Category Archives: sonny chiba
Posted by Glenn Walker
STAR WARS IN DRAG
A Video Review of Message from Space or Uchu Kara No Messeji
Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker
After Star Wars came out every hack producer in Hollywood decided that any old crap about space or robots and stuff like that would sell and the barrage of garbage began in theatres. This was also the thinking over in Japan giving us Message from Space in 1978.
Now the Japanese cinema had been making sci-fi for decades and they had their own style and genre. With Message from Space they injected the American cowboy serial sensibilities of Star Wars into their standard formula. It did not mix well.
The casting is disturbing. Hard to believe the great Sonny Chiba of the legendary Street Fighter films had fallen so far as to appear in this dreck. The late Vic Morrow also falls into this category as he walks through the flick doing his best “Captain Harlock” imitation. Jerry Ito of Mothra and comedian Eisei Amamoto, the latter who plays the film’s villainess in drag.
For a movie that purported to be the new Star Wars it demonstrated a deplorable level in special effects even by 1960s Japanese standards these were embarrassing. “Thunderbirds” or Gamera would be a few steps above this crap.
Not worth seeing for Sonny or Vic or Jerry or even for a laugh. I think “Mystery Science Theater 3000” might even give this one a pass.