GALAXY OF TERROR (October 28th)


YOU'VE GOT RED ON YOU TAKES PART IN THE 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE; WATCHING ONE HORROR MOVIE A DAY THROUGHOUT OCTOBER. SOME OF THEM OLD, SOME OF THEM NEW, SOME OF THEM HAVE JUST BEEN ON OUR SHELVES FOR YEARS GATHERING DUST, STILL IN CELLOPHANE...

Roger Corman will be remembered as one of the most prolific producers of genre movies in history. According to Letterboxd he has a producers credit on 277 movies and I've only scratched the surface if his films if I am being honest. I've seen and enjoyed stuff like Chopping Mall, Slumber Party Massacre and House but it's fantastical B-Movie horrors that he is perhaps best known for. Some of the titles alone make me want to see them; Attack of the Crab Monsters, Big Doll House, The Brain Eaters, Beast of the Yellow Night. These are all movies that I am intrinsically drawn to see based on their awesome film titles and equally enticing cover artwork. However, the thing with Corman films (for me anyway) is that they're basically just a bit of titillation. There's some fun to be had for sure, but they are usually lacking in certain areas, like plot, acting, script. But that's also why he's so loved. He's the original king of low-budget film-making and didn't let things like budget in the way of making films that were big on ideas and concept. He also mentored some great film-makers too, including Martin Scorcese and James Cameron. In fact, the latter of the two worked on the Corman film that I watched this evening; Galaxy of Terror.


Oh how to explain the plot of this? On a desolate distant planet whose name escapes me, the sole survivor of a crashed spaceship is freaking out running around until he is apparently killed by an undead crew mate. We then flip to a scene (that feels like that bit set in the future in the Blackadder Christmas special) and a different planet where a couple of mysterious figures are playing some futuristic board game. They talk cryptically before instructing a military commander called Ilvar to take a crew to the desolate distant planet we saw at the start of the movie and recover any survivors. The motley crew head there straight away but as they approach the planet, the pilot loses control and they crash land. They all survive and begin preparation for the search and rescue mission. After discovering the other crashed spaceship (and no survivors) they press on and soon come across a gigantic pyramid like structure. They find a way in but once inside they realise that they are not alone and it's not long before they are being picked off one by one...


What a load of old nonsense this really is. I mean, I enjoyed it on some base level but it really is just utter schlock. I expected that going in, it's worth saying that. I hoped and wanted it to be a cheap Alien knock off and that's kinda what it was. After I'd finished watching it I instantly wanted to find out more about the production and when I read that the interior of the spaceship that half the film is set in was partially built with used McDonalds boxes, it didn't really surprise me. This is such a mish mash of a movie and feels like some sort of kooky hybrid of Alien, Forbidden Planet and Star Trek all smooshed together into one hot mess. The plot, the characters, the setting, the story logic, the acting, the aesthetics – everything is so weird and erratic but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it. Galaxy of Terror has made it onto a notable 'the fifty worst movies ever made' lists and I think that's a little harsh. There are numerous elements of this that are camp and nonsensical and downright silly but there's no denying it's ambition. Or just how bloody hilariously entertaining it is in parts.


The cast – I mean you can't talk about Galaxy of Terror without discussing some of the people involved with this movie. Ok so we have Grace Zabriskie (Laura Palmer's mum) playing a crazed pilot, Robert Englund as some techy dude, Joanie from Happy Days, horror icon Sid Haig playing someone who quite frankly, looks like a different race from the Sid Haig of recent years and behind the camera we have James Cameron as Production Designer. Bill Paxton even did the set decoration too! That's a pretty damn good group right there. They make the film eminently more watchable than it might otherwise have been as well. Then there's the practical effects which are just friggin' brilliant. I mean, not always, they range from shoddy to pretty decent but some of the action sequences and death scenes we get here are so bonkers. There's one particular scene, which is quite famous, where a woman gets humped to death by a giant maggot. That's the kind of territory we're in here folks. Killer crystals, weird demons, giant insectoids – it's a smorgasbord of gore and lunacy and I lapped up most of it. It all ends up somewhere absurd and frown inducing but you don't go into this expecting a coherent plot. Well at least I didn't. I went in hoping for some Cormanesque madness and that's exactly what I got.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
  • email icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon