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Galaxina
cast: Stephen Macht, Avery Schreiber, Dorothy R. Stratten, James David Hinton, and Lionel Mark Smith

writer and director: Williams Sachs

88 minutes (R) 1980
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Crown / BCI DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Paul Higson
There have been as many filmed biographies of Dorothy Stratton than there were made that starred the Playboy playmate. Her violent death at the hands of her weaselly husband, Paul Snider, is one of several similar film-land tales. In Britain in 1999, Kadamba Simmons was a British actress moving in quickly elevating circles whose lover was unwilling to be left behind. Dorothy was moving on, dating Peter Bogdanovich, and appearing in his ensemble comedy drama They All Laughed. At least she had thought she was escaping her possessive husband. Galaxina was her first major role and, helpfully, the eponymous role was hers. Who else was going to feature prominently on the poster art and advertising but this statuesque blonde in a figure hugging white bodysuit? Unfortunately, playing a robot she has little to exhibit but those curves. The plot does allow for some level of sentience before the conclusion of the film as she flickers into romantic life but the performance remains demandingly stiff.

Galaxina plays like a naughty comic strip. The laughs are broad, if they come at all. Space cops due to end a tour of duty on the edge of the universe are appalled to learn that they are the nearest to an incident and are drafted to investigate. That incident is several light-years away and they have to go into a cryogenic sleep for 50 years. The crew consists of a cantankerous Captain Butt (Avery Schreiber), a laidback but rarely laid enough Thor (Stephen Macht), the mustard keen half-daft cowboy Buzz (James David Hinton), a half-man half-bat engineer, Maurius (Lionel Mark Smith), a motto dealing old Chinese technician (Sam Wu), and the android support Galaxina, who has been designed to torment, luscious to look at, but untouchable and unresponsive. Copping a feel electrocutes the molester, and she doesn't have the facsimile vagina even if you could disable the defensive shock system. Going into deep sleep and left alone she occupies herself with literature having already been stimulated into the early stages of erotic sensation by the persistent Thor, who risked unconsciousness to land a kiss on her shortly before the crew went under. Aboard ship is also a rock-eating alien who is in trouble for wolfing down some priceless gems. He sits in the holding cell and the Captain enjoys feeding him because it means he can pelt him with stones. During a crew meal the Captain celebrates by eating an egg, in supplementing his pill meal. It upsets his stomach and he regurgitates a baby alien (played eventually by Angelo Rossitto), which disappears into the ship.

The team are chasing down a villain named Oronic who has hidden himself away at a penal planet where the aliens have taken to making a meal of any humans exiled there. Galaxina tackles Oronic but is caught by a motorcycle gang. The team rescue her but Oronic has sneaked onboard the ship. Everyone ends up in the holding cell. The forgotten alien, however, has been pottering around over the years keeping an eye on the frozen Captain who it has identified as its mother and is to play a big part in their release.

There are too many flat jokes and shaky sets. Quaint it ain't. Infantile but directed at adults. A couple of left field laughs make up slightly but it is above all crushingly tacky and the death of its star in the year of its release invokes no adverse poignancy. Stratton has been portrayed twice on film, by the equally Amazonian Jamie Lee Curtis in Death Of A Centrefold and then by Mariel Hemmingway in Star 80, both made within two years of the actress' murder. John Lennon was shot dead three months later but some dramatisations remain unapproachable. William Sachs was always a perfunctory director, and is best known for The Incredible Melting Man. Galaxina is a lame comedy. Watch it to the end and expect to feel a little embarrassed with yourself.
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