Saturday, September 01, 2012

Adventures with Netflix

Not too long ago, I acquired an internet-capable Blu-Ray player. I figured it was only a matter of time before they stopped releasing movies on DVD altogether, and it can play DVD’s so I figured, “What the hell? Why not?” 

An aside: That’s nothing new. I make a lot of decisions that way. With decidedly mixed results.

At any rate, along with the player I also acquired a subscription to Netflix. Their streaming-only service is only $8 a month, and contains literally thousands of movies and TV shows to watch.

It also contains a few surprises.

One of those surprises came as I was recently flipping through a list of available movies. I came across an old sci-fi flick called Starcrash.

Here’s the description: “Sexy space smuggler Stella Starr (alliterate much?) and her partner Akton set out on a mission to save the son of the emperor of the Galaxy in this racy sci-fi flick.”

I thought, “Now this I gotta see.” So I queued it up.

Roughly 90 minutes later, I was curled up in a ball on the floor, vomiting my guts out and begging for mercy. OK, not really, but I wanted to.

This. Was. A. BAD. Movie.

Seriously. If this had been made today, it would have hit the straight-to-video market faster than the 15th sequel to Rocky.

Released not too long after the first Star Wars film (which is actually the fourth sequentially, but don’t get me started), the movie was a shameless attempt to cash in on the genre’s new popularity. I suppose it succeeded, if by “succeeded” you mean “hopelessly failed”.
There are many elements familiar to SW fans: One of the lead characters is a robot (who inexplicably speaks with a hillbilly accident) who looks like the love child of C-3PO and the robot from Forbidden Planet.  (Seriously. Look it up. I'm getting tired of telling you people I ain't your damn search engine!) Another character has mysterious supernatural power (including the power to deflect laser beams) and fights with a laser sword (can you say "lightsaber"?)

But the best part is the main character, Stella Starr, played by Caroline Munro. She was never in any danger of winning any acting awards to begin with. She spends more than half of the movie decked out in a skimpy leather bikini. She also wears an outfit that doesn't offer much more protection than said bikini whilst wandering about a planet that gets so cold at night that the air freezes solid.

The movie also stars a pre-"Knight-rider", pre-"Baywatch", pre-"drunktard on youtube" David Hasselhoff. Who showed even less acting talent than in any of his subsequent shows.

The worst part is Christopher Plummer, the Oscar-winning actor. He has had a fine career in Hollyweird. He is well-respected. And he spends the entire movie wearing an expression that says, "What the hell am I doing being in this movie?!"

The special effects are horrid. I could have made a better show with a cardboard box and a flashlight.

I used to think that the problem with Hollyweird was that they had run out of original ideas. I now know that they began to run out of original ideas decades ago. It just took a while for the problem to become painfully obvious.

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