In 1968 this is what the 21st century looked like: A disco ginger bombshell laserfights slime monsters while battalions of silver-suited soldiers defend a space base from freaky aliens. It’s a technicolor jumble of quick cuts, cryptic narration and jazzy lounge music. The FX aren’t the slick motion controlled camera, CGI or makeup we’re used to these days, but the model rockets and men in suits are pulled off with such aplomb that you willingly suspend disbelief for a chance to see more.
This is the beauty and the power of The Green Slime. It’s a space opera where the rules of reality do not apply. Large scale battles with inhuman monsters are paralleled by a clash of human egos. A fantastic war set against the backdrop of deep space. Big ideas on a small budget. It makes me feel like I’m nine years old and putting together a grandiose game of G.I. Joe vs the rest of the toys. It has a presence that gets under your skin. I have to know how such a film could have manifested and gone undetected for so long…
Part of the mystery is its pairing of an unlikely writer and uncanny director. The screenplay was penned by Bill Finger who was the co-creator, scripter and architect of Batman and the world of Gotham City. Having established the world’s most recognizable superhero is no small credit (though Finger doesn’t even get that.) So finding out that Bill is behind the script makes this movie more alluring than the Italian redhead in the silver skirt.
The movie part of the magic comes from Japan’s influential and innovative Kinji Fukasaku. Best known for directing ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ and Battle Royale – which is the spiritual precursor to 2012’s The Hunger Games. The pedigree that went into creating The Green Slime explains how it could look so brilliant yet be so unknown. Its creators are inspirational beyond compare yet unrecognized in the mainstream. Mix them together and of course they’d make a cult classic. Still, that doesn’t explain the unfathomable awe of its magnificence…
21st century cityscapes glisten in the light of a primordial star. Hordes of one-eyed, tentacled aliens ravish a sick bay. ‘Cannot Guarantee Future’ flashes across the teletype. Who foresaw this? An asteroid explodes as handsome American men of the future toggle for dominance. Why does it always come to this? A gauntlet of tendrils bludgeon a human soldier to death. Why now? A technician falls to his death. Why us? Luciana stands stoically in her silver sparkle pant and vest suit while chaos dances about. What does it all mean?
Somewhere out of space, the disembodied voice of a lounge singer belts out a jazz anthem which enthusiastically proclaims, “Green Slime!”. His voice is bent by the weight of the words which he sings, this feeling is familiar but the tune foreign, “Green Slime!” Through the fallout of scale model explosions and rainbow lasers the contours of a new worldview forms. I was looking for answers but it’s not about that at all. This movie isn’t about knowing, it’s about wonder… “Green Slime.” And I am awake.
- Genre: fantasy, Horror, sci fi, Science Fiction, space, war
- Release Date: 1968
- Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku
- Starring: Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Horton
- Produced by: Walter Manley, William Ross
- Written by: Bill Finger, Charles Sinclair, Ivan Reiner, Tom Rowe
- Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Ram Films Inc.