|The Plot: When a spacestation is picked up on the radar and is found to be entirely lifeless, another group of space pioneers are sent out to find any possible survivors and bring them back. As one could possibly guess at this point, things don’t run so smooth once the ship lands on this desolate landscape. In the midst of this giant rubble covered planet is a massive pyramid shaped object that has some form of mystic power. The group slowly starts to dwindle down as each and every member has their own nightmares and worst fears come to life. The group quickly splits in parts, as their squad leader goes on a power trip and all logic seems to be fleeting. Will this group learn to pair up and not let their fears get the better of them, or will these nightmarish creatures take them all?|
Yes, you read that right. Your eyes have not deceived you. A maggot rapes a woman in this picture. This isn’t your regular household maggot mind you. The anatomy simply wouldn’t work! Being a Corman production we know that bigger is better, so imagine your garden variety maggot and then blow him up to roughly fifteen feet long and about six foot thick and you have a good start. Although I would like to think that I, as a film reviewer and commentator, would be far removed from the type of author who tries to sell a movie based solely on any kind of shock element… but I truly am not that mature. Having not seen Galaxy of Terror beforehand, I did not know going into this movie that it would A) be so violent and B) feature a maggot-rape scene. So imagine my shock, bewilderment and downright juvenile entertainment at these two discoveries when screening the movie! By all standards I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Galaxy of Terror is a fantastic piece of science fiction. The characters are paper thin even for a project like this, with much of the film dedicated to showing that these “astronauts” have the ability explain complicated sounding materials and machines to one another. So, the gore must have come from the fact that this movie obviously needed a little something special going for it. It shoots for the lowest common denominator in that respect, but for myself as a viewer I some times enjoy seeing how far the spiral can go. Galaxy of Terror is a throwback to a different time and a different element. There were many prudes still around, but Roger Corman didn’t care and he knew that people would have no other reaction to hearing about a maggot-rape scene than to say “where can I see this?” and that is part of what makes the man brilliant.
There’s no getting past it, Galaxy of Terror has ‘b-movie’ written on it from the jump. The dialogue is at times utterly atrocious and no matter the considerable talent level of this cast, they find it tough bringing much of it to life. Thankfully we as the audience can gather a few smirks from some of these gems. Shot on a shoe-string budget that is well covered on the documentary accompanying the Shout Factory DVD, that certain level of goofiness found in the film is understandable and with viewers like myself – it is actually enjoyed! The attempts at creating a gimmick for each character is cheesy enough in itself, but I still have a soft spot for that kind of cheap attempt at endearing a character to the audience. It doesn’t work for every film, but in older movies with a more naive tone I find that it can be charming to a degree. I particularly enjoyed Sid Haig whose character has the most gimmicks going for him. He plays his role entirely mute and has only one line during the course of the entire production, but he still manages to really stick out despite this. His use of two highly ineffective throwing stars, made out of crystal and over a foot long, is another great attribute that causes him to stick out like a sore thumb. Ridiculous? Sure! That is the name of the game however when you’re trying to appeal to this type of demographic. If it were not for the massive amounts of violence, Galaxy of Terror could very well play to children!
Yet that violence is what makes Galaxy of Terror the project that it is and it was. Featuring dismemberments, intestines, head explosions and an incredibly campy vibe – this movie proves itself as a horror movie despite its science fiction introduction. There is one scene involving a piece of glass being shoved beneath one character’s skin that even managed to make me hiss a little! While making the movie’s ‘monsters’ appear different to each character, the film finds a way to kill off many members of the crew in bizarre and highly different fashions. This idea would later be re-appropriated in the movie Sphere which one can’t help think of while watching. Although that movie attacked similar ideas in a different manner, I can’t help but wonder if the original author ever at one point stumbled upon some drive-in that featured a showing of Galaxy of Terror and later had visions dancing in his mind!