GALAXY OF TERROR (aka: PLANET OF HORRORS) (director/writer: Brian D. Clark; screenwriters: Marc Siegler/William Stout (dialogue); cinematographers: Jacques Haitkin/Austin McKinney; editors: Larry Bock/R.J. Kizer/Barry Zetlin; music: Barry Schrader; cast: Edward Albert (Cabren), Erin Moran (Alluma), Ray Walston (Kore), Bernard Behrens (Commander Ilvar), Zalman King (Baelon), Robert Englund (Ranger), Taaffe O’Connell (Dameia), Sid Haig (Quuhod), Grace Zabriskie (Captain Trantor), Jack Blessing (Cos), Mary Ellen O’Neill (Mitri); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating:R; producer: Roger Corman; Shout Factory; 1981)
“It’s space trash but, I guess, you got to hand it to Corman for knowing how to make a film on a shoestring budget that turns a profit.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A clear rip-off of Alien (1979). UCLA film school grad Brian D. Clark (“The Ski Bum”)directs and cowrites with fellow UCLA grad Marc Sieglerthis cheapie sci-fi tale (some reports say it may have a budget of $700,000 compared to the Alien’s $11 million dollars). The pic is best remembered for a female astronaut being raped by a giant maggot. The Roger Corman produced film has a forgettable slight story, but maintains reasonable interest through its colorful visuals, Styrofoam settings, decent optical effects, gory battles between the monsters and the astronauts, and its overall exploitation shock and schlock.
An emergency space rescue mission of a spaceship marooned at a faraway planet, Remus, is ordered by the mystical Master, head of the astronaut’s futuristic planet and someone sporting a glowing red head. The rescue spaceship Quest’s pilot is the wacko Captain Trantor (Grace Zabriskie), a survivor of an earlier doomed mission who is more concerned with doing the mission as fast as possible than with safety. Her second in command is the aging commander, Ilvar (Bernard Behrens), who has a tentacle phobia which is not a good phobia to have on this mission. Also part of the mission are the film’s unafraid hero, Cabren (Edward Albert); the ingénue Alluma (Erin Moran), whom we have the pleasure of seeing her squeezed apart by rogue electrical cables; the belligerent rescue mission commander Baelon (Zalman King), who would give anything to be a cool dude; blade thrower Quuhod (Sid Haig); the mysterious cook named Kore (Ray Walston); hottie Dameia (Taaffe O’Connell), whose greatest fear is of being raped by a maggot and you can guess what’s in store for her; introspective crewman Ranger (Robert Englund), who actually figures out what the hell is going on in this film (something I couldn’t do!); and the always frightened Cos (Jack Blessing).
Things turn deadly, as the monsters (created by the crew’s personal fears and phobias) attack when the rescue spaceship crash lands on the inhospitable haunted planet of Morganthus and then has its astronauts search the wrecked spacecraft to find all the astronauts dead. While taking a stroll on the haunted planet, the crew discovers a huge alien pyramid. Wouldn’t you know, this pyramid has a strong pull of force that keeps one from leaving this planet! The body count mounts as the astronauts get picked off one by one by the monsters created from their fears, as things turn weird for the doomed rescue spaceship that leaves one guessing who will survive (if any).
REVIEWED ON 11/18/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ