A classic of badness. This shows off so many of Roger Corman's strengths. An interesting cast, a crew of veterans and enthusiastic new comers (like James Cameron), not afraid to be crassly exploitive, and making pinching pennies a virtue all make for an interesting film.
Let's get something out of the way. Yes, this is the film where the chick gets raped by the maggot. I remember when I was 15 and it was on HBO at 3 am, and I couldn't believe my eyes. Bonus points when you learn the poor actress' name is "Taffee."
The story begins at the edge of human space. A planet controlled by the "Planent Master," gets a report that a ship has been lost. The Planet Master (head glowing like Dormamu as he plays a sophisticated game that is half a step above pong with the old "seer" whom we never see again) orders a rescue mission. He tells his seer to leave because now he plays alone. Given the choice of an old hag or playing with myself, I'd do the same.
Our crew. Magnum P.I. (ok, not tom selleck but the man is WORKING that seventies porn 'stache!), Freddy Krueger (ok, just the actor Englund there are no finger knives), Captain Spaulding (ok, it's just Sid Haig, there's no clown make up), My Favorite Martian (Ok, Ray wise you got me there cowboys), Joanie (yes Joanie from happy days and no chachi to be seen!), grace zabraski, some dude who plays too much with his gun, some old dude who's supposedly leading the mission, scared wormy guy, and poor soon to be bewormed Taffee are our crew here. Really, try to get a more interesting crew for a sf film in this day in age.
The ship crashes into a mystery planet, with a mystery pyramid. Soon everyone is dying. Dying in pretty weird spectacular ways. Heads being torn off, giant flying leeches, and heads exploding. Really it's good clean fun.
Now to be honest, some of the characters are hoary, some of the lines are shaggy. There are bits when the film sags a bit. But I think over all, it still holds up well today. The pyramid is a very interesting structure, obviously stolen in bits and pieces from Alien but Corman is an honest thief. You knew going in there wasn't much orginality at work. But like good left overs it is something of a comfort dish. With exploded heads.