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"There's something happinin here What it is ain't exactly clear There's a man with a gun over there Tellin me I got to beware" - by Buffalo Springfield
This is truly Roger Corman; it has that Corman feel that only a Corman budget (estimated $700,000) can accomplish. Looks like Venice, California. The highlight is the Corman dialog. I was a little surprised to see that they were able to capture along with their other famous actors Ray Walston of "South Pacific" (1958) fame.
This is a rescue mission movie. The original ship had some sort of mysterious difficulty that was not totally explained. However an old hag soothsayer says the sooth does not look good. So we gather our cast the characters in a hurry as each one is mysteriously partially introduced to us, and the mission is underway.
The basic story is "and then there were none" in space. But can this story mask a more sinister purpose?
If you survive this movie and want more, read "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates.
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I don't know where this so-called "Galaxy of Terror" is, but it's certainly not the galaxy where the storyline of this movie plays out. Mind-numbing boredom yes, but terror - I don't think so. Honestly, I can't see how this movie ever got "cult classic" status. Even by Roger Corman's low standards, Galaxy of Terror is bad. And you know what? I think the James Cameron-designed sets are bland and uninspired, as well. [I also find Cameron's technique of using electric shocks to make maggots move on command rather revolting and unethical.] Take away the film's infamous rape scene, and this would truly be a forgettable low-budget B-movie.
A spaceship from the some planet run by a "Game Master" with a glowing red ball of light for a head has crashed on the alien planet Morganthus. Over the objections of his "game controller" witch, the Master immediately dispatches a crew to journey to Morganthus and look for survivors. This hand-picked crew ends up being the most dysfunctional crew imaginable. The captain, sole survivor of an earlier tragedy, is borderline insane; the mission commander hasn't left the orbit of his own desk in years; the team leader is a dangerous control freak; the cook (Ray Walston) is no ordinary cook; one crewman looks and acts like they just thawed him out from an ancient ice pack; and the youngest crew member is the biggest girly man to ever put on a uniform. You also have an empath (Erin Moran) whose skills basically serve no purpose here, and a young Robert Englund playing the only character with half a brain among the whole lot.
After exploring the downed ship they were looking for, the team discovers a large and mysterious pyramid on this seemingly unpopulated world.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
One of the Better B Terror FilmsMay 18 2004
C. A. Luster
- Published on Amazon.com
I saw this when first released at the theater in 1980. It was a great terror movie. The tension runs throughout the movie as a group tries to escape a planet that prays upon their fears. One scene with a giant caterpillar and a scantilly clad lady was rather erotic. A good movie for fans of movies like Hellraiser and Phantasm. A young Erin Moran and Robert Englund do a decent job of acting. This is not something to take to serious, but to sit down and watch with a big bowl of popcorn some afternoon or evening. It certainly doesn't deserve to be put in the MST3K archive. Considering the time it was made and its budget I think it holds up pretty well. Look at how few SciFi movies that were made in the early 1980s have survived.
P.S. This is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Not sure it's Blu-ray worthy but I did get the DVD version. Since this is a B movie I recommend you get it if you like it as it may go out of print.
Addendum 11/12/2013: Now available to view in Amazon Prime.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4 star movie -- plus a GREAT "making of" documentaryFeb. 24 2011
Thomas M. Sipos
- Published on Amazon.com
I saw GALAXY OF TERROR when it was first released in the 1980s. It was my favorite of the "top three" ALIEN ripoffs (the other two being FORBIDDEN WORLD and HORROR PLANET, aka INSEMINOID).
GALAXY OF TERROR is a weird film. Its sci-fi mysticism is more STAR WARS than ALIEN, but the sets are certainly "inspired" by ALIEN's H.R. Giger, albeit a poor man's Giger. (This IS a Roger Corman film.)
Others have explained the plot. Astronauts go on a rescue mission to a hostile planet, whereupon they meet strange deaths. Actress Taaffe O'Connell's nude rape scene by a giant, slimy maggot has become something of a cult event.
But what really sets this film apart from many DVD releases is its excellent "making of" documentary. Normally, I hate these things. They're usually just extended commercials (sometimes infomercials) shot when the film was made, to play on cable TV. Everyone just rehashes the plot, and offers obligatory praise (so you don't really know what they're thinking).
But GALAXY OF TERROR's "making of" documentary was shot in 2010 -- 29 years after the film was released. Many of these people are semi-retired, they have nothing to lose, so they can be trusted to tell the truth. Rather then prattling obligatory praise, they sound sincere, and offer interesting stories.
Roger Corman is interviewed, as are MANY of the actors (including Taaffe O'Connell), crew, and New World studio personnel. James Cameron (TITANIC, AVATAR) worked on GALAXY OF TERROR. He's not interviewed, but others discuss his work on the film.
This documentary (63 minutes long, according to the Internet Movie Database) is as interesting as the film itself, and that's rare.
The only fault with this DVD: when I hit the Display button on my DVD player, it won't reveal how long the film or documentary are, or how much time has elapsed. That's why I had to go to the Internet Movie Database to check the documentary's time.
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
For sentimental reasons.....March 17 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
.....I am going to rate this movie 4 stars. I was just a young lad of about 10 when I saw this film at the local movie house. I was a voracious fan of science fiction and was eager to see this one.
Despite being only 10, I recognized this movie for what it was; a B-movie version that SORT-OF resembled Ridley Scott's "Alien", but with a totally different plot. Maybe this could be considered a cross between "Alien" and "Poltergeist".
Regardless of the film's inspiration, it does display above-average production values for being a low-budget film. The special effects are actually quite decent (for the early '80s) and the set design is very good. The acting is definitely not top-notch, but there are some memorable scenes that pull you in. Besides the actors listed in the product description, look for some decent performances from Bernard Beherens (the Star Wars NPR radio dramas as "Obi-Wan Kenobi") and Grace Zabriskie (The Big Easy, Twin Peaks).
The story itself is quite original (I can't help but feel that "Poltergeist" borrowed from this one - it KNOWS what scares you) and you can easily get caught up in the film's eerie ambience. But, perhaps what is most intriguing is that this is a film brought to us by the legendary Roger Corman; king of the B-movies. Corman had also released "Battle Beyond the Stars" earlier that same year, but this film is far superior to it. BBTS was a meat and potatoes sci-fi film (think "Star Wars" crossed with "The Magnificent Seven") whereas "Galaxy of Terror" had deep psychological undertones and a much more sophisticated plot.
Anywho, at the time this review was written, there is a used DVD copy going for $2400.00. Give me a feakin' break! Who in their right mind is gonna pay that much money for a MOVIE?!?!?!? I realize that copies of this film on DVD are rare to non-existant, but with today's economy, you would have to be a fool or an oscenely wealthy person (maybe you're an AIG executive!) to spend that kind of money on a DVD. One day soon, someone will approve this movie for a mass-release and the going rate will be about $15.00. Get real. Shame on you for asking that kind of money for a MOVIE!
To sum up, this movie is worth a look if you're able to handle B-movies; and this one is pretty darn enjoyable! Just have the patience to wait until it is given a proper release (and don't spend $2400.00 for it!) Me, if it's ever properly released, I'll definitely buy it - even if just for sentimental reasons.
********** UPDATE !!! **********
This movie is finally getting a proper DVD treatement with lots of extras including cast and crew commentaries and behind-the-scenes shorts! The release date is July 20th. This film will definitely bring back memories!!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It's a Rip-Off, but not of Alien, It Basically Rips out Peoples Fears and Displays them on the Screen!Nov. 9 2012
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Everything from the set design to the gore effects just clicked, I really adored the idea of people dying by their own fears, the anamotronic monsters looked fabulous, and the characters were a little over decent. But I do not feel that this is Corman's best alien rip-off, it doesn't even feel like one.
Plot: A group of ten explores travel on a spaceship called "Quest" to a planet called "Morganthus" to find some hopeful survivors of a crashed spaceship. Soon however they find out that their own fears appear to be coming to life and killing them off one by one in gruesome fashion! Can anyone stay calm and try to find a way out of this personal living hell?!
Review: Galaxy of terror is one of those cult classics that everyone seems to enjoy everything about it from the great gore effects and set design to the disturbing maggot rape scene. This film definitley has some memoriable, grisly kills and it has earned itself the name Cult Classic but I for one did not enjoy it as much as "Forbidden World".... Don't get me wrong I still dug the hell out of Galaxy of Terror. I felt that the acting was very good considering the time this movie was made and the suspense was there but when the action really came it was more intense than entertaining which isn't really a bad thing. The best thing about this movie was that it was so original, it wasn't just an alien-type movie, there wasn't any real aliens in it anyway, the monsters were just creatures made out of the characters' sub-concious! This movie is basiaclly awesome in every self right, it could've been made into an hour and a half or two hour bore-fest but the deaths kept of piling up kill after kill and the terror was on full force!
Acting: We get two awesome horror icons (Robert Englund and Sid Haig), plus some others which who I don't really know much about if anything at all!
Gore: we get a partial cranium rip, an exploded head, a fried body, a severed arm, a groovy slit wrist, a parcel disembowlment, a bunch of slimey and grotesque monsters and more! This department was a treat!
Bottom Line: With it's $700,000 budget it was a very sucsessful picture creating tons of cult respect and a fan base! I've only watched it once but I am 100% positive that I will watch it again with all of it's superb special features!
Suggested MPAA: Rated R for horror violence and gore, and for a rape including nudity
Is it worth the Buy on a scale of 1-10: 10 For the Movie itself on a scale of 1-5: 4
21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Where's the DVD already??Jan. 24 2006
Matthew E. Hamilton
- Published on Amazon.com
I know this wasn't a great movie, but is has developed a cult following over the years. What I don't understand, is that this movie is in DVD in countrys like Itlaly and England. So, why not here in the States??
The last time I saw this movie, it was on an old VHS tape. As you can imagine the quality was awful. I am dying to see all the scenes in a more polished version that a DVD offers. Now it would be silly to think it would go through the digital enhancement one would like. That's too expensive for such a film as this, but it would make some company some money to do this. Hopefully they will soon.
As for the movie itself. I enjoyed it for what it was. A decent horror/sc-fi flick for it's time. I wish people would stop comparing it to Alien. All Sci-fi creature movies are alway compared to it...let movies stand on there one. This one does, it has a legendary scene with a blond girl and huge slimy creature. Alien never had that!!! And who could forget Erin Moran(good old innocent Joanie from Happy Days) get squished like a bug. Fun stuff.Look out for Freddy Krueger's Robert Englund in the cast. James Cameron got his start here too. There is quite a lot to this film and it's history so for God's sake...somebody buy the rights and put it out on DVD already!!!