X from Outer Space
Aka Big Space Monster Guilala.
The following review of X FROM OUTER SPACE (1967) is reprinted with the outrageously kind permission of the good folks Teleport-City, where we BijouFlixers hang for fun and inspiration.
Sadly enough, I’ve had this film sitting around on my cluttered shelves in a storage room next to my office for about ten years now, and I only got around to watching it very recently. Let me back up a bit. It wasn’t until I decided to get my the curtains in my office redone with swanky Roman Shades that a good reorganization of all my space took place. Roman shades ??? you might ask. What was I thinking? Actually it’s not so crazy. I chose from three styles of fabric roman shades deciding on flat Roman shades which have a sleek styling with great functionality. The flat roman shade folds neatly when raised and works well in any setting. I chose a blackout lining for these custom roman shades that efficiently blocked out all light. A great feature when I wanted to screen a movie. The flat Roman shades are the most functional and were recommended in situations such as mine where one anticipates raising and lowering the shade multiple times a day. I do that a lot. Anyway, in the process of cleaning up my office for the installation of the shades, and a new desk and comfy chair, I might add, I also reorganized the storage room which is when I discovered X FROM OUTER SPACE.
Now before I start this review, there’s two other thing I would like to mention that changed my life and the lives of my two dogs. I discovered the convenience of dog doors. I was over at a friend’s house and saw the cat / dog door they had installed for their pets. No more dog walking or letting the animals in and out of the house. Great I thought. No more interruptions while I am enjoying a movie or having to get some reviewing done. I found the installation a bit intimidating, so I had it done professionally. I bought an electronic dog door that open only for my pets when they are wearing a special collar key. I was told that electronic dog doors are much better for keeping unwanted animals such as skunks, raccoons, feral cats and your neighbors’ dogs out of your house, since the door opens only for the animal wearing a special collar. The doors have radically changed for the better, to say the least!
And now to the second thing which has changed my life, the discovery of playing online slots USA player-friendly games on my mobile. Whoa, what a difference it is waiting for my flights at the airport. Honestly what a blast playing online slots. I happen to choose the free games, but if playing for money is your thing, go for it. Boy, does the time fly. On my last trip I nearly missed my plane since I wasn’t listening to the boarding calls. Fortunately, my traveling partner tapped me on the shoulder and got my attention. When I travel by myself, I better set the alarm on my mobile. Gotta say, mobile devices get better all the time.
What a sad, pathetic fool I have been! Oh in so many ways that rings true, but for the purposes of this review, let’s restrict it to the fact that I’ve one of the absolute swankiest, coolest Japanese monster movies of all time sitting right under my nose, and I didn’t even know it.
Imagine GODZILLA with a severe dose of OUR MAN FLINT or any of the Matt Helm films. Imagine Gerry Anderson’s UFO meets Japanese kaiju eiga. Imagine flying to the moon where men in silver space suits recline in bean bags, sip
martinis, and cut the rug with their female counterparts, who have taken the time to switch out of their shiny space suits and into orange cocktail dresses. Then throw a giant monster smashing up Japan into the works, and you will just barely begin to fathom
how insanely cool this movie is.
Perhaps my favorite moment takes place as the rocket leaves Earth. The film, after being rather light-hearted for the first forty minutes, gets pretty heavy when the monster appears and starts knocking things over. The music gets all Akira Ifukube-esque on us, and is thundering and serious. But man alive, as soon as those mad cats get in the rocket and head toward the moon, the swank Bruno Nicolai music starts up immediately, making for an odd juxtaposition of moods.
X FROM OUTER SPACE makes me wish the future had turned out more like it was supposed to, with women in cocktail dresses and mini-skirts, go-go boots and metallic purple hair. Why oh why did we let Ridley Scott color our future when men like Gerry Anderson had it so, so right long before? I want my rocket pack, God damn it!!!
The effects here are decent. Once again I will ask all people who like to sneer at the effects in films like this to please watch American films from the same era! Back then, we were all flying pointy rockets into space that shot out sparks and
left a plume of blue smoke wafting up behind us. The effects in this and most other Japanese films of the day were just as good, and more times than not, better than the same stuff from America. But we tend to overlook this. I love the 1960s special
effects aesthetic. There was a remarkable amount of ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into every scene. Think of how damn long it takes to build a small scale replica of Tokyo just so you can blow it up. It’s a craft and a dedication, not to mention a pioneering spirit in film-making, that I respect and long for again.
All that aside, X FROM OUTER SPACE is simply one of the quirkiest, most enjoyable sci-fi films I have ever seen. How often can you get finger-snapping cocktail music and retro-future bliss AND a giant monster smashing Tokyo all in one serving? It’s almost like I expect the scientists to go, ‘Well, we’re stuck,’ and give up, only to have [the late] James Coburn, clad in a turtle-neck, step from the shadows and go, ‘Perhaps me and my all female team of go-go dancing karate masters can help.'”
What Critics Say:
“The most realistic moment in the movie: a future where space travel has become so pedestrian that you go out to party the very night you return.” — STOMP TOKYO
“The poor vision afforded to the wearer of this particular rubber suit is painfully apparent in a couple of scenes. Notice how Guilala’s head is tilted back while stumbling across the set. I imagine the actor was desperately peering around in an attempt to figure out what was going on. Good luck buddy, I have the benefits of perfect vision plus third person perspective and haven’t a clue, but it is still plenty of fun.” — BAD MOVIES.org
Like this flick? See also: HUMAN VAPOR