Tuesday, November 7, 2006

GALAXINA

BCI Eclipse has recently unleashed upon an unsuspecting and unprepared public the science fiction spoof GALAXINA (1980) in a special “25th & 1/2 Anniversary Edition.”

I first read about this film – as with many others – in Starlog magazine when I was a teen, and ended up waiting 26 years to actually see it. The movie is known (by those who know of it at all) as being one of the very few film vehicles for actress Dorothy R. Stratten, the lovely Playboy Playmate and Bogdanovich protégé who was murdered by her husband shortly before the movie was released.

Unfortunately, GALAXINA is terrible; a remarkably unfunny comedy from William Sachs, the director of THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (another movie I only know about from old Starlogs) and good old Crown International Pictures.

Strratten portrays the title character, the shapely android pilot of the intergalactic police cruiser Infinity. While she’s both beautiful and competent at her job, the rest of the crew are neither. Captain Cornelius Butt (Avery Schreiber, CAVEMAN) is an idiot, and his officers Thor (Stephan Macht, THE MONSTER SQUAD) and Buzz (J.D. Hinton) are almost as bad. But Galaxina and Thor nonetheless have feelings for one another, feelings they cannot act upon, because physical contact causes the android to short circuit. After a visit to an alien brothel, the crew of the Infinity is assigned to find a magical artifact, the Blue Star, and keep it out of the hands of the resident Darth Vader clone.

While there’s some potential in here, it’s almost completely squandered by director Sachs, who has no apparent sense of comedy timing whatsoever. The characters and humor are crude, the gags are cliché, and while Stratten is undeniably beautiful to look at, her role as a robot seems to stretch her limited emoting abilities. There are a couple of decent alien designs by Chris Walas (in particular, the “Rock Biter”), and a few jokes that almost work, but overall, the film remains notable only for its association with its tragic leading lady.

BCI’s classy 25th Anniversary Special Edition treats the film like a comedy masterpiece, however, with a sharp, clean 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. There’s also a boatload of bonus features. There’s a commentary track by director Sachs and actor Stephen Macht (God love ‘em, they still think this movie is funny!), another audio interview with Sachs, additional footage from the international version, the theatrical trailer, and four still galleries. DVD ROM features include the original script and shooting script, as well as reprints of the above-mentioned Starlog articles. Finally, there’s a 6-page booklet with stills and a biography of Stratten.

Once again, we’ve got a bad movie in a fantastic DVD package. Recommended only for people interested in the late Dorothy Stratten… or fans of Avery Schreiber. If there are any.

BUY: Galaxina