Sunday, 30 October 2016

Galaxy of Terror

Year of Release:  1981
Director:  Bruce D. Clark
Screenplay:  Marc Siegler and Bruce D. Clark
Starring:  Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Taaffe O'Connell, Robert Englund, Grace Zabriske, Sid Haig
Running Time:  81 minutes
Genre:  Horror, science-fiction

The crew of the spaceship Quest are sent to a remote planet to investigate the disappearance of an earlier craft.  The rescue team soon discover a strange alien pyramid , and are attacked and gruesomely killed one by one by strange creatures, corresponding to their individual fears.

This is one of numerous rip-offs of Alien (1981) that seems to infest cinema in the early 1980s, on their way to clogging up the bargain basement racks of video stores the world over.  Produced by B-movie maestro Roger Corman on an obviously low budget, this film is graphically gruesome in a  way that would be funny, if it wasn't for a notorious scene where a female crewmember (played by Taffee O'Connell) is stripped, sexually assaulted and killed by a giant slime covered maggot-like monster.  The film is oddly constructed, with what should be an essentially simple plot complicated by bizarre subplots that are either never properly developed or just dropped entirely.  The eclectic cast includes Erin Moran (Joanie from Happy Days) alongside genre stalwarts such as Grace Zabriske (Twin Peaks), Sid Haig (House of 1,000 Corpses) and Freddy Krueger himself Robert Englund.  The film's strength is it's imaginative production design, from future director James Cameron, who also worked as the Second Unit Director, in fact echoes of the spaceship sets in this film can be seen in Cameron's Aliens (1986).

This isn't the worst of the Alien rip-offs, but your best sticking with the original.  The sex scene is exploitative, and many people may find it very offensive, so proceed with caution.

Robert Englund faces a Galaxy of Terror

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