Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Galaxina, Dorothy Stratten, Dorothy Stratten, and Dorothy Stratten...

1980's "Galaxina" is a chapter in one of Hollywood's most brutal stories over the past 50 years.  Dorothy Stratten, an awkward girl from Vancouver, blossoms into a real beauty.  She is whisked to Hollywood by a Svengali type figure, Paul Snider.  Snider is an idea man with a big cocaine problem. He marries Stratten.  Hollywood and Hugh Heffner (Playboy) are very interested in Stratten, but not Snider.  Peter Bogdanovich fell madly in love with her, and Playboy was about to announce that Stratten was their choice for Playmate of the Year.  As she was making "Galaxina," Snider would harass her on the set.  Now estranged from Stratten, he convinced her to pay him a visit.  When Stratten arrived at his apartment, he brutally raped her and blew her face off with a shotgun, before committing suicide with that same shotgun.  She is most famous, in film, for her role in "Galaxina" and as Miss Cosmos in an episode of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century."
The plot: In the year 3008, an inter-galactic police cruiser is patrolling the outer reaches of the universe.  It's captain is Cornelius Butt (Avery Schreiber), and his right hand man is Sgt. Thor (Stephen Macht).  Galaxina (Stratten) is a robot on the vessel and she acts as a maid, waitress, and sometimes a power source for their force-field. The stunning robot also has a defense feature, if touched by a human, that poor sap gets a stiff jolt of electricity (sort of a futuristic chastity belt).  Galaxina is all robot and doesn't speak until one day Thor cannot resist her beauty and braves the electric shock and plants a big kiss on her. Though a very painful endeavor on his part, Thor tells her "it was worth the pain."  This also does something to Galaxina as she experiences emotions for the first time.  During a port-of-call, the crew visits a cat-house, and when she sees Thor kiss a prostitute, Galaxina sheds tears.  
Meanwhile, the crew is given orders to retrieve "The Blue Crystal."  You know, the proverbial crystal that all who possess it may have rule over the universe.  To get to the planet where it is located, the crew must spend 27 years in cryogenic sleep.  In those 27 years, Galaxina reprograms herself so when the crew wakes, she can talk and seduce.  When Thor awakes, Galaxina has no problem getting him to fall in love with her (this film came out before "Blade Runner").  As the cruiser is attacked by the evil Ordric (who also wants the crystal), they crash land on the planet.  Because of the planet's atmosphere, only Galaxina can venture into a town populated by aliens who eat humans and retrieve the crystal.  Galaxina will come face to face with the evil Ordric and attempt to use her seductive powers to defeat him.  She will also be captured and tied up by a 1950's type motorcycle gang who worships the god Harley Davidson.  
Will Galaxina escape her bondage and return to the spaceship with the crystal?  Will her romance with Thor get past some obvious technical issues (Thor asks himself, "I wonder if she has a .........?")?  Stratten is the draw of this film.  The bloody events that followed the creation of "Galaxina" may be the reason why this film was hardly seen when it came out.  The film spoofs "Alien," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Star Trek," "High Noon," and "Star Wars."  If still alive, Stratten would be in her 50s and no doubt gracing audiences as a guest at science fiction conventions.  See "Galaxina," for an interesting and fun time, despite it's place inside a real life horror story.

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