Starman – Invaders From Space (Review)
Starman Invaders From Space
Like the other Starman movies, this is edited from episodes of the Super Giant serials of the 1950s. As the story unfolds here, the Salamander Men of Planet Kulimon, deep in the Moffit Galaxy (where else would it be?) are planning to destroy Earth. The Emerald Planet, also in the Moffit Galaxy, has a meeting of the Emerald Council as atomic destruction of Earth would contaminate their atmosphere (The Emerald Council must get their science advice from a guy on LSD) They decide to send STARMAN to Earth to solve the problems. Why Starman can’t just go to close by Kulimar and beat up Salamander Men at home is not addressed. In fact, just don’t think about it, this is a STARMAN show, we expect to see long fight sequences where Starman prances about, not plot. And boy does this movie not disappoint on that front.
On Earth, some UFO sightings put airports on alert, but nothing comes from the sightings (almost as if this were filler material to lengthen the movie…). Shortly afterwards, people begin getting sick from an unknown disease. Dr. Asaiyama (I think) works through the night searching for a cure, but in the early hours of dawn is visited by one of the Salamander men. Now let’s stop here and describe the Salamander Man. He looks like a pig-snouted man, except his snout and most of his face have horrible burns on them, and he also looks like he fell into the same vat of chemicals as the Joker with his winning smile. But as we will see later this isn’t the true form of the Salamander men, this is just how they look when they are blending in with humans. This Salamander man reveals the plan to eliminate Earth’s population and replace it with Salamander Men. And to stop Dr. Asaiyama from developing a cure, he will paralyze his brain with radioactive breath (I’m calling foul right here and giving this movie a yellow card for scientific nonsense at this point). After breathing the atomic breath that causes brain paralysis on Dr. Asaiyama, the doctor is under his control, and the Salamander Man leads him outside, but hears the sound of STARMAN approaching from outer space (Movie, I already gave you a warning, don’t push me!)
Dr. Asaiyama is found unconscious by a group of kids, three of which are Dr. Asaiyama’s and two belong to another scientist we will meet later (and one of Asaiyama’s sons has an accent that I cannot place, like a British/Brooklyn cross). Starman fights the Salamander Man, who turns into his true form, a big brained alien with antennas, but the face is very different from the one used as undercover human face, but asking for consistency is futile at this point in the Starman series. The Salamander Man does a lot of backflips, and according to the narrator has claws that can cut Starman’s steel skin, but Starman beats him down anyway, until the Salamander Man jumps into the river and explodes.
One of the children is a girl named Noriko, who is the daughter of scientist Dr. Fukame, and her brother is a biologist. The children have found a scale from the Salamander Man and bring it to her brother to look at, but he cannot identify where it is from. The Salamander Men then attack Earth with their newest weapon: Soundwave! Yes, the Decepticon Soundwave begins a campaign of terror upon the unsuspecting citizens of Earth and….wait…sorry, it is actual sound waves, not Soundwave. So basically they plan to emit a high frequency sound wave which will annoy people and allow them to conquer Earth. Amazingly, the high pitched sounds cause people to panic, until Starman destroys the spaceship emitting them, much to the satisfaction of the audience. When Starman attacks the vessel, he lightly kicks a control, which causes the spaceship to instantly explode, proving the Salamander Men are stealing spaceship designs from the Ford Pinto.
Unfortunately for us humans, the disease is still running rampant. But in blatant disregard to public health dangers, people still crowd the streets (including one lady who was attacked by one of the bat creatures in the previous Starman film, she has very bad luck, as her son gets sick in this movie!) The Scientists working on the illness track down the source of the infections to the Yamano Dance Theater, which is currently playing an Avant Guard dance routine that would make Andrew Lloyde Weber weep. (though it looks like he may have ripped part of it off!) Dr. Fukame and someone’s son are deeply disturbed by the dance (hey, who wouldn’t be? Trust me, it’s THAT BAD!) but the rest of the packed house seems not to mind. Nice to see the Theater having such good business despite the plague happening and that everyone who has ever seen the show is sick or dead. The Doctor and other guy are captured by Salamander Men and given the Radioactive Breath mind paralysis jive.
This causes the authorities to evacuate all children from the city to the countryside, with almost no adult supervision. I am not sure who is running the CDC equivalent in Japan at that time, but he’s crazier than a loon. The children all seem happy to go, including the three younger children of the main Doctor characters which I still haven’t completely sorted out who is whose kid yet. Starman shows up to bid the children farewell and gives Noricko a glass sphere that will signal her when her father Dr. Fukame is safe. The sphere can also be used to contact Starman. After the children train away to the countryside, they go to collect butterflies. How exciting. But while butterfly hunting, Noriko drops the crystal and the whiney kid with the strange accent picks it up, then hallucinates a thunderstorm and then the three children are lost in fog. While lost, they stumble across the castle that the Salamander Men are using as a hideout, and Salamander Men pour out around the children doing tribal dances, and twirling firesticks.
Starman decides to check out the Yamano Theater, and the troop gives him a special performance of their dance. And it is no less disturbing upon a second viewing. In fact, you get an even more uneasy feeling and a strange sense of wrongness for the dance, it is so exceptionally bad. The dancers eventually attack Starman, beginning a trademark Starman long long long long long long fight scene, and Starman dips under rows of chairs making the monsters run all around the empty audience pit chasing him. Meanwhile, Dr. Fukame and the other guy are tied up and being interrogated. Noriko, who is Fukame’s daughter, is dangled over a lava pit and will be dropped unless Fukame cooperates. But Weird Accent Child uses the glass sphere which signals STARMAN! Starman saves everyone! The Salamander men were not paying attention earlier when the announcer said earlier they had sharp claws and instead tries to pull the rope holding Noriko up apart with his hands instead of just slicing it. That proves to be a fatal mistake as Starman pummels him. The Salamander Men all retreat to their secret underwater base to plot their next move.
Noriko’s brother and Dr. Fukame’s son Yuichi has an accident in his lab and is brought home, and Noriko calls her father. Fukame returns to see his son, but must head back to the lab to keep working on the cure after he determines his son is not going to die. But it is all a trick to get Fukame to come out of the lab so the Salamander Men can follow him and learn it’s secret location. The nurse that took the fake Yuichi home morphs into a witch woman and starts to chase Noriko around, but Noriko evacuates to the Asaiyama house, where Dr. Asaiyama’s kids are home alone (aren’t there any wives left in Japan? And why aren’t these kids guarded?) The evil witch lady breaks into the Asaiyama house and begins to chase the children around Scooby-Doo style. A fire extinguisher explodes on the witch, and it kills her. The children have discovered a weakness of the Salamander Men, Copper Sulfate in liquid (I think Copper Sulfate is a drain cleaner but may have been used in Fire Extinguishers in the 50’s in Japan, who knows?)
The Salamander Men have learned of the secret location of the Scientists and begin attacking major cities to distract Earth forces while attacking the scientists (that isn’t specifically stated, but I will give the Salamander Men the benefit of a doubt, despite their repeated efforts to prove themselves incompetent.) Starman destroys the ship attacking the Scientists, and the Salamander Men retreat to their home planet of Kulimon. There, the Kulimonian scientist Folando (Folando???) has come up with a way to change the rotation of Earth, which will cause gravity to fail, but according to the movie only on baseballs, beakers, and flowers. The Salamander Men demand Earth’s surrender, as they are rehashing their “Minor Annoyances=World Conquest” plan that they used with the annoying sounds. Starman vows to kill all the Salamander Men, and goes to their vessel. Despite Folando’s success in making everyone on Earth walk and drive backwards due to Earth’s rotation, Starman just gets mad and starts a new long long long long long long long fight scene, though this one is slightly more choreographed than random prancing about. The ship the Salamander Men were on is destroyed, then all the Tribal Salamander Men in the woods are rounded up and killed by Copper Sulfate guns, and Starman leaves to go home, but will return soon in Atomic Rulers!!!
Rated 2/10 Salamander Men Avant Guard Dance Troupe Members
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|SUPAH JAIYANTO (1956) aka: SUPER GIANT 1, THE STEEL GIANT, STEELMAN FROM OUTER SPACE.|
|ZOKU SUPER GIANT (1956) aka: SUPER GIANT 2, FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE STEEL GIANT, RESCUE FROM SPACE|
|KOTETSU NO KYOJIN-KAISEIJIN NO MAJYO (1957) aka: SUPERGIANT 3, INVADERS FROM THE PLANETS, EVIL CASTLE OF STRANGE ALIENS|
|KOTETSU NO KYOJIN-CHIKYU METZUBO SUNZEN (1957) aka: SUPERGIANT 4, THE EARTH ON THE VERGE OF ANNIHILATION, EARTH IN DANGER|
|JINKO EISEN TO JINRUI NO HAMETSU (1958) aka: SUPER GIANT 5, SATELLITES AND DESTRUCTION OF MANKIND, SPACESHIP OF HUMAN DESTRUCTION|
|UCHUTEI TO JINKO EISEN NO KEKITOTSU (1958) aka: SUPERGIANT 6, COLLISION OF THE SPACESHIP AND SATELLITES, DESTRUCTION OF THE SPACE FLEET|
|UCHU KAIJIN SHUTSUGEN (1958) aka: SUPERGIANT 7, SPACEMEN APPEAR, SPACE MONSTER APPEARS|
|AKUMA NO KESHIIN (1959) aka: SUPERGIANT 8, DEVIL INCARNATE, DEVIL INCARNATED|
|DOKUGA OKOKU(1959) aka: SUPERGIANT 9, KINGDOM OF THE VENOMOUS MOTH, KINGDOM OF POISON MOTH|
|Starman Attack From Space|
|Starman Evil Brain From Space|
|Starman Invaders From Space|
|Starman Atomic Rulers|