Friday, November 16, 2007

Galaxy of Terror (1981)

The annoying thing about B.D Clark's 1981 Alien wannabe is that it's a waste of $4.5 million budget with his direction, and using the script that was written.
Produced by Roger Corman's New World Production's it's easy to imagine just how this 81 minute film might have turned out in the right hands. In the same year that he directed his first feature Piranha II: Flying Killers, James Cameron was Unit Director and Concept Artist/FX Crew on Galaxy of Terror, although given directorial credit on Piranha II most of the work was said to have been done by Ovidio G. Assonitis who edited the movie whilst Cameron was locked out of the studio. Cameron went on to prove himself as a director with 1984's The Terminator and Aliens in 1986.

Looking at Galaxy of Terror from purely a visual standpoint it's easy to see Cameron's influence on the design aesthetic, the production has very strong set design and FX design for such a low budget film. The bridge of the rescue ship is a pretty big set and the corridor sections of the ship have a hint of Alien and of the later Aliens about them.

Cameron also does a good job at capturing a Giger-esque style for the main pyramid and it's interior, but this stuff is almost too good for such a crap plot.
Helping with the visual FX work on Galaxy of Terror were Robert and Dennis Skotak who went on to work with Cameron on Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2 and Titanic.

For an actual review of the movie on DVD Maniacs click Here


paulhd said...

Always wanted to see this, a grimy shlocky Alien rip off still sound ace to me.... Oh, I forgot how bad Species was.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

The trouble with the film is it's not just a plain Alien rip off, they try to add all this magic of the pyramid and mind games and this guy called the Planet Master, he's on the top set of pics with the glowing head !!

Moonwatcher said...

This is the film where the woman is raped by the giant maggot right ?

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Mmmm, I'm not sure raped, more molested and slimed would be the word. It's quite comedy watching her wrestle with a giant rubber caterpillar looking thing.

Nik Holmes said...

Yeah, the whole magic angle really didn't do it for me, was like they were going for a Jedi kinda thing. Kooky.
But Joannie Cunningham exploding! Ace!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Yeah Nik, that was good to see even if it was a rather crap effect !!

Paul said...

I saw this years ago when it first came out. I don't see a parallel between Alien and it or any other movie except that they do land on an alien planet with no one around except the first master.
It was a cool film watching all the crew succumb to their "greatest fears", except that many things that we humans fear are not deadly. Like the maggot raping the woman, that is not in and of itself deadly. It would have been more appropriate for the rape to constantly repeat. She was apparently a lesbian who hated men and their pleasure appendage. A fear that never ends or endlessly repeats is truly horrific.
I didn't like the end, where the guy becomes the new master. We didn't get to understand just what that meant, so it was pretty lame.
I didn't know this wasn't available on dvd. That's a shame. It is one of the most original films ever made.