This Roger Corman rip-off of Alien (1979) has a Class III spaceship named Quest journeying to the distant storm-lashed planet of Morganthus to rescue the stranded crew of another spaceship that crashed there.
The Quest is crewed by Freddy Krueger, Uncle Martin from My Favourite Martian, Sarah Palmer from Twin Peaks and Joanie Cunningham (who gets disembowelled and explodes).
Crash-landing on Morganthus, the psychologically damaged Captain Trantor (Grace Zabriskie) – “the only survivor of the Hesperus massacre”, Commander Ilvar (Bernard Behrens), the cook Kore (Ray Walson) and an engineer named Ranger (Robert Englund) remain aboard the ship as an exploration party is dispatched.
Baelon (Zalman King), Cabren (Edward Albert), female telepath Alluma (Erin Moran), Dameia (Taaffe O’Connell), Quuhod (Sid Haig) and a rookie named Cos (Jack Blessing) make their way to the crashed spacecraft.
Reaching the other vessel, they find evidence that a massacre has taken place. The team disposes of all of the bodies except one which they take back to the Quest for analysis.
The members of the crew then have to face monsters that are actually manifestations of their own individual fears made flesh as they are crushed, ripped to shreds, torn limb from limb, chewed up, stripped naked and raped to death by a giant maggot.
All the while, the unseen forces of the Planet Master – a mysterious pyramid-dwelling psychedelic figure with a glowing red orb for a head – are at work.
Turns out it’s all an ancient game for the children of a long-extinct race, built in order to test their ability to control fear – and Cabren now becomes the new Master . . .
Taaffe O’Connell – playing Dameia – was nearly crushed by the one-ton giant maggot – dubbed “Maggie” by the crew – during the filming of the notorious scene.
Mary Ellen O’Neill