The Green Slime
Eric S Brown
Released in 1968, The Green Slime is something of a strange, cult classic among fans of films from that era and was directed by Kinji Fukasaku, The movie was shot in Japan though both the producers and the cast was composed of all American actors who happened to be there. The Green Slime is still available today online as well as from the Warner Archive Collection. Its plot centers around a space station, Gamma 3, which detects a giant asteroid on its way to Earth and Commander Jack Rankin is dispatched to take the lead on the mission to stop it alongside Commander Vince Elliot, who is the current C.O. of Gamma 3. They are forced to get along and work together despite their personal issues as the two of them were once close friends but their relationship was destroyed by the love of the same woman, Dr. Lisa Benson. Rankin and Elliot succeed in stopping the asteroid but unintentionally bring an alien slime back aboard Gamma 3 with them upon their return. The slime feeds on energy and is capable not only self reproduction but mass reproduction of itself. Gamma 3 is quickly overrun and endangered by a fast growing army of slime monsters which look terrible due to the film’s budget. Despite their cheesy look, these creatures are nearly unstoppable and can’t be allowed to reach Earth so Rankin’s last desperate plan to stop them is to destroy the station itself, ordering everyone else to abandon it. Elliot returns though, giving his own life to save that of his old friend, and the film ends with Rankin mourning his friend as the Earth is saved from total destruction.
From the opening music, the viewer knows what to expect of the movie as its theme song may have been great back in the era the film was released in but is comical by today’s standards setting a humorous tone for the modern viewer. While not really a bad film, the Green Slime is both very dated and extremely cheesy, from the very tacky shot of Dr. Benson flicking her hair as if flirting with the viewer as she’s introduced to the schoolyard type bullying and bickering of the men who crew Gamma 3, the film delivers loads of unintentional laughs. That said, its pacing is strong and the film doesn’t skimp on the action once things get rolling. While far being a true classic on the level of Them! Or The Thing, the Green Slime will likely remain a strong cult classic among viewers who don’t mind some cheese mixed into their science fiction.