Friday, November 25, 2011

Star Odyssey

Star Odyssey( aka Sette uomini d'oro nello spazio)
Alfonso Brescia

Every once in a while a film comes along that simply makes you sit up and look in awe at what’s unfolding on the screen. The world falls away and for a single moment in time, that film is the whole of your existence. You are a part of its narrative and it a part of you.

This film is nothing like that, but it does have a weird guy in a leotard boxing a robot.

During the late 70’s Alfonso Brescia, or as he was listed on several films, “Al Bradley” created a quintet of science-fiction films. The best known of these is probably War of the Robots (1978) and War of the Planets (1977), which have shown up on countless cheapo DVD sets. The other three: Battle of the Stars (1978), Star Odyssey, and Beast in Space (1980) are largely forgotten. Battle of the Stars has never been translated into English and Beast in Space doesn’t get mentioned presumably because it’s about a robot satyr with a huge rubber boner.

All of these films reused costumes, sets, actors and even entire scenes, which makes them all sort of blur together in memory. There’s even some confusion on IMDB regarding which film is which. All of these films pilfer not only from themselves but other popular films of the time; Star Wars (1977), spaghetti westerns, and of course the Star Trek series. Out of all of them, Star Odyssey is easily the least coherent and that is not helped one bit by the fact that every DVD and rip seems sourced from the same print which has a reel out of order.

The plot is this (and I swear I’m not making it up): Aliens purchase earth at a gigantic space auction and show up in their blonde wigs, so they can start stealing all the dark skinned people they can find. An old scientist with psychic powers sends his daughter to find a mind reading gambler so that they can free some criminals, hire the aforementioned robot boxer and rebuild the stupidest looking robots ever put on the screen. This somehow ends ups with a gigantic space battle and really lame lightsaber...ahem excuse me... light sword battle.

The print that exists is muddy mess, but even if this film was cleaned up and had a fresh 2k scan, I doubt it would look much better. This is cheap cash-in cinema at its finest, and it is an aesthetic you either grow to love or it turns you off forever.

I can’t express enough love for this film; it just keeps piling on more and more ridiculous moments until you can’t possibly believe they can top themselves with something even dumber. And then it happens... early on in the film when our heroes have rebuilt a male and female robot couple to assist them, we discover that the robots had previously killed themselves in a suicide pact for reasons they can’t remember. They have their big reveal at the end, and it’s so stupid you’ll either love this movie forever or wish you had never encountered the world of Mr. Brescia.

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