in

(Review) “Galaxy of Horrors” (2017)

A sci-fi smorgasbord of screams

Hello fellow beholders of the abyss, it’s Thakgore and today I bring you a look at the upcoming sci-fi horror release, “Galaxy of Horrors”. An anthology, “Galaxy of Horrors” is the latest from Unstable Ground following their last film “Minutes Past Midnight” which was released last October on VOD. As this is an anthology film I’ll be breaking down each segment and giving it an individual rating as well as giving the entire film a rating at the end. So strap yourself in as we prepare to blast off into the…..

Wraparound Segment (dir. Justin McConnell):

A man awakes in a cryostasis chamber only to be informed that the chamber is malfunctioning and can’t repair itself. It then forces the man to watch several sci-fi horror films as entertainment while he waits for the program to fix itself. The only problem is that the entertainment program is draining his life support and requires a password he doesn’t know in order to shut it off. The man’s situation slowly gets worse as his life support drains with each entry and he panics as he inches closer and closer to death.

The wraparound segment was pretty funny and I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. Not much else to say. It’s about as bare bones as this kind of thing gets. 3 out of 5

Eden (dir. Todd Cobery):

Set in a dystopian future, “Eden” tells the story of two warring factions fighting over the fate of the United States. One group seeks to infiltrate a genetic testing facility that is the staging area for an address of the new President. The air is poisonous to all but a few genetically gifted individuals and the group’s mission is not only to assassinate the President but to save a loved one who is being experimented on due to their immunity.

I thought this entry was all over the place. It was intriguing at first but quickly became a mish mash of sci-fi tropes that led up to an ending I found to be underwhelming. This one was a stinker. 2 out of 5

Iris (dir. Richard Karpala):

An assassin deep in the woods seeks to bury a dead body with the help of a Siri-like smartphone assistant name “Iris”. He doesn’t have a conscious but soon discovers that “Iris” just might.

This entry was much better than the first one. I really enjoyed the playful nature of it and it was shot beautifully. The plot was rather predictable but the engaging performances, good makeup effects and sharp dialogue more than made up for it. 4 out of 5

Flesh Computer (dir. Ethan Shaftel):

A superintendent of a run down apartment complex tends to a computer made up of both electronic and biological parts. His work is interrupted by two thugs intent on doing him harm.

I found this entry both interesting and confusing. I understood that it was about our understanding and definition of what constitutes consciousness but the way the film goes about delivering that message is disjointed. There is a video that plays in the background of a man giving a treatise on the concept of consciousness that removes much of the subtext leaving you with some interesting visuals and not much else. I enjoyed it but didn’t really understand it. 3 out of 5

Pathos (dir. Fabio Prati, Dennis Cabella and Marcello Ercole):

The first of two foreign language pieces, “Pathos” is about a future where mankind has been forced to live underground and the very act of living is a luxury that is only afforded to those who can keep up their payments.

I had to really think about “Pathos” to figure out if I liked it or not. Perhaps the most visually striking of all the included films, the simple set design and excellent performance by the lead perfectly articulate his dire circumstances. Confined to a small room and leashed to a cord that extends from his head to the ceiling the man desperately tries to find a way to make a payment before all of his necessary bodily functions are shut down. This absolutely dismal comment on consumerism isn’t subtle but it is, perhaps, prescient. There were some confusing elements but I came to the conclusion that I did, in fact, enjoy this piece. 4 out of 5

Eveless (dir. Antonio Padovan):

In a world where women are a myth two men seek to create one in less than ideal conditions.

Both brutal and visceral, “Eveless” is the second best short of the lot, in my opinion. With good performances and a couple of hard to watch moments it was the only segment that truly horrified me. The desperation and determination of both men to find a way to create a female life is palpable and the lengths they are willing to go to in order to do it are terrifying. Really solid entry. 5 out of 5

They Will All Die In Space (dir. Javier Chillon):

Adrift in space two men wake a third from cryostasis in the hopes that he can repair their ship and allow them to send a distress signal. The man begins to suspect there may be more to the situation than what they initially tell them.

Shot in black and white, “They Will All Die In Space” was easily my favorite film in this collection. The performances are believable, the motivations are complex and the conflict is artfully realized. I don’t want to say too much and give anything away but this one is Grade A, quality sci-fi horror. 5 out of 5

Entity (dir. Andrew Desmond): 

A lone astronaut is stranded when her vessel blows up in deep space. She fights desperately for survival until coming into contact with a celestial horror.

“Entity” is certainly artistic, I’ll give it that. It is the most beautiful of all the films and I found myself marveling at what the filmmakers accomplished on what was assuredly a tight budget. I was, however, underwhelmed by everything else. The actual story isn’t well executed and the conclusion is VERY confusing. I wanted to like this based on how marvelous it looked but I didn’t find much to sink my teeth into outside of that. 2 out of 5

Kingz (dir. Benni Diez and Marinko Spahic):

The second foreign language film and last entry of this anthology is probably its most ambitious. Dealing with two drug dealers who enter a club in order to make a cocaine delivery and end up contending with an otherworldly enemy.

“Kingz” is certainly something else. It’s all at once a crime drama, sci-fi horror and action film. The choreography of the fight scenes alone would have made this a top pick but the cinematography, acting, effects and score all deliver fantastically. I was genuinely blown away by the quality of it all. This one is a gem, for sure, and director Benni Diez deserves a ton of credit for what he brought to the table. 5 out of 5

In conclusion I’d say that “Galaxy of Horrors” is just what I look for in an indie feature. If you go into it expecting big budget effects or performances you’re going to have a bad time, but if you give it a chance and appreciate the clear artistry of most of it I think you’ll enjoy yourself. I say check it out when it’s released in select theaters and on VOD March 7th. 4 out of 5

Written by Thakgore

Horror fan since childhood. Also, a stay at home Dad, layabout and general rapscallion. Purveyor of all things diabolical, devious and dire as well as loquacious lover of ludicrous alliteration and bold balladeer of bellicose buffoonery. Master of the run-on sentence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.