Like THE SILENT STAR, IN THE DUST OF THE STARS is another swinging sci-fi epic from East Germany, this time from 1976.
It plays like a sexed-up Star Trek, with decadent orgies and full frontal shower scenes. Location filming in Romania allows this sculpture park to stand in for an alien planet.
With the wild colours and “debauched” parties, there’s a hint of the Glenn Larson Buck Rogers TV show too, though this is more fun and more interesting.
Say what you like about the Evil Empire, their vision of the future was at least as campy as that of Hollywood. SOLARIS might be pretty po-faced, but this stuff is delirious and dizzy. Pour yourself some Tang and kick back.
I’d like to feel optimistic about Robert Rodriguez’ proposed BARBARELLA remake, but I don’t think he has the sensibility for it. Plus, I find all his films a shadow of what they could be, assuming there’s even a worthwhile idea at play, which isn’t the case most of the time. He strikes me as the leading exponent of the “will this do?” school of film-making. I got upset — ridiculously so — at some smokestacks in the background of SIN CITY, where the smoke wasn’t moving, just hanging there like a photograph.
The I thought that a still image of smoke might be quite a nice stylisation. Then I thought that this wasn’t a nice stylisation, just cheapness and laziness, and a nice stylisation would have to feature the smoke more, rather than just flashing it by in the hopes we’d miss it.
Compare this to Roger Vadim and the original BARBARELLA — he showers largesseon the screen, in hopes some will stick. He is rightly more interested in the costumes than in the performances and dialogue. He has an army of writers involved, any one of whom could have done a better job than the team. This is how a ’60s sci-fi epic should be made! What Terry Southern (one of the six credited writers) called “a very special combination of non-talents and anti-talents,” plus of course a lot of actual talents, especially in the design department.
Is Robert Rodriguez going to hire Fenella Fielding to dub one of his major characters? No, I don’t think he is! To hell with him then.
No way should anybody but a European trash-hound be allowed to make BARBARELLA! Jesus Franco is still basically alive — give him a shot at a budget of millions and a green-screened CGI universe!