Brett Kelly’s New Film Pays Homage to the Space Movies he Grew up Watching

Synopsis: The eighties live again in this loving homage to the sci-fi movies of the era. In Galaxy Warriors, a bounty hunter must find her missing sister. This leads the hunter and her partner to become prisoners in an intergalactic prison planet for women, where there is no mercy. Strong space starlets, tons of action, and practical special fx are abound in Galaxy Warriors.
Director: Brett Kelly
Stars: Christine Emes, Alianne Rozon, Abbey Flockton

Brett Kelly likes making films. He must; after all, he has 43 directing credits to his name in IMDB. I have seen a few of them, and while he is very comfortable directing, I would also label him as a fan. He seems to have a strong respect for film and different genres.

Several years ago, I reviewed a film he directed called Murder in High Heels. It was a very entertaining film, but it also did a fantastic job paying homage to film noir. I feel that is a genre that we don’t see much of, but in that film, he captured the essence of it remarkably well.

Did Brett Kelly start making multiple pieces around ‘film noir’? Nope. He crossed that off his list and moved on to space movies. Yes, that’s right . . . space movies!

Galaxy Warriors is his latest film and is described by Kelly as “a love letter to the space movies I loved as a kid.”

The film opens with two bounty hunters, Demeter and Vesta (they even have cool names). They have just tracked down their latest bounty, and Demeter finds out her sister, Artemis, is missing. Now Demeter needs to find her sister and bring her back safely.

Several of these films ‘back in the day’ didn’t have strong female characters, especially in lead roles. That isn’t the case here. Kelly and Janet Hetherington, who also wrote the script for Murder in High Heels, have developed some powerful female characters. Christine Emes plays Demeter like a badass. She isn’t looking for permission or approval; she’s looking for results. We learn very quickly she isn’t to be trifled with. Alianne Rozon’s portrayal of Vesta brings brains to the partnership, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. I feel that Kelly and Hetherington didn’t just collaborate on a film for the ‘space movie’  genre but reimagined it with a predominantly female cast. I think what the kids call a ‘remix.’ And the remix worked. This is an entertaining ride.

In fairness, this movie doesn’t have George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, there is no Willian Shatner, etc. It is, after all, a local movie with a moderate budget.

What the film does have is a director who is passionate about the genre and making entertaining content. It also has a writer who has adapted as well as her directing partner into that genre, which comes out in her writing. It also has a cast that makes viewers feel nostalgic for those types of movies.

I write this as I am on the cusp of attending the Toronto International Film Festival, and I feel this title would be well suited to the Midnight Madness program. These films tend to be on the wild side and have a little more fantasy and shock value. Galaxy Warriors isn’t about shock value, but I think it takes an open-minded audience to appreciate it more.

If you look at this film with a 2022 lens, you may not enjoy it as much. Special effects have come a long way, but if you look at it closer and think of the time these types of movies were made, you will probably appreciate it more. The actors commit to their performances.

Galaxy Warriors is part entertaining, part goofy, and part over the top. Having said that, many films that occupy this genre are part entertaining, part goofy, and part over the top.

Brett Kelly wanted to make a film to honour this genre, and he did.

Grade: C+

Catch the premiere of Galaxy Warriors this Friday, Sept 9, 2022, at the Gladstone Theatre at 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm.

Watch the movie trailer: