“Sam, Star Knight is mine.”
“Yeah, I know. Klaus Kinski. Already penciled you in. But no Seinfeld sidebars, please.”
“Point taken. But this was shot in Spain with native actors, so I doubt there’s any connection to an American sitcom.”
“Well, in Season 8: Episode 21: “The Muffin Tops” Newman does a parody of Harvey Keitel’s The Cleaner from Pulp Fiction, as he helps Elaine get rid of the errant muffin tops from the bakery she opened.
“Review the damn movie, R.D.”
When the home video boom hit in the ’80, West Hollywood-based Chicago Teleproductions decided to get out of the TV business and into the film business as Cine Tel Films, which still exists to this day.
One of their first acquisitions was this Spain-produced sci-fi adventure that owes it’s life more to Superman ’78 (with dashes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and a soupçon E.T.) than Star Wars, as was the case with most of the ’80’s star junk that was coming out of Italy and Spain, such as the Richard “Jaws” Keil and Barbara Bach-starring The Humanoid and Luigi Cozzi’s Star Crash. And as with those two precursors, Star Knight (aka El caballero del dragón, aka The Knight of the Dragon), thanks to Cine Tel Films, ended up at my local duplex in 1986, back in the days when you’d get a new Euro-space oddity once a week.
Of course, not all of those Star Wars droppings starred Harvey Keitel (Saturn 3) and Klaus Kinksi (Creature). And before there was an Eric Roberts, there was a Fernando Rey, who, across his 150-plus credits, went from international acclaim through his ’60s works with surrealist director Luis Buñuel (Simon of the Desert) and domestic stardom with William Friedkin’s The French Connection — to this.
And what is it? Well, it’s a Lois Lane loves Superman romance with a love-struck Lex Luthor.
Keitel is Klever, the kingdom’s top knight who aspires for full knighthood; Kinski is Boetius, the faithful alchemist who aspires for the secrets to turn lead into gold; and Rey is the king’s nefarious court priest, who believes Alba is possessed by the Devil (and probably wants to “Mark of the Devil” it out of her).
Of course, Kinski’s off his usual nut, drawing incantation-scawled pentagrams on the floor and “praying for an angel to come” to bestow him the secrets to turn lead into gold. And his prayer is answered — in the form of an an “adult”-starring film vehicle for Spanish musician and ex-teen idol Miguel Bosé (a huge star throughout Italy, Spain, Southern Europe and Latin America) as “The Star Knight,” aka, the speechless IX.
Of course, as is the case with all ancient astronauts of the Erich von Daniken variety, the Ezekielian space ship is a “dragon from the sky” that lives in the lake and whisked away Princess Alba, along with an assortment of goats and chickens, because, well XI’s on a long, lone mission to catalog the galaxy’s flora and fauna. And the citizen’s refuse to pay their taxes until the “dragon” is slain. And Keitel’s “straight out of Brooklyn” knight is dispatched to kill the dragon, restore order, and collect those taxes.
But since XI has been without female companionship for some time, he finds an unspoken love with Alba. So Keitel and Rey plot to “kill the devil” so Keitel can win back Alba’s heart. Kinski, meanwhile, is the good guy this time (?), who protects XI and assures love conquers all.
Unlike the utterly inept (but loved) Escape from Galaxy 3, the other Ezekielian ancient astronaut romp on this Mill Creek set, Star Knight has excellent production values in its sets and costuming (especially XI’s Kryptonian spaceship interiors and space suit) and the acting from the mostly Spanish they’re-somebody-over-there-and-nobody-to-us-here-to-us-yanks cast is above par.