This month I am going to review
one of the all-time favorite science fiction flicks here at GDI, The
Green Slime. It's a cheesy film shot in 1969. It
was a joint US and Japanese production that for some reason is rated G,
especially considering that many people are killed in this flick. Leonard Maltin
gave this flick 1 and 1/2 stars, but we all feel it deserves better.
It was directed by Kinji
Fukasaku, whose major credits are doing Tora Tora
Tora, a really good Pearl Harbor flick. The Producer goes by
the name of Ivan Reiner, who I thought was the guy who did Ghostbusters
and such, but in reality it was the guy who produced War
Between The Planets (which we actually have in our archives).
It must be noted that the special effects were done by Akira Watanabe who
did the work on the original Godzilla.
This movie has gone by a lot of names which won't even rate Bold faced
type and red coloring: Battle Beyond the Stars, Battle of Space Station
Gamma, Death and the Green Slime, and finally Gamma #3 Big Military Space
The lead character is
named Jack Rankin, played by Robert Horton and I'll be dammed if I could
find anything of merit on his resume. The other lead character is named
Vince Elliot, played by Richard Jaeckel who played that tough Sergeant
The Dirty Dozen. He also starred
in tow of those animals go nuts flicks Grizzly
and Day Of The Animals. Captain Martin
is the guy who gets ordered around a lot and is played by Robert Dunham
who was in Godzilla Vs. Megalon (which
we have). Finally for the men is William Ross who plays the scientist.
He also plays a scientist in two flicks War Of
The Robots (which we have) and War
On the chick side, we
have a lot of hot extras but the credited character is Lisa, who is played
by this Italian chick Luciana Paluzzi, who was the villain chick in Thunderball,
you know, the one who got shot in the back while dancing with Sean Connery.
Anyway, lets get it
So we start on United
Nations Space Station Gamma 3, a really bad model, but hey it was 1969.
There are a lot of models here and a lot of dudes looking at scanners.
Suddenly the scanners go screwy and some tense music starts. They
discover that this disturbance is being caused by a red and green asteroid
to the credits where we are greeted by some very
sixties music that actually matches the title of the film. These people
actually spent some money on this flick. Or so it seems. After the
music dies away, we cut back to these guys clustered around the monitors
like some twisted scene where robotic vultures hover over a slowly dying
Atari. We discover from these guys that this asteroid will slam into the
earth in 11 hours and someone has to blast it out of the sky (?), and you
know they'll do it. Armageddon
and Deep Impact, and even Meteor
had some time to prepare, but this was the sixties and we can take out
6 million tons of rock in half a day dammit.
Conveniently CDR. Jack
Rankin is there, even though he has tendered his resignation (why we never
find out). So he gets to be volunteered and is sent to the space station,
taking over from Vince Elliot, whom Rankin apparently has some problems
with. So he leaves and we have to sit through a lot of scenes involving
models. The space ship looks like something from Thunderbirds. This is
a definite sign that the Japanese had a hand in this flick (God bless Toei
Studios). While he is heading for the station, we get to meet CDR. Elliot
and Lisa, the chick, who is apparently the squeeze of Elliot. We are again
informed that there is some bad blood between Elliot and Rankin. We also
discover that Lisa was once Rankin's chick. Oh yeah, space age chick fight.
picture to the left gets a good look at three of the main characters, Rankin,
The Doctor, and Elliot. Originally this was supposed to be a "blow
up the rock" missions but as always the doctor has to come along for scientific
collection. This is always the way, you know for damn sure that he is going
to jeopardize many lives because he'll want to collect a specimen, or study
the creature. I mean it's the classic Ridley Scott Alien
bit (and hundreds of fifties films too).
The land on the asteroid
and start preparing to drill. There is some trippy background music
there. More and more I see Armageddon ripped a lot of stuff off from
this flick. I must also note that back at the space station, all
of these manly men are drinking coffee from those dainty little tea cups. What
the hell is up with that? Anyway, there are scenes of the doctor looking
at this green slime and some cheesy reverse photography shots. 20
minutes into the film and we have seen the title character. Naturally
the scientist has to take a sample and while the drilling is going on,
we find out the stuff is attracted to the machinery. I wonder why?
Suddenly the space dudes
are informed that the asteroid has accelerated and that they must blow
it sooner. So they have to hurry up and get out of there, however,
the little moon buggies are clogged up with slime so they have to do it
on foot. Apparently there is supposed to be some suspense as to weather
they will get off or not, but I never felt it. The scientist gets
into an argument with Rankin about bringing the jar full of slime back
to the station and Rankin slaps it out of his hands. We will see
more of the Commanders short temper and general arrogance. Oh and
a little bit of slime pierced the doctors suit (yet he did not decompress).
Anyway, they do get
off and do escape the blast and the world is saved.
NOT! That was
just the setup for the rest of the film . . . 29 minutes and 23 seconds of film
just to set up a bit!
So they get back to
a heroes welcome, the men is science outfits, the women in go go girl outfits.
Rankin is a party pooper whining about decontamination. Rankin
then goes to medical to get a cut taken care of (he got it on the flight
back, not on the asteroid) and Lisa, the doctor treats him badly.
Yes she is a bitter chick and we discover that Vince was once Rankin's
best friend and Lisa got engaged with Vince after dumping Rankin.
She tells him its finished but Rankin thinks that she still digs him.
Later a swinging sixties style party ensues. Now this is the kind
of thing that would energize people into supporting an international space
station. There is champagne everywhere and people dancing and groovy
music. During this little shindig, the two men throw barbs at each other.
Pretty petty, but hey that's Commander Rankin, the guy you love to hate.
Meanwhile in decontamination,
something strange is happening to the slime that was on the Doctors suit.
The energy of the machine makes the slime grow while Lite Brite style control
panels flash. We also discover that Elliot sacrificed ten men to
save one (not like on an alter). Back at medical, 39 minutes into
the film, as a piece of machinery goes haywire, a technician is killed
by something . . . He's been electrocuted and all hell breaks loose (about
search ensues for whatever did the deed . Then we cut to some shots
of a tentacle with red claws on it shocking the hell out of another guy.
Finally we run into the monster and in typical fashion, the scientist tries
to save it. Conversely several guys get killed and Rankin makes the
command decision to kill it.
So we are put through
a series of attempts to both kill the creature while at the same time figure
out what makes it tick. And what makes it tick? Electricity
it feeds and grows off of electricity. Additionally,
even one drop of blood can spawn a whole creature with enough juice.
There is a plan to get rid of them by blowing them out of the airlock,
but the chick fails to evacuate the medical center, so Rankin has to go
in and save her. Again, there is supposed to be some of that "will
they make it" tension here, but again, I didn't feel it. The end
result is that they can't shoot them or they will make more. Rankin
even resorts to throwing his helmet at one. Ow, plastic really hurts.
He then uses a flashlight to hold the monsters at bay while all of the
Doctors patients can be evacuated.
Oh and I can't forget
to mention the stupid scientist that causes lives to be lost and plans
to be spoiled. The scientist whines about getting his research papers
and gets electrocuted for his effort. I've said it time and again,
ethics have no place when there are monsters around. Vince, succumbing to
his weakness for idiots, tries to save the doctor and reopens the hatches
only to find out that he is just a bit too late. The whole scene
culminates in the monsters accidentally setting off some flammable material
which blows up part of the space station. Oh how I love seeing open flame
in a vacuum.
Rankin makes the decision
that it's time to evacuate the base and then blow it up, thereby killing
all of these monsters. Of course the monsters have gotten outside
of the station and are blocking the docking doors so they won't open.
Rankin and Vince have a fist fight and then Vince, in an effort to make
up for his previous screw ups, leads a mission outside in space packs to
knock off these creatures. He is successful and the hatch is able
to open allowing escape ships to . . . well . . . escape. And I have
to mention the fact that Vince runs out of ammo in his gun and actually
throws it at the monster, in zero gravity, and it pierces its eye!
Of course, there is a problem with the space station
that requires Rankin to go back into the monster nest to set some controls.
Jesus, we didn't see that one coming. On the plus side, Lisa admits
that she still has feelings for Rankin. Vince flies into the loitering
spaceship waiting to pick up Rankin . . . can you guess what Vince is going
to do? Yep, he goes to save him. While Rankin is fighting
these monsters, his gun runs out of ammo and he too throws the gun at it
and he too hits it in the eye. Vince and Rankin meet up and are old
buddies again. They set the machinery but on their way out, at 1
hour and 27 minutes into the film, Vince gets smoked. Rankin carries
the body with him and leaves from an airlock. The space station plunges
into the Earth's atmosphere, burning up the monsters and Rankin is picked
up by the ship.
Rankin recommends that Vince be awarded the highest
decoration for bravery.
Rankin gets Lisa.
Who's the boss.
Then we fade out to the groovy music and see the
credits. All and all, one of the better cheesy films made.
Of note here is that it was this movie that MST3K used for its pilot.
I've personally seen it over 20 times, but you don't see it on TV much,
not even on MonsterVision.
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