Star Quest II: The Wrath of Recycled Corman Footage
Star Quest II is not really a sequel to Star Quest aka Terminal Voyage (1994). The producers probably thought, if their video appeared solidified within a series, more people would buy it. After all, Lethal Weapon 2 grossed over $1,000,000 more than Lethal Weapon, and turned Riggs and Murtaugh into household names. Terminator 2 made over $2,000,000 more than Terminator, and won 4 Oscars. Hence, the video was released as Star Quest II instead of its cable title, Galactic Odyssey.
This prurient sci-fi yarn, which masquerades as a sequel, operates under the simple motto: ‘Why the hell not?’ It epitomizes New Horizons productions in the ‘90s: It’s full of “groundbreaking” (and dirt cheap) CGI effects, 40% of it is recycled footage from Battle Beyond the Sun, it makes very little sense, and is full of gratuitous blood and nudity. The only thing it’s missing is a bit-part from David Carradine, billed, in turn, as the main character.
The story goes that 8 humans, a surprising number of them adept at pole and lap dancing, find themselves on a strange starship. They’re not sure how they got there, but a presumed Catholic priest, Father O’Neill (Robert Englund) fills them in. He informs them that Earth has been destroyed. Insofar as they are all “prime specimens,” they have been summoned to breed in order to save their race. Why would he lie? So, they “mate” for a while in sterile quarters. Never mind the video cameras. It’s not long, however, before Father O’Neill’s cover is blown. The humans discover that he is, in fact, an alien overseeing the injection of his species’ DNA into their bodies. They then must try to escape from this mysterious spaceship before it’s too late.
Talk about a messy script. It’s almost as if the screenplay were nothing but a vehicle for outer space breast shots … Oh right, it’s a ‘90s direct-to-video Roger Corman production … Not surprisingly, there is no internal logic. We never even learn how ¾ of the humans wound up on the ship in the first place. We do see plenty of nudity from Jeannie Millar (Black Scorpion II), however, and ample roundhouse kicks from kickboxing champion Jerry Trimble (Live by the Fist).
You walk away from Star Quest II feeling like all you’ve seen are ad nauseum combinations of Robert Englund peeping on shagging couples through a video screen. Aside from a few fight scenes, that’s all the movie amounts to. Sure, there’s the soundtrack that sounds like Right Said Fred minus the vocals, and there are some laughably righteous moments. The scene where a horny Jerry Trimble gets a bottle broken over his head by a topless Jeannie Millar is one. Robert Englund’s demonstration of how to get food on his spaceship is also moronically sublime: “Actually, it’s quite simple. Let’s see, uh, I would like a slice of meatloaf and mashed potatoes---the kind my mother used to make.” A plate miraculously appears, and the potatoes are just like his mother’s… “right down to the garlic.”
Adam Baldwin (Firefly) and Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street), under the compromised conditions of working fast, cheap, and with a script that makes Dead Space seem coherent, produce decent performances. And no other actor, with the exception of Jerry Trimble, makes the movie any worse. Trimble, however, offers one terrible Clint Eastwood impersonation. His too-cool-for-school delivery of lines like, “You listen to me you fuckin’ punk, or I’ll kick the shit outta you. You understand? UNDERSTAND?” are atrocious. He can kickbox, but just like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, he can’t act for shit.
Most of the special effects are lifted from other Corman productions. The only original fx contribution is the aliens. They look ridiculous, like tunic-clad Mr. Potato Heads with facial tattoos.
Star Quest II is a vacuous movie. But, like any cable TV/direct-to-video New Horizons flick, it’s all about the boobs and blood. It’s a pile of crap, with T & A value that is worth hanging on to for its rarity and embodiment of ‘90s Corman. It was released on DVD only in Italy as Mind Breakers. It’s recommended for die-hard Corman fans and New Horizons VHS hoarders. Others beware.