Galaxy of Terror (1981)
Directed by Bruce Clark

Starring Edward Albert Erin Moran Sid Haig

Taaffee O'Connell is raped by 12-foot maggot and Moran's head explodes in this Roger Corman rip-off of "Alien."

"Galaxy of Terror" suffers from one-dimensional characters and a script that is really hard to follow. But director Clark manages to make his low budget movie look like it actually had some money behind it. Some of the special effects are quite good, and there are also familiar faces in the cast: Robert Englund (of "Nightmare on Elm Street" fame) is one of the crewmembers. Moran, of course, was Joanie on the hit '70s series "Happy Days." Sig Haig (of "House of 1000 Corpses") and Grace Zabriskie (later of "Twin Peaks") are also given lines to read.

The characters are weak, the story is hard to follow, but "Galaxy of Terror" still has impressive atmosphere and delivers a real sense of foreboding. Space travelers go on a rescue mission, searching for a ship which has been cut off from all contact, and wind up in a "Galaxy of Terror." Like "Event Horizon," which was released more than a decade and a half later, the characters come face to face with their own fears. Sid Haig cuts off his own arm, only to be attacked by it. In a Freddy-esque moment, Englund ends up confronting his twin self. And Moran's head is squeezed like a grape.

O'Connell's rape scene, in which she's disrobed and fondled by a giant, slimy maggot, has garnered this film a massive cult following -- despite the fact that the movie itself is deeply flawed. It's such a bad movie in fact that there's little hope it will ever see its own DVD release, even though James Cameron, who just five years later would direct "Aliens," served as production manager for the film. But "Galaxy of Terror" remains a popular bootleg.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

USER COMMENTS

Posted by Gosszilla on January 18, 2010
The Holy Grail of "ALIEN" rip-offs finally arrives! I have wanted to own an official NTSC dvd for over twenty years! I had to get my fix years ago by purchasing an Italian PAL dvd that was excellent. You cannot complain about 16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen! The sound was crisp and clear (original) English mono with (unfortunately) forced Italian subtitles. If you passed that through an archival dvd copy process they were easily omitted : ) The Italian soundtrack boasted a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix that sounded decent! It did NOT include the original theatrical trailer (which I found on YouTube) but has some nice stills and lobby card/poster as a slide show. I WISH this was being bumped-up to BLU RAY, but I realize that it might make the effects work look really shoddy instead of just cheesy at times. The announcement by SHOUT! Factory is a very cool thing! "Forbidden World" (1981) is coming on July 20th, 2010 as well


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