Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Somehow I missed ‘Galaxy of Terror’ when it was first released to theaters back in 1981, which is a bit surprising because despite the fact I was too young to get into R-rated movies back then, this was the kind of movie that my older brother usually went to go see and would invariably drag me along with him. I can only assume the release of this flick coincided with my then 18-year old brother growing weary of having his 12-year old sibling clicking along his heels, and dedicating the rest of his life, to this day mind you, to the relentless chasing of skirts. Surprisingly, despite the fact this flick is over twenty five years old, it has probably the most gratuitous nude scene I have ever seen. And that’s saying something. The previous winner was the movie ‘Universal Soldier: The Return’ when Van Damme and some chick were driving around the city looking for a computer with the Internet. Fortunately Van Damme spies a strip club and surmises that ‘All Strip clubs have computers’ and in they go so we can see some completely unnecessary titties. I would have suggested a library or a FedEx Kinkos before a strip club, but bare tittes are hard to come by in those locations. But ‘Galaxy of Terror’ was better and even more gratuitous than that.

Legendary schlock director Roger Corman, who was apparently trying to get some of that ‘Alien’ dollar, produced this somewhat confusing 75 minute film which stars the late Edward Albert as Cabren, a member of a salvage crew sent to look for and retrieve survivors from a lost ship some weeks earlier. We know something is up because some dude with a glowing orange head known as ‘The Master’ has dispatched our crew to this planet for nefarious reasons that will become clearer after most of them are dead. In addition to Mister Albert we also have Opie Cunningham’s little sister and Chachi’s girl, Erin Moran on board, a young Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) the late Ray Walston who at one time was ‘My Favorite Martian’, Zalman King who I had no idea used to be an actor before he did that ‘Red Shoe Diary’ stuff and some chick named Taaffe O’Connell who I noticed has pretty rockin’ figure and presumed she may get naked before the credits rolled, I just didn’t know how.

One by one our heroes get picked off, but never twice by the same creature which has us wondering what exactly is going on, and My Favorite Martian is acting suspiciously like the Ian Holm character from ‘Alien’ leading us to believe that he knows more information than he is letting us in on. And though it’s all a big jumbled mess, when it finally does get to the earth shattering conclusion, all becomes clear to us at long last.

Now this is a bit of spoiler but everybody is dying by their own worst fear. So Taafe O’Connell’s character is scared of worms and soon she is face to face with a supersized maggot that looks suspiciously like a mutated Mothra worm only with sharp teeth. For some reason the worm sucks all of Taffy’s clothes off and slimes her up while she screams in terror, and as suspected she does has a very ample figure. But not content to stop there, Director B.D. Clark has the worm rape Taaffe I guess, for no other reason than I could tell but because it could. Thus I imagine her character’s fear was being raped by a worm, and you can read into that whatever you so choose. I’m thinking that since she was raped by the worm she’s going spawn little Alien style worm babies, but no, because she dies after the worm violation thus giving this scene the title of the most gratuitous nude scene ever.

The rest of ‘Galaxy of Terror’ is a mix mash of ideas and scenes executed better in other movies, but it did have some fascinating scenes which include a man getting killed by his own severed arm, an exploding head and of course the violation by the worm. The narrative was extremely suspect but had I seen this movie back in ’81 and wasn’t as jaded as I am now, and it is possible that some of the scenes were actually scary. I know that the gore factor was sky high for the early eighties which also might have brought about a squeamish moment or two back in the day.

Though ‘Galaxy of Terror’ can’t qualify to be called a good movie, no matter what the decade, it did have some interesting things in it worth seeing, and you’ll also notice the name of one James Cameron in the credits as well. From here we are told he went on to direct ‘Piranha II’ and as testament to the will of the human spirit, despite this suspect start to his career the man persevered long enough to get riches, marry hotties and grab an Academy Award. Yay The Human Spirit!

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