Screening Log – “This is groovy! I can’t believe we’re on the moon.”

by kdlough

If you’re absolutely bored some morning and want to be a little baffled, check out The X From Outer Space (1967), currently available in Criterion’s Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku or streaming on Hulu.  Visibly cheaper than contemporaneous Godzilla films but not quite reaching the wonderfully surreal lows of the Gamera series, it’s a mildly entertaining big-monster-movie with a sci-fi kick.

The story concerns some astronauts who accidentally return from space with a monster egg.  See if you can guess where it goes from there.  Among them is the Token White Person most of the Japanese sci-fi flicks from around this time were required to have; here it’s Peggy Neal, who played basically the same role in the previous year’s Terror Beneath the Sea.  Which, by the way, is waaaay more deserving of your time than X.

The monster suit stuff is fine, but after a while the human story drags the film down with a lot of repetitive trips back and forth through outer space.  Some scenes appear to be humorous; anyway, I assume we’re meant to laugh when an astronaut’s ass is sucked through a hole in the ship’s hull, because otherwise… Well, it’s too mind-boggling to think about.

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