy. It just wouldn’t have worked as its own segment, but feels right filling time to call attention to how much time needed to be filled.

    I’ve never been a huge Seinfeld fan, so that bit didn’t do much for me.

    Like Neil Patrick Harris (without the Dr. Horrible connection), it just came off as one more star who WANTED to be on the show out of personal fandom, and was allowed to to sweeten the Kickstarting–But if Jerry couldn’t even parse a halfway decent Dreamworks movie outside of his own show, MST3K is even further beyond his grasp.

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  25. Mr. Krasker says:

    Some of the films in season 11 have been tough, but this one is perhaps the worst, most boring, least meritricous film MST (and its offshoots) has ever done. I’m glad this wasn’t the first ep in this season, because if it had been, I’d have never watched the second. Bad is bad, but come on!

       1 likes

  26. jay says:

    Lots of negative comments here and I suppose most of them are legit. As for me, I was entertained. From Kinga and Max’s Salsa Sombrero, which goes with the movie’s rendition of interstellar space lit up like a Mexican taqueria in July because they never took down their Christmas lights, to the last wag of Hasselhoff’s Sponge Bob perm I was entertained. No subtle subtext. No moral imperative. Just fun, silly, stupid but sometimes clever entertainment. Did I mention that I was entertained?

       14 likes

  27. Warren says:

    I probably enjoyed this one more than any of the season’s previous, it might even be my favorite of the fourteen. It’s a little bit enjoyable but certainly not a good movie. Caroline Munro’s costumes help make it watchable but that doesn’t write a good plot. Here’s what I thought was a missed riff opportunity, the two metallic sword-wielding robots. In a few shots I thought they appeared to have ‘angry duck faces’. Maybe the writers didn’t interpret it that way, but I would’ve put in Donald or Daffy-voiced riffs. Maybe I’m the only one who made that visual interpretation. That was my initial impression anyway, and it’s been several weeks since then. My netflix trial is over so I can’t immediately re-watch it that way, but I’ve seen all of them and I’m still hoping for another season.

       0 likes

  28. Johnny Drama says:

    HIghly entertaining episode featuring a highly ambitious movie. They didn’t have the budget, but that didn’t stop them from trying to make an epic. The key word being “trying.” I really liked this one. For my money, this is perfect for MST3K. As opposed to Space Mutiny, this movie is actually inherently goofy, therefore it lends itself to riffing. I’m surprised this one isn’t getting more love overall on the web. Maybe it’s like Will Ferrell, I don’t think he’s funny at all, yet people worship him.

       1 likes

  29. Cornjob says:

    Wow. I barely remember seeing some of this on HBO when I was a kid. Some of the stop motion animation was pretty good, particularly the sword robots. Aside from ripping off Star Wars the main reason for this movie being made was Caroline Monroe’s costume. Dominatrix boots and a leather bikini. I guess leather is good protection against lasers and space pirates aim for the legs and naughty bits. Fun silly movie. Fun episode.

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  30. Sitting Duck says:

    It would have been more fun if the troop loaded torpedoes had been more like these.

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  31. Cornjob says:

    Did the judge in a globe at the beginning remind anyone else of the leader in a glass sphere from the original Invaders from Mars?

    I’ve been enjoying heavy metal riffs. The one about James Hetfield ruining another Metallica concert was probably alluding to an incident when Hetfield got badly burned by stage pyrotechnics.

       2 likes

  32. Stoneman says:

    In my humble opinion, another solid episode. Made me laugh out loud a bunch of times. And my wife liked the Hasselhoff (eye candy for her).

    Sitting Duck: I believe the main Beach Boys’ song they reference is “Fun, Fun, Fun”, but “Little Deuce Coupe” is there too.

    In the “Band-Eat-O” invention sketch, I really liked the reference to “Blazing Saddles”: “Radish? We don’t need no stinking radish!”

    I also loved the references to the sketch from “Manhunt In Space”, with Joel and the Bots discussing the use of “space” as a modifier.

    There is plenty more I enjoyed, but other illustrious posters have commented on them already.

       2 likes

  33. TedH says:

    snowdog:
    Ah, only the third MSTed movie that I had caught in the theater on release. I was thirteen when StarCrash was released and my small-town theater didn’t have the correct lens for the film, so the planets looked like multi-colored Easter eggs. Saw it twice anyway, because it was a lot like… that other movie a few months earlier. I remember that they showed a trailer for the upcoming Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.Good times.

    Just out of curiosity, what were the other two? This is my second. I was 10, and I remember loving that spaceship that would clench like a fist. The only other one I saw in the theaters was Hangar 18.

       1 likes

  34. This episode is my favorite of the season!

       1 likes

  35. majorjoe23 says:

    Stoneman:

    In the “Band-Eat-O” invention sketch, I really liked the reference to “Blazing Saddles”: “Radish? We don’t need no stinking radish!”

    The use in Blazing Saddles was actually a reference to Treasure of Sierra Madre:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqomZQMZQCQ

       3 likes

  36. Cornjob:
    Did the judge in a globe at the beginning remind anyone else of the leader in a glass sphere from the original Invaders from Mars?

    I thought Coizzi had just inserted recycled footage, for a second; he was throwing everything else in.

    WeatherServo9: The first is the inclusion of Marjoe Gortner as some kind of weird alien robot or android or wizard or robot android wizard or something. He’s an interesting person to me (the actor, not this character) because he had a similar kind of experience with religion to the one I’ve had in my life. If you’ve never seen the documentary Marjoe, it’s really worth a watch. After he realized he didn’t want to pretend to be a Christian for money anymore, Mr. Gortner tried his hand at movies and was in a few, mostly in the 70s. No, I mean, the 1970s. He’s kind of an odd-looking fellow and doesn’t exactly have movie star looks, but there is something compelling about him. Kind of a very low-rent Matthew McConaughey, if Matthew McConaughey had a white afro.

    Yeah, I don’t think anyone even remembers Marjoe’s evangelist past outside of the famous documentary–
    At that point, Gortner was a steady, cheery poor-man’s-William-Katt fixture of cheap 70’s movies and TV shows: “Hi, I’m Marjoe Gortner, you might remember me from such films as ‘Food of the Gods’ or ‘Viva Knievel’, or as the creepy-stalker rescue worker from ‘Earthquake’!”

    Brandon Pierce:
    Not to get on the “Sci-Fi Channel era hating” bandwagon, but let me just say that if this movie had been featured during the Sci-Fi era, they would have been making wisecracks about Stella’s clothing (or lack thereof) every 2 minutes or so. I was glad that here they made only one joke about it, and then left it at that.

    * = And, now the DuckTales theme is in your head. Sorry!

    Not to get on the bandwagon either (heavens, no ;) ), but, yes: That. They. Would.
    One of the big problems of the SciFi years was that they seemed to be, as one poster said, “Getting bored with themselves”, they paid less attention to the movies or selections, and the riffing started falling back on thematic “Safety nets”: Eg, the drunk guy, the Canadian guy, the wimpy teen, or–with aging-high-school-manchild attitudes toward “chicks”–turning any onscreen heroine or plethora of them into “Debbies”. (As in “Gah, Debbie, quit stretching out my sweater!”)
    And since we should save that for the appropriate Thursday thread, I think we’re one step closer to finally delving into the mystery of the Cult of Mutiny.

    (And besides, just mentioning Hamilton Camp doesn’t put the DuckTales theme in your head– THIS does: >:)

    Volcanosaurus Rex:
    I like this episode, mostly because the insane movie is such a wreck that Starcrash seems like an apt name. I can’t tell if it’s bad on purpose, or if it was made in earnest by a bunch of teenagers. It seems like a story written by high schoolers who were inspired by Star Wars, who had vivid imaginations and lots of enthusiasm for hot girls in leather space lingerie, and who had no idea how to fit their ideas into any sort of context. I can’t imagine that any footage that was cut for this episode would make the movie any more coherent.

    Have to remember, in 1978-’80, anything that had spaceships in it was “compared” to Star Wars, since we still couldn’t really grasp why the original was popular. You heard fans point-by-point “comparing” Buck Rogers in the 25th Century or Ice Pirates to Star Wars.
    In Italy, it was “The Adventures of Stella Star”, and it’s imaginable that they thought they had their own new Barbarella. Anyone who’s sat through the Valerian trailer in the last two weeks knows how loopy the funny-talking countries can get about trying to parse American Flash-Gordon mythology.

    Trivia note: Starcrash was released by New World in ’79, back when two young employees named Joe Dante and Alan (“Rock ‘N Roll High School”) Arkush were still just getting their break working in Corman’s marketing department, cutting trailers and approving posters.
    Six years later, in Dante’s ’85 “Explorers”, our group of Spielberg-esque kids are watching a ridiculously $1.98 Star Wars knockoff at the drive-in, and…say, is it just me, or does the parody look uncannily familiar? :)

       2 likes

  37. jay:
    Lots of negative comments here and I suppose most of them are legit.

    I’ve noticed a distinct trend in all of the new episode comments. Either folks think the particular episode is “the best ever!” or they think it’s okay but not great. There doesn’t appear to be a middle ground.

    I haven’t done any analysis to see if it’s mostly the same folks that think The Return has hit it out of the park each time and those of us, like myself, who don’t think we’ve had a “classic episode” yet, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was true (or mostly true). While I don’t quite understand why anyone would think The Return is even halfway as good as the best classic episodes I’m glad it’s so (my own hunch is it’s mostly millenials who feel this way, and youth must be served). Those of us who think “good but not great” are probably the old fogies who, while we’re happy *someone* is carrying on the tradition, won’t quite be entertained in the same way.

    My biggest issue is still they don’t ever seem surprised by the movie — they seem, clearly, to have seen it before (and many times before) and the riffs, while often funny, just don’t represent my own reaction in the way the classic series did. If they do return for a second season I doubt whether that will change.

       2 likes

  38. snowdog says:

    TedH: Just out of curiosity, what were the other two?This is my second.I was 10, and I remember loving that spaceship that would clench like a fist.The only other one I saw in the theaters was Hangar 18.

    My other two were Hanger 18(also) and Laserblast which came out just few months before Starcrash.

       2 likes

  39. Captain Howdy says:

    Mr. Krasker:
    Some of the films in season 11 have been tough, but this one is perhaps the worst, most boring, least meritricous film MST (and its offshoots) has ever done.I’m glad this wasn’t the first ep in this season, because if it had been, I’d have never watched the second.Bad is bad, but come on!

    You must be new to this. Compared to Manos, Starcrash is an artistic masterpiece in every way.

    Judging by some of the complaints about the film itself, I would have to say the Mads are winning.

       11 likes

  40. privateiron says:

    Mike Kelley: How is “they’re OK, but not great” not a “middle ground?”

    If you’re are doing an analysis, I personally like several of the episodes very much, was pleasantly entertained by a few, meh to a few and hated “Earth’s Core.” So pretty much the same distribution as old MST3K, though not yet at the same average level on an absolute scale. Hoping for a season 12 and a reveal that Mike J Nelson wrote all of season 11; so a certain commentator will stop trolling the SciFi years.

       10 likes

  41. Strangely, Candy Clark does the voice for Caroline Munro. She was in a host of cult classic horror movies, such as Q the Flying Serpent, Amityville III, and The Blob ’88 among others. She was also married to Marjoe Gortner for a while.

    I think there is just an inherent problem with riffing a movie like this. While it gets compared to Star Wars, and true, it was trying to cash in on space opera, it’s more like a lower budget version of Flash Gordon (the ’80 movie). Not all the camp in intentional, but enough. It’s hard to make fun of something that is making lift of itself.

       1 likes

  42. Jeremy Zharkov:
    Strangely, Candy Clark does the voice for Caroline Munro. She was in a host of cult classic horror movies, such as Q the Flying Serpent, Amityville III, and The Blob ’88 among others. She was also married to Marjoe Gortner for a while.

    I think there is just an inherent problem with riffing a movie like this. While it gets compared to Star Wars, and true, it was trying to cash in on space opera, it’s more like a lower budget version of Flash Gordon (the ’80 movie). Not all the camp in intentional, but enough. It’s hard to make fun of something that is making lift of itself.

    Funny you should say that, since one of the reasons Lucas created Star Wars was because he couldn’t get adaptation rights to do a Flash Gordon film.

       1 likes

  43. Mr. Krasker says:

    Captain Howdy: You must be new to this.Compared to Manos, Starcrash is an artistic masterpiece in every way.

    Judging by some of the complaints about the film itself, I would have to say the Mads are winning.

    I’ve been a fan since the Joel Comedy Central days, thank you very much.

       0 likes

  44. Probably the first of the new series that I found disappointing. It’s not bad, just kind of flat. But man, that is one silly ass movie.

       0 likes

  45. My one real complaint of the new series is that Kinga just doesn’t seem evil at all. She’s far too cute and chipper. Max is fine, but Kinga doesn’t have the cruel edge that Clayton and Pearl had. I’m a big Felicia Day fan, but it’s almost like she’s scared to commit to being bad. And next season, can they have her say something other than “experience the nightmare fueled world of……” every damn time? Mix it up a little!!

       5 likes

  46. Brandon Pierce: Funny you should say that, since one of the reasons Lucas created Star Wars was because he couldn’t get adaptation rights to do a Flash Gordon film.

    And the Flash Gordon ’80 movie we got actually came out of Filmation’s aborted pre-He-Man attempt to do that 70’s Saturday-morning animated version (the one that keeps turning up on Pluto TV) as a feature film. Just one of those things nobody knows.

    Tim S. Turner:
    And next season, can they have her say something other than “experience the nightmare fueled world of……” every damn time?Mix it up a little!!

    Have the feeling it was meant to be a “running joke”, but like the “Stolen inventions” bit, it has to eventually run somewhere.

    [SPOILER]
    (It doesn’t, btw.)

       1 likes

  47. Great to hear Bob Camp as Elle!

       0 likes

  48. Ray Dunakin says:

    I haven’t seen this episode yet, or any of the new season, due to an aversion to Netflix. But I’m looking forward to it when it comes out on DVD someday.

    I saw part of this movie when it was in the theaters. My brother and I, along with our friend, went to see it at the time listed in the newspaper. When we got to the theater we found that they were actually doing a double feature, and the other movie started first. So we stayed and watched that one. It was “Five Days From Home” starring George Peppard, a movie we’d never heard of before or since. It surprised us by being a pretty decent, entertaining movie.

    Which was good thing, because when “Starcrash” started, we quickly realized that our money would have been wasted it that was the only film we saw that night. I don’t remember very many details about it, just that it was really cheesy, really stupid, and the overly-colorful stars looked like they just filmed some Christmas lights. I think we got about halfway through it before we decided we’d seen enough, and walked out.

    (BTW, “Five Days From Home” also had Robert Donner, aka Fingers O’Toole, the “comic relief” guy in “Catalina Caper.)

       0 likes

  49. Cornjob says:

    This movie seems to have another case of the sidekick being the hero, what with Acton doing almost everything.

       3 likes

  50. Sitting Duck says:

    The Original EricJ:
    Have to remember, in 1978-’80, anything that had spaceships in it was “compared” to Star Wars, since we still couldn’t really grasp why the original was popular.You heard fans point-by-point “comparing” Buck Rogers in the 25th Century or Ice Pirates to Star Wars.

    Since this particular film had a space wizard with a laser sword, the Star Wars comparisons could be said to have some legitimacy.

       6 likes

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