Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mysterians, The (1957)


Hell hath no fury like when the mysterians roll into town. “The Mysterians” marked Toho studios first foray into the alien invasion plot, a device that would eventually spill over into their “Godzilla” franchise. Speaking of “Godzilla”, what’s a Toho film without a giant monster and Kaiju fans graced with a dorky looking giant robot that would eventually re-appear in the film “Godzilla v.s SpaceGodzilla” making a very loose conection between “The Mysterians” and the “Godzilla” franchise. Even a loose connection is enough to make this enjoyably campy sci fi invasion film part of my forever long “Godzilla Tokyo Stompathon”, an almost never ending process of viewing and reviewing every “Godzilla” entry and related films.
The film opens with a bang when a giant robot, complete with a nose drill, destroys an entire mountain town. Soon the mysterians appear from the dark side of the moon, telling officials they come in peace. Maybe they should of stated that fact before they destroyed an entire fucking town! But nope, they wanted to prove their technical superiority and they demand for 3 kilometers of land and the right to marry and procreate with Earth women to strengthen their dying race. Of course officials see right through their bullshit and declare war!
The special effects, though good for the time, are quite dated today but that all adds to the films campy charm. What’s not to love about guys running around with pastel salad bowls on their heads? One effect that was quite impressive is the flood of a mountain valley. This miniature effect proved to be so good that it would serve as stock footage many Toho films to come, most notably “King Kong vs. Godzilla”. The space station sequences… not so much.
“The Mysterians” had me grinning ear to ear throughout its entire running time. It’s just a campy delight of miniature effects, goofy costumes and a giant dorky robot. Its 50s science fiction cheese mixed with Godzilla… what’s not to love? Classic science fiction fans, especially of the Japanese kind, are highly recommended to pick this up as it is one of the must-owns. “The Mysterians” proved to be a big enough of a success to warrant two sequels lacklusterly titled “Battle in Outer Space” and "War in Space" to make up what fans call the "Space Opera Trilogy".
Written By Eric Reifschneider

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