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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Galaxy of Terror [Blu-ray]
(Bruce D. Clark, 1981)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: New World Pictures
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 37,185,421,929 bytes
Feature Size: 19,941,046,272 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.92 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 20th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1878 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1878 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1857 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1857 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Commentary track with actress Taaffe O'Connell, Make-up
artists Allan Apone, Alec Gillis and production assistant
Description: For the first time on Blu-ray, this cult
science fiction/horror film has been remastered in high
definition for the best possible, most gruesome
After a rough landing on the mystery planet, a rescue party heads for
the Remus. The Remus' is either dead or missing. With their ship in need
of repairs, Ilvar decides to investigate a nearby pyramid for clues as
to the fate of the Remus. Trantor, Ranger, and Kore stay behind on the
ship. Inside the pyramid, the crew learns that the planet or the pyramid
can make their deepest fears real. One by one, the crew is picked off in
gruesomely effective ways until the remaining survivors are forced to
discover who or what caused the Remus to crash land on the planet and is
determined to kill them off. The mystery ties in to the prologue and the
It's not much of an image but I expect the best you will ever get of this Corman classic. Noise is the most apparent culprit, but aside from that it can look fairly decent at times - especially in close-ups that tend to look much smoother. You actually get used to the textures and I found myself, almost comically, getting into the film. The limited effects are more noticeable in the higher resolution - but maybe I was just looking closer. Erin Moran is still kinda cute (Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days) - I wonder what ever happened to her? She meets some pretty gruesome circumstances here. Those anticipating glossy, sharp visuals from this, almost 30-year old cast-off, will no doubt be disappointed. With the Alien-esque feel this appears to have been intentionally made very dark and drab with metal hulls being the frequent backdrop - or, more likely they couldn't find more in the budget to improve things. I'm convinced that this is as good as it will get for Galaxy of Terror - a title I never thought would come out in Blu-ray.
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1878 kbps is limited but I respect the audio rendition. It would have been common to add a fake bump but this shows some respect for the manner in which it was first produced. There are some potent screams and the bass has a healthy 'ummphh' but the stereo holds it back from intense appreciation. It's actually pretty good all things considered and my software indicates optional English subtitles although I don't recall a way to enable them (use the 'subtitle button the remote dummy).My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
We really can't critique Shout! Factory in thesupplements department. They tend to go 'whole-hog' on this Corman cheese. Highlights would be the commentary track that has some life to it with actress Taaffe O'Connell, make-up gurus Allan Apone and Alec Gillis and production assistant David DeCoteau. There are some laughs and production anecdotes - all good. The hour long feature (in HD no less) Tales From the Lumber Yard: The Making of Galaxy of Terror has even more information though and I found myself enjoying many parts of it. There's much more including still galleries, trailers and the script in PDF. Great job!
Corman fans probably won't be doing much complaining here. Shout! Factory have put some real effort in and I do admit that it is quite cool to see such limited production sci-fi cinema in 1080P. I'm well aware of how this genre's 'cheese' is highly addictive. I wonder why that is? You won't be seeing Galaxy of Terror looking any better than it does on this Blu-ray, in my opinion. For all the work put in - the value seems attractive. Fans of Roger Corman (actually, one of the most prolific producers of all time) or of this cult-genre of imperfect films should probably indulge - watch with a few beers on a late Friday night with relaxing friends. It's good social fodder in a way most films aren't by demanding more of your attention.
July 13th, 2010
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze