Film (1957; vt The Mysterians; vt Earth Defense Force). Toho/MGM. Directed by Inoshiro Honda. Written by Takeshi Kimura, based on a story by Jojiro Okami. Cast includes Akihiko Hirata, Kenji Sahara and Yumi Shirakawa. 89 minutes. Colour.
This Japanese sf Pulp epic is about Alien invaders, their own planet destroyed by nuclear Holocaust, who land in Japan seeking women for breeding purposes. Its memorable images, best observed at midnight in a drive-in cinema, include a giant birdlike Robot crashing out of a mountainside, flying saucers, and lethal Rays shooting in all directions. The special-effects extravaganza is by Eiji Tsuburaya, creator of the eponymous monster of Gojira (vt Godzilla). The story makes very little sense. As Bill Warren points out in Keep Watching the Skies! Volume II (1986), Japanese special effects are not meant to be realistic, and they certainly are not here, but in their lurid theatricality they are a satisfying introduction to the world of Space Opera. This was the first Japanese sf film not to be a Monster Movie. [JB/PN]
see also: Cinema.
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