Horror Film Review: The Green Slime (dir by Kinji Fukasaku)


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!

Green Cheese? No, it’s THE GREEN SLIME (MGM 1969)


cracked rear viewer

We all love a good cheese-fest every now and then, right? Well, THE GREEN SLIME delivers the limburger by the rocket-load, with its rock bottom special effects, silly looking monsters, overwrought dialog, and a cool heavy-metalish theme song (Who was that singer belting out the tune? More on that later!). This MGM/Toei Studios mashup was made with a Japanese crew and American cast, with an Italian pedigree, no less.

An asteroid codenamed ‘Flora’ is hurtling toward a collision course with Earth, and Comm. Jack Rankin is sent to space station Gamma-3 with orders to blow the thing to smithereens. Gamma-3’s Commander, Vince Elliott, holds a longtime grudge against Rankin, and his fiancé Dr. Lisa Benson just happens to be Rankin’s ex. I smell a love triangle brewing! Rankin, Elliott, and other crew members blast off to the asteroid to plant explosives, but there’s this Blob-like, pulsating ooze around gripping their…

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6 Trailers In Celebration


Okay, I am like supper giddy excited and dancing-around-my-house-in-my-underwear excited right now and that’s because a story I wrote has been accepted for publication  so let me just repeat what I said when I learned the news: “Oh. My. God.  YAY!”  And then I pushed off my jeans and tossed my camisole and I started dancing around the house in my underwear and that’s where you came in and…

Well, anyway — Hi!  How ya doing?  Having a good weekend?  Ready for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers?  Let’s get started:

1) Explosion (1969)

This is appears to be yet another one of those “So You Say You Want A Revolution” films from the late 60s.  The 60s were a good time for freeze frames apparently.

2) The Green Slime (1968)

This is a classic example of a “Look How Excited The Narrator Is!” style of grindhouse trailer.

3) The Student Nurses (1970)

I love any trailer that claims that the movie being advertised is about “what’s happening now…”  It’s a line that just screams 1970s.  Anyway, this is The Student Nurses which was directed by Stephanie Rothman, one of the first of the true Grindhouse feminists.

4) The Student Teachers (1973)

Student Nurses was a huge success so the next few years so a whole lot of different “Student” films.  Hence, the Student Teachers.  That clown at the end of this trailer freaks me out.  By the way, Chuck Norris is apparently in this trailer.

5) The Two Faces Of Love (1972)

Of course, even as the grindhouse celebrated the strong women who became student nurses and student teachers, it was also celebrating the woman who found themselves trapped in rip-offs of Repulsion, like The Two Faces of Love.

6) Stacey (1973)

Finally, let’s close things out with Stacey.  Why?  Because she’s super, sexy, and sensational!