blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Galaxina (1980, William Sachs)

J.D. Hinton , Dorothy Stratten, and Stephen Macht star in GALAXINA, directed by William Sachs for Crown International Pictures.

Galaxina answers a number of burning questions. Most immediately, it shows practical special effects and miniatures is sometimes not the best way to do special effects. Because auteur William Sachs had a great cinematographer–Dean Cundey–yet the effects work in Galaxina is awful. But it’s not like Cundey shot any of it well. Galaxina apparently had just enough budget to rent a Western set and otherwise shot in a basement. It takes place in the far future… but all the rooms look like they’ve got sheets on the walls.

There’s no real story to Galaxina, not for the first half anyway. It’s about a bunch of morons on a spaceship, including a hunky one–Stephen Macht starts the movie with his shirt off, but he’s not exactly fit–who crushes on the ship’s android pilot. Dorothy Stratten plays said pilot (the titular Galaxina) and even an incompetent director like Sachs knows not to give her too much to do. He cuts around her reaction shots, which is jarring–George Berndt and George Bowers don’t make a single competent cut in the film–but a lot better than when she talks.

Avery Schreiber plays the ship’s captain and gives a performance like an audition for a bad Mel Brooks movie. Actually, Galaxina is a lot like bad Mel Brooks. It’s parody–particularly of 2001, but also homage to that one, in addition to Star Wars, Alien and Darkstar.

Sachs’s script is an odd kind of dumb. He doesn’t understand humor.



Written and directed by William Sachs; director of photography, Dean Cundey; edited by George Berndt and George Bowers; production designer, Thomas Turlley; produced by Marilyn Jacobs Tenser; released by Crown International Pictures.

Starring Stephen Macht (Sgt. Thor), Avery Schreiber (Capt. Cornelius Butt), J.D. Hinton (Buzz), Dorothy Stratten (Galaxina), Lionel Mark Smith (Maurice), Tad Horino (Sam Wo), Ronald Knight (Ordric), Percy Rodrigues (Ordric’s Voice) and Aesop Aquarian (Chopper).


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