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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Review: X From Outer Space

This is probably going to be the worst review I've written so far. Reason being, I fell asleep multiple times while watching this movie. I'm fairly confident that I got enough of it to accurately convey what's going on and if it's worth your time.

Honestly, this is a very simple movie. Some people go into space, they unknowingly bring back a monster egg, which hatches and wrecks stuff. That's pretty much X from Outer Space right there. Of course, it takes the first 45 minutes of the movie to actually get to the point where anything really interesting starts happening. Hence my naps.

Long the way we have a small love triangle featuring two women who can't put professionalism above their personal feelings and male object of affection who doesn't seem to care much either way. There's also enough pseudoscience and scientific coincidences to equip a cheesy comic book for a whole year.

The monster, who is for some reason christened Guilala (there is no X from Outer Space in this movie)is pretty dang goofy looking. Imagine a bee stung Godzilla with a stingray for a head. Then put a pair of those bopper antennas on him.

The model work isn't too bad, at least not until you get close up. To Shochiku's credit, the sets are pretty big. There's lots of crap to stomp, it's just not that detailed. Of course, there's some horrible green screen work any time the monster has to appear with humans. Obviously, they only made the man sized suit and not any scale models for scenes that needed them.

I won't spoil the ending for you, but let's just say it involves one of those coincidental scientific discoveries I was talking about earlier. Really, you're better just to forget about the plot and enjoy the monster.

Two other things. One it looks like this movie was filmed either with a fish eye lens or to be shown on a curved screen. Everything looks a little stretched and it gets worse near the edges of the frame. Frankly, it about drove me nuts, though other than that the picture looks pretty good (and it is original aspect ratio.)

This disc doesn't have subs but it does include the English dub. I don't know who did it, but the dub is pretty good except for the fact that all the Caucasians in this movie have some really over the top Hogan's Heroes German accents. At times, it was difficult to figure out what the hell the white folks were saying!

Given the fact that this isn't available here in the US (and I'm surprised some public domain company hasn't tried to release it yet like they have with Gamera and Yongary) I'd really say only if you're a kaiju completest should you track this down. There isn't anything here kaiju fans haven't seen dozens of times already and what is here is really average at best.

(I almost forgot, there is one classic scene of an astronaut plugging a hole in the space ship with his ass. That was pretty much the best part of the first half of the movie right there.)

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