Greetings everyone! Recent exposure to all the wonderful STAR WARS fan edits has inspired me to create something of my own. I have quite a bit of DIY filmmaking experience and consider post-production the best part of the process! Naturally, fan-editing has turned out to be a blast!
This project is a hybrid fanedit/perservation effort since STARCRASH is still not officially available. I first obtained a copy from Amazon under the alternate title, FEMALE SPACE INVADERS as a cheapo VHS-ripped DVD release from what I consider a gray-market distributor. The source for this particular project is the OOP French 2-disc special edition region-free PAL DVD. Unlike the full-screen knock-offs that show up in North America occasionally, this version is uncut and 16:9 enhanced for it’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The print is a bit worn but it’s the best game in town at the moment.
For those of you familiar with this legendary (20 years ago, I might have used the word “notorious”) film, don’t expect miracles! As the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd, but I sure gave it the old college try! My original intent was just to trim Christopher Plummer’s loquacious face-time. That performance was like William Shatner on xanax. What a wind-bag! I was having so much fun with Womble that I ended up tightening many other scenes. The dogfight scene is a little less wonky in my version, for instance. However, I left quite a bit of the awkward, eccentric Mise-en-scène that gives so many European genre films their charm. More editing choices were considered, but I love STARCRASH too much to try to give it a total facelift. Some of my cuts weren’t exactly seamless, but neither were some of the transitions in the source print. Even long-time fans of the film might be hard-pressed to identify which abrupt or mis-timed edits are mine and which are original…
For the rest of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this 1978 STAR WARS rip-off, you’re in for a treat! Especially if you appreciate grindhouse-era B-movies like GALAXY OF TERROR or BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS to be underrated pieces of high art as I do. 😉 Director Luigi Cozzi (who’s a huge sci-fi fan himself and now manages Dario Argento’s “Profundo Russo” bookstore in Rome) insists that STARCRASH was green-lit months before STAR WARS was released but studio demands obligated him to make changes that reflected the big Hollywood blockbuster’s influence.
Blame the studio’s meddling or lack of talent from the cast & crew, no one can deny that the final product was a very poorly edited mess. But despite all the B-movie shortcomings, STARCRASH is enormously entertaining! It’s fast-paced and has enough kitschy panache to knock all the STAR WARS prequels out of the ring with one arm tied behind it’s back, IMO! The actors have tremendous screen presence and chemistry even though they have to spew terrible dialog like: “Time for a little robot chauvinism!” or “You can drop the riffle ray…” or “First you gotta catch me you dirty cop!” And I’d be remiss not to mention the too-good-for-this-b-movie score by John Barry. If I’ve sparked your curiosity, check out the user comments at imdb and the trailer at YouTube. Heck, even many of the worst critics have to admit that STARCRASH is, above all, fun!
My finished fanedit version is about 7 minutes shorter than the 93 minute uncut version. No complete scenes were totally excised but the ridiculous sequence of the emperor (Christopher Plummer) commanding his ship to halt the flow of time got trimmed by about 80%. Using Womble’s DVD Menu template, I included that entire scene as the only “deleted scene.” Also included is the original theatrical trailer extracted from a different source. I researched the possibility of converting it to NTSC but decided to leave it as-is. So many DVD players are PAL-compatible out of the box these days. I tested it on my X-BOX which played it beautifully as did my Philips and a couple of cheap-o portable players. PS2 & PS3s do not support PAL, unfortunately.
I don’t expect a lot of demand for this title so whoever wants to see it, PM me and I’ll burn a few copies to ship out. Sorry, I haven’t the first clue as to uploading a torrent or posting it on a newsgroup. Hopefully one of you good people might volunteer…