Thursday, May 22, 2014

Evil Brain from Outer Space (1965)

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Balazar, a genius who was killed by a robot orders his brain to be built
into a machine and kept alive. Now he is seeking universal dominance.

Sci-fi enthusiasts from the baby-boom generation are sure to get a solid dose
of nostalgia from this double bill of surreal adventures featuring
Starman, who fought interplanetary evil on late-night TV in America
during the mid-'60s and beyond. Known as Super Giant in his native
Japan, the cowled crusader was featured in four 80-minute films that
were culled from nine featurettes produced by the Shintoho Company (an
offshoot of Toho) in 1957-58. Starman's trademark blend of frantic
action and primitive special effects are on display in both features
(the second and fourth in the series), which pit Starman against
diabolical invaders (in Attack from Space) and an alien brain's mutant
henchmen (Evil Brain from Outer Space). Kids may find the goings-on
alternately corny and disturbing (the mutants are scary, and Starman
racks up a considerable body count), but old-school monster movie fans
will relish this chance to catch up with an old pal. ----Paul Gaita

Director: Koreyoshi Akasaka, Teruo Ishii
Actors: Ken Utsui, Junko Ikeuchi, Minoru Takada
Release: 1965

Evil Brain from Outer Space is a 1964 film edited together for American television from films #7, #8 and #9 of the Japanese short film series Super Giant filmed in 1958.

The nine Super Giant films were purchased for distribution to U.S. television and edited into four films by Walter Manley Enterprises and Medallion Films. The three original Japanese films which went into Evil Brain from Outer Space (The Space Mutant Appears, The Devil's Incarnation and The Poison Moth Kingdom) were 45 minutes, 57 minutes, and 57 minutes in duration respectively. The total 159 minutes of the three films were edited into one 78-minute film. Since the three original films were self-contained stories, three different plots had to be edited together, and a considerable amount of all three films dropped. The result has been called, "an alternately mind-blowing and mind-numbing adventure... a non-ending cavalcade of characters, chases, captures, rescues and fight scenes."

Contributing to the difficulties of editing these three films
together was the fact that the first film was in the older 4:3 ratio,
while the latter two films were shot in widescreen format. This necessitated the use of pan-and-scan methods to make the three films match.

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