MESSAGE FROM SPACE (1978)
aka Uchu kara no messeji
Article 3013 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-7-2009
Posting Date: 11-13-2009
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Featuring Sonny Chiba, Jerry Ito, Vic Morrow
When the planet of Jillucia is overrun by the invading Gavanas, a small resistance group releases eight liabe nuts to pick a task force to help them defeat the enemies. However, the chosen ones seem unwilling to help, and the Gavanas are now setting their sights on Earth.
I’ve heard this Japanese STAR WARS ripoff was quite horrible, but the first ten minutes gave me some hope; it was definitely a STAR WARS ripoff, but I rather liked to Oriental costume designs, and the spaceship that was modeled off of a sea ship was really rather clever. But once I met the annoying juvenile delinquents and their spunky rich girl friend who were the first recipients of the nuts, I lost hope and I never recovered it. At least Vic Morrow is there to give us some sense that what’s happening is important, and even he’s saddled with one of those cutesy robots that appeared in the wake of R2D2 and C3PO. The movie is ultimately charmless, badly dubbed, messily plotted, and poorly edited. Those who uncritically like spaceships and watching things explode will like this one best. Me, I still prefer the clean plotting and the relatively uncluttered production of its model.