Galaxy of Terror (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Sid Haig, Robert Englund, Edward Albert, Ray Walston, Robert Englund, Erin Moran, Grace Zabriskie, Taaffe O'Connell
Directed by Bruce D. Clark
Distributed by Shout! Factory
For many, many years Galaxy of Terror has only been available to serious collectors who bust their asses to make sure that whatever movie they're seeking is lovingly burned onto a DVDr and placed into their collection. Why is it so hard to find? It may have something to do with the whole chick being violated by a giant maggot scene for starters. Folks tend to shy away from such subject matter as that. Thankfully, Shout! Factory has stepped in and not only given this flick an official release as part of its Roger Corman Collection, but a pretty friggin' stellar one at that!
The story is simple, if not at times a bit convoluted. The future is here and its ruler, the glowy redhead known only as The Master, has sent a rescue ship to the planet Morganthus in search of the remains of some other explorers who encountered some pretty pissed off aliens when their ship crashed there.
Upon arrival our motley crew of space explorers, including Sid Haig, Robert Englund, Grace Zabriskie, and even Shortcake herself, Erin Moran, find the ship's wreckage along with a giant pyramid-like structure that looks to be home to all manner of interstellar horrors. That's right, kids, it's hell on ... well ... not Earth for our wild bunch as whatever is existing on this planet has the power to manifest itself into whoever happens upon its greatest fear. And from there the body count piles up pretty damned high.
Truth be told, this is not a great movie by any of today's standards, but it doesn't have to be. There's enough gore and sleaze to keep even the most jaded viewer thoroughly entertained, and for what the filmmakers lacked in budget, they more than made up for with ambition and imagination. At the end of the day Galaxy of Terror is a fun time, and that's really all we could hope for from a film that features insect rape, is it not?
The DVD and the Blu-ray are home to prints of this flick that are literally to die for, and while of course the Blu edges out its standard definition cousin in terms of picture quality and sound, you really can't miss either way. Especially since each package is home to the same set of stunning new special features put together by supplemental badass Michael Felsher and his crew at Red Shirt Pictures, some of whom are proud Dread Central alumni. We're proud of ya, boys!
Things kick off with a lively commentary featuring star Taaffe O'Connell, creature effects guys Allan Apone and Alec Gillis, and moderator David DeCoteau. These folks have some tales to tell, and DeCoteau knows how to keep the conversation moving at a brisk pace.
There's also a bevy of behind-the-scenes featurettes that take us from production design to the film's many visual effects though interviews, etc., and while good, they all pale in comparison to the crown supplemental jewel of this package, the hour-long documentary Tales from the Lumber Yard: The Making-of Galaxy of Terror. This bit of absolute goodness features anecdotes, stories, and more from all of the surviving key players with the exception of Erin Moran and now mega-director James Cameron, who served as the director of photography on this long buried gem. Of course the usual stuff like concept art and behind-the-scenes images are present and accounted for, but it's the candidness of the participants that really keeps this one moving. No punches are pulled here, folks, as the interviewees simply let it all hang out in terms of what it was like not only making this flick but also working with Corman and Cameron. The results, I promise, are pretty damned amusing and nostalgic to boot.
Add on the screenplay, a kickass twelve-page essay by Rue Morgue's former editor Jovanka Vuckovic, some massive photo galleries, and of course a trailer gallery; and we have one of the most extras stacked releases of the year.
The love and affection Shout! Factory puts into its products makes me wish the company was handling every DVD and Blu-ray release to come out. Still, they have a full enough slate ahead of them that's littered with tons more horror movies waiting to creep into our collections. One thing's for certain ... it's a great time to be a Roger Corman fan.
3 1/2 out of 5
5 out of 5