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Movie Details

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Directed By
Bruce D. Clark

Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens, Zalman King, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie, Jack Blessing, Taaffe O'Connell, Jack Blessing, Mary Ellen O'Neill

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Galaxy of Terror (1981)
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Movie Review by Mike Thomas
April 15th, 2010

Produced by Roger Corman -'Nuff Said

Hollywood, if nothing else will copy a success in a heartbeat. Add that to the just-released ALIEN, a little dash of actors needing a paycheck, and, oh yeah, put in a generous dose of Roger Corman, and you have GALAXY of TERROR, a B-movie about a rescue mission gone very, very wrong.

First, the cast: Edward Albert (BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE, MIDWAY, and a ton of TV), Erin Moran (who could forget little Joanie Cunningham from HAPPY DAYS), Ray Walston, (possibly the only person who didn't look completely out of place in this movie). Then some "little-known" actors, like Robert Englund (was he in anything we know?), Sid Haig (Horror's Bad Boy), and Taaffe O'Connell (her highlights are Ring Girl in ROCKY II and Hooker #1 in THE STONEMAN). With such a hodge-podge of actors and posers, what could possible go wrong?

Now the story: Cabren (Alberts) and his crew fly off to the edge of the universe (edge of the universe? better pack an extra pair of jammies) to the planet Morganthus on a rescue mission. As with any Roger Corman endeavor (Corman didn't direct this turkey, but it was his production company), the action kicks into high gear shortly after the opening credits. The ship crash lands on the planet, where they discover a mysterious pyramid (is there any other type?), and the deaths begin. Each one is progressively gruesome, until the secret of the pyramid is ultimately revealed. Yep. That's pretty much it.

What makes this movie worth watching is the horrid images, matched only by the horrid acting of our little troupe. It seems that the mysterious pyramid taps into each person's deepest fears and exacts an appropriately horrifying death for each. Of note is poor little Dameia (Taaffe O'Connell - remember her?) whose fear of slimy bugs is manifested by a savage, brutal, and by the standards back then, really graphic rape and murder. It was so disturbing that the scene was re-edited where she is eaten alive (out of the gutter, guys!). The original footage may be able to be found in obscure video stores or at horror conventions. I actually have a copy of the original movie. It'll probably be worth something, if I ever find it again. Oh, and Joanie? Her intense claustrophobia comes to terrifying reality as she get trapped in a tunnel and ultimately crushed to death (See Joanie. See Joanie get squished. See Joanie's head pop off. Pop, Joanie, pop). By the time we're halfway through the movie, you're sitting in the theater, sadistically whispering to yourself, "Next!"

GALAXY of TERROR was made right after ALIEN, so many people think that the movie is an ALIEN rip-off. A rip-off it is, but the underlying plot more closely resembles the 1956 Sc-fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET, which is a rip-off of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST. It's classic Corman, full of sensational gore, unnecessary sex and nudity, and somewhere in all of that, I think there's a story. But you didn't come to this movie for insightful character examination. You came for sensational gore, unnecessary sex and nudity.

If you can find the original movie, it's a "find" for shlock and cult movie collectors. If you're really jonesing to see this film, it's available - in 8 10-minute segments - including the controversial assault scene - on YouTUBE.

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