The X from Outer Space (1967)

MONSTER BASH ROCKS.  Where else can you find a nearly forgotten 1967 Shochiku Studios Kaiju GEM for $5?  The X from Outer Space (1967) has been on my wish list for years, and this DVD copy is widescreen, sub-titled and with English dubbing AND with supplements.

This film is weird and it has one of the oddest scores for any of the Kaiju flicks.  Author Stuart Galbraith IV describes the score as “a strange cross between Japanese pop and Django Reinhardt” and his description is right on target (I like Jazz and I like Kaiju).

The film opens with Mars probe AAB-Gamma launching into space with a crew of 4 —staunch Capt. Sano, funny guy communications officer Miyamoto, ship’s doctor Shiodo, and stiff pretty to look at biologist Lisa (played by Peggy Neal, Terror Beneath the Sea, 1966).  The nosecone of the rocket opens up like the vessel in You Only Live Twice (also made in 1967, but at rival Toho studios). All past attempts at Mars ended with a UFO attacking and ending the missions.  Miyamoto describes the UFO as “the world’s largest flying egg”.

Some of the matte paintings in this film are just gorgeous. I think they are on par with MGM/Disney work on Forbidden Planet.

A UFO does attach AAB-Gamma with meteors.  But they’re not really meteors. They are space spore containing “X from Outer Space” embryos.  The crew investigate…

Dooh. Lesson number 1.  Maintain all quarantine rules and don’t bring a suspect contagion on board a vessel!

Later, back at home-base the little egg-like spore hatches.  A melted hole in the floor is found.  This sequence really reminded me of the scene in Alien where the face hugger’s molecular acid blood melts through several levels of the Nostromo’s hull.  A weird three-toed bird-like footprint is found.  In concert with previous poultry humor, Miyamoto exclaims, “It looks like the claw of a big chicken!”

What has hatched and generated enough energy to melt through the floor?  It’s GUILALA!  This beast is something to behold, with a manta ray-shaped head with two big googley red eyes, a strange periscope like protuberance, Dizzy Gillespie-style cheeks, two TV antennae, all mounted on a fat reptilian chicken body!  There you have Guilala.  He also has a unique sound unlike anything in Toho’s pantheon of Kaiju.

Here we have a scientist comparing the big Guilala footprint to the little “chickenfoot” impression. They are the same (although I see no correlation).

Like all good Kaiju, Guilala heads for Tokyo…

Where can he find energy?  Perhaps he will chase a cart full of radioisotopes…

Here Guilala settles down for a lunch at a nuclear power plant…

And becomes a ball of plasma…

Only the crew of the AAB-Gamma can save the day.  The X from Outer Space is non-stop fun. It’s light-hearted and perfect Saturday afternoon viewing fodder.  It’s a lot better than most of the original Gamera films and some of the early 70’s Godzilla flicks, which evolved into low-production-value kiddie films.  The monster Guilala later returned in the inferior and dumb The Monster X Strikes Back (2008). Stick to the original!

S. Galbraith, 1994. Japanese Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, McFarland & Co., Inc.

2 Responses to “The X from Outer Space (1967)”

  1. Rich Chamberlain Says:

    My copy just arrived today!

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