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GALAXY OF TERROR (ROGER CORMAN'S CULT CLASSICS) (1981)

 



Galaxy Of Terror (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) (1981)
 

Actors: Edward Albert, Ray Walston, Robert Englund, Erin Moran
Director: Bruce D. Clark
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
Run Time: 81 minutes

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary With Cast And Crew
  • New Worlds: Producer Roger Corman, screenwriter Marc Siegler and director Bruce D. Clark discuss the origins of the film
  • The Crew Of The Quest: Actors Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Taaffe O Connell and Grace Zabriskie discuss their experiences as crew members of the Quest
  • Planet Of Horrors: A detailed look into the creation of the memorable sets of the film and alien landscapes
  • Future King: Memories of co-production designer (and future visionary filmmaker) James Cameron from members of the cast and crew
  • Old School: A journey into the complicated mechanical and makeup effects with artists Allan A. Apone, Douglas J. White, Alec Gillis and others
  • Launch Sequence: Co-editor R.J. Kizer walks us through postproduction and a profile on composer Barry Schrader
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Extensive Photo Galleries Including Posters, Production Sketches And Designs
  • Theatrical Trailer With Commentary From Writer/Director Joel Olsen, Courtesy Of Trailersfromhell.com
  • Original Screenplay (PDF)
     

Movie:
Disc:
 

This 1981 “cult” flick is largely remembered for three things today:

a.) It starred a fresh-faced, pre-Freddie Krueger Robert Englund;
b.) the sets and alien landscapes were done by a certain James Cameron (you might have heard of him), who served as production designer and second unit director on the film; and
c.) a scene in which a woman is raped to death by a giant maggot space alien monster.

Otherwise there isn’t much to commend this Roger Corman-produced Alien knock-off.

The story is jaw-droppingly unoriginal and derivative, the dialogue is awful, the screenplay is inept, the acting terrible and the makeup effects cheesy. On top of that, the synthesizer soundtrack music score seems specifically designed to grate on one’s nerves.

The plot involves a spaceship crew sent to investigate what happened to another spaceship’s crew on a barren planet. They stumble across an alien city of sorts which turns their worst fears into reality – think Alien meets Forbidden Planet, or a predecessor of Event Horizon, and you’ll get the idea. Should we even mention that they slowly get killed off one by one in the process?

Sure, there are a few DIY “so bad it’s good” Mystery Science Theater 3000 moments that will illicit a chuckle or two from good-humored viewers and you get to see an alien literally suck the clothes off a buxom blonde. Also some of the low-budget special effects aren’t that bad. As someone points out on the commentary, one can see some of Cameron’s expertise in Galaxy of Terror with model work and effects reflected in his 1986 Aliens, albeit with a much bigger budget.

However while the costumes and sets may be okay for the cheap budget (they literally used spray-painted McDonald’s hamburger carton boxes for the spaceship interiors), the fact remains that the designs themselves are shamelessly stolen from the first Alien movie.

THE DISC: This is the first time that Galaxy of Terror ever made its appearance on either DVD or Blu-ray, which should tell you something . . .

The image and sound quality are amazing and to appreciate just how good it is you should check out some of the crap-looking trailers for Galaxy of Terror and other Roger Corman “classics” such as Humanoids from the Deep and Forbidden World supplied on the disc. Kudos for Shout Factory for not merely cashing in on thirtysomethinger males’ nostalgia for a flick which afforded them their first illicit glimpse of some boobies with a quickie release.

Even better than the movie itself are the various making of featurettes in which producer Roger Corman and star Robert Englund amongst others are interviewed. James Cameron wasn’t interviewed and he probably couldn’t be bothered now that he has made enough money to buy the entire continent of Africa.

However, since no one is under contractual obligation to be nice about the 29-year-old movie anymore, or have given up on the prospect of ever working with Jim Cameron again, all of the people interviewed are surprisingly upfront and honest about their experiences on the movie.

WORTH IT? Galaxy of Terror may be a cult flick, but it’s hardly a classic. Plus the maggot humping the chick scene will make you feel dirty. Still, anyone curious about this movie can’t do any wrong checking out this disc. The special features and disc quality is truly exemplary.

RECOMMENDATION: For bad movie aficionados only.


 



 

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