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A space station is destroyed only minutes after registering a trio of
UFOs on their screens.
Later, ocean liners and trains are crashed in
particularly freaky accidents, and a flash flood destroys Venice
(off.screen, unfortunately). The UNO soon comes to the conclusion this
must be the work of aliens, and soon enough an all-powerful laser beam is
developed, and two laser-armed spaceships are sent to the moon where the
aliens are suspected to have their base. Unfortunately, the aliens have
succeeded in mind controlling Iwomura (Yoshio Tsuchiya), one of the men en
route to moon, and on the journey, he tries to destroy one of the
rocketships - but is rendered unconscious and tied up by his crewmates
just in time.
On the moon, the crew of the two ships minus Iwomura
change into the moonbusses they have brought and go against the aliens'
moonbase, which they manage to destroy after a fierce battle. Meanwhile
though, Iwomura has blown up one of the ships and is already working on
the other, when the mind control seizes thanks to the destruction of the
moonbase. Iwomura puts the second spaceship back into working condition,
then arms himself to the teeth with rayguns and fends off UFO after UFO to
guard the ship until all the others are back on board and take off again.
Then he dies a hero's death.
Back on earth, a world gouvernment is
quickly formed and a fleet of interceptor spaceships are built to fend off
the next UFO attack - which happens before too long, even with the
moonbase destroyed. As successful as the interceptor ships are, one of the
aliens' motherships gets through to our earth's atmosphere and destroys
New York and the Golden Gate Bridge among others before earth defense
forces are able to take it down and defeat the aliens for good - for now
A man's inner child can't help but somehow love this movie
for all its miniature effect that range from the great to the charmingly
naive, and in a way, this film has everything, grand scale destruction on
earth, space battles, lunar landscapes - you name it.
Apart from all of
this though, Battle in Outer Space has rather little to offer.
Thing is, I could live with the film's clichéed story, after all this is
late 1950's science fiction so I couldn't expect too much, right? but what
the movie really lacks is any good characters. Sure, there's Ryo Ikebe and
Kyoko Anzai at the center of everything, but they remain disappointingly
featureless and do nothing to further the action of the movie on their own
account, and apart from them and Yoshio Tsuchiya as Iwomura of course,
there are just stiff scientists or military figures who have little more
than a machine-like function within the movie. Problem is, with no
characters to identify with, the film's plot becomes somewhat bland and
You'll probably still want to see this one for its miniature
effects courtesy of Eiji Tsuburaya, but expect little beyond that ...