Monday, February 19, 2018

That's entertainment

Starcrash 1979 film poster.jpg
Over the weekend I watched Starcrash, a low budget science fiction movie that was released in 1978. As a child, I remember watching it one summer on television during non-ratings period, and thinking at the time that it was a good movie. I was too young to be bothered by the bad special effects, the cheap looking sets, the nonsensical plot, and the uneven acting. Now that I'm older, I know better.

Its cast includes Caroline Munro as a space pilot, David Hasselhoff as a prince, Victor Spinell as a scenery-chewing villain, and Christopher Plummer as a space Emperor. By far the best actor in this movie, Plummer accepted the role because he wanted to work in Rome, where it was shot. His scenes took three days to complete, and give the movie much needed gravitas.

The male lead was played by Marjoe Gortner. It was fascinating to read about his background. Before he was an actor, he was famous in the United States as a child preacher. Sadly, he was pushed into this work by his exploitative parents, who used him to fleece the public, and make money for themselves. It was an an example of the worst aspects of Christian culture. He was also the subject of a documentary, and mentioned in the work of atheist author, Christopher Hitchens, as an example of the danger of religion. It's hardly surprising that Gortner is now completely disillusioned with religion.

On multiple movie websites, Starcrash is consistently listed among the worst movies ever made, but remains a cult classic. Anyone watching a film that Roger Corman was involved in knows that his name is always a mark of quality.

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