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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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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Star Crystal
Reply #1. Posted on November 18, 1999, 01:38:34 PM by Warren H.
I rented this when I was a kid any my parents grounded me for making them sit through it.
Star Crystal
Reply #2. Posted on February 23, 2002, 07:24:42 PM by Squishy
Wanna see something REALLY scary? Go to the IMBD, bring up the combined cast and credits, and see what the special-effects and makeup people for this hunk of crap have gone on to do. Wow, how the wretched have risen, huh?
Star Crystal
Reply #3. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Dan
How can you all not enjoy the awfulness of this movie. Man I hate this movie, but now that I look back I cringe and laugh in horror at how bad. And the most anticlimatic ending i've ever seen. "Why is he such a jerk?"


Star Crystal
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Blake W.
This thing deserves a skull...  Even for a veteran B-grade movie fan like me (watching everything from Ed Wood's Plan 9 to Class of Nuke'em High), this was one of most painful things for me to sit through.
Star Crystal
Reply #5. Posted on April 16, 2002, 12:49:49 AM by Jim Brown
As much as I luv b-movies & cheese.this one is a waste of time.Yawn.
Star Crystal
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Creepozoid

This makes for quite a case study and it's so bad it's awesome. Can't wait for the DVD.
Star Crystal
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by eve
hey! why everyone hates this film? I know its just a piece of crap, but so weird, odd and cheesy that i just love it!
the alien-stupid-gar-ger (what's his name? or was a she?)mades me cry! oh, he/she was so cute!
Star Crystal
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Jurassic Pork
STAR CRYSTAL starts off as two stalwart astronauts, who are not quite as convincing as Don Knotts was, pick up a rock on an airless planet that nonetheless boasts blue skies and 90 mph headwinds. They then leave Califor... uh, Mars, and kindly bring this Pandora's Rock back to the ship. Within mere hours, the entire crew is dead of oxygen deprivation and returns to space station dry dock, where the corpses are seemingly greeted with matter-of-fact apathy. Obviously, paperwork in the coming centuries is worse
than ever.

Cut to an emergency meeting lacking the drama and ingenious set decoration of the one featured in OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK (which at least a fat guy to riff). We're introduced to characters who are on camera for maybe eleven nanoseconds total, or just barely enough time for us to accept them into our hearts just before they're suddenly and tragically killed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The hot chick at the meeting, the one that you fully expect to survive for at least half the movie, is then killed along with the rest of the station's crew but not before one shuttle jettisons with five people.

While the shuttle valiantly limps through the reaches of outer space, trying to get to the next supply buoy, the creature begins to gestate. Eventually it reaches the horrific size of a golden retriever (I guess it was the biggest beach ball that the propmaster could get at the local Wal-Mart). It infiltrates the ship and begins killing off the quintet by wrapping its tendrils around their victims' ankles then sucking their blood, dessicating them and turning them into Strom Thurmond.

The crew is so nasty and vile-tempered toward eachother, hence to the audience, that one would root for the creature were it not so ridiculously innocuous-looking and badly realized. It gains access to the ship's mainframe, which was engineered by Coleco, and begins to rationalize killing humans by studying our Bible (good idea, actually).

One by one the nasty black security guy, then the nasty ship's engineer (think Carla, of Cheers fame, only with a brain tumor) and the only sweet-tempered one, a xenophobe with all the backbone of an egg white. Soon, it's only the nasty computer nerd who knows about computers so is qualified to fly the shuttle through meteor storms and therefore is pragmatic in the ways of orbits and re-entry and docking procedures and stuff) and the nasty woman who
then inexplicably fall in love just before the creature's about to kill them.

But wait. It was all a mistake. The creature, who resembles an ET candle left on a hot radiator for too long, explains to the surviving pair that he brutally and horrifically killed the other three, plus the crew beforehand and, oh yes, the entire space station in between, out of self-defense, leading the ultra-perspicacious viewer to then wonder what the original crew and the members of the space station did to bring out its homicidal but misunderstood

Anyway, the movie then degenerates (yes, the
degeneration never ends, ladies and germs) into a
series of cutaways that show the creature and our
stalwart pilot playing games of chess, with the
creature winning, of course, and getting in the way of
his work much in the humorous and disarming manner of
a curious but slimy calico.

They get to the buoy, the creature then changes his
mind and decides he doesn't need the ship, after all,
and will just wait for the next ship to come along so
he can viciously dessicate the crew of the next ship
that he arbitrarily decides will try to kill him. They
wish him Godspeed, the end.

A word on the acting:

Immediately after being cut adrift into what seems
sure death, the black actor playing the security man
advances his race with one giant leap by openly
speculating on who's hot. He justifies this by saying,
"I can't help it, man. It's in my blood!" to which I'd
responded, "I'll tell you what's *not* in your blood-

This astute observation can serve as a synecdoche of
the entire movie. The actors could've and should've
taken tips from a junior high school drama club. The
movie has the ambience of all those porno movies from
the 80's.
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