Galaxis (1995)


aka Galactic Force; Terminal Force

USA. 1995.


Director/Visual Effects Supervisor – William Mesa, Screenplay – Nick Davis, Producers – Patrick Choi & Nile Niami, Photography – Robert C. New, Music – Christopher L. Stone, Visual Effects – Flash Film Works, Additional Visual Effects – Digital Filmworks (Supervisors – Paul Bolger & Peter Moyer), Stop Motion Animation – Peter Kleinow, Special Effects – Ultimate Effects (Supervisor – John Hartigan), Makeup Effects – K.N.B. EFX Group Inc, Production Design – Charles Wood. Production Company – Interlight Pictures/Prism Pictures Corp/Osmosis/Morphosis Productions


Brigitte Nielsen (Ladera), John H. Brennan (Jud Sanders), Richard Moll (Kyla), Fred Asparagus (Victor), Roger Aaron Brown (Detective Carter), Cindy Morgan (Kelly), Craig Fairbrass (Tarkin)


The planet Centrera is invaded by the evil warlord Kyla who massacres the populace and takes the crystal that is their source of power. In his dying breath, the planetary leader Tarkin tells his sister Ladera that there is another crystal on Earth. Archaeologist Jud Sanders has just returned from Peru where he has found the crystal, a rare artifact known as the Eye of the Incas. However, Jud has financed his expedition using borrowed Mob money. Ladera arrives on Earth to find herself thrust into the midst of an explosive battle between the Mob, the police and the pursuing Kyla.

Galaxis is an incredibly bad science-fiction film. It approaches itself as an action comic-book ‘sci-fi’, something that is okay given the right delivery. Indeed, Galaxis was one of several leather-clad bimbo superheroine films that came out around the same time – see also Black Scorpion (1995), Barb Wire (1996) and The Demolitionist (1996). Barb Wire, for all its dismissal as a much worse film by the general public, managed to get right the faux cynical, tongue-in-cheek delivery. It is an approach that Galaxis very much needed to find – unfortunately, the entire exercise comes po-faced and deadeningly literal-minded, without any ability on the part of the filmmakers either to invigorate the clichés or plant tongues in their cheek.

Galaxis feels like it is a film that has been composed entirely out of clichés – the Amazonian princess in leather brassiere; the villainous warlord in swirling cape; the valuable crystalline artifact McGuffin. The plot is only The Terminator (1984) with super-powered aliens instead of killer androids – there is even an almost identical scene where the pursuing bad alien breaks into a police station where the good guys are being held. The Eye of the Incas serves no purpose other than as a device to hang the rest of the plot on and there is nothing else to the film except Brigitte Nielsen and hero John H. Brennan running about being pursued alternately by the alien warlord, the cops, and fat, greaseball Mafia don Fred Asparagus.

Chief contributor to the film’s sheer badness is the presence of Brigitte Nielsen, someone who is unquestionably guaranteed a prominent place in any Worst Actress of All Time list, if not the No. 1 spot. Certainly, Brigitte Nielsen’s pumped-up 6’1″ Nordic physique looks most impressive in black leather and she moves well. However, when Nielsen opens her mouth, the effect is deadening – when she has to deliver dialogue the effect is more of someone having doped up a humourless bodybuilder and gotten them to recite lines by rote.

Galaxis was directed by William Mesa, formerly a visual effects supervisor and Vice President at the now-defunct Introvision visual effects house and later at Flash Film Works. Mesa has supervised visual effects on films such as Outland (1981), Megaforce (1982), Rambo III (1988), Darkman (1990), Army of Darkness (1992), Under Siege (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Deep Blue Sea (1999), Red Planet (2000), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010) and The Pacific (tv mini-series, 2010), among numerous others. He performs double duty here as well. The model effects during the planetary invasion at the start of the film are competent, although the stop-motion animated kid robot is poor. Certainly, for a film directed by an effects man, the effects work here is well below par – in one scene where Richard Moll blows several cop cars up, the explosion is simply a cheap optical overlay.

William Mesa went onto make the better-budgeted likes of the horror film The Darkening/The Black Gate (1995) and the monster movie DNA (1997), although has since returned to visual effects work.

(Winner in this site’s Worst Films of 1995 list).

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