Friday, October 23, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 23 - Movie 2

In the wake of the success of "2001: A Space Odyssey" MGM did the only thing sensible and followed it with the release of "The Green Slime" (1968). When a huge asteroid is detected on a collision course with the Earth, with less than twelve hours until impact, astronauts are sent to destroy it. They do so, but inadvertently bring a protoplasmic slime back aboard their space station. Feeding off the station's power, the slime grows rapidly and begins multiplying like crazy, able to kill the humans aboard with electricity discharging tentacles. The humans desperately try to corral the creatures, since their attempts to kill them only cause the creatures to bleed more slime that grows into more creatures. In the end, after a series of disasters, it's decided that the space station must be evacuated and destroyed.

An American-Japanese-Italy production, it looks it. The special effects are reminiscent of Science Fiction films produced by Toho studios, but aren't as well done. The models aren't lighted and filmed in a way that disguises the fact that they are models. There's also a mod 1960s Italian feel to some aspects of the movie, particularly when it comes to some of the costumes. The movie doesn't waste any time and moves along briskly. The entire asteroid sequence takes up about fifteen minutes of the movie. Even so, the movie drags. Once the slime creatures show up, all excitement comes to a standstill. Aside from the repetition of attempts to contain the creatures, the creatures themselves aren't the least bit intimidating, they look like something from "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters" by way of early "Doctor Who," about four feet tall with waving tentacles and a single red eye over dozens of smaller ones, and a high pitched whine. The direction is flat, the script itself is lazy, and the characters are really dull. The hero of the movie is a completely unlikable jerk with a chip on his shoulder.

It does have a pretty groovy title song though.

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