Escape From Galaxy 3 (1981)

Original Title: Giochi erotici nella 3a galassia
Country: Italy
Director: Bitto Albertini
Starring: Sherry Buchanan, Fausto Di Bella (James Milton), Don Powell, Chris Avram
Music: Don Powell

First of all, despite some marketing campaigns, this isn’t really a sequel to Starcrash. It uses the same space ships and models, and the heroine is called Belle Star, which is just close enough to Stella Star that those with poor memories may just for a second believe they are watching the same character. Only a second mind you, after all, Stella was played by dark haired and curvy Caroline Munro, whereas Belle is played by blonde Cheryl Buchanan. Also Caroline Munro got around in a very fashionable black leather bikini, and Belle flitters between tight fitting body suits and nothing at all.

The film starts when Oraclon: The King Of The Night™ (Don Powell) sails into ‘Galaxy 3’ in his star ship shaped like a giant hand made from blue Lego®. You may remember the ship from Star Crash when it was the property of evil Count Zarth Arn (Joe Spinell). You may also remember that Star Ship was destroyed at the end of Star Crash, which leads me to conclude that these super cruisers are assembly line build like your modern motor car. The Blue Hand model must have appealed to evil space tyrants who plan to take over the galaxy.

Masquerading as Starcrash 2

Anyway, Oraclon: The King Of The Night™ has been invading every planet and killing everybody in his path and now it’s planet Exalon’s turn. Exalon is ruled by benevolent King Zanor. Zanor also happens to be the father of Princess Belle Star. Zanor tries to fight off Oraclon, but his men are no match for Oraclon’s weapons. Zanor orders Belle Star and one of his trusted aides, Lithan (James Milton) to seek help in the Anteres System.

So Belle and Lithan flee in their space ship. Oraclon: The King Of The Night™ destroys Exalon and kills King Zanor. He soon discovers that Belle and Lithan have fled and sends ships after them. As they make their escape, a laser blast damages the controls, and they loose their navigation computer. Naturally Belle and Mithan escape, but have no idea where they are. They decide to land on the first planet they find.

The first planet happens to be earth, but not as we know it. Here the only population is a little village of primitive inhabitants. When they see the spaceship land, they believe it is a monster. When Belle and Mithan leave the ship, the inhabitants initially try to kill them by throwing rocks at them. But despite Belle and Mithan’s weird costumes and manner, their humanity shines through, and they soon make friends with the villagers.

During their stay, Belle and Mithan witness a weird ceremony where the female characters start dancing, what looks like a primitive version of the Bus Stop to the funky disco beat. This is the beginning of The Love Festival, of which soon Belle and Mithan are participants.

For a while things seem pretty good on the primitive planet. Belle Star and Mithan enthusiastically take lessons in love making from the villagers. You see, sex is a lost art form in Galaxy 3 and Once Belle and Mithan discover the fun that can be had – all they want to do is shag. There first attempt is ruined when one of Oraclon’s probe searches the planet for life. Their next tryst is interrupted when Oraclon’s men start shooting up the villagers. And finally, once they decide to leave the planet and get in their spaceship (their intergalactic shaggin’ wagon) and take off, when Oraclon catches up with them, they are at it again.

Half way through, this film veers off from your usual science fiction to (almost) softcore disco porn. It isn’t a porn film, but the story slows right down, the cheesy disco music is pumped right up and we see endless shots of Belle and Mithan pawing and caressing each other.

One of the things that lifted Starcrash above many of it’s other Star Wars rip-off competitors was the score by maestro John Barry. But Escape From Galaxy 3 takes a very different musical approach. Instead of sweeping strings and mellow horns, we get 80’s Disco. Actually it’s more like 70’s Space Disco. The music is provided by the villain of this movie Don Powell. Powell looks like he’d fit right in with George Clinton and Funkadelic. The strangest part of his appearance in this film is his beard. You know when (in your youth) you hit the town and drank everything that came your way, only to stagger home at six in the morning and pass out at your front door, while trying to find the right key – then you woke up several hours later to find that snails had blazed a trail across your inert form? No, I have never experienced that either, but if you did, I would imagine that you’d look like Don Powell. His beard looks like snails have been using it as a playground. I think it is supposed to look ‘silvery’ and futuristic, but it doesn’t.

In the end, you can’t really say that Escape From Galaxy 3 is a good film. But it is an interesting time capsule, and if 70’s disco is your bag, man, then this may very well be your movie.

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