GREEN SLIME, THE(director: Kinji Fukasaku; screenwriters: Tom Rowe/Charles Sinclair/based on a story by Ivan Reiner; cinematographer: Yoshikazu Yamasawa; editor: Osamu Tanaka; music: Charles Fox/Toshiaki Tsushima; cast: Robert Horton (Commander Jack Rankin), Luciana Paluzzi (Lisa Benson), Richard Jaeckel (Commander Vince Elliott), Bud Widom (Jonathan Thompson), Ted Gunther (Dr. Halvorsen), David Yorston (Lt. Curtis), Robert Dunham (Capt. Martin), Bud Widom (General Jonathan Thompson); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: G; producers: Walter Manley/Ivan Reiner; MGM; 1968-Japan/USA)
“It’s one of those films that’s so terrible that it somehow is appealing to those who like B-film clunkers.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This is the first official co-production between a Japanese crew and a Western cast (it was made in a Tokyo studio). Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku (“Message from Space”/”Virus”/”Battle Royale”) helms this slimy sci-fi thriller. It’s one of those films that’s so terrible that it somehow is appealing to those who like B-film clunkers. The actors give a robotic performance, the characters are clichés, the dialogue never rises above the banal, the special effects are cheesy, the trick photography is so-so, the hokey theme song is an unbearable psychedelic rock ‘n roll number by Richard Delvy and the Technicolor is garish. It’s based on a story by Ivan Reiner and written by Tom Rowe and Charles Sinclair.
General Jonathan Thompson (Bud Widom) is sweating bullets at Space Central, Cape Kennedy, because a huge asteroid, known as Flora, is found to be on a collision course with Earth. He decides to bring back from retirement his ace, Commander Jack Rankin (Robert Horton), to be the chief commander on a space mission to detonate Flora and redirect its path. Jack will leave from the space station Gamma 3, which is under the command of Vince Elliott (Richard Jaeckel). The two commanders were once best friends, but fell out after Rankin reported Elliott for being too nice a guy to be a commander–he endangered the lives of ten men to save one on a mission. Also on Gamma 3 is Elliott’s attractive fiancée, Dr Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi), who was once Jack’s main squeeze and wonders how her boy Vince will handle being under Jack’s command again–the tension between the two is great. Well, to make a dumb story short, the mission succeeds but while there Doctor Halvorsen (Ted Gunther) unwittingly brought back some green slime that clung to his suit. At the station, the green slime grows into a large electrified tentacular creature and kills everybody in its path, as any attempt to kill it only causes it to drip blood and start replicating new monsters. Rankin and Elliot realize that Gamma 3 must be evacuated and blown up before the deadly green fungus spreads to Earth. Although they succeed in destroying the space station and the monsters, one of them sacrifices his life heroically in the effort to save the world.
With a silly plot line like that, this should have been a fun film. But with a dull romance and wooden acting, the story never grows into anything but slime.
REVIEWED ON 12/14/2007 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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