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Episode 224: Starcrash: LIVE!

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59 minutes ago, Jennifermaverick said:

I laughed very hard at the suggestion that the director just read the book! Haha. What an amazing coincidence that he used the same slow-mo spaceship models, and a light saber!?! Actually the light saber is such a rip off that maybe it was a coincidence. wtf

The wipe transitions also kind of seem like something that weren't included in the novelization either.

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I think we should recognize that there are few names more entertaining than “Marjoe Gortner.”

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For a Star Wars rip off that features prominent bikinis I want to take a moment to remember my favorite ( and possibly only) Star Wars fact I know thanks to Carrie Fisher's fantastic book Wishful Drinking. Apparently  George Lucas thinks space is an underwear free zone because "you go to space and you become weightless...But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn't — so you get strangled by your own bra."  (This might be my favorite of many amazing parts of Wishful Drinking).  Carrie wrote that was how she wanted her obituary to read. Drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. 

I still think about that line sometimes because it's just so utterly Carrie.

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So I was watching the trailer on YouTube before listening to the podcast and this is the captioning that came up on screen during the voiceover! Too funny...

E32DDCAD-35E7-477A-8D94-026369714F22.jpeg

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ok 3 specific notes in this monstrosity (not just three, these are my best three):

1. Why does Stella Star's slave outfit have a Dracula collar? What is this accomplishing?

2. AH! She's got STAR earrings and her NAME is STAR! Brilliant (no, not really)

4.  Really, a nervous robot is what gets translated from Star Wars to Starcrash?! And why is Elle Southern? 

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7 hours ago, MariahN said:

ok 3 specific notes in this monstrosity (not just three, these are my best three):

1. Why does Stella Star's slave outfit have a Dracula collar? What is this accomplishing?

2. AH! She's got STAR earrings and her NAME is STAR! Brilliant (no, not really)

4.  Really, a nervous robot is what gets translated from Star Wars to Starcrash?! And why is Elle Southern? 

I like that number four was among your best three, but number three wasn't. :) 

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Hearing that the director and production team were basing this movie off of a Star Wars novelization makes a lot of sense and explains a lot of its crappiness. So much of what makes this movie exhausting to watch comes down to basic editing. As a visual medium, movies need things like establishing shots and travel montages to move the audience from place to place, whereas novels inherently don't.

Take, for example, the trial scene, wherein we are standing before the Right Honorable Krang hearing Stella and Akton's hard labor sentence, and then smash-cut to Stella, in the mine, some indeterminate amount of time later, lugging space orbs around on a stretcher with the other slaves. There was no "guards, take her away" moment, no shot of her arriving at the mine, no Shawshank "fresh fish" scene, no nothing. A good movie would show Stella arriving at the prison with other prisoners, an establishing shot of the prison, and then the mine, and then show her working for some length of time before deciding to bust out, but Starcrash just has none of that.

It was the same thing with the snow planet, when Stella and Elle get back to the ship to learn that Thor had betrayed them -- the movie doesn't even so much as show the damn ship taking off, leaving them abandoned on the planet. Thor walks off screen, and then smash-cut to Stella laying down in the snow to die ... for all the audience knows, the ship is still right there out of frame.

But novels can get away with that kind of thing because it doesn't need to take the time to present the spectacle of the moment. Smash cuts aren't a problem with novels because you can reveal the shift in time along with all the other details that set the scene. In fact, I think this whole movie might work better as a novel:

"Stella Star," bellowed Judge Krang,"you are hereby sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor in the galactic acid mines." And with that, court was adjourned.

***

Chapter 5

Stella's back and shoulders ached as she and the other slaves lifted the acid orb upon the stretcher and joined the queue for the hole full of dry ice. In this cheaply constructed soundstage that was her prison, time seems to slow to crawl. Had she really been wearing this same bikini every day for the last three months? 

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This movie was fantastic. There is such a deep and troubling Groundhog Day meets Misery in space vibe going on.

The Facts:

  • Akton knows the future: Clearly. He states as much.
  • Akton is immortal: Chief Thor kills him around 36:40. Akton's eyes are open and he's on the ground. I'd assume Chief Thor knows a dead body when he sees one. More importantly, he stays down for awhile. Suggesting that when he dies he kind of 'resets' in place. Evidence that he's a kind of time being.
  • The ship is also a time being: She ask's Akton why he messes with his powers and they share a sort of familiarity. I assume the ship brain's race has been enslaved by the Emporerf to power these ships. 
  • The Emperor is researching other time technology.

My theory: Messing with time is illegal and Akton is apart of whatever authority policies time and who has access to what technology. Whatever the Emperor is researching is starting to get too advanced (i.e - being able to stop time on command). What Akton is doing is creating a scenario where the only option the Emperor has is to sacrifice all of his technology to win. That city is 'hope' as he calls it. Could he be trying to undo some major event for his people? So that's an A+ script.

The twist: Akton doesn't just know the future. He's lived this section of time on repeat trying to make these events happen and as a result four things have occured:

  • Akton is now a crazy person. Driven mad and is now stuck in a loop.
  • Akton believes the only way out of the loop is to take the place of the Prince.
  • Akton has fallen in love with Stella and fixates on her being an element of his escape from the loop. If he is to take the Prince's place then Stella should love him right?
  • For some reason Elle knows to much. He's the one that recommends using Akton. As a result Elle has to die.

Going deeper:

  • Akton puts Stella in danger constantly when there is no need except to show he can save the day:
    • Prison planet: Okay, but he lets her commit murder. Couldn't he have just told her to stay low cause he's working some inside contacts and they should be out in a few days? P.S - do not create a prison riot that costs many guards and prisoners thier lives?
    • Amazon planet: This is the fist time it seems Akton wants Elle dead. Send him to a planet where everyone hates robots but might be nicer to a strong woman? Bravo. P.S - More murder.
    • Ice planet: Okay, only reason to let these two go down is to once again demonstrate to Stella what an amazing hero Akton is. Also, hopefully the robot doesn't survive.
    • Caveman scenes: This one is pretty good. Let the prince use up all of his eye beam energy and then come in with a light saber and save the day. The Hoff gets punked in front of Stella and the icing is Akton letting everyone know that he's figured out where they need to go. Bonus: robot is dead.
  • Akton looks like Hoff. Curly hair. Same style of suit. So Akton isn't human and he's certainly trying to immitate humans: 
    • The Hoff is a good fighter? Welp then Akton better figure out the manly aggression thing and keep practicing by fighting Thor on every loop.
    • The Hoff on one loop must have used his sword fighting skills to beat the robots.....so yup, Akton has been getting good at that too. Endless loops of fighting cavemen to get better. Even better that he can establish himself as the sword guy so all eyes turn to him at the end.
  • Akton seems to really enjoy watching the suffering, confusing, etc. At 44:00 he's the one that disabled the ship and he just lets Elle and Stella waste time trying things and getting frustrated? Why?

So there we have it: 

  • Akton is constantly putting Stella in emotional distress and saving the day to develop some bond.
  • He wants to take Hoff's place but he has to be really careful because the overall mission must still be accomplished. Tricky stuff. Maybe that's why he was playing with his power's in the ship. NOTE: The _ship brain_ asks in a real judgemently tone "What is wrong with you?" when he's playing with his powres. She knows. She knows.
  • Akton still loses in the end. So what does he do? Just dips out to start the loop again. Stella says he can't die, true. Akton says not to worry cause he'll live forever, also true. Rest of the movie is fine but it's the B plot. Akton dipped out to do another loop and the A plot went with him.

 

- Went to see this live in Richmond, VA. Was very happy and very fortunate to grab a VIP ticket. I hope the trio remembers me as the only athletic six foot tall black nerd that awkardly shook thier hands and ran away.

#fan-for-life

 

 

Edited by Ari Ugwu
spelling is hard
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FYI I laughed really hard at the idea of Space Jean Valjean.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think the connection is to Guardians of the Galaxy, I think Starcrash is a prequel to The Greatest American Hero. School Teacher, Ralph Hinkley (later changed to Hanley because of John Hinkley Jr.'s attempt on Ronald Reagan's life) gets a red and black suit with a crazy amount of powers. But he doesn't have the manual so he doesn't know every power. Still, check out the link that allegedly attached. Mr. H bears a striking resemblance to Acton/Akron or whatever his name is. Both are curly-haired blondes in red and black costumes. I think the aliens who come down in the pilot of Greatest American Hero were inspired by Acton's unlimited powers and gave Mr. H the suit so he could do more good on earth. I'm also pretty sure Stephen J. Cannell was watching Starcrash when he got the idea for one of the most out there American TV shows of the last 40 years. 

 

Also, am I the only one who thinks George Lucas was like, "you know what, there was not enough skin in Star Wars. We're almost done with Empire, but when we get to Return of the Jedi I'm going gold bikini over black. Instead of taking a gorgeous woman and making her look like she's wearing a diaper, we're going to take a gorgeous woman and make her look great. It'll be  Halloween costume for years to come." Who knows?

 

Pics of Greatest American Hero

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Did anyone else notice the turntable turbolift at the beginning of the film? In the pre-title sequence, we see two soldiers get out of the rounded conveyance and walk down a hall of their ship. As they exit, another soldier gets on the “turntable-lift,” it does a quarter turn and the soldier gets off to walk down another hallway. Wouldn’t it just be easier to tear out the “turntable lift” and install a corner in the hallway instead?

The torpedoes with people inside remind me of the alien torpedo ships from Star Trek Beyond (another film that drew inspiration from Star Wars).

The kit bashing on this film makes the Satellite of Love from MST3K look like 2001: A Space Odyssey

 

 

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On 10/11/2019 at 9:51 AM, Cam Bert said:

Now this movie doesn't broach this issue like Star Wars does, but we are in a Galaxy with multiple languages. What if "Elle" has a serial number but it is written in an alien alphabet and number system. When Chief Thor acquirers him, he sees the serial number but can't read it. However, if the lighting is right and you are squinting at the right angle it looks like "Elle". So he just calls him "Elle."

So maybe his name was 3113 and Thor was reading upside down?

Speaking of upside down, I think George Lucas ripped off Star Crash with the Wampa scene and hanging someone by their feet.

Also, I'm waiting for Nundercover 2: Undercover Librarians starring June.

 

 

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20 hours ago, The_Triple_Lindy said:

It was the same thing with the snow planet, when Stella and Elle get back to the ship to learn that Thor had betrayed them -- the movie doesn't even so much as show the damn ship taking off, leaving them abandoned on the planet. Thor walks off screen, and then smash-cut to Stella laying down in the snow to die ... for all the audience knows, the ship is still right there out of frame.

 

I am glad you reminded me of this because it was one of the funniest things in the movie to me.  The ship WAS just right there out of frame.  Thor couldn't take off because Akton had sabotaged the ship.  But Stella and Elle made no attempt whatsoever to get inside.  As soon as Thor said that he had taken over the ship they immediately went to the option of lying in the snow for as far as they knew the next thousand years.  It makes me think that it is a known thing in this universe that locking your keys inside your spaceship is pretty much the absolute worst thing that can happen to you.

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On 10/12/2019 at 1:55 PM, Robert Denby said:

I think we should recognize that there are few names more entertaining than “Marjoe Gortner.”

That was a gift from his evangelical parents.  "Marjoe" is a mash-up of "Mary" and "Joseph."  (I was going to call it a portmanteau, but that name is an insult to portmanteaus.)

Though apparently his birth name is "Hugh," and "Marjoe" is his middle name.  "Hugh Gortner" is pretty impressive, though.   Sounds like the name of a bear-man from the 1950s who would die of a stroke on a golf course.

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14 hours ago, Ari Ugwu said:

This movie was fantastic. There is such a deep and troubling Groundhog Day meets Misery in space vibe going on.

The Facts:

  • Akton knows the future: Clearly. He states as much.
  • Akton is immortal: Chief Thor kills him around 36:40. Akton's eyes are open and he's on the ground. I'd assume Chief Thor knows a dead body when he sees one. More importantly, he stays down for awhile. Suggesting that when he dies he kind of 'resets' in place. Evidence that he's a kind of time being.
  • The ship is also a time being: She ask's Akton why he messes with his powrers and they share a sort of familiarity. I assume the ship brain's race has been enslaved by the Emporerf to power these ships. 
  • The Emperor is researching other time technology.

My theory: Messing with time is illegal and Akton is apart of whatever authority policies time and who has access to what technology. Whatever the Emperor is going is starting to get too advanced (i.e - being able to stop time on command). What Akton is doing is creating a scenario where the only option the Emperor has is to sacrifice all of his technology to win. That city is 'hope' as he calls it. Could he be trying to undo some major event for his people? So that's an A+ script.

The twist: Akton doesn't just know the future. He's lived this section of time on repeat trying to make these events happen and as a result four things have occured:

  • Akton is now a crazy person. Driven mad and is now stuck in a loop.
  • Akton believes the only way out of the loop is to take the place of the Prince.
  • Akton has fallen in love with Stella and fixates on her being an element. If he is to take the Prince's place then Stella should love him right?
  • For some reason Elle knows to much. He's the one that recommends using Akton. As a result Elle has to die.

Going deeper:

  • Akton puts Stella in danger constantly when there is no need except to show he can save the day:
    • Prison planet: Okay, but he lets her commit murder. Couldn't he have just told her to stay low cause he's working some inside contacts and they should be out in a few days? P.S - do not create a prison riot that costs many guards and prisoners thier lives?
    • Amazon planet: This is the fist time it seems Akton wants Elle dead. Send him to a planet where everyone hates robots but might be nicer to a strong woman? Bravo. P.S - More murder.
    • Ice planet: Okay, only reason to let these two go down is to once against demonstrate to Stella what an amazing hero Akton is. Also, hopefully the robot doesn't survive.
    • Caveman scenes: This one is pretty good. Let the prince use up all of his eye beam energy and then come in with a light saber and save the day. The Hoff gets punked in front of Stella and the icing is Akton letting everyone know that he's figured out where they need to go.
  • Akton looks like Hoff. Curly hair. Same style of suit. So Akton isn't human he's certainly trying to immitate humans: 
    • The Hoff is a good fighter? Welp then Akton better figure out the manly aggression thing and keep practicing by fighting Thor on every loop.
    • The Hoff on one loop must have used his sword fighting skills to beat the robots.....so yup, Akton has been getting good at that too. Endless loops of fighting cavemen to get better.
  • Akton seems to really enjoy watching the suffering, confusing, etc. At 44:00 or he's the one that disabled the ship and he just lets Elle and Stella waste time trying things and getting frustrated? Why?

So there we have it: 

  • Akton is constantly putting Stella in emotional distress and saving the day to develop some bond.
  • He wants to take Hoff's place but he has to be really careful because the overall mission must still be accomplished. Tricky stuff. Maybe that's why he was playing with his power's in the ship. NOTE: The _ship brain_ asks in real judgement tone "What is wrong with you?" when he's playing with his powres. She knows. She knows.
  • Akton still loses in the end. So what does he do? Just dips out to start the loop again. Stella says he can't die, true. Akton says not to worry cause he'll live forever, also true. Rest of the movie is fine but it's the B plot. Akton dipped out to do another loop and the A plot went with him.

 

- Went to see this live in Richmond, VA. Was very happy and very fortunate to grab a VIP ticket. I hope the trio remembers me as the only athletic six foot tall athletic black nerd that awkardly shook thier hands.

#fan-for-life

 

 

 

I think we've found our "Phonecall that sounds suspiciously familiar" post this week.

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One thing I'm surprised they never got into is how so many things are ripped off from Star Wars, but then they’re flipped between good and evil. It's like the laziest possible way to make them "totally different."

There's an all-black metallic character with no visible face that's more machine than man...but he's a good guy.

There's a space empire, run by an emperor...but they're both good.

There's a movement against this empire...but it's bad.


I'm sure there's more, including more that get away from the whole empire thing, but it's been a while since I saw this movie.

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I am finally caught up on the show! Unrelated to this unwatchable movie, twice now I have heard Jason say things that ended up being in Bigmouth. (The hat causing blisters, and a dad insinuating he eats pussy) is that purely coincidence or do you think this show impacts the other works you are involved in?

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At one point when they are going to the snowy planet, Akton says be careful because after sundown the planet gets thousands of degrees colder! Absolute zero (the coldest possible temperature) in Fahrenheit or Celsius  is less than -500. So are we to believe that this snowy planet is actually several thousand degrees? 

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Long time listener and first time caller (or words to that effect).  This piece of shit is right up my alley.  Cheesy scifi knockoffs are the best.  I actually watched this horror show on television when I was a child and I remember thinking it was pretty good.  Children are stupid.  Although you covered the (movie?) pretty well, there are some amazing behind the scenes facts I just had to share.  You can really dive into a rabbit hole researching this one.  There is a reason you sensed such amazing chemistry from Stella and Elle is because Caroline Munroe (who played Stella Star) actually was in a relationship with Judd Hamilton (who played Elle).  They recorded albums together and even got married.  The real story her though is our good pal Akton (played by Marjoe Gunter).  Marjoe was born to a fanatical, Pentecostal couple and was raised from birth to be an evangelist.  He was publicized as the world's youngest preacher and even presided over a wedding at the age of 4.  By his 20's he had become dissolutioned and decided to participate in a documentary which would expose the hypocrisy and deception of religion.  The documentary is called "Marjoe" (his name is a combination of Mary and Joseph).  You should really watch it.  Hard to describe just how crazy it is.  This also explains his mysterious persona and those hypnotic eyes.  Any of his movies are well worth the hdtgm treatment.  Lastly, the amazon queen was played by Nadia Cassini who actually was an Italian adult film star.  No wonder it gave you that feeling.

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I know this is kinda repeating something I said earlier but I do think the "we're not slaves" line from Stella Star is one of the funniest lines in the movie. Yes, Stella, you kinda are. See you committed multiple crimes and were found guilty by a court of Krangs. As a result you were sentenced to life in a hard labour penal colony. This is the good news bad news situation. Assuming Space prison has similar laws to the United States, once you are a prisoner you are now a ward of the state. This means they can not work you to death. They have to provide food and care for you. If the radiation does burn your skin off like you complain about they have to treat that. Unfortunately they are allowed to subject you to penal labour which as a form of unfree labour does make it "slave labour." You have the right to complain and register complaints but that doesn't mean they have to listen you. However this is your punishment for committing crimes and breaking the law  and as a result they are allowed to force you to work for 12 hours. However, if Space law is more like say North Korean law then you probably aren't afforded those rights and as a prisoner in a penal labour camp. In that case, yes you are a slave and they can do what they like with you. I'm sorry if you thought "hard" labour meant just a little light lifting.

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Have we discussed that her name is literally Star Star? Stella is the Latin for star.

Random fact about me I have a tattoo on my wrist that says Stella Fulgens which means Star Bright.

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17 minutes ago, gigi-tastic said:

Have we discussed that her name is literally Star Star? Stella is the Latin for star.

Random fact about me I have a tattoo on my wrist that says Stella Fulgens which means Star Bright.

And now on your other wrist...

lySJUpR.jpg

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1 hour ago, gigi-tastic said:

Have we discussed that her name is literally Star Star? Stella is the Latin for star.

Random fact about me I have a tattoo on my wrist that says Stella Fulgens which means Star Bright.

We should introduce her to “Manos: The Hands Of Fate.”

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4 hours ago, Robert Denby said:

We should introduce her to “Manos: The Hands Of Fate.”

Damn! You beat me to it.

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