Horror Movie Review: Galaxy Of Terror (1981)


There is something really special about watching a horror movie released 3 years before you were born…there is something even more special about watching a great horror movie 3 years before you were actually born. Galaxy of Terror is such a film…

The movie opens on the desolate planet Morganthus were we see a panicked man running through the corridors of a crashed spaceship. He is running from something but eventually gets killed by an unseen force. We are then introduced to 2 characters playing a game & talking about events in motion. One of them stands out as his head is hidden in a ball of red light.

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This is the planet master a powerful mystic & the person in control. He instructs the military to conduct an expedition to the planet Morganthus & the ship Galaxy is sent with a motley crew led by the unstable Captain Trantor.

She survived a famous space disaster that has left her scarred mentally & she clashes with her crew. In fact they all have their issues & there are clear alliances from the start. Things take a turn for the worse when they unexpectedly crash-land on Morganthus. The planet is a dead place according to their resident psychic which causes even more conflict but they set about exploring the planet until they find the original downed spaceship. Inside it is clear something catastrophic has taken place & that whatever caused it may have also caused their crash.

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Through more exploration they discover a massive pyramid that seems to have been to blame for their accident but once inside they begin to get picked off one by one in increasingly gruesome ways. Turns out that the pyramid is acting as conduit for their fear & whatever scares them the most is coming alive & killing them.

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It’s extremely inventive & graphic with one infamous scene being altered, cut & banned in many countries.

Galaxy of Terror is looking its age now but as a first time watcher I can’t rave about it enough especially seeing some of my favourite horror movie actors in early roles (Robert Englund & Sid Haig) as well as the wonderful Taaffe O’Connell.

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What really blew me away was just how shocking & violent it could be. On a whim it would go from poor acting & dialogue with cheesy effects to head crushing’s & exploding bodies that looked amazing. It really took me by surprise but in a good way…

However nothing could have prepared me for the infamous maggot rape scene.

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It…is…mental…

Basically Taaffe O’Connell’s character is pretty freaked out by maggots & seems to have some issues with sexuality. She gets attacked by a giant maggot that rips her clothes off, covers her in slime & rapes her. It’s pretty graphic but what really got it in trouble was Taff’s character beginning to enjoy it & her screams of fear & panic turn into moans & groans before she has such a powerful orgasm that she well…dies.

For a seasoned horror movie fan it genuinely was something that I’ve never seen before. Really, really ground-breaking stuff….

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Unfortunately the movie does taper off in the final 15 & while the ending has been called a ‘cop-out’ I thought it was interesting & thought-provoking.

It’s worth watching for the maggot rape scene alone. Even if that isn’t your thing (whose is?) the movie has enough nasty deaths elsewhere that are gory & interesting. The acting jumps from mediocre to bad to really good constantly & it really does look rough at times but there is a lot to enjoy throughout its short run.

Galaxy Of Terror
  • 7/10
    The Final Score - 7/10
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