Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Starman Vol 2 - Invaders from Space / Atomic Rulers|
Actors: Ken Utsui, Junko Ikeuchi, Sh˘ji Nakayama, Minoru Takada, Sachihiro Ohsawa
Directors: Akira Mitsuwa, Koreyoshi Akasaka, Teruo Ishii
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
He's back! Starman, "the creature made of the strongest steel," fights monsters, chases flying saucers, and defeats evil-minded aliens in two deliriously surreal mixes of science fiction, surprisingly moody photography, an... more »
Strange "Invaders" gives Starman Vol. 2 edge over Vol. 1
Surfink | Racine, WI | 01/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For an overview of Starman movies and both Something Weird discs overall, see review under Starman Volume 1.
Unimaginatively titled, Invaders from Space is actually the most campy fun of the four Starman features. Starman is sent by the ruling council of the Emerald Planet to stop seriously ugly Salamander-like aliens, from the planet Koolamon in the Marpet galaxy, who are spreading a plague-like disease on Earth and who can adopt semihuman form. At the Yamano theater, an "unusual dance troupe gives a weird performance." (I couldn't have said it better myself!) Seems the Koolamonians, who have established a spherical undersea Earth base, are also operating undercover out of the theater as an avant garde dance ensemble! Starman gives a "signal ball" to a group of little kids (whose scientist dad has been kidnapped by the aliens) with which they can contact each other; dozens of fire-twirling Salamander men attack the kids near a weird castle in the woods; and they're also menaced by a way-creepy nurse in a surgical mask who then metamorphosizes into an even uglier witch in a long cape with glitter in her hair (the kids vaporize her into a puddle of goo). The Koolamonians then start messing with our gravity, stopping baseballs in mid-flight, and making everything run backwards! Starman battles the Salamander men in midair, underwater, and inside their flying saucers, while the alien leader slowly croaks, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha." Finally, the professor invents a special gun that kills the Koolamonians and Starman floats off into space as the children wildly wave goodbye. Print quality of Invaders is quite watchable overall, with tonal values, brightness, and detail/sharpness ranging from very good to excellent, although it suffers the most of the four films from moderate speckling/blemishing throughout and occasional light lining. Still probably as good as it has ever looked.
Atomic Rulers is, for my money, the least entertaining of the four Starman features. The plot involves evil agents from the country of Magolia who are carrying nuclear devices around in suitcases in some sort of plot to take over the Earth. Of course the little kids get ahold of one of the suitcases, so Starman, "friend of all children," battles the Magolian gangsters, saves a plane in flight, and eventually tracks the bad guys to their Bondian lair inside a mountain (that jittery helicopter and Magolian base miniature make Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's Supermarionation look like Industrial Light and Magic). Unfortunately, the bad guys just look like gangsters (there are no wild aliens, space stations, etc.) and Starman is in his suit-and-tie mode a lot. There's lots of running around, but only a modicum of crazy gymnastic fight scenes. Print quality on Atomic Rulers is, ironically, as good or better than the other three movies, with perhaps a bit less overall speckling and blemishing than Invaders or Evil Brain.
Volume 2 extras include another 25-minute B&W Prince Planet manga cartoon, circa 1965; dreadful 12-minute color Super 8mm amateur short (Mercury Amazing vs. Vampyrum), most charitably described as extremely crude; mildly campy 1960 16-minute color educational short, Exploring the Moon, wherein Dr. C. H. Clemenshaw, director of the Griffith Observatory, and annoying buddy Art take a simulated trip to the moon to study its topographical features; and my personal favorite, a 1960 Bell System-produced 10-minute color short, Talking of Tomorrow, a highly amusing, Jetsonian look at the "city of the future" where helicycle travel and outer space construction projects are assisted by such as-yet-unnamed but surprisingly accurately described telecommunications technologies as call waiting, teleconferencing, fax, picturephones, satellite TV, desktop computers, e-commerce, wristwatch radios, etc. (No hack job, it was designed by Tom Yakutis and Corny Cole [Inspector/Pink Panther], and animated by Disney/MGM/Hanna-Barbera artists Ed Love and Don Towsley, with backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas [1940s/50s Warner Bros./Pink Panther]). Volume 2 also includes the highly detailed and interesting essay on the Starman/Super Giant phenomenon. Extras on both discs still have the crummy logos in the corner. Bottom line: the greater preponderance of action sequences and outlandish mutants, not to mention those avant garde dance numbers, give Invaders from Space a clear edge over the other three movies. For this reason, plus the superior Talking of Tomorrow short, those new to the Starman series or Starman fans with limited funds would be well-advised to make Volume 2 their first buy."
In my opinion, the best of the Starman movies
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think some of the guys running the IAEA should take a look at some of these old Starman movies. The leaders of the Emerald Planet may be the most ridiculous-looking aliens ever conceived by man, but they at least step in and take action when an evil, dictatorial saber-rattler makes secret plans to build and use nuclear weapons. Earth is always the source of the trouble, of course, and Starman is always the solution. These aliens think that the fallout from nuclear explosions will escape Earth's atmosphere and eventually cause the whole galaxy to be uninhabitable.
This is the third Starman movie I've seen, and I think these things are starting to grow on me now. I've made fun of Starman before - how can you not, really? I mean, the guy's the worst-dressed superhero I've ever seen, he can change costumes simply by bending over and standing right back up again, and he fights like a girl. Still, you can't argue with success. Surprisingly, the guy actually seems to have a personality in Atomic Rulers of the World - he heckles his opponent at one point, and he even grins a time or two. If you're wondering just who this guy is, here's the summary: his body has the strength of steel, he's got a "globemeter" that allows him to fly through space, detect radiation, and understand all the languages on Earth. He apparently also has an inhuman knack of figuring out where his enemies are whenever he decides to go after them. He's originally a product of a 1950s Japanese television series called Super Giant - in the early 1960s, episodes were cobbled together and released to Western audiences as a string of feature-length films.
For once, the bad guys threatening Earth are home-grown rather than alien. Those rowdies from the nation of Mirapolia have been smuggling atomic bombs into countries all over the planet in accordance with their plan to take over the whole world using nuclear blackmail. If they have to destroy a few countries to get their point across, it's no big deal to them. It's up to Starman to figure out this dastardly scheme, find the secret Mirapolian headquarters, and take whatever steps are necessary to prevent any atomic explosions from taking place.
Atomic Rulers of the World is a better Starman film than Attack From Space and The Evil Brain From Outer Space. It's less campy because its story is nowhere near as outlandish as the others, and Starman himself is a much more engaging fellow than usual in this one. Basically, Atomic Rulers of the World has Saturday matinee material written all over it, and most viewers will secretly enjoy it even as they make fun of it."
You have to see it through a kid's eyes...
Anthony Morelli | Montreal, Canada | 03/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed watching "Atomic Rulers of the World" on DVD. My partner has seen this movie back when he was 10 years old, and we just had to have it on DVD, to bring back memories.
There's something about black & white movies which makes watching an oldie so much fun. As far-fetched as this movie turns out to be, the story has its suspense and its drama, even though the acting leaves a lot to be desired. The scenes where there's fighting, have been poorly acted. Even "STARMAN" fights like a girl...and his "Steel-Strength" is doubtful.
The Distant Emerald Planet has discovered a secret plot on Earth, so diabolical, that it threatens the entire galaxy. The rogue nation of Mirapolia is distributing atomic weapons throughout the globe, determined to rule the world or destroy it.
The high council of the Emerald planet sends their bravest hero, STARMAN, to defeat the Mirapolians and remove the deadly menace.
Drawing equally on the unabashed heroics of the original Superman series and the atomic fear of Godzilla films, the Japanese television series Super Giant was assembled into full-length features for American audiences. The combination of martial arts action and sci-fi thrills made for an unusual and stunning adventure, unmatched even today.
The movie is dubbed into English from Japanese and it's obvious, for the voices are too "American-ized" and over-dubbed in places.
But...they did a remarkable job of synchronizing some of the voices to the movements of the actor's mouth movements. "STARMAN" (Ken Utsui is a handsome actor and he makes watching this movie fun. His costume is amusing and the way he flies through the skies...priceless!!!
I can only imagine how fun it must've been, as well as scary, to watch this through the eyes of a young child.
But...looking at it now...it's a great piece of nostalgia, as we can see how far technology and "Sci-Fi" filming has evolved.
Especially with the way they manouveured the model helicopters around, jerking them around on the end of a string as they entered the building (the hidden base at secret headquarters) in the side of a mountaintop. I had to laugh at that part, because it's so obvious, considering the technology they had back then.
Although the DVD insert & catalogue are in color, the movie is entirely in black & white.
Ken Utsui, Sachihiro Oshawa, Junko Ikeuchi, Minako Yamada, Shoji Hakayama, Kan Hayaski, Minoru Takada, Utako Mitsuya
Teruo Ishi, Akira Mitsuwa, Koreyoshi Akasaka
The movie is 76 minutes long and was originally filmed in 1964, but released on DVD in 2004. Imagine...40 years in waiting! LOL
You can find this DVD + many others at www.oldies.com"
SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT !
DAVE R. | bridgewater, NJ USA | 01/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone craving outstanding late-night entertainment has got to check this dvd out! 2 incredible nearly forgotten 60's sci-fi / superhero / kung-fu action / thrillers with zero budget special effects. If you're a fan of grade Z sci-fi (think FROM HELL IT CAME or THE BRAINIAC) this is a must for you. As usual, SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO does a nice job by including lots of fun extras. But it's the feature films that are just unbelievable! I can't express how much i enjoyed INVADERS FROM SPACE! Part kiddie show, part action adventure, part sci-fi nightmare. Truly truly the stuff of bad dreams. Grab a 6-pack, turn off the lights, and get ready for a strange strange trip."