Sunday, July 25, 2010

Galaxy of Terror (1981)

Oh, where would so many people be without Roger Corman? His reputation is well known, so talking about his accomplishments is redundant at this point. So with that out of the way, it's well known that if there's a hit movie, he will probably produce a low-budget knock off of it. "Jurassic Park" a hit? Give the world "Dinosaur Island" and the "Carnosaur" movies. "Star Wars?" Produce "Battle Beyond the Stars" and "Starcrash" (featuring David Hasselhoff.) "Jaws" bringing in the big bucks? Time for "Piranha" and "Up From The Depths." So what about "Alien?" Then you offer audiences "Forbidden World" and the 1981 flick "Galaxy of Terror," in which it's all fun and games until somebody gets raped by a giant space maggot.

The crew of a lone spaceship finds something odd in space-a pyramid like formation. Well, shock soon turns into terror as alien beings show up, and to make matters worse, their worse fears and nightmares begin to manifest themselves in reality.

So yeah, "Galaxy of Terror" does have a plot that's a little reminiscent of Paul W.S. Anderson's creepy cult fave "Event Horizon", only with more gore and trashy exploitation elements. It's also a lot of fun, with some nice gore and creature effects, moments of genuine suspense, an effective old school electronic score by Barry Schrader, and some really enjoyable performances from legendary character actors like Sid Haig, Robert Englund, Ray Walston and Grace Zebriskie.

Oh, and one can't review "Galaxy of Terror" without mentioning the infamous scene in which Taafe O'Connell is raped by a slimy, giant space maggot. The scene is about as tasteless and disgusting as you can imagine, even with the actress moving it's legs around to try and make it look more threatening than it actually is (like in Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster.") That out of the way, it's kind of hard to be really offended by the scene to be honest. Yes, it's horrible, but it's done in such a deliberately over the top manner ala "Re-Animator" and "The Evil Dead" that it's essentially unrealistic and blackly comic.

If the movie does run into any problems, it's in the leads. Edward Albert is normally a reliable actor, but here he just can't cut it, coming off as a bit wooden in his performance. He's nowhere near as bad as Erin Moran (aka Joanie from "Happy Days"), who overacts, makes weird facial expressions and all around kills the mood whenever she opens her mouth. It's really annoying, and almost took me out of it all.

Still, "Galaxy of Terror" is a sleazy, fun time for fans of Sci-Fi/Horror trash who are in the mood for sick thrills. For that, I salute you Roger.

Rating: 8/10
Oh, since Corman is known for discovering talent, among the people who worked on the movie include David ("Creepazoids", "Sorority Babes in the Slime-Ball-Bowl-O-Rama") DeCoteau, Allan (the "Iron Man" movies, among many others) Apone, and some guy called James Cameron. I wonder what happened to him...

No comments:

Post a Comment