January 8, 2011

Netflix'ns: Galaxy of Terror

Netflix'ns is a series of review shorts of films discovered on Netflix, be it DVD or streaming. For better or worse, I sat through these films and have lived to tell the tale. These are not so much reviews as just comments on the film watched. This is also a work in progress.

I first heard of this movie at the second Hudson Horror Show back in November. Interspersed through the show were classic B-movie trailers and this was one of them, but it was under an alternate title: Mind Warp: An Infinite of Terror. I knew I had to see it. Fortunately Netflix has the DVD.

This 1981 low-budget feature is a science fiction/horror mash up that was born of B-producer of legend Roger Corman's desire to make an Alien knock-off with his new company, New World Pictures. The end result is a lot of fun and runs more down the side of psychological horror. If you try to make sense of the entire thing you are likely to get a headache, but if you accept it and go along with the ride you have  blast as the cast are threatened by terrors sprung from their own minds.

The cast is great and includes the likes of Erin Moran (Happy Days), Sid Haig (Spider Baby, The Devil's Rejects), Robert Englund (pre-A Nightmare on Elm Street), and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian). On top of that there is the infamous maggot-rape sequence. What's not to like?

Oh yeah, on top of that, this is the fist credit for James Cameron! Yes, that James Cameron. He was production designer and second unit director. He was behind the maggot design and shoot and got the live maggots to move on the severed arm by passing electric current through them. The guy was ahead of his time.

This movie also points to the difference between B movies of the and now. Then we would get B movies made by those who wanted to make movies. Now we get 2 types of B movies, those made by big name talent trying to emulate B-movie aesthetics and those made on a low budget in order t make money. Now, this is not always true, but by and large seems to hold up, just look at the stuff Syfy puts out.

So, if you like B-grade genre films and old-school oddball stuff, toss this in your queue.

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