Pros: Don't rush me, I'm thinking ..... there has to be something
Cons: Monsters are lame, scenery is lame - the whole movie is lame
Hard to believe that this story originated in Japan because they usually put a fairly decent monster movie out. This one stars Robert Horton as Jack Rankin and Richard Jaeckel as Vince Elliott, former best buds and fellow space compatriots. They also have a little something else in common, Luciana Paluzzi as Lisa Benson. The luscious Luciana has chosen Elliott over Rankin however, just one more thing to keep the best buds separated <sigh>.
This is a fairly poor movie, released in 1969, with all that garish color and pseudo space ships that were used at the time. A little more technical because it is a Japanese release rather than American, the space ships are a little more life like and the interior of the ships are laid out a little better. The space suits look like Uncle Festus's shop mechanic coveralls with a few whistles and bells - all in all the entire thing is laughable!
Anyway, there seems to be an asteroid heading toward Earth and no way to stop it (sound familiar?) so Rankin is volunteered' to head a mission to land on the asteroid and eliminate it. Elliott decides to come along, perhaps to keep an eye on Rankin, perhaps to make himself look more powerful in Luciana's eyes, regardless it is a ploy to make himself look better! The crew lands on the asteroid, with limited time, and proceeds to drill into the thing to set charges in place to blow the durn thing up (I looked, I didn't see Bruce Willis anywhere!).
While on the planet, the biologist (Ted Gunther) runs across some green slimy foamy stuff, actually similar to the blob from the movie by the same name. As all biologists do, he attempts to bring some of this stuff back but is thwarted by Rankin and Elliott. Of course, a small piece gets imbedded in his lovely frock and the durn thing makes it back on the space ship anyway. Being a Japanese movie, the monster thrives on energy - seems they have a thing about that - and it invades the nuclear station on board to eat the energy up and grow.
Of course it grows, it always grows. At first it is simply some nasty looking slime stuff, then it starts foaming and bubbling until finally it turns into a solid monster. How can I describe this bad boy? It's about 4 feet tall, shaped like a bullet. In the center of the head' is a huge red slit opening with one glaring red eye. Attached to their bulbous mottled grey/green body are flailing tentacles that end in red lobster claws. They make an irritating noise like a mosquito on steroids, kind of a cross between a buzz and that sound trucks make when they are backing up. They are pretty atrocious for a Japanese flick.
Whatever - Elliott and Rankin come to heads several times while fighting the slimes as they come up with a myriad of ways to eliminate the monsters. Girls are screaming everywhere, bodies are dropping right and left, monsters are exploding. You have to be careful with these guys because they are both asexual and self-healing, so it takes a powerful wallop to do them in!
This entire movie is reminiscent of Armageddon with the good guys flying off to drill into the asteroid and save the world. The only thing missing was Willis screeching Yippee kia (or however you spell it) M-Fer'! Perhaps this is where they got the idea for the later release of this Willis classic, who knows? Anyway, it certainly was improved on with the later release.
I want to say I was displeased with this movie because for a Japanese production I found it pretty lame, but at times I thought it was pretty good. The hardest things to take were the hairdos on those girls - that poofy Shelley Fabres classic flip with the headband and the dresses in the dance scene at the social gathering. I always wonder why the women on these planets or space stations have these outlandish dresses with flounces, petticoats, bows and spangles while the guys just wear their standard space gear ...... hmmmmm......
Director Kinji Fukasaku, writer(s) Charles Sinclair, William Finger, and Tom Rowe, cinematographer Uoshikazu Uamasawa. Also starring Strong Ilimaiti as the doctor - liked his name.
Famous last words ....... "Same old garbage, nothing exciting ever happens around here" .......
aka Death and the Green Slime aka Battle Beyond the Stars aka Gamma Sango Uchu Daisakusen
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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