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Battle In Outer Space

Battle In Outer Space

(Uchu Daisenso)
  • Japan 1960
  • 90 min
  • 35mm
  • English
Hosted by Ed Godziszewski, editor of Japanese Giants magazine and co-author of an upcoming biography of director Ishiro Honda, who will discuss Ishiro Honda’s career and present unique footage of the making of Toho special-effects films

Genre

Sci-Fi / FantasyClassic/Retro

Screening Times

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Credits

Director: Ishiro Honda
Screenplay: Jojiro Okami, Shinichi Sekizawa
Cast: Ryo Ikebe, Kyoko Anzai, Koreya Senda, Minoru Takada, Leonard Stanford
Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
Print Source: Columbia Pictures

Hockey

Description

As a series of unexplained disasters strike randomly around the globe, the world’s leaders gather at the Space Center in Japan to inspect the advanced space exploration technology which the world’s nations have worked together to create. One of the delegates tries to steal the plans for a newly devised heat ray, but when he is thwarted, it is revealed that his mind has fallen under the control of beings from the planet Natal. The aliens are discovered to be behind the disasters and announce their intention to invade the Earth.

Noticing alien activity on the moon, the Earth forces launch a mission to the moon to investigate. Unbeknownst to them, the mission has been compromised as the aliens have taken control of a key crew member. Under the direction of the aliens, the crewman tries to sabotage the mission by disabling his ship’s defenses. The subterfuge is noticed just in time and saboteur is subdued, narrowly averting disaster. Arriving on the moon, the Earthmen assemble an exploration team to discover the enemy’s whereabouts. This plays right into the aliens’ hands as their agent manages to break free from his bonds and destroy one of the two moon ships. The Earth people find the enemy base and are plunged into a battle for survival, unaware that one of their own is about to destroy their only means of escape. The fate of the rescue team and all of humanity hangs in the balance.

BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE was made at the height of Cold War and the start of the race to the moon. This was the ideal time for a space-themed movie, with public awareness of space high and before an actual moon landing were to take place. Drawing on the same creative team which just three years earlier had created the alien invasion film THE MYSTERIANS, Toho delivers a colorful and action-packed space epic which can truly be said to be the STAR WARS of its time. No other film prior to George Lucas’ blockbuster matched the scale and action of BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, which (even if unknowingly) served as an inspiration for its big-budget cousin. Despite its premise of war between worlds, BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE offers director Ishiro Honda a chance to promote his recurrent themes of world peace and cooperation in what would become one of his personal favourite works.

BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE will be presented by Ed Godziszewski, editor of Japanese Giants magazine and co-author of an upcoming biography of BIOS director Ishiro Honda. Godziszewski will discuss Ishiro Honda and the making of BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE and other works in his filmography, featuring many previously unseen behind the scenes photos. As an bonus feature, Ed will also present unique footage of the making of Toho special-effects films.

—Ed Godziszewski

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