Continuing our way through the big list of kaiju and tokusatsu films …
Today’s film is Battle in Outer Space (1959), a kaiju-less tokusatsu film brought to us by the Toho Triple Threat (Honda, Tsuburaya & Ifukube).
My bit first:
If you like watching models shooting things, blowing in the wind and exploding, then brother, this is the film for you.
The story is wafer thin and involves aliens named the Natal scheming to take over the planet. The first half of the movie is padded out with some pseudo-United Nations intrigue and mind-controlled folks doing wacky things. And some lengthy talk about and testing of their atomic heat ray weapon.
Alien-wise, there’s not much to report. The Natal saucers seem to be re-paints of ones used in The Mysterians, or at least differently lighted versions. Most damning, we never even really see the Natal. There’s one scene on the Moon wherein an astronaut is attacked by a mob of them, but they’re just short folks wearing oversized helmets (see the trailer below). Apparently, they were going to be tentacled aliens and then later insectoids, but the budget got the best of those plans.
The only thing worthy of note regarding them is their anti-gravity weapon. In the final third of the film, when things pick up, the anti-gravity weapon picks up a lot of things. The miniature destruction is impressive and a fun sight to behold. There’s also spaceships firing weapons at each other, but the action on Earth is far better.
The production design is superb, too, though I prefer the polished metal and neon tube stylings of the Mysterians to that of the Natal.
Good work by Tsuburaya and Honda … not enough to really hold my interest, though. 2 out of five atomic breath blasts.And now here’s my ten-year-old son, James:
It was ok, I guess.
I didn’t like it because there were like 8 or 15 Mysterians (they all were yellow) and that was it!!!
But, the aliens had good weapons like the tornado shooter or the structure sucker and a teleporter, and finally, the mind controller
So, I will give it 3.4 atomic breaths of awesomeness!!Here’s the trailer for Battle in Outer Space:
Next up, Mothra.