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Les hommes d’une autre planète

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Les hommes d’une autre planète

(Jumborg Ace & Giant / Yuk Wud Jaeng Pob Jambo)
Sponsored by: Cinémathèque Française
  • Thailand / Japan/ Taiwan1974
  • 80 min
  • 35mm
  • French
Hosted by Jean-François Rauger (Cinémathèque française)


Sci-Fi / FantasyClassic/Retro

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Director: Chen Hun-Ming
Screenplay: Jack Lin
Cast: Wen Chang-Lung, Yeh Hsiao-I, Fang Mien
Producers: Tsi See-Shang
Print Source: Cinémathèque française



Once upon a time, there was a Japanese TV series called JUMBORG ACE, a sort of pseudo-ULTRAMAN about a young man who controls a giant robot in order to repel an alien invasion of Earth. Due to its commercial success, the series was bought and presented in Thailand by the company Chaiyo LTD. That was followed by the creation of a feature film pairing Jumborg up with a local superhero, Thai Giant, a sort of colossal, mythic, living statue resembling those found in Thai temples. This "masterpiece" was then acquired for release by Taiwan, where audiences were only interested in the scenes with special effects—which were lifted wholesale from the TV series and inserted in the film. The company Tsuburaya Pro, responsible for the original series, were so embarrassed by this surreal mess that it refused to ever release it on Japanese soil.

The Taiwanese distributor finally decided to rework the film, tossing out the scenes with Thai actors and replacing them with a Chinese-speaking cast. While the title of this film and the words "high quality" will only ever appear together in the sentence you're reading now, it nonetheless became a bit more coherent. It had some success and was picked up for Europe. The Italians retitled it MARS MEN and rechristened Jumborg Ace as Americano Robo. In France, it was dubbed without any reference to the original script. The results were deliriously funny. A wellspring of endless tears of laughter. An undeniable classic of crap cinema. Something that has to be seen to be believed.

Oh, a synopsis? If you insist. Invaders from space establish a base on the moon, with the aim of conquering Earth. Jumborg Ace teams up with Thai Giant to battle this horde of monsters, each more ridiculous than the last. And there you go. What counts are the phantasmagorically foolish monster costumes and special effects that could politely be called rudimentary. Attention, lovers of psychotronic cinema and movies one loves for all the wrong reasons: JUMBORG ACE & GIANT, of which Fantasia presents the French version (LES HOMMES D'UNE AUTRE PLANÈTE), is the sort of gem one doesn't come across every day, year or decade. For this screening of a magnificent copy discovered at la Cinémathèque française, we ask that you kindly leave your brain at admission and watch your consumption of liquids. Accidents happen when you're watching one of the most uproarious delights ever to invade our planet.

—André Dubois (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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