Saturday, July 28, 2012

Starcrash, aka Female Space Invaders (1978)

Created in the wake of the huge success of Star Wars, Luigi Cozzi's 1978 film Starcrash is a low budget sci-fi saga that borrows from earlier genre movies but for me still succeeds as a highly entertaining popcorn flick.

As space smuggler Stella Star, Caroline Munro gets involved with a mission to destroy Count Zarth Arn's (Joe Spinell) planet sized super weapon before it can be used. There's a bit more to it but that encapsulates the story. Other familiar faces include: Christopher Plummer, Marjoe Gortner, David Hasselhoff, and the hulking, bald Robert Tessier.

The film moves quickly and throws all sorts of effects at the viewer with the stop motion and miniatures both endearingly effective in spite of the budget constraints. The skimpy ensembles worn by Caroline Munro offer additional visual excitement.

the trailer

the feature

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hardcore (1979)

Released in 1979, writer/director Paul Schrader's Hardcore first presented itself to me for viewings during multiple showings on cable television movie channels in the early 80s.

Like many of Schrader's films, it's a sometimes heavy handed and tough movie filled with heavily conflicted and damaged individuals. The film quickly changes locations from a dark, snow covered small town in the American Midwest to the sun saturated, unmitigated perversion of California.

George C. Scott chews the scenery a bit portraying a very religious businessman who travels this distance to find his daughter, who has gone missing from a school trip, and is presumed to have gone to work in the pornographic trade. Much like The Searchers, he ventures into hostile territory to rescue his "kidnapped" child, only instead of Indians, it is sleazy pornographers and pimps he must confront.

Scott provides a powerful lead, who conveys a rising, violent rage that eventually erupts. Other standouts in the cast include Peter Boyle as a private investigator who is truly of dubious intent and quality as well as Season Hubley (at that time, just about to marry Kurt Russell) as a sympathetic and helpful sex worker.

The heavy 1970s vibe is a real plus as well, with much of the film's set design and clothing (check out Scott's getup when he goes undercover!) evoking that era. If you're curious, check it out below.

the tv trailer

the movie

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Super Fuzz (1980)

It's been years since I last viewed Sergio Corbucci's 1980 Super Fuzz (aka Super Snooper) on vhs. Terence Hill stars as Officer Dave Speed, a character who gains super powers after being exposed to a nuclear explosion. The late Ernest Borgnine plays his put upon sergeant. And you can't forget about the infectious theme song from The Oceans. Good stuff.

the trailer

the movie

the theme song