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  Galaxina Android Attraction
Year: 1980
Director: William Sachs
Stars: Dorothy Stratten, Stephen Macht, Avery Schreiber, J.D. Hinton, Lionel Mark Smith, Tad Horino, Ronald Knight, Percy Rodriguez, Herb Kaplowitz, Aesop Aquarian, Angelo Rossitto, Nancy McCauley, Fred D. Scott, David A. Cox, Susan Kiger, Marilyn Joi
Genre: Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 3008, and the police starship Infinity is patroling the galaxy, but the crew are tired of having been away from Earth - and female company - for so many years, knowing there are more years of this ahead. The only thing resembling a woman onboard is Galaxina (Dorothy Stratten), a robot who takes care of the running of the ship, but the crew can't get close to her because of the forcefield around her body, and the man who has fallen in love with her, despite the lack of humanity, is Sergeant Thor (Stephen Macht). But is his affection hopeless?

Galaxina was a low budget science fiction parody, a Barbarella for the nineteen-eighties or so it may have wanted to believe, which was cursed to go down in history as the most famous film to star doomed Playboy model Dorothy Stratten. She had appeared next in a supporting role in Peter Bogdanovich's They All Laughed, a better film, but this space spoof is what she's recalled for as far as the big screen went. Tragically, she was murdered by her estranged husband around the time of the release of this film, and nowadays this movie is regarded as a poor memorial to her.

In fact, it's regarded as one of the worst science fiction films of all time by many, which is unfair as at least it looked professional for a production that cost so little. It started out as a western spoof, and you can tell it has some of those trappings left over, but mainly writer and director William Sachs seems intent on including fannish humour of the referential kind. It begins with introductory text which crawls up the screen as in Star Wars, there's a Mr Spock lookalike barman, and the Captain (Avery Schrieber) is subjected to an Alien-style gag.

Is it funny? Not really, there aren't much in the way of laugh out loud moments and most of the would-be witty dialogue relies on repetition of the phrase "Oh shit". For quite a lot of the story the film Galaxina most brings to mind is Dark Star, with its unsatisfied crew, but where in that film they were terminally bored, here the males are sexually frustrated, even more so because of the unattainability of the resident robot. She doesn't speak for half the movie, but sadly Stratten didn't display a lightness of comic touch whether she did or not as she appears to be mainly decorative here.

If it's less than hilarious, then what does it have in its favour? Some nice special effects (John Carl Beuchler worked on the models) help, with a couple of space battles, but surprisingly it has a poignancy to some scenes that it probably wouldn't have had at the time, such as a deserted space shuttle drifting by, or lonely Galaxina learning English while the crew is in suspended animation. Yet the lack of urgency to all this effectively sabotages it, as the plot rambles through a whorehouse inspired by the cantina sequence from Star Wars or an ex-prison planet populated by aliens who eat humans and a band of bikers who worship Harley Davidson. With better jokes, who knows what Galaxina could have been?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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