Galaxy Of Terror
Director: B. D. Clark
Cast: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Robert Englund, Sid Haig
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Ok, let’s get this out of the way at the top of this; if you’ve ever even heard of this movie then you’ve heard about the infamous maggot raping scene. If you never have heard of this 1981 cult classic Alien rip-off, then be warned, there’s a gratuitous maggot raping in it. No, not a guy raping a maggot, but a huge, slimy space maggot raping a woman. If the thought of that really turns you off, and who could blame you if it did, then this might not be the movie for you. However that would also be sad as Galaxy Of Terror is chock full of early eighties, low budget, cheesy goodness. It’s the kind of midnight movie I love to watch, but I’ll be the first to admit that this flick is an acquired taste to be sure. So keep reading and see if you’ve got the palette for this movie or not.
In the future there’s a guy called the Planet Master who has a glowing red ball of light for a head and despite just sitting around playing chess all day people seem to worship him like a god. So when he orders a ship full of people to explore a far off world, the crew all go happily. Once there, they find a dead and abandoned alien city and then their deepest fears begin to become true and murder them. A guy who “lives and dies by the crystals” dies to his own crystal weapons, a man who was afraid of getting old is killed by tentacle-leach-things (yeah, that one didn’t make any sense to me), someone else must face an evil version of himself in combat, and then there’s the woman who hates maggots … well you know what happens to her.
Yes the story is as simple as that, and at times it’s rather silly, but it does have some truly unique moments and at least one twist on who lives and who dies that I didn’t see coming. Essentially Galaxy Of Terror is a mixture of good and bad, the corny and the creative. Most of the video special effects are laughably bad such as laser blasts, animated spaceships moving over mat paintings, and the glowing face of the Planet Master, all of which got me chuckling, but the makeup is passable and sometimes pretty groovy. And yes the acting is questionable at best, with Sid Haig chewing up the scenery as he throws crystal Chinese stars at everything, and the always stellar Erin Moran, of Joanie Loves Chachi fame, showing off the skills that made her such a “TV star,” but some of it is great fun, like watching the always entertaining Robert Englund ham it up towards the end of the film. So yeah, this film has a lot of bad but there’s also enough goofy, gory fun to be had by fans of such things to keep them entertained throughout its 120 min runtime.
As with the other Roger Corman’s Cult Classics that Shout! Factory has put out, this Blu-ray comes packed with extras. There’s an entertaining commentary with the cast and crew, a documentary called “New Worlds” about the production company Corman started to bring his “classics” to the masses. “The Crew of the Quest” is a collection of interviews with some of the cast of this movie, with genre fan favorites Robert Englund, Sid Haig being the stars of the show. Additionally there are featurettes on the film sets, one on the mechanical effects, a third about the movie’s post production, one about the movie’s composer, and one last one on then co-production designer James Cameron. Yes, that James Cameron. There’s he nice addition of the original screenplay as a PDF file and the usual trailers, posters and still galleries to complete the package.
If you are a fan of cult films then you’ll probably love this movie as it’s the cult-iest I’ve seen in a long time. If you saw this movie years ago and have been waiting to see hot maggot raping action in glorious hi-def … then ewww … but also you’re in luck as this movie has never looked, or sounded, this good. For those with a taste for the cheesy and the bizarre I highly recommend this movie.