24 January 2013 | MartinHafer
Silly but enjoyable kitsch.
Although "Atomic Rulers" is pretty bad at times, you cannot completely blame the filmmakers who created this. That's because originally, this consisted of two episodes from a children's TV show--and it was, naturally, in Japanese. Some American folks bought these TV shows, re-edited them and repackaged them as four different movies: EVIL BRAIN FROM OUTER SPACE, ATOMIC RULERS, INVADERS FROM SPACE, ATTACK FROM SPACE. So, while in their original form this might have been a decent kids show when it debuted in the late 1950s, here in a different form and with dubbing, it loses something. Also, interestingly, in the original form the hero was not known as 'Starman' but 'Supergiant'.
The film begins like the rest in this series. You get a look at the Emerald World--with its very goofy residents. Again, however, for a kids' show of the time, it wasn't as bad seeing these bizarre costumes. Anyway, these weirdos are worried that the nuclear radiation from Earth could somehow make it across the galaxy to infect their planet! While this sounds ridiculous, understand that Japan had, only a little over a decade earlier, been nuked. So, the proliferation of shows like this and the Godzilla movies make a bit more sense.
In this installment of the series, the evil Magolians are planning on taking over the world thanks to their many secret agents and nuclear weapons. And, considering that Starman is definitely against nuclear proliferation, he's out to stop them. Seeing him in his adorable superhero outfit is a bit funny as he really looks a lot like Duck Dodgers of the 25th and a half century! And, being totally geared towards kids, you can understand the annoying cliché of adding a group of adorable orphans into the mix. It's full of silly children's helicopters, guns that fire in a bizarre manner and baddies who seem pretty lame. It's all pretty predictable kid's fare. Yet, oddly, in a kitschy manner, it's pretty fun to watch...and laugh. Not good but not 100% terrible.
By the way, I was a bit confused, as two other films (PRINCE OF SPACE and INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN) are nearly identical and yet are NOT part of the Starman series. Confusing...and also very silly when seen today.