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Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY Reviewed on 10/31/2011...
Space aliens want to persuade Prof. Komura, a leading Japanese scientist, that Earth and another planet are on a collision course and that our physicists had better not mess with destructive science. Shaped like starfish, the aliens look like Maggie Simpson in her snowsuit. Since they can’t communicate with us Earthers in their native form, one alien transmutes herself into human form. The model they choose is a cabaret singer, Hikari Aozora (Light Blue-skies). This leads to unforeseen complications such as the alien being mobbed by the singer’s noisy fans, who are uniformed high-school girls.
If you’ve been in Japan and been exposed to giddy high school girls, this scene will make you nostalgic. So will other scenes such as the drinking and snack place the prof and his cronies hang out in and a party with hostesses, drinking, singing, dancing, and harmless flirting. Another scene of a group of elementary school kids singing and accompanied by a harmonium is rather out of my experience, but I’m convinced it’s as Japanese a scene as cherry blossoms. So this movie will evoke Japan and the delightful maddening Japanese for those of us who have lived there.
The movie features no monsters raising hob with urban areas and has a minimum of special effects. Some scenes serve no purpose, such as the cabaret dance scene and people jumping off trains in the middle of nowhere while Tokyo is being evacuated, seemingly for no reason since if the planet and Earth collide, it’s curtains whether you’re in the Big Mikan or not. Also, perhaps because of poor dubbing, we get the impression that somebody has been tied up for a month, which makes us wonder why he hasn’t starved to death.
I’d give this movie a highly qualified recommendation to those who just like things, places, and people Japanese. The acting is good. We are mercifully spared the comic relief bozo with a mustache, big horn rims, pompous mien, clumsy manners, and large theatrical body language.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Who Knew Starfish Were So Smart?
Robert I. Hedges | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a little known Japanese oddity from 1956 originally released in Japan as 'Uchujin Tokyo Ni Awawaru' ('Unknown Satellite Over Tokyo'.) I had never heard of this one, but Amazon recommended it to me, doubtlessly due to my previous B-Movie purchases. I am really glad I bought this obscure little film. The plot concerns a close call with a runaway planet on a collision course with the Earth, and the space travelers that look like giant starfish with one big blue eye that help save humanity from the peril. This film is serious, and most of it is well made considering the special effects capabilities available fifty years ago. There are a few places where the plot falters (for example why bother to evacuate Tokyo when the pending collision will destroy the whole Earth?), but overall it is an interesting mid-fifties sci-fi classic, with additional and unexpected bonuses, such as a musical stage show interlude, which seems out of place, but adds to the fun. For enthusiasts of old B-Movies this is a relatively unknown treasure at a very affordable price. The alien costumes and dialogue alone are worth the price of admission!"
Lots of fun
Martin Andrade | Minnesota | 05/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
This beauty had my name written all over it. First we had the terrible costumes of space aliens that were shaped like starfish. Starfish that had a giant flourescent eye smack dab in the middle of their bodies, and they had no arms or usable appendages, so they were psychic. Second, there were the state of the art special effects, like the gold spray painted cardboard that made up the space aliens' fleet. Third, there was the completely unbelievable plot. Let's see, a planet from another galaxy that is sort of like a star in the sense that it is really hot, is coming straight at Tokyo. An alien race (those starfish cyclops things) is trying to warn the world, but everyone just freaks out whenever they see these guys (Doesn't anyone own an aquirium?) so that the starfish people have to morph into really almost semi-attractive Japanese girls to get old nutty scientists to notice them. On top of all that, the film was dubbed into english.
The best part about this film is that it was a serious effort. The acting is that of deep drama and intensity. The special effects are used a tremendous amount (strangely enough, the effects even get better as the movie goes on). The viewer even begins to share concern with the characters as their acting careers end tragically.
But alas, this movie is terrible. During one scene (the "Panic Scene") people are seen fleeing Tokyo for no reason whatsoever. There are images of people jumping off moving trains, the police chief of Tokyo decides to have the city evacuated. It's an illogical order as the Earth is being threatened by A PLANET, moving away from Tokyo is not going to help much. In fact, after the one eyed aliens make contact with the Japenese scientists, the viewer spends the rest of the film completely confused. The aliens come and go as they please, only appearing when really, really necessary. But, thankfully (spoiler ahead) everything turns out fine, except for the millions of people killed by heat stroke and panic.
It's one of those movies that is so bad you have to see it."
Where's Godzilla When We Need Him??...
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein | under the rubble | 08/11/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Actors in cloth, star-shaped costumes stand around on their spaceship a lot, communicating with each other telepathically. They eventually begin standing around in Tokyo, trying to warn everyone that a runaway planet is heading toward earth. One star-shaped entity assumes the form of a female nightclub tap-dancer (!) in order to contact the scientific community. From there it gets hazy, as my eyes glazed over. This movie is a true test of endurance! See if you can make it to the end without entering dreamland..."
Star People - Literally
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 03/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here we are in Tokyo when mysterious spaceships appear. The beings on the space ship appear on earth, causing general panic. The aliens look like people-sized felt stars with an eye about where earthlings have stomachs. I kept wondering how the star-shaped beings manipulated objects since they have no hands. Anyway, the star-shaped space beings (which kind of challenges you to say ten times real fast) are trying to warn earthlings that a planet is going to crash into earth and destroy the earth before much longer. Of course, who would believe a bunch of aliens who look like refugees from a Starbrite movie?
The aliens are quick thinkers, and they decided to change one of themselves into a hot (well, I suppose she was hot in 1956, which is coincidentally the year I was born, in Japan) babe singer. The aliens then try to get support to help blow up the planet.
Naturally the politicians take over so that the planet can get really close so that the tension will build and then the aid will be authorized too late so that things will get really hot and then someone will take action but it will be too late but of course the hero will reveal the magical solution that will save the world but only after Tokyo gets destroyed, again. That is pretty much the whole movie, in a sentence.
This movie was actually okay, but too many story lines in too short a time muddled the movie. We had children and scientists and aliens and mobsters and the military and the politicians and then there were everyday citizens. I started to feel like I was in one of those television shows where there were a million stories, and they vainly tried to cram them all into one movie. The movie also managed to cram in some nature shots too. Had the movie eliminated some of the story lines and focused on a couple of central characters, this movie could have gone somewhere. Instead, our main character sat out a month after gangsters tied him up so that we could watch children crying and a rat running for a crack in the wall; pretty heady stuff. I kept wondering how the main character had disappeared for 30 days, apparently tied up, and was still alive.
I still think this movie had some charm, and if I saw it on television I might reminisce fondly about those felt star people. However, I hesitate to recommend this movie except to those people who enjoy low budget Japanese science fiction movies from the 1950s. Since this movie is missing its typical monsters (Godzilla would have benefited this movie - "Godzilla and the Star People") it is less interesting than other movies from this era involving Godzilla and his brethren, and even hard-core fans of those types of Japanese movies may be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are having trouble getting to sleep, this movie might give you some help. Good luck! "