The Galaxy Invader (1985)

Of Cinemagic founder Don Dohler‘s four science fiction films, this one is by far the least.  It is also the one that falls furthest from his standard, “Alien Factor” plot.

Okay, not by much, but you have to admit it is big change-up:  a sympathetic alien, on the run from murderous locals?

At any rate, most of Don’s stock cast are back, playing quite different roles for a change.  If anything, it looks a lot less polished than Nightbeast, and it is also the one that has the fewest effects:  we never see the alien ship – only what looks like cartoon animation of a fireball – or any wreckage, and the alien’s raygun is all practical effects – pyrotechnics and what looks like balls from a Roman Candle.  For once he credits companies who provided the effects (the one interesting name in the mix is low budget auteur Phillip J. Cook, who also did work on Nightbeast and would go on to direct Despiser, Invader and Beyond the Rising Moon).

This one he shot for a video release, and it seems to have been far cheaper than the previous films.  I have to admit I find myself wondering when he actually shot this thing, as all the cars seem to have been 70s models (with a brief appearance by a beautiful Studebaker Avanti, which was only in limited “fan”production by 1985).

Don always did a fairly good job on the editing and presentation of his films – yes, they look cheap, but it is a very competent cheap – and once again his sound quality is far better than his first efforts.

But this one is very much a lesser effort, with more emphasis on the life and loves of the appalling Montague family than on the titular creature.

It also wins the all-time crown (with crossed palms and oak leaf cluster) for “Worst dummy thrown off a cliff, ever”.  I mean, the darn thing barely looks human and we see it two or three times in a row in slow motion just in case we start wondering if any White Trash got killed in the production of this film.

Still, for those of us who enjoy Don’s particular brand of awful, this is a moderately entertaining film, and the completists out there will have to see it.

But only once.



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