Sunday, January 5, 2014

1978 - MESSAGE FROM SPACE, Japanese Star Wars ripoff

Released a year after the very first Star Wars film, Message From Space rehashes a lot of the same situations and characters as that film while throwing in a few silly ideas of it's own.  The film is clearly no Star Wars and can't even hit the lunatic heights of Latitude Zero

The planet Jillucia has been attacked by the Gavanas Empire.  The Gavanas warriors all look like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.  The Emerald Princess of the planet Jillucia sends 8 Liabe Seeds into space to find 8 warriors to save what's left of her people.  The Liabe Seeds look like walnuts and glow when they find the chosen warriors.  The seeds end up with a Space General played by Vic Morrow of all people and a couple of hot shot fighter pilots clearly standing in for Luke and Han.  The seeds also happen to find a guy to provide comedy relief and a feisty gal named Meia.  Sonny Chiba star of the Streetfighter series also shows up as a space guy with a sword.  This is essentially the plot of The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai).  If you've seen Star Wars you know where this is going and it doesn't disappoint.

The space ships literally look like ships and the special effects are miniatures hanging from wires while they are whisked across miniature landscapes.  The weapons used are ray guns and swords and the film is dubbed and daffy as they like to say.

Overall, Message From Space is probably a waste of time although I wasted my time watching it.

105 minutes

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