4 February 2007 | zillabob
"We burn out like the comet's nest"
What a mess of a film. This was Toho's first-of the 1980's-foray into Tokusatsu, after a hiatus in 1977 with The War In Space. It was made a year before Godzilla 1984 as well as a year before 2010 came out-and this film bears some striking plot devices to that one, as well as some of the set and miniature designs. The plus is perhaps some outstanding effects work by Koichi Kawakita, for the time; some mesmerizing cloud chamber work, and nice miniature ships,planet scapes and matte and optical work. I'd say it well matches anything by Gerry Anderson(think Space:1999) from the late 60's or early 70's. The story is another matter-a black hole is on collision course with earth-however it can be altered if Jupiter is blown up to become a sun. The "Jupiter Solarization Project" is being undertaken to create a new sun and thus, colonize the moons of Jupiter. However some space hippies of the "Jupiter Church" don't want this to happen. They hang around-when not casually attempting to sabotage the project in orbit around Jupiter-on a beach on earth with this head guru guy who pulls out a guitar and stops the film, and does a musical number! I kid you not. This happens about four times. Accompanied by a montage of images of animals, beaches, dolphins,etc. There is also perhaps one of the biggest rip-off scenes from Jaws ever done, so blatantly. Characters zip back and forth from earth to Jupiter with the edit of a scene. There is also a "space sex" scene which they use "Love Gas" to achieve. It's corny, cheesy but inexplicably...you can see nary a string or harness on their buck naked bodies! How'd they do that? It goes on forever but you can't take your eyes off it, not knowing how "hot" this will get. The hippies turn out to be terrorists and somehow we are supposed to empathize with their desire to kill everyone for no reason whatsoever. There are some grand set pieces, devices, and a "large" epic look to things. But it never really comes together. They steal everything you can think of from the aforementioned Jaws,Star Wars, The Black Hole and, another blatant effects rip off shot from 2001:A Space Odyssey. The songs are amazing-they don't miss a beat to get one into all four acts of the film and, the end titles, complete with strange lyrics like "We burn out like a comet's nest" and "I will transfer all your pain to me". The English speaking actors are atrocious for the most part, just completely ruining whatever grand set they are placed in. There is also a scene where a guy is speaking German to a Gaijin guy who speaks Japanese back at him. Huh? There's a Godzilla in-joke that's quite funny, and works, as clips from Ghidorah(1965) manage to make it into the film as one guy seems to be a Kaiju fan. The film was never released here in the states legally, until now. It's been a rarity for American Tokusatsu fans to try and find. And, to me, a letdown.