Galaxy of Terror,
1981, USA   DIRECTED BY BRUCE D. CLARK
Slightly derivative of both Alien
and Forbidden Planet
, Galaxy of Terror
deservedly bombed at the box office but has since gained a big cult following mostly because of that ubiquitous B-movie producer's credit, "Roger Corman". The story is familiar enough: the crew of a spaceship investigate a mysterious pyramid on a distant planet and come face-to-face with their own monsters from the Id. How they are picked off is predictable enough, with the possible exception of one crew member whose biggest fear is rape, and who gets tangled up rather unpleasantly with a giant worm. This was a scene that, in a rather sick twist, Corman had privately promised his financial backers; the director and actress refused to shoot it so Corman shot it himself with a body double, and the censors then insisted on making cuts (the entire scene is, apparently, lost). It's still the scene you remember from an otherwise unremarkable movie; everything looks like Aliens
(but then that's possibly because James Cameron was the production designer), the monster effects look good despite not being the least bit scary, and the compulsory gore and dismemberment scenes look just a bit too plastic. Plus, it's mostly the annoying, garish and entirely synthesised soundtrack that gives away this movie as being a product of the 1980s. I wish I could say "they don't make 'em like this any more", but unfortunately they do.
Tags: 1980s sf film, monster movies, roger corman, science fiction