“I mean, this is like Star Wars meshed with Porky’s.”
— Robert Freese of Videoscope and Rue Morgue
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . lost somewhere between Luigi Cozzi’s Starcrash and the Canadian Star Wars rip Starship Invasions . . . this is the tale of Princess Belle Star’s action-filled Escape from Galaxy 3!
And you know what? This tale of Princess Belle Star (remember, the heroine in Starcrash was Stella Star) making her Princess Leia-like escape from the destruction of her home planet at the hands of the Z-Grade Ming the Merciless wanna-be in the mighty Oraclon (played by Don Powell, whose space garb reminds of George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic getups) is one of my all time-favorites.
With the help of a curly-haired hero, Lithan (who looks a lot like Marjoe Gortner’s Akton from Starcrash), they escape to a mysterious, blue planet—a primitive Earth thousands of years in the past. Of course, to the Roman hippie-primitives rejected by casting from an episode TV’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the strange visitors from the skies are gods—who soon discover they’ve acquired Superman-like powers in Earth’s atmosphere. And Belle and Lithan discover the joys of shooting laser beams from their hands, and the pleasures of food . . . and sex . . . and nudity . . . and disco dancing.
And who’s responsible for this so-bad-it’s-good Star Wars dropping rife with bad dialog and worse high-tech jargon (“. . . fire the uranium vapor rockets!” “. . . engage the hyper solar missile systems!”) that would give Glen Larson’s Battlestar Galactica cheese-writers pause?
Huh? No way! Not Adalberto “Bitto” Albertini?
Not the dude from the infamous Italian soft-core sexploitation “classics” Black Emanuelle (1975) Black Emanuelle 2 (1976)? Hey, wait a minute . . . that’s where I saw that Parliament/Funkadelic space emperor before! I knew he looked familiar!
(Be sure to check out Sam’s review of Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, along with the backstory on the Emanuelle film cycle.)
Now, if you made it this far and still haven’t figured it out from looking at this article’s banner and all of the Starcrash references: Escape from Galaxy 3 pilfers all of its effects shots from Luigi Cozzi’s 1978 Star Wars rip-off, leading this pasta-turkey to also be distributed as Starcrash 2. In other markets, it was retitled as Galaxia—to possibly confuse it with Dorothy Stratton’s sex-space comedy, Galaxina? Who knows what goes on in the minds of distributors?
All I know is that EG3 is cheesy-fun . . . and Sherry Buchanan, from the Gialli What Have they Done to Your Daughters (1974), the Spielberg rip, Eyes Behind the Stars (1978), the Jaws rip-off Tentacles (1977), and the stomach-turner Zombie Holocaust (1980) gives me a “Garth Algar,” you know, like when you climb the rope in gym class.
Fellow EG3 fan and B&S contributor Robert Freese, takes a second, deeper look into the production back story of his review of the film as part of its inclusion on Mill Creek’s Sci-Fi Invasion box set. It’s a great read to learn how this mess came to exist . . . from the lips of Luigi Cozzi, himself! But it’s a mess we love, Lou!
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker was released theatrically on December 20 in the United States.