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Rated R
Copyright 1986 Balcor Film Investors
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 7 March 2009 (updated)

The Characters:  

  • Roger - Provisional captain of the shuttle SC-37. He does not believe in antiperspirants, and his ability to ruin a set of coveralls with permanent sweat stains stretching from the armpits to the thighs is legendary among spacers.
  • Adrian - This woman should refrain from sticking her lower jaw out when she is annoyed. Doing that makes her look like a chipmunk.
  • Cal - As the only black man and military type on the ship, his fate is almost a given: shoot at the monster; get eaten.
  • Sherrie - She is obviously cracking under the pressure of being cast adrift in interstellar space. Everybody be nice to Sherrie, because she is twenty cards short of a full deck. Oh, and if you can find her panty lines, I will give you a cookie. Speaking of snacks, she gets eaten by the monster.
  • Billi - Scary Buckwheat afro woman! Yikes! Dissolved.
  • Everyone introduced before the 9 minute marker - Don't get too attached to them.
  • Almost everyone introduced before the 18 minute marker - Also destined to exit this film posthaste.
  • Gar - This hatches out of a giant baked potato that astronauts discover on Mars. It starts off looking like a mucus-filled sock, but matures into an orange, goo-covered slug monster with cataracts. After killing at least seven people, the alien creature reads the Bible and becomes a born again Christian. Still slimy, but it talks real nice.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This movie is all red herring, but still not fish. That does not make much sense, does it? Good, I have successfully described the movie.

Fine, I will explain.

Rednecks exploring Mars discover a big ol' baked potato. The two football-loving astronauts bring the lump of aluminum foil back to their shuttle (the SC-37), where it promptly hatches. Milk, the world's stickiest sock, and a crystal fall out of the ruptured artifact. Then a suspicious accident kills off the crew as the shuttle returns to its home base, a space station. The inside of the space station looks suspiciously like a mall, what with the escalators and all. It also has parts of a Millennium Falcon glued to the docking bay doors.

Everything is not peachy aboard the space station, and I mean besides the shuttle full of deaders that arrived. A board of inquiry is meeting to determine what is wrong with the construction and operation of the deep space habitat. It seems that the space gremlins are working overtime. Before the Major in charge of the investigation can even convene the hearing, an alarm sounds. Whatever goes wrong with the space station is pretty serious; at one point I saw bits of rocky debris and dust drop from the ceiling. Maybe that is normal when the setting is an ancient temple and the place is falling apart due to a volcanic eruption or earthquake; it is not normal on a space station. So, that is a bad sign. A few people are able to escape aboard the SC-37 before the space station explodes.

Here we are, eighteen minutes into the movie, finally meeting the primary cast of characters (and more than half of them are going to die shortly). They are stuck aboard a short range shuttle that has a map of the constellations plastered on the wall as a navigational aid. Their only chance of survival is to make the eighteen-month trip to Earth in a spacecraft that killed its last crew. Probably the worst part of the long journey is that they are going to have to get along with each other. Roger is a bozo, Adrian hates everybody except Sherrie, Billi hates everybody, Cal wants to make it with somebody (but not Roger, nor Billi), and Sherrie is in dire need of a therapist and sedatives.

All of these people were not going to make it to Earth, even without a slime-covered monster from outer space as the antagonist.

Whoever designed the shuttle could also be considered an antagonist. Movement from one compartment to another requires that a person get on their hands and knees and crawl through a small round tube. Should they be carrying anything, say a box of K-20 survival rations, they have to push it in front of them as they crawl along. If I had to spend eighteen months on a spacecraft like the SC-37, the first thing I would do after returning to Earth would be to send a mail bomb to the bastard who designed the ship.

The shuttle interior also features lots of styrofoam packing that has been painted and glued to the wall so that the place looks spacey and futuristic.

Arguing between the characters begins immediately, especially after the guys discover the liquor rations. Before it can develop much momentum, Billi encounters the gooey sock that hatched out of the Martian baked potato. It is not a slime-covered sock anymore; now it is a slime-covered monster with tentacles and a fleshy grappling hook thing that is just the right size to rip off a person's face. The walking fright wig tries to beat the creature with her trusty wrench. Wrong plan; Billi goes to that big engine room in the sky. Sherrie discovers what is left of Billi and crawls her way to the lab compartment. Adrian calms the hysterical woman, and gathers a sample of slime from Sherrie's coveralls. Then Adrian crawls her way to the bridge to ask the ship's computer about the goo.

Yes, the team that inspected SC-37 after the shuttle arrived at the space station with a dead crew missed the alien ooze monster, the slime it leaves behind, and the video records stored in the ship's computer about the Martian baked potato (Roger finds them). Do not yell at me. I am on your side.

Sherrie is alone in the lab, while Roger, Cal, and Adrian are on the bridge. The trio notices a white dot on the shuttle's internal heat source display. Humans are red dots. The white dot is...something not human. In the next couple of minutes, the display becomes the center of attention as the slimy fiend tries to enter the bridge, then goes after Sherrie. Cal rushes (crawling, of course) to help Sherrie, but the alien eats both of them before trying to enter the bridge again. The heat source display reminds me of an old Star Frontiers ship deck plan, but with little red and white dots. One moment there are four little red human dots, then a little white alien dot appears and starts chasing the red dots around.

It looks even worse than it sounds, believe me.

So with Sherrie having become an alien entree and Cal dissolved, there are just two red dots (Roger and Adrian) and one white dot (the creature) on the display. Here we are at the film's forty-eight minute mark, with just two characters left. Just between you and me, I was hoping that the soulless demon from outer space was going to kill Roger and Adrian. Then we could have had a whole new cast of characters introduced!

The extraterrestrial stowaway tries to kill Roger and Adrian by shutting off the ship's air supply, but Roger notices and turns it back on. Then another shuttle full of survivors from the space station pulls alongside the SC-37. Roger and Adrian can hear them, but the SC-37's transmitter is not functional. Oddly, the screen inside the SC-37 shows both shuttles from a third person view. I am not sure how that works. The shuttles are eventually separated by a surprise meteor storm.

While all this is going on, the glowing mucus monster from Alpha Slimetari is using the ship's databank to learn more about the human race. It hits the jackpot when it finds the Bible (probably the King James edition). For some reason, reading the good book makes the creature turn over a new leaf. When Roger and Adrian finally come face-to-face with Gar, he does not dissolve them or rip off their faces. The two humans and the orange slimy people eater become friends.

We went from "Alien" to "E.T." pretty fast there, didn't we? Roger's transformation is the worst, because he turns out to be a big baby. I thought that he was going to start crying when the two humans finally said goodbye to Gar. Look, do not get all teary-eyed about the alien slime monster. Gar should go back to whatever planet orange slime monsters come from. It's for the best.

There are two more bizarre things about "Star Crystal." The cover art has nothing to do with anything in the film; Gar does not have needle-sharp teeth, and nobody is ever seen on a glass-covered hypersleep table. Lastly, the title song (which is both unexpected and funny) is sung by Stefanianna Christopherson, who was the original voice of Daphne in the old "Scooby Doo" cartoon.

March is Martian Movie Madness Month! Click on the banner for more reviews.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The Red Planet was once inhabited by giant space squirrels that buried massive aluminum foil-wrapped baked potatoes everywhere.
  • Mars is transparent at its equator.
  • Shuttle seats are just office chairs with the wheels removed.
  • The fastest way to a man's heart is not a chicken pot pie.
  • Nothing is worse than a drunken moron who has access to an intercom system.
  • People are full of Stretch Armstrong stuff.
  • Men are instantly transfixed by anything that involves a football.
  • Just thinking of doing something stupid is a sure-fire way to wake up your girlfriend.
  • Voice recognition software is the modern version of snake oil.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - I know that it seems like we just watched the same five names appear over and over, but there were at least nine people involved in making this movie. I know; I counted.
  • 3 mins - Blue skies on Mars? Quaid!
  • 11 mins - Did your grandson earn his merit badge by braiding those epaulettes for you?
  • 29 mins - Those are not Billi's boots.
  • 36 mins - Get that pitcher off of the control panel, you idiot.
  • 47 mins - "So, how would you like to join the 180 Million Mile High Club?"
  • 50 mins - Investigators went over this shuttle with a fine-tooth comb, but never checked the video log?
  • 63 mins - That is a tackle box, isn't it?
  • 71 mins - I am so bored.
  • 77 mins - Still bored!
  • 78 mins - I have pulled my shirt up and am looking at my bellybutton. It is an innie. I wonder if I have any lint in there.
  • 81 mins - What I wish it would do is to crack open your skull and suck out your brains.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note starcrystal1.wav Space Redneck: "See, according to this rock scanner, this thing is full of electronic circuitry. Ain't that something?"
Both Space Rednecks: "Hahahahaha!"
Other Space Redneck: "Let me tell you something else, Doctor: we're the first guys to play football on Mars."
Green Music Note starcrystal2.wav Roger: "What kind of food on Alpha-7, Bernice?"
Cal: "Bernice?"
Roger: "Steinberg programming..."
Bernice: "Alpha-7 has K-20 survival food."
Cal: "K-20? Man, that stuff's the worst. I'd rather eat my shoe."
Bernice: "K-20 is a perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins."
Cal: "Still tastes like dogs**t."
Green Music Note starcrystal3.wav Adrian: "What happened? Here, sit down. It's okay now, just breathe deeply. Now, tell me what happened."
Sherrie: "It's Billi!"
Adrian: "What about Billi?"
Sherrie: "She's dead! She's got slime..."
Adrian: "Slime?"
Sherrie: "It's all over her!"
Green Music Note starcrystal4.wav Roger: "Yes, SC-45, we read you. We have an emergency situation. Repeat: emergency situation. Unknown life form has killed three of the crew. Need assistance. Repeat: need assistance!"
SC-45: "Ah, shuttle craft-37, looks like your transmitter's out. We had the same problem after..."
Roger: "SC-45, this is SC-37!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipstarcrystal1.mpg - 6.3m
Watch in stunned awe as a little white alien dot chases the little red human dot.

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