Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Invasion Of The Neptune Men (1961)

Monster Crap Inductee: Invasion of the Neptune Men
They Should Be From Uranus

Folks, there has always been the question of whether we are alone or not. And while most people believe that that we are not alone, we still need the proof. Because of this belief by most people (and because of conspiracies like Area 51), there have been a whole lot of movies that have dealt with that very issue. Of course, they all have said we were not alone because let’s face it, not many are really going to see a space movie where we are alone. Now while most of these movies can be seen as cheesy or dull, not many movies have made me wish we were alone in the universe. However, this week’s induction has made me want that. Not because the aliens attack us, but because that the fact that these aliens are so stupid and so dumb that they create two things. One is they debunk the whole intelligent life form scenario and another is the attacks from these morons are more dealing with a cockroach.

We begin this movie with the knowledge that once again, it will be in black and white. Now, while I could begin a debate about the reasons that color is better than black and white, it would take too long and we don’t have that much time. The title is shown with easy toned music which kind of suggests this will be a gentle invasion. After the credits, we see a satellite flying in space. The satellite in this movie looks like one of those old grillers my dad used to have for outside. This of course is all footage for a classroom where students seem very interested, which would be a completely story if this film was shown in high school. In this classroom, kids are asking questions and we realize Kenny’s (one of the kids) dad, Dr. Tennoway and Dr. Tabano (the scientist who is showing this footage) were among those who created this satellite. Many questions are asked and none of them are any interesting to memorize. Another thing I should mention is Dr. Tabano has on a greaser style haircut, not that there is anything wrong with that.

After class, we see kids out in the countryside of Mt. Okama with kids trying to see the satellite. The kids have set up tents and everything which makes me wonder if they are going to camp out. Of course, one of the kids is looking through his telescope at two people (one man and one woman). The kid laughs and exclaims that they are lovers, which is kind of weird since they aren’t doing anything besides talking. Another kid whose priority is on the satellite scolds his friend by saying that no one looks down for a satellite. That same kid then turns the telescope to the sky and sees an object falling. He and his friends think it is the satellite and decide to see where it landed. They of course stop and don’t see a thing, but they soon see the object and go towards it. Problem is the object that fell was huge so how they could originally miss it, I do not know. Also, lets just say that if they kids were truly paying attention to the footage, they would see that there the object in front of them could in no be no way that what they are seeing is the satellite. The kids finally put two and two together and realize that it is not the satellite and is in fact an actual spaceship. Now normally this would prompt the kids to tell the local authorities, but these kids decide to check it out.

They look for a few minutes when they notice…

Sorry, that was Sailor Neptune from the Sailor Moon anime. Anyways, as I was saying, they look for a few minutes when they notice……….

There we go. Now before I go any further, I must argue with the title. You see, this movie would of course have you suggest that people live on Neptune. Now science of course would tell everyone that living on a gas giant (which Neptune is one of) couldn’t be possible because there is no land on a gas giant (which is why the word gas is in it). Basically, there could be no way a species that could walk could live on Neptune. The closest planet to that that they could live on (because it has land) is Pluto.

Seth....Scientist Decided That Pluto Is No Longer A Planet

Damn it. Anyway, the kids try to escape, but are surrounded and are almost strangled when a flying car comes. And out from the car comes the hero in this movie named Space Chief

He tells the kids to run and they do. A fight scene breaks out between Space Chief and the Neptune Men, or at least what I believe it is. It could be just Space Chief attacking innocent Neptune Men by the way the Neptune Men are moving, but I will get into the Neptune Men’s movements after the movie. Space Chief fends off the Neptune Men and they are forced to retreat.

Aliens, when will you learn? Pink Floyd; please tell the men of Neptune what to do.

Leave Those Kids Alone
Thanks Pink Floyd. Now go back to your drug use and music making.

Anyway as I was saying, the kids are happy that Space Chief bested the evil Neptune Men. The kids at once know who the hero is and go to greet him. Space Chief returns the thanks and afterwards, leaves on his flying car.

Back at the lab, Dr. Tennoway is looking for Dr. Tabano. His daughter makes mention that his illness is getting worse as Dr. Tabano shows up. Dr. Tennoway shows Dr. Tabano that the \waveband is strangely going backwards for some reason. They believe it is the satellite that is causing this disturbance so they don’t panic.

Outside, a car pulls in somewhere and two reporters come out, bumming that they have to do another celebrity interview. Yes, they are bumming out over meeting another celebrity. They then notice that the clock is running backwards. Afterwards, they hear a strange noise. Other strange occurrences of things going backwards (a jukebox and a train) are also followed by that strange sound. Elsewhere, the kids are running towards the laboratory while what sounds like The Russian Dance from the Nutcracker is playing. Weird choice of music I must say. Inside the laboratory, reporters are asking scientists what is causing the backwards wavelengths. The kids run in and tell everyone about what happened out in the field. The reporters laugh at this notion, but of course decide it isn’t too much trouble to take a look. At the same laboratory, scientists are still looking at what happened. Dr. Tabano is asked for by Dr. Tennoway so he heads to his office. They discuss a telegram saying the wavelength was also caught in the US. Dr. Tabano theorizes that the spacemen who the kids saw are responsible for this action. Dr. Tennoway tends to believe him about the spacemen, but will not announce it is the spacemen since they don’t have enough proof and don’t want to cause an unnecessary panic. In this discussion, Dr. Tennoway reveals that they have an electro barrier (something we were never introduced to until now).

Meanwhile at Mt. Okama, the kids try to show the news reporters where the aliens were. Unfortunately, they forgot that the spaceship left and find that there isn’t anything there. This does not help the reporter in his beliefs and he just shrugs off the whole thing as just the kids’ imagination. He leaves the kids all by themselves and the kids see a mysterious piece of metal.

Back at the laboratory, another reporter reveals to Dr. Tabano that the picture that was taken had a weird white spot in the middle. The reporter wants the answer and thinks the white spot backs up those kids’ story. The kids then come in and show Dr. Tabano the small object they found. Suddenly, an explosion occurs at a nuclear reactor. We can tell that it is an explosion by the noise and the mushroom cloud that we see afterwards. A news report reveals that the reactor was their largest one, killing 84 people. At a national war room, people are meeting about the incident. Some believe that it was caused by aliens while others believe it is another country that is doing this. That opinion is thrown out the window when the find out a nuclear reactor in the United States exploded.

Back at the laboratory, Dr. Tabano sees something on his microscope and proclaims that the “Roji Panty Complex” is happening.

Back at the laboratory, Dr. Tabano sees something on his microscope and proclaims that the “Roji Panty Complex” is happening.

Thanks Austin, you can stay. Just make sure that Vince McMahon never shows up again. Anyways, he says that the spacemen must be from Neptune for some reason. Don’t ask because they don’t seem to explain it well. Meanwhile at the spaceship, the Neptune Men are watching a speech given at the war room with interest. The Neptune Men head towards Earth with obvious plans to invade.

Back at the war room, Dr. Tennoway reveals what the Electro Barrier does. Basically, it creates a dome of electrons which will cover any city beneath it. This meeting with reporters is interrupted when the reporters see that the spaceship has returned. Immediately, Dr. Tennoway orders the Electro Barrier to be activated. Somewhere else, the kids are wondering if the barrier will work. One of the kids proclaims that if the barrier doesn’t work, Space Chief will beat them and the rest of the kids agree. In the city, onlookers see a fireball fly by.

The power goes off which causes panic. The kids at the house mention that the booth where the Electro Barrier is being activated is the only place with power. They then see the spaceship is coming, which means that strange fireball was nothing. Back at the city, it turns from complete darkness into dawn and then goes back to complete darkness. You have got to love unexplained occurrences in a movie, especially when everyone can see it. The spaceship tries to shoot missiles at the city and they are stopped by the Electro Barrier. The Neptune Men try to get closer and are thwarted by the Electro shield. Normally this would be the time the movie is over as people celebrate, but we don’t get that satisfaction. No we do not.

At Dr. Tennoway’s office, Tennoway does not believe the Neptune Men are done yet. Outside, the kids are walking as reporters wish to ask them questions about the Neptune Men. The kids don’t appreciate this because as they said, the reporters originally didn’t believe them. The reporters apologize and call themselves idiots. The kids then rip on them some more saying they should have been fired. The kid with glasses sticks his tongue at them and the other kids run with him in celebration. Inside the kids greet Dr. Tennoway and gloat about how things worked out yesterday. Dr. Tennoway tells the kids that he wants privacy and they listen. Outside, the kids then tease Dr. Tennoway’s wife for no apparent reason, basically showing their male chauvinistic attitude. The woman does nothing which kind of tells you that the filmmakers might be a bit sexist.

The kids then go inside and play with a stick that acts as radar. While doing this, they seen an unknown object fall to the ground. The kids pick it up and take it to the scientists. While with the scientists, they play it and find nothing. Then they play it backwards and here a message from the Neptune Men. Folks, this must mean one thing.

The Neptune Men Are Possessed By Satan

The message does the usual bragging and says that their victory with the Electro Barrier was only temporary. They think that the aliens might try to secretly attack the barrier so they send troops to defend that power station. Outside of the laboratory, the Neptune Men dressed as troopers attack the real Japanese troops while a storm caused by the Neptune Men is brewing. We can tell that they are fake because the fake troops have faces fit for a transvestite or a clown. But back to the storm, if you ever look at Neptune, you would know that the no one on Neptune could control the storms because the storms never go away. They easily kill off the guards and get into the building. When the kids see them, the kids run. When it looks like the kids are about to be shot, Space Chief comes in to save the day again. Space Chief kills off the Neptune Men dressed as troopers in drag. The kids then tell Space Chief that two of the Neptune Men are in the building and he goes after them. Unfortunately, he realizes that the Neptune Men set up a bomb so he and the kids take cover. The other scientists run to see what happened and are told by the kids. Dr. Tennoway’s wife suddenly runs to them and reveals that Dr. Tennoway is sick. They go to Dr. Tennoway’s office and find out that Dr. Tennoway has become unconscious.

The good news is the power room in the laboratory was not where the Electro Barrier was so the Neptune Men failed once again. The Electro Barrier is at a bunker and we reveal that the temperatures of the whole world have gone down for an unknown reason. We also see that the spaceship is on a beach somewhere. Suddenly snow appears and it appears to be the work of the Neptune Men. However, since the Electro Barrier is still intact, it has been turned on so the weather has gone back to normal. All seems well, except for the fact that the spaceship is under the barrier now so they can attack the city without problem. Because of this, a panic has erupted.

The news gets even worse because the aliens have decided to attack. The aliens deploy smaller saucers that look like the pokemon Starmie.

Starmie, I Chose You......To Invade Japan

Those saucers then fire upon the city. Several buildings are destroyed as people are running. On a road, the kids see the kids while in a car. Several cars on that same road stop and everyone runs in fear. Space Chief comes to save the day and shoots down the UFOs that are harassing the people on the field. More UFOs are sent out and the invasion continues. The UFOs destroy more buildings and one of those buildings has a visual of…..get this……

Seriously, There Is A Picture Of Hitler On A Building That Gets Destroyed

Sadly, that was probably the highlight of this film. Space Chief continues to fight and shoots down more UFOs. The Neptune Men keep sending UFOs and Space Chief keeps destroying them. We then find out that Space Chief has been Dr. Tabano. Dr. Tabano then appears out of the blue and Space Chief has once again disappeared. With Space Chief gone now, the scientists now are ready to fire experimental rockets. The rockets destroy the Neptune Men and thus the invasion is finally over. The end comes when the kids are talking to Dr. Tabana and Dr. Tennoway’s wife. The kids are basically saying Space Chief, the Electro Barrier, and the rockets defeated the Neptune Men. The kids also decide to become smart and one day, become heroes too. And with that this movie is finally over.

Okay, what should I say first? Oh yes, the movement of the Neptune Men. I said I was going to do that. The problem is through some of the movie, the Neptune Men moved very well. But through most of the movie, they looked as if they couldn’t see where they were going at all. With the costumes that the actors under had to wear, I wouldn’t blame them for having problems seeing.

I don’t know how to sugar coat this movie. Some may say that Prince of Space was worse. I disagree with that thought. Space Chief was set in a lighter theme and you could seriously have fun with it. Invasion of the Neptune Men, however, was not and set in a darker theme. You couldn’t really find joy in anything other than the Hitler building blowing up. And I still want to know what the hell Roji Panty Complex is?

But the good news is that one of the actors was able to go on to do better things. Sonny Chiba (the man who played Space Chief and Dr. Tabano) ended up doing very well in other movies. He became a pivotal figure in the 1970s explosion of martial arts cinema as a lethal “fists for hire” trouble shooter Takuma “Terry” Tsurugi in the series of action films known as The Street Fighter (not to be confused with the game). He also has a huge fan in known director Quentin Tarentino, who cast him to play the sword maker in Kill Bill Volume 1. I’m sure he has forgotten the folly of this film on a major level and why wouldn’t he?

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