Friday, November 16, 2012

Project Terrible 8: Message From Space

I don't know if it's Terrible, but it certainly is weird.  Today's film is Message from Space, a film givene to me for this series.  In a way, I'm happy.  I've put off watching this movie for a long time...but I don't know why.  It's probably because I was so spoiled by Turkish Star Wars.  Regardless, I finally watched it's certainly got problems.  Aside from the often-horrible Dubbing, the plot meanders quite a bit in spite of a story that should have some urgency.  A lot of other problems come up- many of which are due to its age- but I'll make sure to address them later on.  What you need to know is that this film is made up of 99% Japanese Actors/Actresses, one lady I've never heard of before and Vic Morrow.  I'll do my best to avoid any helicopter jokes- honest.  The movie is a crazy mess.  In other words, it's right up my alley!  To find out more, read on...
A bunch of 'hippie aliens' are oppressed by The Empire...I mean, Evil Space Samurais.  Their answer: send out space seeds to find heroes.

Right.  Good luck with that.
 The film takes a while to, you know, set up the whole 'heroes save the day' story.  In the meantime, this...
Random Fact: Chris Isaak is in this film's version of the Cantina Scene.  Weird, right?  What the hell was he doing in Japan in the '70s?!?
Check out these Bartenders too.  Did they predict the look of Matt Smith's Doctor or is this just a coincidence?  Weird.
After a lot of padding and meandering, our Leia substitute meets up with our heroes- who I guess are C3-P0 and...someone else.  Great- forward momentum.
Nah.  Instead of that, our heroes sell Not Leia to a crazy woman and her Lizardman son.  No, really.

They, in turn, are killed by the Not Empire, making our heroes the secondary villains of the film.  Ugh.
The Empire is on the move, as they launch the Death Star...I mean, the entire planet to attack the Earth.  Cue the ship panning over-the-camera shot...for the fifth time.
Our heroes FINALLY get off their asses and do something.  As a bonus, they pick up Sonny Chiba here to be Luke Skywalker...I mean, an entirely-original character.
The battle is fierce.  Many model ships are destroyed.  Many Extras are killed.  In The End, our heroes destroy The Death-Planet by, well, you know exactly how they do it.

They all fly off to find a new home planet- since they blew up their old one- and live happily ever after.  Well, except for Vic Morrow.  The End.
In space, nobody can hear you sit around and not do anything.  Seriously, the biggest problem here is the Pacing.  Our heroes are anti-heroes in that they don't seem to have the drive for it.  That's fine.  It sets up the whole Hero's Journey and what not.  Unfortunately, they draw this out too long to make the film nearly reach the two-hour mark.  How about you just cut some of this stuff and just make the film less tedious.  Aside from that, it's goofy fun.  This film is one Editor short of being a real Cult Classic.  Mind you, a lot of people still consider it to be so...but whatever.  The story is blatantly trying to be Star Wars...but that's okay.  Turkish Star Wars just rear-projected Episode IV footage for F/X shots, so the bar is set pretty low.  Pacing aside, I enjoyed this silly, piece of crap movie.  Take us away, clear slope into the Uncanny Valley...
Up next, a film that's not really a film.  I'd blame Austria, but it's actually from Poland.  Stay tuned...