Mill Creek Sci-Fi Invasion Box Set: Galaxina: Take 2 (1980)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We previously reviewed this movie on December 20, 2019, as part of our “Star Wars Month” of the films that influenced and were inspired by the franchise. Herbert P. Caine the pseudonym of a frustrated academic and genre movie fan in Pennsylvania – gives us his take on the film for its inclusion Mill Creek’s Sci-Fi Invasion 50-film pack. Either way you look at it: it’s a flawed film that we enjoy and wonder how it even got made in the first place.

Galaxina is a comedy with no laughs, a sex farce with no titillation, and a star vehicle with an absent star. As a science fiction movie, it reminds one of nothing so much as a black hole, sucking up all talent and effort that its cast and crew may have thrown at it. In short, it is a terrible movie.

Galaxina traces the adventurers of the crew of the Infinity, a police cruiser patrolling the galaxy and weakly attempting to maintain order. The ship is captained by one Cornelius Butt, played by Avery Schreiber. (Get it? His name is Butt! The film reminds us of this every few minutes!) However, the real power running the ship is the comely android Galaxina, played by the ill-fated Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten. This hyper-advanced AI can run an entire starship, yet is unable to speak. The plot meanders for a good half hour or so until the crew receives orders to retrieve the Blue Star, a MacGuffin that grants incredible power.

There are numerous flaws in this film to discuss, but perhaps the most glaring is its almost complete lack of humor. William Sachs, the writer and director of this film simply did not know how to pull off a joke. In many cases, the “joke” consists of nothing more than referencing another movie. For example, early on, we hear the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, only to reveal Captain Butt walking down a hallway. There is no real joke, just a 2001 reference. Now, references can actually be funny if they are done well; consider the Jaws reference at the beginning of Airplane!, which came out the same year as Galaxina. However, there needs to be a punchline to it, or at least some wit.

Galaxina does manage a few humorous bits which land, but they are few and far between. All too often, it drags out sketches for too long, as in an extended dinner scene involving an egg. Although the scene leads up to a parody of Alien which draws a few chuckles, it takes over five minutes to get to the point, stretching things out and boring the audience.

The film also fails as a sex comedy. Although the poster, which features a busty Galaxina, seems to imply that the film will have a good amount of sex and nudity, the movie itself fails to deliver. The only real nudity in the film comes via a holographic message the crew receives in which a secretary flashes them for thirty seconds. Although much of Galaxina’s sex appeal comes from the presence of Dorothy Stratten, the most you’ll get in this regard is a scene in which she wears a French maid outfit.

Galaxina is mainly remembered as being a star vehicle for the late Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her estranged husband approximately two months after its release. Many modern viewers are likely to seek out this film solely because of the presence of Stratten. However, even on the level of showing off a rising actress, the film fails. For roughly the first half of the movie, Stratten has no dialogue, as the android is mute until she programs herself to speak. In the few scenes she has in the first half, all she does is walk around and look pretty. There is no real opportunity to develop any interest in her character, and by the time the character develops the ability to talk in the second half, the viewer has already lost interest. A mute android has no real charisma; the character is as empty and vapid as the film itself.

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