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Galaxina simply fails on every level. It’s a comedy that’s not funny. It’s a science fiction parody made by people who don’t understand or even appreciate science fiction, and it’s a exploitation film without any guts.

As a fan of science fiction and movies, Galaxina is one of those films that has been mentioned as a historical curiosity. I remember seeing the glossy photos of Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten in her 70s space hair, and cosmic makeup, and being dazzled with the prospects of that film, but I never got around to watching it.

The plot, or what we’ll call “plot,” is the crew of a police cruiser called the “Infinity” is tasked with a mission to travel 27 years in cryosleep to Altar One to find the Blue Star, which promises unlimited power to whoever holds it. Set in the 31st century, it features the crew of the Infinity, which includes a robot named Galaxina that develops emotions.

The Star Wars Effect

Galaxina opens with a space crawl that mirrors the original Star Wars, and a languid pass over the top of the Infinity. This is only the first of many “tributes” to classic science fiction in Galaxina, including Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, and 50s sci-fi films. But Galaxina has Star Wars firmly in its sights.

What people who weren’t around in 70s don’t understand is that the success of Star Wars was a surprise to everyone in Hollywood (including creator George Lucas). Every movie studio rushed to respond to that success by giving us poor-quality parodies and ill-conceived sci-fi projects. Flash Gordon, which was also released in 1980, had a much better grasp on what Lucas was trying to achieve with Star Wars (since Star Wars itself was a reaction to old Flash Gordon serials).

Galaxina is hopelessly dated because it was so fixated on Star Wars, and science fiction in general, that it can’t find its own story.

Galaxina is further dated by suggesting that it’s going to take us another 1000 years to create a robot that has emotions. I think it’s interesting that in the last four decades that we’ve gone from science fiction that suggests that robots will have emotions in a millennium, to stories that explore what would happen if we create an emotional robot today.

But again, Galaxina was not made by a science fiction fan.

Here Lies the Blame

William Sachs assumes writing and directing duties for Galaxina, so he takes the majority of the blame for lackluster characters, the dull plot, the failure to deliver laughs and the strangely somber tone throughout this film.

The first hour of Galaxina inches along like a symposium about geological formations. I have no idea how Sachs manages to take a police cruiser set in space, a sexy robot, and a mission to the far reaches of the universe, and make it so perfunctory.

If you can make it through the first two-thirds of Galaxina it does pick up a bit when they reach Altar One. Then we get a western town (with a bar scene right out of Star Wars) and some sort of 50s biker gang. I can appreciate surrealism, but where was this in the first hour? Honestly, if Galaxina went off the range earlier and more often, it might have been more enjoyable.

What counts for character development is having Sgt. Thor (Stephen Macht) smoke a big cigar while he exercises on a rowing machine (which is shown on numerous occasions) and having Buzz (J.D. Hinton) wear a dirty Dodgers t-shirt.

Avery Schreiber (who plays Captain Cornelius Butt… get it?) was never more unfunny than in Galaxina, and he was classically unfunny.

I’ll give some charisma points to J.D. Hinton’s character. He did the best with what he got, which was not much.

And Stratton as Galaxina? Actually she was fairly charming in the role, despite her poor acting. Another great improvement would have been to give her a voice from the beginning and include her in the crew’s antics. Her scene in the old west town was one of the best in the movie.

A good science fiction writer would have explored how a robot who is struggling with newfound emotions would cope. Don’t worry, William Sachs doesn’t like sci-fi.

Not So Bad It’s Good

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe Galaxina is so bad that it’s actually entertaining. Please don’t think that. I wish that were the case.

Maybe the biggest failure of all is that you have this sci-fi surrealist comedy that flirts with being lurid, but just can’t pull the trigger. It’s like a porn movie that never gets past inviting the delivery boy in the door.

If William Sachs wanted to make a splash with Galaxina then he should have had the huevos to lean into the absurdity that he obviously enjoys, and he would have directed his actors to look like they were having fun instead of attending a funeral.

Maybe you’d like to see some movies that tried what Galaxina did, but with more success? I’d suggest watching SpaceballsGalaxy Quest, or The Fifth Element instead. Or if you really want to know what a surreal science fiction film would have looked like at that time, then see the excellent documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.

I watched this movie so you don’t have to. Galaxina is a dud.

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