Film / Starcrash
"By sunset I'll be the new emperor. And I'll be the master of the whole universe!" — Count Zarth Arn posing in his fist-shaped space fortress
We'll scan it with our computer waves.
The only solution is to leave space and re-enter on the other side.

In the late '70s, Italian director Luigi Cozzi attempted to capitalize of the success of Star Wars by creating a space movie with B-movie faves Caroline Munro and Marjoe Gortner, plus Christopher Plummer and even David Hasselhoff. The result? STARCRASH!

The evil Count Zarth Arn is threatening to take over the galaxy with the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. The Emperor's son has gone missing after this weapon destroyed his spaceship, and smugglers Akton and Stella Star must find him and destroy the weapon.

Starcrash (original title Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensionetranslation ) is a hilariously bad movie, made better by the hilariously artificial-sounding translation. Many believe it to be even worse than that. It's a really, really, really badly done movie, so watch at your own peril.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Stella Star
  • American Accents: The robot (!) L speaks with a Texan accent.
  • Bald of Evil: Thor
  • Boarding Pod: Towards the end of the film the heroes send troops into the Big Bad's fortress using golden torpedoes which are fired through the windows.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Zarth Arn corners the heroes with an army of armed robot guards... and proceeds to leave them on a planet set to explode.
  • Captain Obvious: The smugglers come across a drifting, derelict spacecraft. They can see it out the window, big and glaring, for several seconds. Then, Stella Star gets a look of utter surprise on her face, and squeals, "IT'S A SPACE SHIP!!"
  • Colony Drop: The titular Starcrash.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: The Emperor of the Galaxy tries to do this at the end of the movie, but the script isn't really written well enough for him to succeed.
  • Covers Always Lie: Many of the posters make L look like a looming Darth Vader Clone.
  • Cowardly Lion: L is always saying how various things make him "nervous." It doesn't stop him from being a badass.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Stella's name means "Star Star".
  • Deus ex Machina: Stuck on a planet only 48 seconds before it explodes? Good thing your battleship can stop time long enough for you to get off the planet
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are giant, golden torpedoes that fly through space and have soldiers in them that shoot lasers.
  • Elite Mooks: The Golems.
  • Emergency Cargo Dump: Stella and Akton have to drop the cargo they're smuggling to escape the pull of a neutron star.
  • The Emperor: Christopher Plummer as the Emperor of the Galaxy And he's a good guy, to boot.
  • Expanded Universe: Yes, there really is one, thanks to a anthology called, of course, Curved Space.
  • Evil Overlord: Zarth Arn
  • Face–Heel Turn / The Mole: It's unclear which of these Thor is, as they don't clarify whether he'd always been a traitor or if he had just recently gone over to working for Zarth Arn
  • Follow the Leader: Star Wars ripoffs were all the rage at the end of the 1970s — this is the best-known European example.
    • 'Zarth Arn' is also the name of the younger son of the Galactic Emperor in Edmond Hamilton's 'The Star Kings'. This is probably coincidence, though that book did include a star system destroying weapon (implied to be galaxy or universe destroying if handled incorrectly).
  • Green Lantern Ring: The sine waves that Akton can make hover over his hand seem to be able to do anything from allowing him to see into the future to acting as an emergency microwave oven.
  • Grey and Black Morality: The Emperor's regime sees nothing wrong with sentencing people to a lifetime of slave labour in radioactive conditions with no protective clothing... but the film portrays them as the good guys because Zarth Arn is pretty-much literally a pantomime villain.
  • Large Ham: Zarth Arn
  • You Fail Logic Forever: "You knew Thor would betray us? Then you can see into the future!"
  • Made of Explodium: People, when they're hit with laser beams. (Except for Akton, who just turns into sine waves.)
  • Mecha-Mooks: Zarth's "Golems".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Stella even manages to outdo the Amazons when it comes to inexplicable clothing choices.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds: Akton spends the trip through hyperspace enumerating the probabilities of all the different ways he and Stella could be killed. No Determinator here, but neither of them seem to find it particularly interesting.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Fittingly for a Star Wars rip-off, Akton gets one.
  • Obviously Evil: Zarth Arn has a Beard of Evil, an Ominous Opera Cape, dresses his Mooks in black versions of the Emperor's troop uniforms and cannot go five minutes without monologuing dramatically or at least giving an Evil Laugh. Also he straight-up calls his weapon "The Doom Machine".
    • Everything about Thor, from his scowling, shifty demeanor to his Bald of Evil screams "traitor."
  • Orcus on His Throne: Zarth Arn's means of taking over the galaxy is a weapon so large it had to be hidden inside a planet. The weapon only seems to be able to attack things right next to the planet, which has no means of propulsion. Zarth Arn has nothing to do but walk around his spaceship talking about how he will rule the galaxy by sunset.
  • Ramming Always Works: The titular "Starcrash" involves piloting a mobile city into an enemy ship.
  • Shout-Out: The Imperial warship at the beginning is named Murray Leinster. Two of her officers are named Clarke and Bradbury.
  • Space Friction: Leaves a trail.
  • Space Is an Ocean: At one point, Stella swims between two spaceships.
  • Space Is Noisy: All spaceships move through space making all kinds of whooshing, whirring and/or beeping sounds.
  • Stripperiffic: Stella. Apparently, skimpy clothing is perfectly suitable for manually moving around radioactive material. At least she puts on some clothes for the ice planet. To a lesser extent, the entire population of the planet of Amazons, including their Humongous Mecha.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Zarth Arn at the end of the movie.