Thursday, June 4, 2015

Star Knight - 1985

Also known originally as "El caballero del dragon" which translates exactly to "The Dragon Man", this is an unheard of film included on MY NEW BOXSET Sci Fi Invasion:
Yes, it does say 50 movies, and yes, I do have plans on watching them all.  But no, I'm not going to marathon it.  In fact, I've seen many of these before.  I'm looking at the actors there listed on the bottom of the boxset and I can tell you what movies they're in, cause they're the ones I've seen:
Mark Hamill and Bill Paxton in Slipstream, Jesse Ventura is Abraxas, uh, okay, I'm not going to check the rest of that, fuck it.  The most WTF movie on this boxset is The Brother From Another Planet, directed by John Sayles, which I have seen and although I guess it's Sci Fi, it's barely that and more of an indie comedy.

This movie, Star Knight, is a Spanish production (think Spain, not Mexico) that stars Klaus Kinski and Harvey Keitel.  Man, those guys (specially Harvey) were pretty name actors, why didn't they make the cover of the DVD box?!  I also did not know that Klaus Kinski was in this when I randomly selected it to watch first, so that was an unexpected bonus.  I chose this disc first because it had the most movies on it I'd already seen:  1983's Extraterrestrial Visitors and 1989's Slipstream.  Then it has Night Fright from 1967, which I am about 40 minutes into currently.

Star Knight was a weird one to start this set off with.  I made a mistake, in other words.  It's a fucking sword and sorcery movie, first of all.  I was about 10 minutes in and already thinking of changing it to something else, but Klaus Kinski convinced me otherwise.  He plays a wizard, and Harvey Keitel plays some other loyal server to the king or something I think.  I don't remember what Keitel was supposed to be.  Whatever.  The princess runs away, despite rumors of a dragon nearby, and goes swimming, and disappears into the lake.  Her servant that went with the princess comes back swearing the dragon took her, but we don't know if she's lying or what.  Then the next time we see the princess, she is with some weird guy in a bizarre suit and a helmet like an astronaut.
As it turns out, this guy is an alien, and people just think his UFO is a dragon.  This dude, known as Ix, communicates only by telepathy, and his language is weird whale-songs.  It's a very strange moment, because at one point or several, I was pretty buzzed while I watched this and downed a 32 ounce Bud Ice, and I had no clue what was going on.  The movie is slightly confusing but you get it pretty soon and 45 minutes in you know what you're watching.  It's just the editing and the lack of explanation at first make it strange.

Anyways, the princess and Ix hang out and they fall in love, while in the meantime all the kings horses and all the kings men pursue the dragon.  Klaus Kinski eventually finds her first and comes to understand what's going on.  Then in the weirdest finale ever, Harvey Keitel touches Ix's helmet, somehow that makes him wear the suit pictured above instead of Ix, and then Harvey and the king randomly appear on Ix's spaceship floating out to space?!  WHAT?  So they die then?  Cause last I checked they didn't know how to fly a spaceship and they don't know where they're going....

Like Extraterrestrial Visitors, this somehow gets roped into that plethora of strange, disturbing kids movies made by other countries.  It's not like it's scary or has violence, but it's just so wtf and it does have nudity (small amount).  But who else would this be for???  The comedy is stupid and awful, the sword and sorcery stuff is done tongue and cheek, the whole thing feels very light and childish.  Plus, normal people could not take this movie seriously for a second.  Now, I personally couldn't care less about kids, so go ahead, show them this movie.  If they grow up to be serial killers, maybe it was just coincidence.

I guess I do have to say though that this movie leaves one hell of an impression, and obviously I didn't hate it.  It's not some boring nonsense like so many foreign films.  In fact it reminds me a lot of 1983's Extraterrestrial Visitors.  If you don't know that movie, it is also known as Pod People and was riffed on by MST3K.  It's a ripoff of E.T. from Spain, and it's all sorts of kooky weirdness.  By the way why is the word kooky so similar to the word cookie?

I could probably talk about this movie a lot more, but I'll spare you the time and just say, I would actually recommend it.  In a weird way.  If you're in a bizarre mood, definitely if you're smoking the reefer or drinking, and if you like cheesy childish sci fi.  My perfect Saturday morning always calls for a movie like this, it brings me back to when I was a kid and watching some weird ass movie like The Manitou (yes, I saw that as a child, and yeah, it frightened the fuck out of me).

I'll give it a generous 2.5 stars.  I might watch this again, if I'm looking for fun.  The pacing kinda sucks, though, so there's other far better things out there.

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