Dr. Bob's minions tire away endlessly to help the good Doctor in the name of science,
but with what little downtime they get they would like to share with you fine people!
When I first saw Galaxina was on the upcoming line-up, I didn't think much of it. After 40+ episodes, I've learned not to question the good doctor's carefully curated choices. I'd never heard of it, but how was that different than usual? I thought it would be light, but forgettable fare.
Watching Galaxina is a bad experience: it's not good film making, but you can't look away. It's not bombastic enough to be a hilarious spoof, and not subtle enough to be a biting satire. It's got some really long, unfunny “jokes” that would be at home in, say, a space themed fever dream, but not, for example, Spaceballs. The saving grace was Galaxina herself. She literally saves the day, as the movie would be nigh unwatchable without her. As Richard points out, it grows on you. Like an old friend that tries to make you laugh by making goofy faces, it may not be finely-tuned comedy, but it's heart is in the right place. By the end, I was cheering her on as she strutted around in that fabulous jumpsuit.
Now, this is not a review of Galaxina. There are plenty of those. This is a tribute to Ms. Dorothy R. Stratten. The title character in Galaxina is her first (and only, but we'll get to that) starring role. As the navigational robot, she plays the part with so much gravitas that some of the scenes are just her walking across a room and sitting down. She's so magnetic I remember that these were stand-out scenes. She holds a star quality that makes her co-stars better when they play off of her. The movie is just better when Galaxina is around.
Not knowing much about the movie going in, I was shocked to learn of Dorothy Stratten's terrible fate. The tidbit of information in Dr. Bob's last segment hit me like a cold wind in Ohio in January. If you weren't there, and have not yet heard the story, Dorothy Stratten was murdered by her estranged husband.
I won't glorify a murderer here. You can learn his name, as I did, from a cursory internet search. The two most accessible sources I could find were IMDb and Wikipedia, naturally. Both sources agree that she was raped and murdered by a shotgun blast to the head. However, they don't agree on the order in which it happened. Either way the end of her life was terrifying. She was 20 years old.
I also won't go on a long diatribe about domestic violence here. I will only ask that we love our fellow man and woman, even if we don't know each other that well. Remember that a gorgeous and funny professional artist once graced us, and she doesn't any more because of a man that she loved. All I ask is that we remember Dorothy Stratten like a celestial event, brilliant and brief. I am proud to have part of an audience who go to experience that first glimmer of greatness. With more (and better) material she could have blossomed into a widely-acclaimed actor. But I will always remember her as Galaxina, red-filtered and kicking ass with a giant blaster in glorious mono sound. She owned that part, and it has been committed to cult film history forevermore.
Previously on Minion Musings...