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Before Aliens, you had Alien. But, after Alien and still before Aliens, you had Galaxy of Terror, a doozy of an early 1980s sci-fi b-movie. If this Roger Corman produced space screamer looks like Aliens test footage, there is a good reason: Aliens director James Cameron worked on production design early in his career.
Yep. Mr. Titanic himself helped give Galaxy of Terror its signature look, and had no problem usin’ some of the same tricks on Aliens. And it is the production design and special effects what make Galaxy of Terror look fancier than it really is, like when I wear a shirt with sleeves.
Even the plot is very similar to Aliens. Galaxy of Terror is basically Aliens before Aliens was Aliens: A hot shot rescue team travel to a far away planet to look for survivors. And like in Aliens, hilarity ensues. By which I mean terrible, gruesome deaths at the hands of slimy creatures.
The cast is noteworthy too, as it stars pre-Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Kruger, Joanie from Joanie Loves Chachi, Laura Palmer’s Mom from Twin Peaks, Zalman “Red Shoes” King, Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and last but not least, Sid Haig.
The intrepid team succumbs to beasts/things/whatevers generated by their deepest fears (which Freddy Kruger fans should enjoy). Sometimes it is a slimy monster pulling someone to their doom, other times it is Sid Haig cutting his own arm off (always a plus in any b-movie). And other times, it is Taaffe O’Connell being stripped and humped to death by a giant worm.
Yep, the WTF Factor is pretty dang high in this one.
The beauty of Galaxy of Terror is, you never know what it is going to throw at ya next, kinda like when my third wife would get into my stash of bathtub gin. Galaxy of Terror is a well-made b-movie, which is a rarity, and is worth tracking down. Tiger says, give this one a watch and enjoy the crazy ride.
Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws comics and writes humor for Clattertron.