Tagline: It’s Exactly Like Star Wars, Only Different
(Actually, there wasn’t a tagline so I supplied one worthy of the film.)
Year: 1979 Runtime: 103 min
Director: Alfonso Brescia
Writer: Alfonso Brescia, Massimo Lo Jacono, Giacomo Mazzocchi
Starring: Yanti Somer, Gianni Garko, Malisa Longo
All artists want to make money on their art. One way that filmmakers achieve this is by riding on the coattails of a more popular, and lucrative, film. For examples see: Roger Corman, The Asylum, or any Kung Fu film starring Bruce Le, Li, Lei, Lea or any other permutation of the spelling of Lee. Star Odyssey is a Spaghetti Star Wars film.
Like all good b-movies there was something within the first thirty seconds that let me know this was a winner: the supporting cast credits are alphabetized. Sort of.
- First title card:
- Al Elliot
- Caty Water
- Joseph Thorne
- Second title card:
- Phil Browne
- Tony Forster
- Phil Shelby
- Frank Weber
- Third title card:
- Max Right
- Robert Egan
- Steve Jordan
See what they did there? They couldn’t decide on whether to alphabetize by first name or last. Ah, man. If they couldn’t figure out that trivial detail…
Star Odyssey is the story of evil Lord of the Universe Kress who has purchased the Earth in a Space Auction™. Little does he know that the humans of Earth are not going to be taken into slavery so easily, not if Professor Morrie has anything to say about it.
As I mentioned at the top, most of Star Odyssey is in some way a Rent-a-Center version of Star Wars. The most egregious being the characters and Mental Force™.
- Lord Kress: Rent-a-Center Darth Vader without the helmet. Looks like his face was caught in a waffle iron.
- Professor Morrie. Rent-a-Center Obi Wan Kenobi. Can use Rent-a-Center version of the Force, Mental Force™.
- Hollywood: Rent-a-Center Luke Skywalker. Lieutenant in the Space Military. Sweet mustache (Actually everyone in the film has a sweet mustache. Who was the casting agency, the police department?) Aside from that a total doofus. Always posing. Seriously. Hands on his hips, chest puffed out, posing. This guy makes the actors in the old Doctor Who shows look like Marlon Brando.
- Dirk Laramie: Rent-a-center Han Solo. Also has Mental Force™ so I guess he’s part Luke, too.
- Irene: Rent-a-Center Princess Leia. Dirk/Hollywood love interest. Also a plot device allowing Morrie to get kidnapped at just the right wrong time.
- Tilt & Tilly: Rent-a-center C3PO’s. Male and female, respectively. Product of a drunken night threesome between a retarded Cybermen, a teletubby and Howard the Duck. To top them off, quite literally, is a Xmas tree star. Lurv struck idiots. All they do is complain like a bitter old couple.
- Space Aryans™: Rent-a-Center Storm Troopers. Lord Kress’s minions. Gold Space Suits with Prince Valiant hair. They’re actually androids. They fight with Rent-a-center light sabers. Well, not really fight. They are terrible swordsmen. They have one move: over-the-head strike. This attack is instantly parried and then they’re cut down with a gut/back slash. EVERY SINGLE ONE!
Mental Force Powers:
- Persuade – great for suckering simple minded idiots into doing your bidding, which includes getting Hollywood to help with Morrie’s scheme.
- Telekenesis – great for cheating a Space Plinko™.
- Telepathy – great for opening one particular door on Kress’s ship.
- Feel Presence – great plot device to make Kress aware of Morrie.
- Xray Vision – great for cheating at Space Poker™.
- Net – great plot device to hold Kress’s ship from leaving while finishing off the secret weapons.
- Acceleration Disrupt – unnecessary plot device. Kress’s fighters are faster than Earth’s fighters. Morrie uses this to slow down the enemy’s ships to even the field.
What they should have borrowed was a book from the library on how to write. And edit. Right in the middle of collecting the team, the movie goes off the rails. I think the editor dropped the script and put it back together out of order. Scenes that should have come earlier are thrown in willy-nilly:
- Introduce Dirk at the Space Casino™ playing cards. He uses the Mental Force Xray Vision™ to read the other players cards. Oh, so this is why Dirk was in this heretofore random place and why these heretofore random guys want to beat him up for taking their money.
- Space Command freaking out because the automatic defense systems do not work on the UFO (which is pronounced OO-fo). Space Commander calls for an analysis of the video to determine what the UFO’s made of in the hopes there is some way to fight it. Oh, so that’s how they know what Kress’s ship is made of.
- Lords of the Universe Space Auction™. Kress purchases the Earth for $100 million credits. Oh, so that’s what Kress meant when he mentioned that he bought the Earth.
They probably could have edited it back together properly, but that would cost money, and they had already gone over budget, $13.78, on the make-up for the Lords of the Universe. Instead it’s just back to the regularly scheduled program like nothing just happened.
As for the story, the plot revolves around Morrie and his team coming up with a weakness in enderium. Enderium is the indestructible space material of the future that all of evil Lord Kress’s ships are made of. Can they do it? Yeah. Duh! Morrie has an intelligence which puts him “two centuries ahead of everyone” on Earth. Kress is only a “couple hundred centuries” more advanced that Earth. Pssssshhh! He doesn’t stand a chance. And before you get all bent out of shape that I’ve spoiled the movie, I haven’t. The magic is all about how they get there. And I’ll do you one better ‘cos I’m such a nice guy. You can watch the whole movie here for free.
Oh, and your welcome for the earworm in the main photo above.
Watch the trailer for “Star Odyssey”