Sunday Matinee: Battle In Outer Space

battle in outer spaceIn the midst of watching all the Godzilla movies along with the relevant kaiju off-shoots, I came across this 1959 science fiction film. Battle in Outer Space was a loose follow up to Toho’s successful 1957 film The Mysterians.

The film starts with three mysterious objects flying through space and closing in on Earth’s space station. The year is set in the future, 1965. The space station is alerted to the ships approach and engages in a fight. The space ships quickly destroy the space station. Apparently these aliens possess awesome anti-gravity weapons because they then raise a bridge off the earth letting a train crash and then lower the bridge back like nothing happen. Soon other reports from around the world come in. In America an ocean liner is lifted out of the water and in Venice, the water is flash frozen and a giant water spout is created. The United Nations assembles and tries to find out the cause of all this.

They quickly determine that it’s aliens and that they have freeze weapons. I’m not sure about their science but according to the movie’s scientists, if things are frozen they lose their gravitational pull to the Earth. While the nations are deciding what to, the aliens take control of the Iranian ambassador’s mind and use him to try and sabotage Earth’s efforts. The aliens are called Natal and they are on the moon planning to take over the Earth. Fortunately Earth has built space ships and heat weapons just in case to fight alien invasions.

The Earth sends two rocket ships to the moon to do reconnaissance. They are both attacked by remote controlled meteors and the astronaut in the one ship gets mind controlled into destroying his ship. He’s stopped but he later escapes and destroys the ship after they’ve landed on the moon. Soon a big gun fight breaks out. Once back on Earth everyone prepares for the invasion by building more heat guns and space ships. A massive dog fight ensues once the aliens finally attack Earth.

IshirĂ´ Honda directed both The Mysterians and Battle in Outer Space as well as most of the original Godzilla movies. The only real tie to The Mysterians is that a couple of the cast members play the same characters. No mention of The Mysterians is made. The aliens also don’t have a giant robot to attack Earth like The Mysterians did.

The movie seems to go out it’s way to make everything seem as factual as possible despite the absurdity of it all. The movie reminds me of old Marvel comic books where every other issue had aliens attacking Earth with awesome magnetic guns. How come aliens don’t use magnetic guns anymore? Anyway the miniature effects are excellent. It kind makes me wish they had remade Flash Gordon around this time.  Battle in Outer Space isn’t great cinema but it’s a fun Sunday Matinee movie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x84sxq7e8oI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lNHHjaTENU

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.