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The Mysterians
For Japanese sci-fi of the '50s, this was big budget stuff

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Aliens arrive on Earth , and graciously ask mankind's permission for a place in our world of their own. It is granted, but all is not as it seems - least of all concerning the giant robot who turns up and begins destroying entire cities.

In 1957, Japan’s Toho Studios went the deluxe route to make a science-fiction spectacle, a full 20 years before Hollywood realised a special-effects budget would turn a lowly B into a franchise blockbuster. If Godzilla was its Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The Mysterians was its War Of The Worlds — a forest fire, an earthquake and a giant robot aardvark (?) are the first strikes against Japan by the Mysterians: PVC-suited alien leeches who are here in a burrowing saucer to make off with our cutest women for breeding purposes.

It’s solemn and silly, with too many earnest scientific-military discussions, but it pulls out all the stops when unleashing destructive weaponry, melting tanks, bizarre futurist décor, panicking hordes and kicking the baddies off the planet.

Everything you'd expect from a '50s Japanese sci-fi flick, but with a budget far higher than normal.

Reviewed by Kim Newman

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