Friday, September 24, 2010

Six Feet Two, Eyes of Blue And Oh Boy What That Gal Can Do!

Galaxis (Interlight, 1995)

Before the Camera:

Brigitte Nielsen   (Red Sonja)
Richard Moll   (TV's Night Court)
Craig Fairbrass   (Cliffhanger)
John H. Brennan (TV's Bordertown)
Fred Asparagus (Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo)  (<----Wotta Moniker!™)
Roger Aaron Brown (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack)
Kristin Bauer (TV's True Blood)
Alan Fudge (Capricorn One)
Louisa Moritz (The Last American Virgin)
Sam Raimi (!) as the Nervous Official

Behind the Camera:

Directed by William Mesa

Produced by Patrick Choi, Nick Davis, William Mesa, Patrick Peach (Wotta Moniker!™) and 5 other assorted producers

Written by Nick Davis

    We start right out with a narrator so chatty he starts blabbering before the credits are over, proving to be the young voice of Lord Tarkin (played onscreen as an adult by Britisher Fairbrass) and setting up the story to be about him and his adventures. Bad guys are attacking Tarkin's planet, Sintaria, and scads of people are running for the bunkers as spaceships fly over zapping all with lasers and bombs. Among the runners is Ladera (Nielsen), Tarkin's Amazonian sister with a strangely nonmatching accent. As she tries to save as many refugees as she can, Tarkin is arguing with his bunker commander (Bauer) and the Nervous Official (Raimi) about what to do to save Sintaria.

In a clever bit of camouflage, the underground bunkers go up. Genius! No one would look for them there.

    Finally, Ladera makes it into the bunker, which is now under attack by a tricky undercover cyborg/robot thing (terrific mix of stop motion and animatronics here) but then Chief Baddie Kyla (Moll) strides in (very easily, I might add) and things go even further downhill. Thanks to the Nervous Official's Space Weaseldom, Tarkin is killed (so what was up with that narration then?) and Kyla makes off with the McGuffin Crystal, source of all power, energy, and birthday cake for the Sintarians. Ladera drops to her knees (a considerable distance - she's really tall!) and bellows NOOOOOO...
    ...which almost makes her miss Tarkin's dying words. We hear them though, as he whispers that although Kyla has stolen the crystal, there's a spare crystal (luucky!) hidden away on a backwater planet - all Ladera has to do is retrieve it. (Lesson #1: No matter how many resources it takes or how rare the first one is or how much it costs - always have a spare crystal constructed.)

"I just hope the spare's not one of those balloon crystals where you can only run your planet at 50 gigawatts for a few decades..."
     Cut to everyone's favorite backwater planet, Earth, circa 1995. Adventurer Jed (Brennan) has recently returned from Peru, where it so happens he found a mysterious glowing crystal that just might be his ticket to Easy Street. But as is so often the case with glowing crystals of immeasurable power, Jed finds he is in competition for it, chiefly from greasy gangster Victor (Asparagus) and his henchmen. Things take a couple of turns for the complicated as first Ladera, then Kyla show up and people start to die and things start to blow up. Lots of things. This brings police detectives Carter (Brown) and Kelly (Morgan) onto the case as Jed and Ladera team up, countered by Victor at every turn, with sporadic Kyla attacks. Everybody travels all over the city to find as many places to "pay tribute" to as many scenes from The Terminator movies as possible. And maybe, just maybe, at one of these places, someone can find the answer to why this is called...Galaxis?

    With it a given that this is an "homage" stew of several science fiction and action flicks that came before, like Star Wars, Peacemaker, and I Come in Peace, it is indeed mainly the Terminator movies on whose cinematic skeleton this filmic Frankenstein is built. Ah, but who cares? If we close ourselves off to movies like this, we'd never watch a lot of Roger Corman's New World movies of the 70's and 80's, and very few Italian genre pictures. I mean, if you pick up a movie starring Brigitte Nielsen and Richard Moll, you must have some idea what you're getting into, right? And with an Asparagus on screen, and a Peach behind the camera, I gotta ask - was this movie put together at the Farmer's Market? There's even a table (Mesa) to serve them on!
    Speaking of him, director William Mesa started out in Visual Effects, first running the Introvision process for movies like Outland and Megaforce in the early 80's all the way up to Army of Darkness in the early 90's (which explains the out-of-nowhere Sam Raimi cameo at the beginning of the movie), before turning to directing a handful of movies in the mid 90's, then back to Visual Effects ever since on flicks as diverse as The Last Samurai, White Chicks, and Clash of the Titans '10. He brings his Bag of FX Tricks along with him for Galaxis, and we have special effects all over the place, from motion control to laser battles, from rotoscoped energy beams to the aforementioned stop motion and animatronics. He doesn't skimp on the physical effects either, with copious gun battles and explosions from beginning to end. The script is serviceable, if not particularly inspired, with a couple of funny lines amidst the mayhem. The acting is a mixed bag, as might be expected. Nielsen is her usual stoic self, with not one ounce of humor or irony anywhere but with enough presence to handle this lead (and she really is tall - in a scene where she morphs into Moll (don't ask) there's no appreciable change in their height from one to the other); as always, Moll only hits one note in his Screen Villainy, but it's an entertaining note; Brennan is lantern jawed and stalwart and not much else (nice mullet!). The standouts in the cast are the cops, with Brown and Morgan pretty funny and working well together, and Alan Fudge (a VERY familiar face, seemingly appearing in every television show produced in the 70's and 80's) handling his police chief deftly in his few minutes of screen time. I also like that portly Asparagus, who would have been brought on as a quick in-and-out joke bad guy in most movies, actually proves to be as big a threat as Moll's Space Villain, tenaciously turning up at the wrong moment throughout the movie with thugs in tow. All in all, I had a good time watching this movie, and think you might too! So track it down and give it a try!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

It took a while, but Fred Asparagus (I never get tired of writing that!) finally throws out The Line at 1:04:00 to tell his minions he'd like to avoid participating in Richard Moll's Terminator tribute in the police station, then again soon after at 1:06:45 when he decides he doesn't like the new place either.

Eye Candy ?

If you're into Nordic ice queen amazons (and really, who isn't?), then Brigitte Nielsen in the mid 90's is just the ticket.
And here she is in an never-produced attempt at a She-Hulk movie which I'm sticking in right here because I have no better place for it.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says "Galaxis is a pretty good movie starring some freakishly tall folks!"

   Thanks BM, and til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

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