The X from Outer Space (1967)

x from outer space poster 1967 movie shochiku
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Interesting contrast to Toho's Godzilla films

Dull story that takes too long to get to kaiju and then has nothing to do when it gets there

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:   The X from Outer Space

Studio:  Shôchiku Eiga

Genre(s):   Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):   March 25, 1967

MPAA Rating:   PG

x from outer space ufo spaceship

Even astronauts can’t resist the delicious taste of Hostess Fruit Pies!

When reports of UFOs near Mars leads to an investigation by the space agency, a monster is returned to Earth from outer space in the form of spores. The spores quickly form a monster named Guilala and Guilala begins terrorizing the Tokyo and all of Japan. Feeding on energy and fuel, Guilala seems unstoppable…and it is up to Earth’s greatest scientists to bring Guilala to its knees!

Directed by Kazui Nihonmatsu, The X from Outer Space (宇宙大怪獣ギララ or Uchū Daikaijū Girara translated as Giant Space Monster Guilalais) a Japanese kaiju film. The film was produced by Shochiku as a competitor to Godzilla. The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film under their Eclipse imprint (Eclipse Series #37).

I love Godzilla, I like Gamera, but after those two lizards, the kaiju lizard pool gets pretty shallow. While I really interested in the Shochiku’s movies released by Criterion, this movie wasn’t very high on my list of interesting films…for good reason. The X from Outer Space feels like a second-rate Godzilla because it is one.

x from outer space guilala kaiju

Grrrr…I’m a mean monster!

I’ll admit that Godzilla movies often tried to over-do the plots, but The X from Outer Space manages to outdo them. It has the typical “human” story with a love triangle between three of the scientists which wouldn’t appeal to younger kids, but the space-invader plot isn’t very adult oriented. The movie decides to throw in UFOs and space invaders with Guilala, and it seems like it should have just been about the space spores. It just keeps going and going.

The actors are all very bland, and they are not aided by the script. The relationship between the characters is someone played for comedy and it doesn’t work as a result when there is drama. It is interesting that Shochiku often employed an American actress named Peggy Neal (who plays Lisa here) and it is an interesting to see some diversity in Asian films that sometimes lack that (especially at this time like American films).

x from outer space ending kaiju guilala stay puft marshmallow man

Hey ma, look at me! I’m the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

The movie does have a nice visual “pop” to it. It is bright and colorful and loaded with scale models just like a Godzilla movie. Unfortunately, the design of Guilala is less inspiring. The character bumbles and wanders like most rubber suits kaijus, but it feels like there should have been more characterization in the creature since it did have other monsters to use as an example…it just feels like a knockoff.

When compared to Shochiku’s later “horror” entries, The X from Outer Space doesn’t really seem to fit at all. It isn’t really horror nor is it science-fiction…fantasy might be the better category for the movie. Regardless, The X from Outer Space is probably only for genre fans and even they might not be able to get past the Mystery Science Theater 3000 feel of the movie.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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