I saw a few Kaiju-Eiga movies on TV as kid, but never got to see a lot of them (my dad didn't care much for them, and he always changed the channel.) By the time I got into high school, my fascination was still present, and then I started borrowing some old Godzilla VHS tapes from my library. Since then I've seen every Godzilla movie from the original series at least once (I own most of them now,) and I have to say that I thoroughly love most of them. For a while, I went on hiatus from watching other Japanese monster movies, but lately I've seen quite a few, and my interest is surging once again. I finally got around to seeing this one, and it's on par with Godzilla, Rodan, Baragon, Gigan, and the gang for sure. It's a really fresh take on the classic UFO-laden science fiction that was hitting American drive-in theaters during the 50's.
When random forest fires and landslides begin to occur, things start looking a bit fishy. Local scientists begin pondering what the root of these incidents are, until the giant drill-nosed robot, Moguera shows up and begins wreaking havoc. The robot is soon shown to be property of the Mysterians, natives of the doomed Mysteriod. When important officials come fact to face with these strangers, an ultimatum comes forward: the Mysterians must have a decent foothold on Earth, and they are intent on marrying human females, who will aid them in re-populating their race. This part is pretty damn funny--at least the way they put it, but it holds up fine in my eyes.
Like just about every Toho film that was made between the 50's and 70's, I am ready to indulge in something fun and vibrant. I don't care if this movie is "tacky" at all. It appeals to the 6 year old in me, and for me I have a general philosophy--the tackier the movie, the better. I guess movie purists will probably down-grade this type of film, but it does have those period social messages in it (ie. H-Bombs are repeatedly referenced during the movie.) I guess if you're hard-nosed, you may like that, but I personally don't care about that. Movies like this are a lot of fun, and they're great at keeping you in touch with childhood (for me, since I'm a geek.) The look of the Mysterians predates Ultraman and the Power Rangers, and if you look at the special effects, they're actually a step above most Kaiju-Eiga themed movies (the FX budget shouln't even matter.) With Ishir? Honda directing you're going to get a great kaiju movie no matter what.
My only qualm with the version I saw is due to the fact that my dvd only has the 2005 re-dub..apparently I can only hear the older dub if I get the video-tape. But, to me, the dubbed dialogue doesn't matter too much..it's the action that's gonna keep my eyes glued. I highly recommend this movie to all fans of Kaiju and older sci-fi!