Directed by: Roger Christian
Starring: John Tarrant, Deep Roy, Donogh Rees and Cassandra Webb
Length: 90 min.
Released: April 4, 1987
Watch it on YouTube…if you dare.
Things are not going well on the mining planet Ordessa: the conditions are awful, the workers are disgruntled and the management is cracking down by using killer security robots. Only the underground resistence movement, led by Lorca, has a chance of turning around the brutal regime, but the management has hired Danny the bounty hunter to track him and his followers down. Will any of them stand a chance against the brutal hunter and his robot assistants?
To say that this movie was painful to watch would be the understatement of the year for me. Chances are most of you have never heard of this little gem of science-fiction…and you are all the better for it, believe me. I wasn’t able to find a trailer for this one to post above…but I did you all one better. It’s the entire film in 9min. segments on YouTube free for you to torture yourself as long as you like. I can imagine the average person will not make it through the first segment. I won’t fault you for that.
So, how did I come across this wondrous piece of forgotten sci-fi history on glorious VHS hi-fi Mono? That’s a story in itself. Lets just say that through this blog I am fulfilling a promise made to a friend that I would watch this treacherous film and then give my thoughts on how bad (or maybe not so bad) it was. I was wondering when I would end up picking this one to watch. I knew it would happen eventually, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Oh well, I guess it’s best to just get it out of the way.
So here goes. Starship…on the back of the box in the description of the film it states that it is done in the spirit of Blade Runner and “George Lucas’ star films.” If these films are in the same family then Starship is the crazy uncle who’s usually drunk or high at family reunions and no one wants to talk to him cause they have no idea what he’s talking about or where he’s going with the conversation. All you’re thinking is, “When is this guy going to leave?”
Sci-fi/Fantasy movies in general are hard to get started. When Star Wars first came out Lucas had a hard time selling it to various film companies because the average person isn’t going to get the mythology unless you build it well. You have to set up the foundation of an entirely new world and the dynamics of what is and isn’t acceptable in that world. That’s not an easy thing to do…and Starship is a perfect example of doing it all wrong. I mean, there is a robot army and an underground rebel human army fighting. Okay, but the audience is bound to have questions. Like, what are they fighting for? The robots are oppressive I guess…but why? What are the “rebel” forces fighting for? Why do all the “robots” look like Asian people? You know stuff like that. The entire story isn’t believable because it has more questions then answers.
In addition all the “special” effects are just sad. Was it low budget?… extremely! But so was Star Wars Episode IV. I almost want to say, “Thank God Star Wars eventually came out and proved you can make a good sci-fi movie on a low budget.” But this movie came out (in Germany) 3 years after the last Star Wars movie. Then it went to the UK and eventually cam to the US in 1987. I’m shocked that it made it that far. With Star Wars as the standard I’m amazed it left Germany at all.
And lets not forget that unbelievable soundtrack. This is another example where most sci-fi films through the 80s got it all wrong. In the future there apparently aren’t any more orchestras…or guitars…or any real instruments of any kind. There is supper cheesy Casio keyboard synthesizer laser sounds that are thrown together and called a “score.” It’s a movie people…not a 16 bit video game (Super Nintendo). Use some real instruments. It just gets ear-splitting distracting after a while.
This one was so bad. Eventually I stopped paying attention. I lost interest. I stopped caring. I found it more entertaining watching our cats chase each other around the room trying to pounce on each other. Really, it was just bad. It was like eating a poop sandwich. Afterword I had to watch some of my favorite scenes from Star Wars just to “wash out” the “bad taste” and remind myself that there is good science-fiction out there. If I could give a film negative stars I would…but I don’t do that. So I’m going to give it 0 out of 5 stars. You can watch it on YouTube and make up your own mind if you want, But seriously, I’ve seen films on YouTube made with Legos that had a better story, special effects and music.