Combustible Celluloid
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With: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Bud Widom, Ted Gunther, David Yorston, Robert Dunham
Written by: Tom Rowe, Charles Sinclair, based on a story by Bill Finger, Ivan Reiner
Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 90
Date: 12/19/1968

The Green Slime (1968)

1 Star (out of 4)

Slime Spree

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku spent almost entire career making low-budget crime movies (like Yakuza Graveyard), although today he his best known for the movie he completed just before his death, the masterful Battle Royale (2000). Before then, his second most famous film is undoubtedly The Green Slime, probably since it was produced in English, with American actors. It's too bad that The Green Slime has very little to recommend it, other than a memorably bizarre theme song.

The plot owes a little to The Blob, as well as foreshadowing Armageddon (1998); a group of astronauts rocket out to an asteroid to blow it to smithereens before it crashes into the earth. One of the astronauts finds a weird life form, a glowing green glob, and some of it hitches a ride back to earth on his spacesuit. Back home, it grows and mutates. Sadly, the end result is not slime, but rather a stupid looking creature. Meanwhile, we're given a love triangle between Commander Jack Rankin (Robert Horton), the second-in-command Vince Elliott (Richard Jaeckel), and doctor Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi). Lisa is engaged to Vince, much to the chagrin of Jack.

I can't decide which is more boring: the characters or the so-called monster sequences. The Green Slime is a complete dud, though it's so cheesy that it probably has -- and deserves -- a cult following. Luciana Paluzzi had been in Thunderball, but the oddest crew person is Bill Finger, co-credited with the film's screenplay. Finger is known as the co-creator of Batman. Either way, the best reason to see this is that unbelievable theme song.

Warner Archive has restored the film for its widescreen U.S. DVD debut. There are no extras.

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