Tuesday, June 2, 2020
The Green Slime (1968)
In the future, space station Gamma 3 is observing all manner of space particles, bored out of their minds, when suddenly they discover a chilling object. An enormous asteroid is heading straight for Earth at alarming speeds. A crack team is sent out to neutralise it, and while they're successful, a mysterious green organism hitches a ride onboard back to the ship, growing unseen. While a hostile love triangle brews onboard between the commanding officer, head doctor, and a demanding newcomer sent in to help, the green slime grows until it becomes a small army of seemingly unstoppable monsters...
The Green Slime is a joint production between MGM and Toei, which provides it with a pretty unique look! American films all look bland when compared to Japanese. That's because Asians aren't afraid to be silly or 'unrealistic'! And because of this they really go all out on the effects, to great...well, effect! It's this that gives The Green Slime an edge over a lot of other sci-fi flicks from the period, although the later date also plays a part, as this was very near the end of not only the subgenre, but classic b-movies period.
Where The Green Slime falters for me is twofold. The first issue I have is that regardless of the clever [pacing] at the beginning, the movie eventually started to bore me. I'm just not a fan of movies set all in one location during a real-tie siege. It feels slow!
The other issue is the characters! I hated them all! Jack is an asshole, the opposite of charming, always snippy, and disrespectful of others. And he's the hero! The girl Lisa meanwhile is selfish and two-faced considering =, and Vince is pouty and reckless. He constantly makes decisions that get people killed, feels bad about it and swears it'll never happen again, then promptly does it five] more times, still acting as if he's the voice of reason. It's a serious problem when you hate all the characters in a film, especially when their romance is a major factor! I do not watch b-movies about slime monsters to see people being snippy at each-other for an hour and a half!
The effects in the Green Slime are a high point. The monsters look great. A little silly, especially in how they walk, and knowing that they were operated by children makes them adorable, but they make the film! Only the sound they make annoyed me a little. The set design here is very good too, and the semi-futuristic setting allows the designers to go all out, and not worry about realism.
The direction by Kinji Fukasaku is mostly pretty good. The editing is something worthy of mention, as it's spectacularly awful in one scene!There's a multi-car pile-up, followed by a few action rolls from the hero, but it's all edited so disorientingly that it'll leave you spinning!
The actors here all do competent enough jobs, but they can't help/salvage the fact that their characters are annoying. Or perhaps it was their fault at least partially!
As a co-production between many countries, The Green Slime =. There are Japanese effects and sets, Italian and Turkish actors, and the American imports being the two male leads, and a kickass disco song! Yeah! It feels incredibly out of place, but I pay that no nevermind, because it is the grooviest and funkiest tune you'll ever hear in a sci-fi b-movie like this!