The world of ‘60s Japanese sci-fi movies is indeed an entertaining one. Many of us used to stay up late at night in order to stare at the television screen in awe over the surreal sights and sounds of the very best (and worst) that studios like Toho and Toei had to offer. Hell, some of us still stay up late when watching Japanese sci-fi movies in order to recapture that dreamlike feeling we once held on account of not getting an adequate amount of rest. There’s just something about grown men in rubber suits stomping Tonka trucks into oblivion, wobbly spaceships on wires, and poorly dubbed dialogue bearing the ability to level an entire city block that goes hand-in-sweaty-hand with sleep deprivation.
But there’s absolutely nothing on this Earth that can compare you for the awesome hilarity that is Kinji Fukasaku’s The Green Slime.
Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m a modern PR guy — the kind that gets the unenviable job of promoting god-awful movies to gullible American audiences. Now, if were given the task of promoting The Green Slime for its initial theatrical release, I suppose I would describe it like this: “An epic co-production between the U.S. and Japan, The Green Slime is a action-packed thrill ride that not only bridges the gap between contemporary horror and science fiction movies, but one that successfully merges the sophisticated technical skills of Japan’s leading filmmakers with the absolute best acting talent that there is!”
The actual truth behind the fact, however, is that The Green Slime is one of the most unintentionally hilarious moving pictures that ever had the misfortune to escape the editing room. Take a look for yourself if you don’t believe me…
Made at a time when Americans were growing weary of seeing unknown Japanese actors with voices that didn’t match their lip movements, The Green Slime actually does appear as if it was supposed to be an epic co-production between two countries that only 25 years earlier were trying to obliterate each other from the face of the planet. Shot entirely in Japan, the project’s director was none other than the late Kinji Fukasaku: a innovative filmmaker who had previously helmed several yakuza gangster features in his native Japan — and would later go on to direct the highly-acclaimed (not to mention highly-controversial) Battle Royale in 2000. The cast, on the other hand, was assembled from the finest collection of international military personnel and two American guys who had mostly worked on television (Robert Horton and Richard Jaeckel).