‘Galaxy of Terror’ gave us James Cameron and giant, libidinous alien maggots

July 16, 2010 | 2:50 p.m.

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Susan King covers classic Hollywood for the Hero Complex and, well, sometimes that term is more flexible than we thought because here she reviews “Galaxy of Terror,” which hits DVD and Blu-ray next week.

Galaxy of Terror poster Galaxy of Terror and Forbidden World,” the two latest Blu-ray releases from Shout! Factory’s “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics” line arriving July 20, are unabashed ”Alien”-rip offs filled with blood, guts and nubile naked babes. And they are strictly for the male of the species.

In fact, 1981’s “Galaxy of Terror” is best known for the maggot scene. And we are not talking the maggot scene in which the creepy crawlies are running over a severed limb. We are talking about the infamous scene in which a giant maggot disrobes and rapes a curvy astronaut (Taaffe O’Connell). Ewwwwww. There’s a bit of that scene in the original trailer, which you can watch on You Tube but not here.

Edward Albert, Erin Moran – yes, that’s Joanie from “Happy Days” — a pre-”NightmareRobert Englund, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and Ray Walston (looking like an especially demented Martian) star in this flick about a group of astronauts on a mission to a desolate planet to rescue a stranded spaceship. And one by one they are attacked by vicious alien creatures on the planet that are physical manifestations of their own fears.

Besides the libidinous maggot, “Galaxy of Terror” is also known for its James Cameron connection. The Man who Would Be King of the World was the production designer on the film and was also involved in other aspects of the production. One of the challenges was devising a way to get motionless maggots to wriggle for the camera — he zapped them with electric current. There are a slew of fun extras including “The Crew of the Quest,” an hourlong documentary on the making of the film and “Future King,” in which crew members and actors recall working with Cameron.

Corman used some of the same set from “Galaxy of Terror” for 1982’s “Forbidden World,” which was originally entitled “Mutant.” Jesse Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris and Michael Bowen headline this sillybilly sci-fi film about a federation space marshal who arrives at a scientific research lab at a remote planet where a mutant genetic experiment has gotten loose and is feeding off of everyone in the lab.

Between lots of gory scenes, there’s an absolutely gratuitous nude interlude between Vint and Chadwick and an indescribable bizarre bit where Chadwick and Dunlap are showering while discussing how to trap the mutant. This Blu-ray is also chock full of extras including interviews with Corman, director Allan Holzman, Vint and other members of the crew.

– Susan King

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Comments


2 Responses to ‘Galaxy of Terror’ gave us James Cameron and giant, libidinous alien maggots

  1. wcmartell says:

    Hey, without GALAXY OF TERROR we wouldn't have EVENT HORIZON (and several other bigger budget ripoffs) – and without Paul WS Anderson, where would we be as a species?

  2. Jack King says:

    Today's horror directors need to take heed of those classic flicks and remember this mantra: MORE NUDITY! LESS PRUDITY!
    Seems actresses and directors are shying away from showing female skin in their films today. Why? Nudity is a staple of horror films. Always has been and always should be — especially when you consider most horror scripts these days stink! The latest Friday the 13th and Bloody Valentine redos did an excellent job of upping the nudity factor, but they are rare examples.
    It seems ever since Janet Jackson horrified the word with her scrawny flashed boob and Bush gave the sexually-stunted puritans at the FCC too much power, society began running scared when it came to bare bodies. TV became a G-rated wasteland for awhile and even films started to heed the outcry of the moral minority.
    Now, thankfully — and finally — courts are beginning to slap the FCC back into the dark holes where they belong. Hopefully this will help open the repressed minds of studios and directors and remind them that the majority of people who see horror films (aka guys) want to see attractive naked women on the screen again — just like those wonderfully cheesy low-budget Corman flicks of yesterday.

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