[A note from Ray: I typed this while I was watching the movie, and I know there are lots of mistakes. I didn't feel like going back through and editing, though, so you're on your own.]
Okay, so here’s the thing:
A co-worker gave me a copy of The Last Starfighter the other day, and I’m just now getting a chance to watch it—my princess isn’t into the whole science fiction thing, so I demonstrate my love by not subjecting her to old-school eighties crap with the special effects done in crayon.
She’s at school right now, which is generally when I hang out, get a good drunk-on, and write abut things. Tonight, though, I’m going to watch The Last Starfighter. And tell you about it.
That way, I feel like I’m still being a little productive. Sad, really, that sitting around on my ass and typing a bunch of crap that people don’t care to read counts as “productive.” But life is what it is, so let’s move on.
The Last Starfighter:
After the credits (stars and planets flying away from us, like we’re backing up really fast, through space or something), the movie starts out a trailer park, where there are some animals waking up in odd ways—the dog that was sleeping on his back (snoring, if you can believe it, a snoring dog! Now that’s humor) rolls over, a cat crawls out of the mailbox. Good quality family hilarity.
And we’re suddenly introduced to more trailer trash than you can shake an inbred stick at. Some crazy lady in a shower cap or something, screaming to someone else named Clara about the electricity going out, she’ll miss her soaps. Ah, Elvira is her name. And we see Bill, some guy that strikes me right away as a pedophile, and sure enough, within seconds he’s surrounded by all sorts of children. Miss Boone is giving some girl an ice chest (we find out in about two seconds that her name is Maggie—we find out because she basses Mr. Boone, and that’s what he calls her). And granny. Granny’s listening to a walkman, which I guess was probably supposed to be very hip and funny back in the day. And Mrs. Rogan.
Mrs. Rogan is out hanging up some clothes, and she and Maggie have a quick little discussion about a missing picnic basket. Also Maggie asks about where’s Alex. This seems like it might be important. Before we find out who Alex is, though, some kid in a huge helmet shoots Maggie with a dart gun. Louis, is his name, I guess.
As far as I can tell, he’s the token, “quirky little shithead” kid that they had to put in every movie back in the eighties. He’s been in the movie for about three seconds, and I’m already hoping he’ll die a horrible death…and not just in the movie.
And then we meet Alex. He’s massaging his hands while standing in front of an arcade game, getting prepped, I guess. He’s staring at the screen with grim determination, and you know that he’s going to do great things with his life—like serve up fries at Burger King.
His game is cut short by a truck full of rambunctious teens, though, and for just a second we think he might have some sort of a social life. But no. After some good-natured ribbing from the rambunctious teens, Alex’s mother calls up to him to fix Elvira’s electric. So his friends drive away, and he walks the lonely road to Elvira’s trailer. Which would have so much potential if Elvira was some sort of giant-breasted vampire lesbian instead of an old woman with lots of cats and a frightening addiction to soap operas.
At the end of the day, Alex drags his tired ass back to the trailer where he stares up at his little model of the universe that’s hanging from the ceiling.
And now he’s back to playing the video game. The graphics of this game were pretty intense back in the day, almost as good as rubbing your eyes really hard and then staring at the sun. While he’s playing, the philosophical black guy comes out and tells him a life-lesson about making the most out of your life.
This is all really important stuff, by the way, because you can tell that the pace is about to pick up, that all this seemingly meaningless stuff is really just setting the stage for a great story.
Maggie shows back up, and Alex is all jealous because she’s been hanging out with Blake—one of the rambunctious teens from earlier. Blake is the one that owns the bright red pickup truck, and he wears a big cowboy hat, just so’s that you’ll know for sure that he’s white trash.
Alex gets over his jealousy pretty quickly, though, and soon he’s “busting the record” on the arcade game. The old black man, who seemed so sage-like and wise just moments ago, begins crying out to the rest of the trailer park, “Hey everybody! Come quick! Alex is going for the record!” I shit you not.
And what happens? No, no, not what you’d expect. Nobody scream at him to shut the fuck up, nobody throws a beer bottle at him or even takes a shot at him with a .22. Instead, everyone drops what they’re doing and runs up to watch this spectacular event. The entire trailer park.
Alex, the look on his face even grimmer and more determined than before, ignoring all the old women patting him on the arm, ignoring quirky little shithead kid (turns out to be his little brother, go figure), and concentrating on the game like his life depends on it.
And then I’m exposed to about thirty minutes of thee horrid trailer park people cheering Alex on while he plays the crappy game. Maggie gets damn near orgasmic as he reaches the “command ship” and the black guy’s telling him all about how he can do it, and all the old ladies are about to stroke right out.
And then he does it, everyone cheers, high-fives all around, and I’m thinking, holy shit, I would kill myself if I were these people.
The scene fades out, everyone cheering, clapping, being super-excited. And then it fades back in, everyone’s still telling him about how smart he is. Because he can play a video game. And then an emotional moment where Alex tells Maggie she’s scared of leaving the trailer park, they tell each other how much they are in love, and quirkly little shithead kid peeks out the window as they make out and makes some dumbass remark that’s supposed to be cute and funny, but is really just annoying.
The glory can’t last forever, though, and soon Alex has to return to his trailer, where his mother informs him that he didn’t et the loan he was hoping for. “You can still go to City College with your friends,” she tells him. Oh, yeah, in case I forgot to mention it, one recurring theme throughout the movie so far is that Alex wants to “go places.” He wants to “get out of here.” And we see as his dreams are crushed because he applied for one loan at one place and didn’t get it. He grabs the denial letter and runs out of his trailer like a little girl. He crumples the letter up and throw it at the trailer park sign, and then he’s just about to start crying.
But something happens. The arcade game lights up all by itself. And starts saying things like “Greetings, Starfighter, you have been recruited.” Uh-oh, here’s where it gets bad-ass, right? I mean, an arcade game that makes noise even when you aren’t playing it?
And as Alex is staring at it, a futuristic mini-van pulls up. Inside the mini-van is a creepy old guy named Centauri. He says he’s the creator of the game, and invites Alex to step into his office. So Alex does. Just crawls right into the futuristic mini-van with the creepy ld stranger, doesn’t hesitate for even a second. This is probably why serial killers were so successful in the eighties. And if they weren’t, they should have been.
What happens next is a HUGE surprise. Centauri, who has the nasty habit of referring to himself in the third person, kidnaps Alex. Stupid Alex, what did you think was going to happen?
Ah-ha, but then the mini-van turns into a FLYING mini-van. Weren’t expecting that, were you? And Centauri is an alien. You can tell because he takes off his face an polishes his fake eyeball.
Alex spends the next forty-five minutes walking around, looking confused, probably fascinated by the terrible special effects.
Switch back to Earth, where quirky shithead kid is looking through various Playboy magazines. Looking for June, because that’s funny, I guess.
Now back to Alex, he’s walking around n some base, where everyone sort of looks like a penis. Not exactly, but enough to be unsettling. Except for one guy, and he looks like a vagina. What the hell kind of movie is this, anyways? I watched it when I was little, I don’t remember all kinds of talking sex organs running around. Maybe here’s where it gets good.
So the main leader of the penis-heads, he gets up in front of the “starfighters’ and gives them a speech about how they’ve been picked to fight a terrible war and save the universe. The starfighters are the only beings that don’t look like penises—in fact, the one that looks like a talking vagina with a high voice, is apparently a starfighter. The fate in the universe hangs in the balance, counting on the abilities of a talking vagina. Just like I’ve always said.
I pause the movie here just to count how many starfighters there are. Thirteen of them. I think maybe the penis heads started the war a little premature, don’t you? And one of the starfighters looks like he’s passed out. I’m not kidding, man, he looks like Trey when he’s been out all night and tries to take a subway home. Without the urine stain, though.
And they all start yelling “Victory or Death!” At this point, Alex sees Centauri walk by, and heads off after him. Because Alex has all the skills and speed of a natural born starfighter, he makes it about three steps before crashing into someone and bustin his ass.
The someone is Grig. Grig is an alien, and wheezes constantly, and looks different from the other penis people. He still looks kind of like a penis, but a brown scaly one, like maybe he was hanging out in the red-light district without a condom on his last space-leave.
Alex wants to go back to Earth, because deep in their hearts, all video gamers are big sissies. Except for me. I rock. And I cheat at video games, so I don’t even count a gamer. But Alex is a complete douche bag, so of course he wants to run back home instead of flying around in a spaceship, killing things without being held responsible. Come on, man.
While Centauri is trying to talk him out of running home with his tail between his legs, a sudden breeze blows through the spaceship.. It’s caused by a hologram, don’t ask me why. And there’s suddenly a giant blue penis guy hologram, talking to the people at the base. Apparently he’s somebody’s son, maybe the main penis guy’s, I don’t know. And apparently he’s the one that brought evil to the universe. I’m not really paying attention, if you want to know the truth. Then they melt one of the penis guys. I think he was a spy of some sort.
After watching the penis spy get melted, Alex REALLY wants to go home. So Centauri takes him home. But wait! What’s this? Bad guys! Real bad guys, too, with shiny red suits and hideous faces! Maybe they’re badasses!
But no. They’re being bossed around by the whiny little penis-guy…the traitor son, or whatever. And he’s a total bitch. Dang.
Anyways, back to Earth, Centauri’s futuristic mini-van has broken down on the side of the road. Yeah man, all the way across space, and it breaks down in New Mexico or wherever. He gives Alex a little communicator in case he wants a second chance to make history, and drives away into the…well, whatever.
Alex gets back to the trailer park, and finds Maggie first thing. He starts to tell her about his strange adventure, but she slaps him in the face and tells him that her and her “strange sexual urges” aren’t talking to him anymore. He stands around looking confused for a little while, and then goes home to his trailer, where we see quirky shithead kid sleeping quietly. It’s nice to the kid all quiet and stuff, but I’m still hoping something evil happens to him. Alex sits down on his bed, only to find…
Someone’s already in his bed! Alex turns on the light and sees the beta unit. A beta unit is explained as a “simuloid…and exact duplicate of you, only not as loud.” Apparently, simuloids are just bitchy little robots with attitude who like to sleep a lot.
Switch scene to the arcade game again, and another pickup truck. A hitchhiker hops out of the truck, and walks close to the video game. He flashes a crappy looking space gun, just so that we’ll know he’s up to no good. And then, for reasons I don’t understand, the video game starts flashing him with light, and he’s suddenly turned into an alien. He’s supposed to look all terrifying, I guess, but if you pause the movie on him, you can see that it’s only E.T.’s face, but turned up-side-down, and some added teeth. Also, he kind of looks like a vagine turned sideways. What is it with this movie?
Meanwhile, Alex has a girly fight with his simuloid, and he runs out to call Centauri to come back and take the simuloid away. But while he’s out trying to get better reception or whatever, the alien attacks him, by hiding up in the rafters and reaching down to grab him. Alex runs about ten feet away, and hides behind a truck. It takes the alien monster about two seconds to track him down, and this time the thing decides to use a gun instead of just dumbassness to kill. The simuloid shows up, and the monster takes a shot at him, then at Alex again, then at Centauri, who just pulled up in his mini-van. Centauri busts out a crappy looking laser gun of his own, and the most boring laser gun fight in history goes down. Centauri shoots off the monster’s arm, then shoots it in the throat. The monster falls off the top of the truck, and you’re supposed to think it’s dead. But really it’s not, so it shoots Centauri. Right in the crotch, it looks like. Centauri blasts the thing until it bursts into flames, and then Alex goes back into space.
On the way back to the base, Centauri is all coughing and bleeding and holding his stomach. I guess getting lasered in the balls can mess a guy up pretty good. Then he dies. Which, if you think about it, is pretty good for him because at least he gets out of the movie now. He’s moved on to a better place. But wait…Centauri’s not dead, yet. He gives Alex another little speech, then dies again. This time for good, I think.
Back on Earth, the simuloid wakes up, he’s hearing some crazy noise. Come to find out, it’s just a malfunction with his hearing—only a moth outside the window. So he turns on the light, takes off his head, and starts working on it. Quirky shithead kid wakes up, does his mandatory annoying bit, blah, blah, blah.
Grig and Alex suit up and pile into the spaceship, where Grig tells Alex every damn thing: “Go up to your chair.” “Sit in your chair.” “Turn on the spaceship.” This goes on for hours. At the very end, Alex tries to push a button that’s called “Death Blossom.”
And then they fly off to save the universe, Alex still being a crying little bitch.
Grig turns out to be insane, though, which is kind of cool. Actually, more like suicidal, which I can totally relate to in this point of the movie.
Back on Earth the simuloid gets all creeped out because Maggie is throwing herself at him. We’re supposed to think that she doesn’t know he’s a robot, but whatever. Chicks can smell the coolness of a robot ten miles away, and they all want a piece of that action. Also, there’s another one of those vagina beasts on earth, spying of the simuloid.
Back in space, Grig is still trying to explain things to Alex, and Alex is still being a weenie.
Now comes the part where they ran out of ideas and straight up jacked a scene from Star Wars. “Strange…what’s a cargo ship doing this far out?” And then a spaceship chase through an asteroid. The only thing is, this is like if a ten year old decided to reproduce the asteroid scene from Empire using only old software that he found in a dumpster behind Radio Shack.
It’s bad, boys and girls. So bad that I’m not even going to talk about it anymore.
Alex is still whining, too. Finally Grig is catching on, basically saying, “You’re a whiny little punk bitch. Go home.”
I’m all the sudden back on Earth, and the rambunctious kids are back, and we’re in the red pickup truck, hoo-hee! The simuloid is trying to fit in, and failing miserably, which is supposed to be great fun.
The vagina monster kills a cop that was out taking a pee. Yeah, random, I know, but I’m just callin’ it like it is.
Back to space, Grig is telling Alex about his family and whatnot. Comparing lives, bonding, that kind of crap. Grig does his best to pretend he’s interested in Alex’s boring-ass trailer life, but he doesn’t do a very good job.
Another weak-ass spaceship fight. I don’t know why. Alex kills a few more bad guys, and suddenly develops a bloodlust. Rock on, Alex. Kill, kill, kill!
But we’re suddenly back on Earth. The cop that got killed, I guess the vagina monster took over his body or something, because here he is, tracking down the simuloid. Speaking of which, the simuloid is trying to make out with Maggie, but failing miserably. Remember Blake, that we talked about earlier? He’s back, macking on his chick, being a dumbass. And this is where the silmuloid is getting his pickup lines from. He gets slapped again. Finally, he just tells her about how he’s a beta unit, and before he gets a chance to explain, he gets shot by the pee-cop. The cop runs off, and Maggie and the robot steal Blake’s truck.
Back to space, where the bad guys are doing something weird. The penis bad guy, he keeps yelling invade, but nobody else really feels like, I don’t think. Good help is hard to find.
Back to Earth, the robot Alex crashes his truck into the vagina monster’s spaceship, killing him and the monster both.
Back to space. The bad guys finally wise up and try to lock up the penis head guy, so maybe now they can kill the last starfighter and whatnot. But they’re too late. And they are terrible shots. Alex flies around, shooting the shit out of everything, penis guy gets away, into an escape pod or something, I don’t know.
Alex decides to use Death Blossom, which really is just his ship having a seizure. It kills almost everybody, though. Except for the command ship.
All of the lasers are out in the command ship, though, and the new leader’s all like, “Forget lasers! Ramming speed!” See, I told you this guy was a bad ass.
But no. At the last minute, Alex gets power back to his ship, shoots everything ups some more, and flies away.
And one of the bad guys, he all crying and stuff, “We’re locked into the moon’s gravitational pull! What do we do?”
And the main bad guy, the cool one, he slides the little visor closed on his helmet and goes, “We die.” And this is the line that makes The Last Starfighte a great movie. Sure, you have to suffer through so much, but the pay-off is SO worth it. “We die.” What a badass, man.
Anyways, then they crash.
And Alex lands on Rylos, or whatever. And that damn Centauri is still alive. Poor bastard. Everyone’s cheering, it’s almost as good as that time that he played that video game in the trailer park.
And everyone’s telling him that he has to stay and build up a new troop of starfighters.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, everyone’s looking for Alex, and Maggie’s about to have to explain about how he was just a robot and how they crashed Blake’s truck and all. But then Alex lands his spaceship right down in the parking lot. This is the kind of thing you hear about all the time, but this time the trailer trash was mostly sober, which is actually pretty newsworthy.
Alex comes out of his ship, picks up Maggie (after a bunch of chick bullshit), and they fly away. The End.
So what do we do after the end? We die. Rock on, man.
Oh, yeah, before I go: They finally tell you the black guy’s name at the very end of the movie—Otis.