Thursday, September 6, 2012

Galaxy of Terror


  I'm a real sucker for low budget sci-fi dreck like this. Roger Corman sci-fi.  It's either way bloodier, way funnier (always unintentionally of course), or just full of way more random spontaneous lesbian sex (see: Forbidden World) than it's source inspiration (usually Star Wars or Alien). Fun right? Of course it is! What else would film geeks like me have to do at 1 am? Sleep? Pleeeease. That's for people with a life.

  Anyways, Galaxy of Terror opens kind of awkwardly, and the high pitched electronic score is not so much scary, as intended, but rather really ridiculous and frequently annoying. In fact, I think I'll just cut to the chase. Cause I could hardly focus on the first like... ten minutes or so. This spaceship and it's reluctant crew are dispatched on a recon and rescue mission to this remote planet like... really far away. It's only logical that they get there in seconds. Totally. Cause... hyperdrive, man! The solution to every sci-fi movie's problem of getting to someplace in a galaxy far far away.  Anyway, they crash... somehow. Because of stuff. That happens. And I realize I'm not doing a great job of making it sound good.

  Okay, the sets are surprisingly well done. The matte paintings, which really crop up in the latter half, are absolutely astounding. The pacing is really decent and there's lots of B-movie awesomeness to be had here.  The story itself is alot better than it's 'Alien knock-off' reputation would have you believe.  I don't wanna spoil it for you, cause it really is quite cool. But there is plenty of gore and 'what the fuck' scenes as a result.
So gorehounds... you will be satisfied. It's not extreme like some other similar titles in the genre, but it's pretty bloody all the same.

  It's also creative and makes a legitimate effort to be original.  Sure you do actually wonder at one point if everyone modeled their suits after Luke Skywalker's bespin outfit in Empire Strikes Back, and if their spaceship was designed by the dudes who made the Nostromo from Alien...
But hey! The setting is unique, the story is unique, the plot is decent, and the core concept is actually, from what I hear, more akin to Event Horizon.

  None of that is necessarily bad, it just makes for a familiar tone.  There is a strong air of cheesiness to it, due to some subpar special effects, how nearly every character's name is unintelligible, and especially the aforementioned ridiculous score... but for B-movie fans, you'll feel right at home. Every scene seems to strandle the line between terribly corny and legitimately well done.  For every moment of decent acting or an impressive effect, it's usually countered with an equally hammy line of dialog or an especially awkward something or other.

  Despite this, it sets such a brisk pace that you'll be caught up in the jump scares and big reveals far before you even begin to dwell on the corny bits.  It does a decent job of keeping you guessing about what's really going on too.  And as the story unfolds, you're treated to loads of creatures and plenty of odd death scenes.  It's the kind of movie, with wall to wall slime, lazers, gore, and general icky things that I would've killed to see on a drive in screen with the big bucket of popcorn and a large, ice cold Coca-Cola. Good cheesy fun to be had here that's paired with some unexpectedly good sci-fi concepts. I recommend it.

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