The Galaxy Invader (1985)
Directed by Don Dohler

Artistic Value: *
Entertainment Value: * * *

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A space alien lands on the Earth and is hunted by a group of beer and whiskey swilling yokels led by a pair of abusive drunks, Joe and Frank, who plan to sell the creature to people who will pay "a lotta money" for it. Their efforts are, however, opposed by an idealistic young college student and his very trusting professor, who, together, rescue the alien after the hillbillies have tied him up in a garage. Luckily, the creature is not actually dangerous. He just wants to retrieve some equipment the yokels stole from him. He does not, however, actually do much to get it back. Fortunately for the alien, the college student and his friends, mostly members of Joe's family, spend the rest of the movie helping him.

Don Dohler's science fiction thriller The Galaxy Invader is so deliciously pathetic that it is often actually fun to watch.

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As is required of such movies, The Galaxy Invader is animated by a completely ridiculous script and embarrassingly inept acting. The special effects are amateurish, the production values are abysmal, and the fight sequences are perhaps the worst ever filmed. I doubt if anyone could strike slower blows than those seen here. The galaxy invader himself is especially dreadful. He is, in fact, a man dressed in a green rubber body suit, big rubber lizard feet, and a green rubber skull mask. Over this costume he wears suspenders and a big black belt, but no pants.

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Strangely, these various utterly atrocious elements with which Dohler's film is filled not only add to its charm but, taken together, actually build upon one another and ready the viewer for the movie's wonderfully laughable conclusion. During this final confrontation between the movie's heroes and villains, which contains some of The Galaxy Invader's most absurd moments, Joe's wife strikes her husband on the back of his head with a shotgun and knocks him over a cliff to his death. As she swings the gun towards its target, however, the movement of the weapon gets noticeably slower. If the viewer is in any doubt about this deceleration, that doubt is removed when the director shows the blow again. Then, when the unfortunate hillbilly is knocked, or rather tossed, over the cliff after having been pummeled by his wife, the viewer cannot help but notice that the figure hurtling through the air is a rag doll, whose unarticulated limbs flail wildly in every direction. Again, if the viewer is in any doubt about what he saw, the director removes that doubt by showing Joe's plummet to his death a second time. The whole scene really is so poorly made it is genuinely delightful.

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The Galaxy Invader is a bad movie, but its very badness, along with the weirdness of a gang of yokels hunting a man in a rubber suit through a forest, make it fairly entertaining.

Review by Keith Allen

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