The human race is in danger when a 6.000.000 ton asteroid is on its way to Earth to wipe us all out. But don’t worry, a group of astronauts is sent to blow it to pieces before it reaches the atmosphere. They land on the asteroid with a small shuttle sent from the space station Gamma 3, and the set design looks as convincing as a high school play. At first glance, you may assume this was a cheap space opera from the 1950s, but The Green Slime is from the same year as 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968. Both also distributed by MGM, just so you know. While they implant the explosives, they come across some – yeah, you guessed it – green, glowing slime. Nothing much to worry about since it will go down with the explosion. Ha, so you thought. A sample of the green liquid manages to attach itself to one of the astronaut’s space suits and becomes a blind passenger to the space station.
After they are back safe and sound to the space station and mission completed, they celebrate with champagne and funk music with a group of young nurses. To have some shallow character development thrown in we have some boring and stiff melodrama, strained friendships and such bullshit we couldn’t care much less about. The real fun begins when the green slime(r) starts to transform itself into cute rubber monster creatures with a big eye and electric tentacles to fry their victims. They also scream constantly like a bunch of horny witches on helium while having a non-stop orgasm.
The Green Slime is an odd hybrid of a production and a campy, goofy, lighthearted schlockfest like you’d expect from such a title, and if not by the surf rock theme song that belongs more in a Saturday Morning Cartoon intro. An ambitious project on paper with a script from Batman creator Bill Finger that was supposed to be a fifth film in a film series from the big Hollywood company/distributor MGM and directed by an Italian guy. Although the film is an Italian project financed by American dollars, it somehow managed to end up at Toei Studios in Japan with Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) in the directing chair. The cultural crashes could be heard all over the Pacific Ocean.
The Green Slime leaves more of the impression of being directed by some naive film student on his first acid trip based on a comic book from the mind of a seven-year-old. The effects and production design are straight from the the stone age and made from kids toys that gave me Dinosaur War Izenborg flashbacks, a dear childhood favorite of mine. So I can’t really complain, can I…
Although there’s little to zero tension to be felt here, the actors (most of them) tries their very best to keep a straight face and convince us that they’re in serious danger with the silly rubber monsters wobbling confused and disorientated around. They seem as threatening and sinister as something you’d see in a Halloween special of Barney & Friends. While the whole cast consists of western Caucasians, a group of Japanese children got the daunting task to wear the rubber – and assumingly heavy costumes which they clearly struggle to wear without almost falling over like a piss-drunk hobo every three seconds. I could easily imagine a string of J-cussing to be heard behind the costumes beetween the takes. Kuso!
So overall, The Green Slime is a fun, silly Sci-Fi, B-movie schlock that is suitable for the whole family, and was also the very first film to be mocked on the pilot episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s available on DVD and Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection.
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Charles Sinclair, Bill Finger, Tom Rowe
Also known as: Trusselen fra det ytre rom (Norway)
Country & year: Italy, Japan, USA, 1988
Actors: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Bud Widom, Ted Gunther, David Yorston, Robert Dunham and a lot of nurses