26th Jun2015

‘Starship Eros’ DVD Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

(1979, dir: Scott McHaley)
“A probing of sensual space…”

s-e-cast

We are thrown in to the future. 1995 to be exact! We join the all female crew of the Feminist Regime Starship Eros headed by big haired Commander Venus, played by Lily Rogers (Indecent Exposure). Her crew consist of the cute and sex starved newcomer, Executive Officer Moon, played by Becky Savage (Sexloose), the nearly as cute Communications Officer Bev, played by Beth Evans (in her only starring role) and their part human / part not quite C-3PO robot assistant Quasar, played by Mike Ranger (Taboo). The new Executive Officer makes quite an ‘impression’ on her new colleagues. Even good ol’ Quasar gets to experience her credentials hands on, even if there are the occasional wiring problems (robots can suffer too!).

After the usual greetings, the team embark on their Search and Destroy mission, involving a ship piloted by raging lesbian Amazoids! Even with such an important mission ahead of her, Moon can’t help but make the most of her new robotic companion, so much so that this leads to a punishment (I think) at the hands of Commander Venus. It makes Princess Leia’s enslavement look like child’s play… Ok, maybe not! After her punishment, the crew manage to track the damaged (oh, there was an uneventful dogfight by the way) Amazoid ship to a nearby planet. Before the crew of Starship Eros have chance to land, they manage to beam up Megan, the Amazoid captain from the ship before it explodes. Naturally, they interrogate her and show her what a man is like (poor Quasar, you’ll know when you see Megan!). Yep, more ‘torture’ ensues! Oh well, at least Quasar’s wiring problem gets sorted out and hey! Megan becomes a new member of the crew! Not even Star Trek showed us this much unity!

All in all, Starship Eros is an entertaining piece of hardcore sci-fi that is blatantly (some may say poorly) cashing in on the Star Wars and Star Trek boom of the time. McHaley has written and directed a fairly solid, if not obscenely simple story that plays second fiddle to the hardcore elements directed by producer Wesley Emmerson (Foreplay). That being said, it’s clear that the story wasn’t just thumbed in after hard scenes were shot. The sex, although seemingly dominating the runtime, work well within the film and are done to a high standard. If you have ever wanted to see a glorified C-3PO halloween costume getting down, you’re gonna get a laugh from the scenes he stars in. Personally, I could have done with more Quasar, but oh well.

Arguably the stars of the show are actually the special effects and miniatures created by McHaley and K.M. Kemper. Although crude and nowhere near as good as what we would see from the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars, they do add a level of scope to the film and add production value. The aesthetic elements of the film as a whole are impressive and are captured nicely by Pablo Lepell’s (Weekend Fantasies) cinematography. All of the charm can be found within those elements. The score (I’m guessing a collection of library tracks) is the icing on the cake. As far as low budget (the film was shot within a few days in a basement) hardcore sci-fi goes, this is an enjoyable and competent enough effort. Not bad for a directorial debut from a stuntman!

Starship Eros is available on DVD as part of a double feature with Fast Cars Fast Women from Vinegar Syndrome.

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