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Galaxy Of Terror
(1981)
 

Director: Bruce Clark            
Cast:
Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston


Special guest review!


By Mike Sullivan

 

A couple of weeks ago, while searching the web for Blossom fanfics (preferably one in which Blossom and Six "do it"), I stumbled upon an interesting website by the name of Movies Are Fun! I instantly fell in love with this unique website, mainly because of its bold decision to feature rumors of upcoming films and an occasional movie review. Truly a gutsy decision, especially in this day and age when just about everybody has similar movie-based websites. It's refreshing to see a man proudly rise and loudly proclaim, "Me too!"

In any case, Movies Are Fun! (hereafter known as MAF) recently reviewed the digitally remastered edition of Galaxy Of Terror, a film I've been planning to review for some time. Considering that MAF is a slightly obscure website who could certainly use a little extra exposure, and add to the fact that I was completely unwilling to crap out yet another goddamned guest review, the Greywizard and myself have decided to hand over the Unknown Movies reigns to the man behind MAF, Mr. Laurence Hovlis.

Hey, Laurence Here. It's been a hard and exhaustive week here at Movies Are Fun. As you all may remember the week started with a bang when I interviewed my dear friend Cameron Crowe. Cammy showed unexpected warmth when he jokingly pushed me to the floor and lightheartedly kicked me in the stomach seventeen times,I then managed to scoop all of the major movie sites when I featured a review of the script of the third STAR WARS prequel.But joy turned to candy colored shame when it was revealed to be a fake. According to Lucas film representatives Deputy Dawg will not be the film's villain,the much ballyhooed Jawa orgy will not be included,Queen Amidala's head does not get cut off by a helicoptor blade,and the title will not be STAR WARS:ANOTHER ONE FROM THE HEART.The remainder of the week was spent on articles detailing my rage over how Warner Bros. is ruining the live action JABBERJAW film(I'm sorry but David Mamet doesn't know s**t about Hanna Barbara)

You too would be embarrassed if you were in this movie

As you can imagine by the the end of the week I felt like the saluting zombie in DAY OF THE DEAD,no actually I felt like the guy in SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN who keeps waking up only to find more missing body parts,wait no I felt more like Monica Potter in PATCH ADAMS,Yeah that's it.

In any case it was the end of the week and I was itching to turn my couch into a fort.But before I could entomb myself in the Captain Crunch encrusted cushions the phone rang.I then arose from my cushioney coffin and then made my way towards the phone.Making sure to lift my left foot then follow it up with my right foot, then left,then right,left again,then the right,left and then the right one again,left (Editor's note: In the original article, this went on for three more paragraphs. As a public service, some editing has been performed.)

As it turns out the phone call was from a representative of the Midnight Movies video label. They were wondering if I'd be interested in giving a positive review of their digitally remastered edition of GALAXY OF TERROR.I immediately declined.I told them that I would never give a positive review just because someone asked me,besides making GALAXY OF TERROR sound watchable was about as hard as getting the smell of Arby's out of my car.They then countered with an offer of fifteen dollars and a coupon for a personal pan pizza.Coincidentally,it was at this moment I started to have second thoughts about GALAXY OF TERROR.

The first thing I noticed about GALAXY OF TERROR is that it is in fact a movie.Ahhhh movies.I remember once talking to Barry Sonnenfeld about movies.What was it he told me?Oh yes it was,"Jesus Christ! Would you stop bothering me about THE ADDAMS FAMILY and get your acne riddled ass out of my pool!"

Michael Jackson after his most recent bout with plastic surgery

As I slipped the DVD out of its case and into the player,happy memories started to overwhelm me and soon I was groovin' out in my head over the scene in which Erin Moran has her gusts slowly squeezed out of her by an alien.Do you remember in POLICE ACADEMY 3 when Tackleberry meets Colleen Camp's parents for the first time,Those goosebumps,the ones you get thinking about  John Travolta shooting the cow in BATTLEFIELD EARTH?Well those were the goosebumps I was getting while remembering that beautiful scene.

I have never seen a Steven Soderburgh movie entertain an audience(and by audience I mean myself and my Uncle Timmy)quite like GALAXY OF TERROR has.The scenes featuring characters stumbling in the dark,the set designs swiped from ALIEN,and the philosophical non-ending are what classics if not dreams are made of.

As I laid back in my reverie,the credits started and as I witnessed the influx of star power involved in this movie I nearly passed out.Wouldn't you? Zalman King,Erin Moran, Edward Albert,and Ray Walston all of them legends.All like entertainment gladiators.Ready to stab us with with their broad swords called acting or maybe envelope us in their nets of charisma.Then the words Produced by Roger Corman appeared on screen,signaling the departure of mundane reality and quickly ushering in the universe of the one and only Corman.What is this universe I speak of?I'm glad you asked because it's...

THE FANTASTIC,MOVIETASTIC,VISUAL FILM UNIVERSE OF ROGER CORMAN....AND GALAXY OF TERROR

The power known as Sid Haig!

I love this particular universe.Yes it's true that this is a place where sets are cramped and cheap,a place where visual effects never rise above the look of an Atari 500 game,a world in where characters don't usually do things for a logical reason or any reason for that matter,Women who are routinely raped and brutally murdered by rubber worms,A universe in which cliche riddled characters climb aboard a spaceship,and with blank expressions upon their countenances,steadfastly refuse to (or just can't) act in the face of some vague metaphysical evil in the form of a pyramid.It goes without saying that this film has many faults but it does manage to do something only certain films can do - fill 85 minutes.

The characters in this film are a paradigm of enchantment,they're steely eyed demons of joy,furious babydolls of pure energy if you will.Yeah,they're bland ignominious,walking,vulture bait but they aren't the types that scurry away like Pixie and Dixie as the cold frightening jaws of death known as Mr. Jinx comes bearing down on them.They are the sturm and drang of heroism and as they crash landed onto the titular planet of terror,my eyes misted over and I cried.

Why did I cry?Well I guess it got to me because it was such a sad situation.Here is this space pyramid that is turning our most horrifying nightmares against us and these valiant spacemen are putting their lives on the line,mainly because we refused to look at the sky or fund projects that are specifically designed to destroy monuments that are floating around in space or our insane refusal to wear jumpsuits and live in the future.

Then there's the scenes with Erin Moran and Edward Albert.Some would say that there was no chemistry between them, that the scenes have the warmth of a proctology exam.To that I say thee nay.I believe the love between the characters was beyond simple chemistry.It was a special love,a love in which two people are so comfortable and so enraptured with each other that they only appear to be repulsed by each other's presence.This is a true rarity,Moran and Albert should be praised for their anti-chemistry chemistry.

"I thought we left Earth to *get away* from pyramids!"

In fact why stop with just Moran and Albert all of the performances capture me,the performances lure me to their cars with promises of candy and rough cuts of STAR WARS prequels only to beat me about my head and face with their thesbianic prowess.Every performance is pure gold from Sid Haig frantically trying to chop his own arm off to Grace Zabriski's bug eyed spastic sweating.Plus Ray Walston proves how disciplined an actor he is by not changing his facial expressions even once.

Excellent performances aside GALAXY OF TERROR is also filled with dialogue that is powerful in it's originality.Although I've heard the phrase,"Hey don't touch that!" or "Stay here!" or"Don't go down there!" before I've never heard it come from people in glowing backpacks.That my friends is screenwriting at it's purest  and baby that's cold.

Bruce Clark so he direct that movie bad care who,some? Not me!A while back some video store clerk I know was railing against Clark.He was bitching that Clark was a hack a moron,a satanic boil residing inside of the ass of Adolph Hitler.I defended Clark.I looked that clerk straight in the eye and I said,"Shut Up jerk!" The way Clark points a camera, at faces, people walking,a fakey rubber alien.So many moving things,wheels,guns,food it's astounding. The fact that he decides to shoot so many scenes with very little or no lighting at all just like in real life.When I'm in my bedroom at night I can't see anything,was that a racoon or my Grandma?I don't know!Clark understands this and that's why GALAXY OF TERROR works.Y'see Clark knows how to satisfy an audience.Clark knows what buttons to push on an increasingly horny public (Editor's note: At this point the review breaks down into a clumsy metaphor involving the director making love to the audience. Yet again, as a public service, we're excising eleven paragraphs of boring, graphic, and painfully unsexy ramblings in order to spare you for phrases like "pan-drippings", "laffy box", "taffy fingers", "vagitation", "dick docker", and "squid marks".) but I didn't mean to infer that they do that at Shakey's.

Now GALAXY OF TERROR isn't one of the greatest movies ever made.God knows it isn't,it's just that I desperately wanted a personal pan pizza and I really didn't want to pay for it out of my own pocket.But regardless of the little coupon (courtesy of the fine people at MGM) my opinions are whole and real.Sort of.

I'd also like to remind people that my first book MOVIES ARE FUN!! HOLLYWOOD'S CLOWN OF FREEDOM Has already hit the discount bin just a week after its first printing.This has never happened to a book before and it makes me proud that mine was the first to do this.Be sure to check out the chapter featuring great unproduced scripts that are in desperate need of being made into films(I'd also like to point out that it's just a coincidence that 8 of the 10 scripts in this chapter were written by MAF contributors) and the final chapter in which I detail how much I was paid to write this book  just to piss off that guy who made fun of my perm at the A & W.But whatever you do be sure to check out the book that had Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman raving,"Quite...Possibly...the biggest piece of...Book...this year."

Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)
Check for availability on Amazon (DVD)
Check for availability on Amazon (Blu-Ray)
Check for availability of Roger Corman's autobiography on Amazon

See also: Don't Go In The House, Invader, Laserhawk

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