Saturday, November 24, 2007


This, from the same studio, same director (Ishiro Honda), and some of the same actors that gave us GODZILLA, is a letdown. At a folk festival, an astrophysicist named Shiraishi acts mysteriously, ready to call off his upcoming marriage. When a huge forest fire breaks out, with the trees mysteriously burning from the roots up, he is last seen by his friends running toward the fire. A little later, in the same vicinity, there's a huge landslide which swallows up lots of people and results in dead fish in streams and erratic radioactivity readings. Soon, a giant robot monster with an anteater snout and glowing eyes which shoot destructive rays rises out of the earth and stomps a village before getting destroyed by the Army. Then UFOs come zooming out of the sky (from the dark side of the moon, we are told by scientists) and a huge dome rises out of the dirt, calling the names of five prominent men. These men meet the aliens, the Mysterians of the title, who appear to be very human-like creatures dressed in candy-colored spacesuits, helmets, and capes (and they helpfully instruct the earthlings to "please wear a cape" as they enter the cold dome). The aliens are from the lost planet of Mysteriod, which was literally split apart in a war, and have been living on Mars. They want a small patch of land in Japan to call their own, and a few women to "marry" (a euphemism for "use for breeding purposes"). We find out that Shiraishi has been working with the Mysterians, and some folks think that maybe giving the aliens, who claim to be pacifists, what they want would be OK, but when we're too slow to deliver the land and women, the Mysterians get violent and it takes some Americans to save the day by developing a giant reflecting lens to send the heat rays right back at the aliens. I like the Mysterians' colorful outfits and most of the special effects are fine, especially the landslide scene, but the robot is laughable as is the "Mars needs women!" subplot. I also like that when the traitorous astrophysicist broadcasts his propaganda over the television, the screens go from black & white to pink. The main characters threaten to be interesting, but are never very well developed. This was much more fun when I was 12. I guess some movies like this just aren't meant to be rediscovered by adult viewers. [DVD]

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