Feb 27 2012

IMDB’s Bottom 10: The Starfighters

Published by at 10:00 am under Columns,Movies,Reviews

Perhaps it’s because I hate myself, but more likely it’s because I love movies. Even bad movies. Especially bad movies, come to think of it. Call it noble, call it stupid, but I have decided to brave the worst celluloid has to offer: the ten worst movies of all time.

Movie: The Starfighters

Drink of choice: Le Ferme Julien Rose

Companions: Friend and stalwart movie viewer Andy Feldman

IMDB Bottom 100 Ranking: #10

Choice Quote: “Did you know flying a plane is like making love?”

The film’s titlecard or a failed Atari game?

On the surface, The Starfighters is a film about an Air Force base. At it’s deepest level, The Starfighters is a film about an Air Force base. Given the fact that the only way to view this movie without buying a VHS copy online was to watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, I knew I was in for a stinker. Still, I adore bad movies.  Unfortunately, one of the criteria for a movie to be bad is that there has to actually be a film.

The Starfighters has, at various moments throughout its 90 minute run time, more stock footage of Air Force planes refueling and bombing targets than a training video. Remember the beginning of Mel Brooks’ classic Spaceballs? The ship that carries Dark Helmet makes a hilariously tedious entrance, dragging on and on across the frame. This movie is like one long, unfunny version of that gag.

The backside of the never-ending ship during the opening of Spaceballs

Is there a plot? I’m not entirely sure. The movies jumps between lengthy segments of dialogue-less plane footage and scenes between a small group of military personnel cavorting at a bar, one pilot driving his date to some kind of a Lover’s Lane and also a pool party. Given how many defenseless targets are bombed in this movie, and the fact that Mr. Top Gun never gets the moves on his lady love, I’d say this movie is about a non-existent war against the sand of Death Valley and a guy struggling mightily to get to second base.

Should you see it? Absolutely not. Think back to my first installment, on Thankskilling. That movie is F- awful and also a must see. I’ve probably watched it six times by now. However, not all bad movies are good times. The Starfighters is excruciatingly slow, and the credits should’ve featured a cameo appearance by Scramble, since Andy was fighting the tedium by playing it on his phone throughout the viewing. Half my notes on this thing were plot developments phrased as questions, since I could never tell what exactly was going on. Next time you go to the gas station, watch someone fill up there tank. Repeat eighteen times. Congratulations, you’ve just watched The Starfighters!

[Note: If you are really a glutton for punishment, the MST3K version can be streamed on Netflix instant]

Next up: #9, 2002’s Ben & Arthur. Wish me luck.





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2 responses so far

  • Steve

    I’m gonna look this up. One of my favorite videos to watch as a kid was a little known tape called “Top Gun Jets”. It was nothing more than stock footage of air force jets doing their drills, set to cheesy 80’s rock or techno. I must’ve watched it over 500 times as a kid. And after looking for it on the internet for years I finally found it about 4 years ago. I’ve probably watched it another 30 times since. Top Gun was and still is one of my favorite movies, so I obviously love this sort of thing. People like myself refer to it as “Jet Porn”.

  • Tim

    The “star” of the picture was Robert Dornan, who later went on to become a congressman. He was sort of the Rick Santorum of the late 1990s, and a lot of the riffs in the MST3K version have to do with that.

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