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Galaxina/The Crater Lake Monster: Science Fiction Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

It is now time to review Mill Creek’s 2 in 1 offering on Blu-ray.  This is the Galaxina/The Crater Lake Monster double feature. Catchy title(s), huh.  If only I were around during the age of the drive-in!  Stay tuned for more of these special “Double Feature” reviews on Why So Blu?. A note about the formatting for this review.  Since we’re not going to write up a separate review for each film, just consider it a 2 in 1 review instead.  The ratings given in each category will be cumulative and averaged out in the end. 

Films

Galaxina is a science fiction parody that tells the tale of a “space police” spaceship that patrols the galaxy.  Galaxina (Dorothy Stratten) is the beautiful robot who oversees the ship’s mission operations.  Captain Cornelius Butt is (Avery Schrieber) is incompotent, and the pilot, Thor,  (Stephen Macht) is in love with Galaxina.  Thor will try to turn Galaxina into a “real” woman in order to gain her love reciprocally.  That is one wacky spaceship. 

Galaxina does not take itself seriously at all.  What does elevate the film is that the special effects, miniature work, prosthetic make-ups, and cinematography (by the great Dean Cundey) are all pretty top notch!  It’s the pretty weak script that brings Galaxina to a grinding halt.  The acting is mediocre and depending on the character (Captain Butt) sort of grating.  Galaxina should have featured more of Galaxina in the film, but she’s just relegated to a prop until more than halfway through the film.  I understand the term exploitation, but misogynistic tendencies do creep up in the film.  Galaxina caters to the all male crew like a subservient slave who is only there to feed them (in skimpy attire) and to just sit there in silence and look pretty.

I was glad to see her kick some butt towards the end, but it was pretty painful to sit through the rest of the crew’s bumblings to get to that point.  What also makes Galaxina kind of grim is that Dorothy Stratten was murdered by her estranged husband shortly after the film was released.  I am confident that she would have had a bright future in film had she lived.

The Crater Lake Monster, on the other hand, is inside on the joke and doesn’t quite get it.  Crater Lake, Oregon is the site of a meteor landing that upon crashing into the lake caused a buried dinosaur egg to hatch.  Hinjinx promptly ensue.   Once the dinosaur hatches it begins getting its “fill” of the local townsfolk.  It’s up to the local Sheriff (Richard Cardella) and a group of scientists to put an end to the monster’s reign of terror.  All the characters are dimwits, and could be part of their own sitcom if weren’t for the fact that they have a carnivorous dinosaur monster in their midst!

Again, The Crater Lake Monster is what it is.  Bad drive-in movie theater fodder.  David Allen’s (The Howling, The Gate, Young Sherlock Holmes) created the stop motion special effects which is the film’s only saving grace.

The expected low scores of Galaxina and The Crater Lake Monster do not mean that they have no merit.  These are films that are intentionally bad and are meant for a special audience who appreciates low budget B-grade exploitation-cheese films.  Call your friends, bring some food and drinks over, and have a good time.

Video

Galaxina is presented a 1080p 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  Galaxina looks pretty good considering the age and budget of the film.  There’s a polish or glow that resonates throughout the film when she’s onscreen.  It could just be the white skintight outfit.  Dirt, scratches, blemishes litter the film, but when Galaxina is in the frame it looks pretty impressive.  With exception to a scene towards the end that was obviously color corrected to give it a “foreign planet” feel to it, Galaxina looks pretty good all things considering.  I’d go so far as to say that this will be the best it will ever look.

The Crater Lake Monster is presented in a 1080i 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  This video presentation of the film is not so good. With the exception of bold and vivid colors in certain scenes everything else is pretty bad and not up to par.  There is rampant video noise in some scenes shot in the lake.  Characters will be talking in the foreground, but the water in the background looks like a television channel without reception.  The print itself has bits of dirt, scratches, and blemishes, and even more when the stop motion animation scenes show up.  I’m positive that this is the best The Crater Lake Monster will EVER look.

Audio

Galaxina is presented in DTS HD 2.0 and PMC Uncompressed 2.0.  The soundtrack for Galaxina is an extreme front driven experience.  The channel separation is non existent, the dialogue and music constantly clips.  Considering this is technically a science fiction exploitation film that would be considered a good thing.  If you are an audiophile then be warned.

The Crater Lake Monster is presented in DTS HD 2.0 and PMC Uncompressed 2.0.  Again, this is also a front driven mix of a film, but all of the onscreen audio sounds phony and matrixed beyond repair.  There is no depth or proper channel separation.  The proper analogy would be that it sounds just like it looks.

Special Features 

Nada.

Final Thoughts

Galaxina and The Crater Lake Monster were never meant to change the course of cinema or anything overblown like that.  They were cheaply made films that were designed to entertain kids at the drive-in.  Just because the film(s) score low does not mean that they do not have merit. I would be lying if I said that they didn’t.  It’s sad that Dorothy Stratten and Dave Allen are no longer with us, because their talents are what elevate these films a bit.  If you’re curious I’d go ahead and recommend them.  The price is right.

Bring home Galaxina/The Crater Lake Monster on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

4 Responses to “Galaxina/The Crater Lake Monster: Science Fiction Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gregg

    “All the characters are dimwits, and could be part of their own sitcom if weren’t for the fact that they have a carnivorous dinosaur monster in their midst!”
    LOL!! All hail the c-grade film!

  2. Brian White

    Obviously, I never seen these features, but that female (despite the rough footage) is incredible looking 🙂

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Brian, she is.

  4. Brian White

    She looks it!!!! 🙂