February 18th, 2008


An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth so the government sends a scientist (Robert Horton) and his less than loyal crew into outer space to blow it out of the sky.  (Gee, do you think Michael Bay watched this before he made Armageddon?)  While setting detonator charges on the asteroid, the astronauts come into contact with a mysterious slime (it looks like Jell-O on anabolic steroids) and the malignant muck hitches a ride on the shuttle, making it’s way to Earth.  There, the ooze transforms into one eyed tentacled creatures that can regenerate whenever they are shot, and pretty soon, there are dozens of the suckers running amok at mission control.  Unfortunately before the green slime attacks, you have to sit through a lot of second rate third wheel love triangle shenanigans between Horton, Richard (The Dirty Dozen) Jaeckel and the luscious Luciana (Thunderball) Paluzzi.


The film was directed by the great Kinji Fukasaku and while it lacks the zest of some of his yakuza movies, it does have moments of campy charm.  Since it’s a Japanese flick, you know that all the special effects of the “futuristic” city will look like they were made out of Legos and all the rockets will look like Estes models.  The creatures are pretty funny looking, but the scenes of the astronauts floating around in space zapping the monsters with their ray guns are hysterical.  The producers also saved a fortune on dubbing by hiring all American actors, but most of them are too wooden to make much of an impression.  Only Paluzzi (who always oozed sex appeal) provides the film with any sparks.  Too bad both of her potential suitors have the screen presence of flooring tile. 


While the film is bad enough to have the dubious distinction of being the first movie riffed on by Mystery Science Theater 3000, it does have one awesome thing to recommend about it and that’s the incredible psychedelic theme song.  Once you hear it, you’ll be unable to get it out of your head.  Fukasaku later made the similarly themed Message from Space ten years later, again with a mostly American cast. 


Horton may be one of the blandest leading men in the history of the cinema, but he does get at least one good line:  “I suggest you bone up on your regulations!”


AKA:  After the Destruction of Space Station Gamma:  Big Military Operation.  AKA:  Battle Beyond the Stars.  AKA:  Death and the Green Slime.  AKA:  Gamma #3:  Big Military Operation.  AKA:  The Battle of Space Station Gamma.