The Green Slime is here and it’s adorable!
The 1968 film, The Green Slime, is meant to be a hybrid of a horror movie and a sci-fi film. One might even call it a forerunner to Alien if one wanted to run the risk of being ridiculed for the rest of one’s life. It’s about an alien life form that manages to sneak into a space station. Once it’s inside the space station, it starts to rapidly multiply and it turns out that everything that the humans do to try to stop it just causes more of the monsters to show up!
Seriously, that should be some major nightmare fuel but instead, the monsters are just too cute to believed.
Okay, maybe cute is the wrong word. When Jeff and I watched this movie, I asked him if he could come up with a better term to describe the monsters than “cute.” He suggested “cheap.” And yes, the monster do look rather cheap. It’s obvious that the monsters are made out of rubber and, half the time, their arms just seem to flail around at random. That’s actually one of the things that makes them so cute!
It’s also one of the things that makes The Green Slime memorable. Today, we tend to take it for granted that anything can be done via CGI so it’s interesting to see a film like this. The Green Slime was originally released 52 years ago, long before CGI. The special effects may look cheap but there’s an undeniable appeal to their quaintness. The special effects are a lot like the monsters themselves. They’re cheap. They’re not particularly convincing. But, in their own weird way, they’re definitely charming.
Of course, they’re not at all scary. That’s a bit unfortunate as far as the film is concerned. Remember how, in the Alien movies, you’re always scared to death that the alien is going to jump from out of nowhere because 1) the alien is absolutely terrifying to look at and 2) anyone caught by the alien is destined to die a terrible and agonizing death? Well, that’s not the case with The Green Slime. The Green Slime just kind of runs around and looks …. well, cute.
That said, The Green Slime cannot be allowed to make its way to Earth so the folks on the space station are going to have to figure out how to defeat it. That’s not going to be easy because the two rival commanders (payed by Robert Horton and Richard Jaeckel) are currently both in love with the same woman. Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi) is the space station’s doctor and needless to say, she’s going to have her hands full. If you’re a Bond connoisseur, you might recognize Luciana Paluzzi from Thunderball. Myself, I was just happy that the doctor was a redhead named Lisa. I could automatically relate to her. Plus, there’s nothing more entertaining than hearing your name repeated over and over again.
The Green Slime was an American-Japanese co-production. The cast is a mix of American and European actors while the film’s crew was predominantly Japanese. Originally, The Green Slime was envisioned as being an American/Italian co-production and Antonio Margheriti was in talks to direct. When that plan fell through, MGM moved the production to Japan and teamed up with the Toei Company. One can only imagine what the film would have looked like if it had been directed by Marheriti. One imagines that the aliens would have been a bit less cute.
Fortunately, cute they are! The Green Slime fails as both a horror and sci-fi film because the aliens themselves never seem like a legitimate threat but I still like the film. If nothing else, it pays tribute to the name Lisa and that’s definitely something that I can get behind.
Plus, the aliens are just adorable!