Category Archives: gappa

The Giant Chicken from Mars


Uchû daikaijû Girara ~ This is better known in the United States as the 1967 film The X from Outer Space. One of its more dubious recognitions is that TCM has on more one than one occasion shown this as part of its foreign film spotlights on late Sunday nights. When I see this happen I have to wonder if TCM has no other Japanese movies they could show. Granted it’s a great print of the film, but in this case that is more analogous to saying “that’s a great photo of a dog turd.” Add in the fact that it’s letterboxed and subtitled, I might go so far as to say someone gift-wrapped that turd.

When Robert Osbourne introduces the film he always notes that it is the only entry into the kaiju eiga genre by the venerable Shochiku Studios. After this I don’t wonder why. Don’t get me wrong, Uchû daikaijû Girara is by no means the worst film of the genre, but it’s definitely clinging to the bottom. It appears to have been made by someone who was told -about- giant monster films, and maybe -how- to make them, but had never seen one before.

The film does have a cult following though, probably because it was featured in It Came from Hollywood, or maybe because of its unique hokey-pokey jazz score, or maybe because it features possibly the most outlandish giant monster of all. The X, or as it is properly called, Guilala, is basically a giant mutated chicken from space. It even out-bizarres some of the most wild ideas from “Space Giants.” Yep, whoever designed this kaiju suit was definitely doing acid.

There have been a couple attempts to do a sequel, one rumored to be in the planning stages right now. About a decade ago, a crossover battle was planned between Guilala and Gappa, better known here in the States as The Monster from a Prehistoric Planet. Gee, I wonder who called off that fight?

And don’t miss the unbelievable and indescribable chase scene between Guilala and a jeep. It must be seen to be believed. Once. Then change the channel…

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