Sci-Fi Sleazotronic Double-Feature

We have a couple of rough ones tonight, so put the kids to bed early.

9:00 p.m: Galaxy of Terror

With a poster looking like it was based upon a pencil sketch from the inside cover of a junior high student's trapper keeper, Galaxy of Terror delivers everything it promises. It's a refreshingly tasteless piece of exploitation cinema.

But all you ever hear about is the worm scene. Half of the items on the imdb.com trivia page reference it. For example, did you know that James Cameron, the second-unit director, shot that particular scene? Also, the worm was named "Maggie the Maggot" by the film crew. It weighed 1,000 pounds, and nearly crushed the actress beneath it. Also, "several frames had to be cut from the worm rape scene in order to secure an R rating. Moreover, the sound effects of bones breaking and snapping also had to be softened in order to appease the MPAA". Lovely.

But it's like the tree rape scene in "The Evil Dead", in that it takes too much attention away from the rest of the movie, and temporarily robs it of its fun. So although I'm not a fan of mutant-rape, the rest of the movie is entertaining trash, with lots of gratuitous, outrageous scenes. You get to see Joanie of 'Happy Days' head explode, for example. You also have Sid Haig, Robert Englund and My Favorite Martian. And the set design looks great.

You shouldn't be seeing this here, really. Go buy or rent the new Shout Factory DVD release instead, with hi-quality picture and lots of extra features. Also check out the not-as-good-but-still-excellent Forbidden World, also produced by Corman and designed by James Cameron, and shot on the same sets.


Why not visit our snack bar?

11:00 p.m: Inseminoid

Let the obnoxious title be a warning… this is second only to 'Faces of Death' as the sickest thing to appear in Futurechimp's Movie of the Week. In terms of both quality and taste, it's several grades below 'Galaxy of Terror'. But the intensity is still disturbing and memorable in a very unique way.

Director Norman J. Warren reminds me of a British version of Andy Milligan; a filmmaker with almost no talent, but he's still going to do the task with all the energy he possesses, as if he's trying to cough up a tumor. He ends up with incompetent but visceral films, with constantly agitated and violent characters and a nasty underlying contempt for humanity and repulsion towards sex. Check out his 1978 film 'Prey', if you can find it. Hardly any of his films are available on region 1 DVD. Anyway, brace yourself:


buddy h. said...

I watched Forbidden World on Halloween. Great production design. Made me want to get a barrel of methyl cellulose. Going to try to rent Galaxy of Terror this week.

stexe said...

Forbidden World has a very entertaining imdb page. Here's one of my favorite bits of trivia:

"During the monster's death scene, it vomits up a viscous pink fluid. This vomit was made up of a material that burns skin on contact. The fearful FX technicians and the second unit director decided to build a wall made of garbage bags to protect themselves, and then stuck a camera through to film the monster's death."

As I said, great movie, but Forbidden World is to Galaxy of Terror what Beneath the Planet of the Apes is to Planet of the Apes. Hope you can follow that.

buddy h. said...

I watched Galaxy of Terror, and I have to say chimp, like Trick 'r Treat, our opinions stand in stark contrast. Yes, production design was great in GOT. The cool cinematography framing the sets in the alien pyramid reminds me again of how much we've lost with the over-reliance of CG in sci-fi films.
BUT... this movie was just not fun - actually quite boring. Unlike Forbidden World, which didn't try to deliver serious drama - this movie tries WAY too hard to be a "real" movie and though the sets are up to the challenge. The acting, story and characters are bad - but not joyfully bad, just plodingly bad. I'll admit, I generally HATE the "monsters of your psyche" trope in sci-fi, so that was a big turnoff right up front but I really expected more fun from the hype and it was tough to sit through the final quarter.

I know my opinion is not the popular one (given GOT's cult status) but Forbidden World is the film I had thought Galaxy of Terror would be. I enjoyed it way more.

The only way I follow your Planet of the Apes analogy is if you were talking about the Tim Burton remake!!!

stexe said...

You could be right, and I could be blinded by nostalgia; I saw Forbidden World for the first time a few weeks ago, but experienced Galaxy of Terror at the drive-in when I was 12. It's like Forbidden Planet meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre... a sci-fi body count splatter film. Forbidden World is more of a traditional monster movie.

"Galaxy" certainly has more budget and talent behind the camera, you have to admit. As resources go, it's in the middle of the Roger Corman food chain: "Battle Beyond the Stars" (Corman's most expensive film) is at the top. Sets, costumes, props and footage were recycled for "Galaxy of Terror" a couple years later, then sets and footage from that were recycled for "Forbidden World" right after.