Sunday, March 23, 2014


"Open the door you'll find the secret
To find the answer is to keep it
You'll believe it when you find
Something screaming 'cross your mind
Green Slime

What can it be, what is the reason
Is this the end of all that breathes, and
Is it something in your head?
Will you believe it when you're dead?
Green Slime, Green Slime, Green Slime

What can it be, what is the reason
Is this the end to all that we've done?
Is it something in your head?
Will you believe it when you're dead?
Green Slime, Green Slime, Green Slime..."

(lyrics to the theme song from The Green Slime, sung by Richard Delvy)


Maybe you saw it screen on Turner Classic Movies last night, the esteemed channel’s past-midnight offering as part of its weekend “TCM Underground” series. (On a double bill with Zardoz, no less!) Perhaps you own a copy of the smashing Warner Archives DVD released last year. Perhaps you saw it on its original release, way back in the dinosaur days of 1968-1969. Or perhaps… perhaps you’ve yet to see The Green Slime at all.

If the latter is your situation, I highly recommend you getting your hands on that DVD as soon as possible, for a nifty little treasure awaits inside that plastic case. But whether or not you’ve seen it, I’m proud to direct you to the essay I wrote, which was commissioned and freshly posted today by the good and erudite folks at Trailers from Hell, no slouches in the appreciation of movies both disreputable and culturally christened. The Green Slime most definitely belongs in the former category, though it seems to me its reputation as a “so-bad-it’s-good” movie, or as simply bad, has been perpetuated largely thanks to the easily observable fact of its rather obvious rubber monsters and other less-than-“realistic” special effects.

If you’re willing to take a closer, more open-minded look, you might discover the movie I loved when I saw it as very impressionable eight-year-old, a movie that holds up delightfully well as a solid piece of genre filmmaking, one that holds a space station’s worth of visual marvels, provided you can keep your snark in check and come to the movie on its own terms.

That’s what my Trailers from Hell piece is about. And when I wrote it, I culled lots and lots of screen grabs from the DVD to provide illustrations, and of course they couldn’t use them all. And since I have given TFH my piece to publish, I’ve decided to create a sort of Green Slime gallery here out of all those extra grabs, all dedicated to the movie’s primally beautiful pop art wonders, as well as its appeals to childlike imagination which lays dormant in some viewers, less so in others.

Without further hesitation, I present my Green Slime gallery for your enjoyment right now—why wait, after all, to enjoy it, or to believe in Kinji Fukasaku’s nifty movie, until you’re dead?


The original lobby card from the movie’s 1968 release—I always loved that vaguely mod font used for the logo, as well as the catchphrase “Invaders from Beyond the Stars!”


And the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine that caught my eye long before I ever saw the movie and stoked the fires of my anticipation long before I had a chance to see the movie for myself.

As Richard Harland Smith so astutely observed, "This movie is like the Major Matt Mason Space Station play set come magically to life!"

From this... this...

...and later to this as the Green Slime begin to replicate out of control.

One look at the way Fukasaku stages a simple confrontation between Commander Vince Elliott (Richard Jaeckel) and Commander Jack Rankin (Robert Horton), who has usurped Elliott’s authority over the doomed Gamma 3 space station during a time of unprecedented interstellar crisis, reveals that the movie, often dismissed as inept, has actually been directed with a fine eye toward pacing and the way images work together to create dramatic momentum and tension...

 say nothing of how it manages to work in momentary relief and repose…

…before all hell breaks loose again.

I’ll bet Peter Max loved the shots of men in space in this movie.

The grandeur of The Green Slime’s pop art design at its peak. What a dynamic image, enhanced immeasurably by the sights of hundreds of Slimes swarming the surface of the space station as the surviving humans abandon their posts…

…and send the Gamma 3 into oblivion.

Salute, maestri! Yoku de kimashita!


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