Cribbed from nine separate films centered on the Japanese superhero Super Giant, The Evil Brain from Outer Space is a trip to say the least. I recently caught the film as part of Nightmare Cinema‘s line of films. For any fellow MSTies out there, it’s hauntingly similar to Prince of Space and Attack of the Neptune Men… in fact it is so similar that if you have seen one of those movies you have seen all of those movies. In many ways, Super Giant is a precursor to Ultraman and Kamen Rider who both followed.
Super Giant (or Starman, as he is known in the English translation), is an alien from the Emerald Planet sent to Earth to defend us from alien invaders called the ‘Semarians.’ The mutant invaders are capable of assuming any form and have a devious nature. Operating undercover, Super Giant would transform into a suited Japanese man complete with fedora, becoming Super Giant when he was needed. Able to fly and deflect nearly any form of attack, he is also incredibly strong and agile, possessing the power of teleportation.
From what I can gather, the Super Giant films operated as serial-style adventures spread over 9 stories with individual plots, villains and supporting cast members that cropped up from time to time. Stringing portions of the nine movies into one feature film is a maddening experience as the end result is a barrage of unconnected plot points and monsters that fly across the screen with wild abandon.
Veteran actor Ken Utsui dons a costume that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, as each distinct feature of his body is hugged in his leotard topped with a darling deely-bopper. Apparently the producers stuffed his shorts with cotton to impress any ladies in the audience. To this day, Utsui refuses to discuss the films and is embarrassed by them, but they remain an important series of film that influenced many a young movie maker, I’m sure. The acrobatics exhibited in The Evil Brain from Outer Space is astounding. I decided to study the fighting techniques closely so that the next time I faced insurmountable odds in a nightmare I would simply channel Super Giant and flip them all into the air like so much pizza dough.
A cult film, The Evil Brain from Outer Space is also a gem as far as cutting edge special effects. Fades, super-imposed images, duplications and other digital effects can be found throughout the movie. The creature design is also just bizarre and somewhat iconic, symbolizing a specific style of sci-fi/comic book schlock that evokes the 50′s and 60′s.
Sure, this is not a movie to sit down and watch with a glass of port and some fine cheeses, but if you ever have some mates over to hang out and drink cheap beer, this would be an ideal accompanying piece of entertainment.