THE GREEN SLIME/1969
1969/Director: Kinji Fukasaku/ Writers: Bill Finger, Ivan Reiner
Cast: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Bud Widom, Ted Gunther, David Yorston, Robert Dunham
This is one of the cheesiest and most thoroughly enjoyable B movies ever made in my opinion. I have seen the film several times and it seems to work in similar ways as an anti-depressant. Sadly it seems there is no really good DVD version available yet and the one I got online is a VHS rip that appears to the one every one is unhappy. Hopefully it will be released on a nice wide-screen version here shortly. It is a co-production between the US, Japan and Italy, headed by Japan’s Toei and America’s MGM. There seems to be real and borderline talent involved with the film. Director Kinji Fukasaku is more widely known for his human drama and crime films than rubber monster movies. The completely freaked out theme song was composed by Charles Fox who scored Barbarella and the Incident. The supporting cast is made of foreigners living in Japan at the time, for example, stationed military personal. There is not an Asian face to be found in the entire crew. Ivan Reiner wrote the story and I will be doing a post soon on his Wild Wild Planet, a strange sci-fi adventure made in 1965.
TV actor Robert Horton (Wagon Train) heads the cast with reliable character actor Richard Jaekel sharing in the heroics. Bond girl (assassin Fiona Volpe in Thunderball) Luciana Paluzzi, as Dr. Lisa Benson, is the female lead and point of constant friction between Commander Jack Rankin (Horton) and Commander Vince Elliot (Jaekel). Horton’s character is so totally cocky and arrogant as to defy words. The only thing more difficult to describe is his flawless hair that never loses its shape. He assumes command of Gamma 3 space station as he is the only man for the job, and the job is one that Bruce Willis would have to reinact in 1998’s Armageddon and that is to advert or destroy a huge asteroid that in on a collision course with earth. The difference is that the asteroid Rankin must contend with looks like a moldy meat ball. The real dynamite occurs between Rankin and Elliot since Rankin and Dr. Lisa Benson used to be lovers (this love triangle was actually cut from some version since the target audience of kid matinee goers who lose interest, but it is included in most version for those of us who want human interest and romance along with our rubber monsters) and Rankin basically sees Elliot as a pussy who has no business commanding a space station and basically has every intention of getting back under the covers with Benson. But first things first.
He blows the asteroid up of course but the crew accidentally bring back a sample of a slimy green substance-as in the green slime- that covered the rock.s on the asteroid. In no time the thing is absorbing electricity and multiplying and frying the crew to pieces. Lasers have no effect other than to help the thing reproduce, but for some reason throwing your laser gun into the thing’s single eyeball seems to stop them in their tracks. Problems for guilt ridden Lisa Benson and prick Rankin are solved easily enough when Elliot gets his face baked by a monster tentacle. Ain’t it great how love triangles are so neatly resolved in movies sometimes? The monsters are really a blast to look at and make the weirdest -and at times really annoying- sounds you are apt to ever hear from a movie monster.
There are lots of unintended but great laughs at the action and dialog as everyone plays it straight faced and serious. Sure the effects and miniatures are really silly but I defy you to not watch this movie and enjoy it. My brothers and I saw this as kids and we used run around the house as the Green Slime -covered in a green quilt and using it for flaying arms- when we all played hooky from our miserable school in San Antonio Tx. I just wish there were a better version to watch and that a DVD version with extras gets released in the States eventually. Why not? So, are you ready to face the terror of The Green Slime? The horror of a giant asteroid on collision course with Earth? The site of a man’s immovable hair? Then hurry out and get this uranium packed classic right now.
THE GREEN SLIME THEME SONG