DreamWorks “Screwed Up”: Why ‘Galaxy Quest’ Wasn’t a Bigger Hit
Twenty years after the meta sci-fi movie hit theaters, director Dean Parisot and stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Justin Long look back at censored scenes, and reveal the apology Jeffrey Katzenberg issued over the film’s lackluster marketing: “They didn’t seem particularly interested in what we were doing.”
“All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925
I recently watched a documentary movie on either NetFlix or Amazon Prime that said everything that was mentioned in the article. Perhaps the article was a promo piece for the movie or outright plagiarism, I don’t know.
I had no idea that the PR for the film was bungled by the studio. I think I watched the movie in the theater a week or so after it came out and I was blown away. The writers and producers nailed it. They got it. They were so on-key on so many things about the Sci-Fi genre and Star Trek in particular. It was exactly the comic sendup of Sci-Fi I was looking for so many years.
Space Balls, on other hand, was a disappointment to me. Sure, it was a funny movie but it struck a false note with me. Mostly because it had jokes from someone (Mel Brooks) about a genre he didn’t really understand. Perhaps this was just a me thing but many of the jokes Mel had in the movie had me turn my head sideways, smirking and asking “really?”. Discord, false notes, off key are the words I use with regards to his jokes in the movie.
Not so with Galaxy Quest. As I said, they hit the jokes on the genre spot on. They got it. This was a brilliant movie.