Has anyone seen the R2 StarCrash?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul_Scott, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    came out last month in France.
    wondering about the A/V quality- supposedly its anamorphic.
    also- how distracting are the non removable subs?
  2. Kyle Tippett

    Kyle Tippett Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 25, 2003
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    Hey Paul, a friend of mine (also Paul) is slittign his wrists to get ahold of a copy of Star Crash on disc, can you post a direct link to where its up for sale?

  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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  4. jon petitjean

    jon petitjean Auditioning

    Jan 1, 1999
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    Short review of the Starcrash R2 DVD:

    1. Picture:
    16x9 anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1)
    Quality is not so good. Looks like they used a VHS for
    a master. Dirt and scratches all over the print, however
    this may be the best the film will ever look unless
    someone like Blue Underground gets their hands on it.

    2. Audio:
    Again not so good. Some very noticeable drop-outs throughout. I only viewed the english 2.0 track. I was able to remove the French subtitles on my PC but have not tried it on a stand alone player.

    3. Extras:
    A few documentaries. OK I suppose as long as you speak Italian or French.

    I can't say that I recommend this release but it may be the only version on DVD for a long time.
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    sad to hear.
    thanks for chiming in Jon.

    unfortunately i don't think BU would ever be able to release this title, tho i'm sure they would like to.
    i've heard that the rights are problematical now (for what reason i can't comprehend) and barring that, the title is still owned by Roger Corman, who should have seen the expliotation possibilities of it by now.
    even if he does get this out (before sept would be the perfect time to exploit this title), New Concorde is still a slipshod, bargin basement outfit so i doubt the disc would look any better than what you are seeing now.

    bad news all around today- this is just a little more for the pot [​IMG]
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    well, my copy finally came in and i spent most of the night going thru it.
    i feel a bit chagrined as i haven't watched the film in a while.
    i've always known it was a bad movie-even as a kid in the theater i had no illusions about it- in fact as i was re-watching it last night on a much bigger screen than i have ever seen it on save that one showing in the theater 25 yrs ago, i started to remember i didn't actually like the film as a kid- what i liked was ridiculing how cheesy & inept it was.
    i guess somewhere down the line, irrational nostalgia convinced me i had always been fond of the film despite its lack of merits.
    i know better now.

    as far as the disc quality goes-
    i would have to agree with Jon and others in that the transfer does not appear to have been any recent digital master of a theatrical print.
    i would guess it was either an old master intended for a PAL video tape edition, or in a longshot, an actual commercial PAL tape off the shelf.
    the only reason i would consider the latter is because for one brief second i saw the kind of glitch i would normally associate with physical damage to one of my VHS tapes.
    it only lasts a split second.

    now, in general the quality of the image is not great.
    there are several large problems the most noticeable is what looks to be PAL-NTSC ghosting.
    i don't know if that is actually what it is (why would it be since the origin of the master was definitely not NTSC?).
    during the opening pan of one of the ships, the name on the ship ( Murray Leistner) is almost impossible to read because of the temporal trailing.
    in addition ot this ghosting, the actual print used for this out of date master was in pretty bad shape.
    at times there is enough damage to the image to bring to mind Images recent R1 Invaders From Mars.
    lots of dirt, a few frame jumps, etc.
    also the non digital nature of the transfer displays many of the qualities you would associate with analog- slight color fringing, the 'smear' on the edges of objects (which actually ends up looking like a milder form of edge enhancement), and in certain shots that are saturated in colored lights (a few shots of the claw ship, and one interior bathed in red 'danger' lighting) the picture loses considerable detail and you can see the appearance of analog noise.
    i must say though, that while i have the impression of this being an analog master- i never saw that really obvious telltale analog 'shimmer' to the image that you would find on a bootleg or homemade DVD-r using a conventional vhs tape as source.
    and i also have to believe that as weak as this disc looks, had this been put out by Cormans New Concorde in R1, it would most likely be non-anamorphic (if not cropped), and the would look even worse as a result.
    the master and print are weak here, but from what i can tell, the encoding and authoring of the disc is actually quite good.
    the bottom line is that the disc itself introduces no artifacts or problems.
    its a fine replication of a very flawed source.

    as for the audio- for the most part the English mono track is tinny and becomes distorted frequently.
    in addition there are 4 loud pops/scratch/shrieks on the soundtrack at various points in the film, that gave me great concern for the safety of my speakers.
    i flipped around and the French DTS track actually sounds worse the limited fidelity of the original tracks are wholly insufficent to create any kind of expansive 5 channel re-master from- although it was interesting to hear that in France they had dubbed Elle to sound more like Darth Vader).
    The Pal speed up does change the familiar sound of Elles voice a bit, and Marjoe Gortner doesn't come across particularly well either, but it wasn't a hard difference to get used to.
    so on the whole, in its own way the audio is just as deficient as the video.

    no this is not the transfer i was hoping for, but the thing is...i actually didn't mind very much after all (and i am usually pretty anal when it comes to this- its usually very difficult to watch bad discs projected on a big screen).
    in some ways though, this seem perfectly consistent with this films charms to begin with.
    while i would never accept this level of quality with something like Star Wars or even The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad (a film Cozzi admits inspired Starcrash as much if not more than Star Wars), for this particular film it somehow seems more appropriate.

    i have seen a pst on one of the newsgroups that commented that Blue Underground was looking into trying to release this, but i wouldn't put much much faith in that.
    i would also have to wonder just how good this particular film ever could look.
    many shots are loaded with optical composites which would compound the grain, the film is now 25 yrs old and was never given much respect anyway so finding decent surviving elements to create a new master from would be a daunting chore.
    no this is probably the best the film will look for a long time, and as someone who has been rabidly clamouring for its release on dvd- i'm thankful for it all the same.
    after seeing the film agian, i would now have to admit, any improvements int he A/V would have to be substantial before i would worry about upgrading.
    this is just an inept, inane film from top to bottom and no amount of surface polish is going to ever make it truly compelling viewing on its own.

    i went thru the features and the gallery consists of a wealth of world wide film posters, lobby cards (the images on which startle because they look so dramatically sharper than any actual scene from the film on this disc) and some small cheesecake shots of Ms Munro.
    there is an interview with Cozzi interspersed with some scenes from his films a few minutes of which is in English.
    the Making Of feature is 3 generation VHS quality (from the early 80s, late 70s most likely) and looks like a public access production.
    amazingly it opens with clips from the 1933 King Kong- why i have no idea.
    the show is mostly talking head material with a younger Cozzi along with, apparently some members of the crew.
    we get to see BTS footage of Munro during the beach escape from the prison planet and footage of the Amazons, including what must be one of the producers getting some publicity photos taken with the scantily clad thespians.
    also there is some short B&W footage of Caroline being interviewed on her second day of filming by what looks to be the Italian Rona Barrett.
    the questions are in Italian, but Munros answers are in English.
    the Trailer is a French tailer whose images tend to look as shopworn as the actual feature, but have a little more stability as it lacks the 'analog' look of the main feature-although some of the colors are now faded or way off.

    it also should be noted that the opening text crawl as well as the credits are all in French.

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