Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Sci-Fi, Shochiku Style

On the Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about apocalyptic scifi and horror from the normally well-behaved Japanese film studio Shochiku. Shochiku was most closely identified with shomin-geki, dramas about the lives of everyday people, and the undisputed master of such films was Shochiku director Yasujiro Ozu. But a studio can only exist for so long on movies in which a middle-aged

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Condorman Flies Again

By adulthood, I couldn’t even remember why I hated Condorman. I could only remember that I did. That was just too much like those stories where two sides have been killing each other for so long that they can no longer even remember why they are fighting.

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No Place in Space

On Cultural Gutter, we’re taking a trip to the future to discover that there’s No Place in Space as we explore the Soviet science fiction film To the Stars By Hard Ways. The movie begins with a group of cosmonauts on a routine mission. They happen across a derelict spaceship filled with what appear to be a group of genetically

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Wahan Ke Log

It’s a cause for celebration when a B movie delivers as spectacularly as Wahan Ke Log does, especially given that its genre elements also have to make room for the singing, dancing and romancing.

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Mars Men

Mars Men kicks off with a little kid stumbling upon a hidden cave in which he finds a small statue of Yud Wud Jaeng. The kid insists on calling him “Hanamajin”, and the rest of the cast follows suit.

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Fighting the Unknown

As the series begins, Quatermass and his team are in a quandary after their most recent manned space flight vanishes without a trace, only to turn up later when it crashes into a farmer’s field. Rushing to the site, Quatermass is baffled to discover that of the three astronauts launched into orbit, only one is still in the ship.

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The Super Inframan

Inframan is, in many ways, a perfect film, in that it is resoundingly successful in achieving what it sets out to do. Every one of its scenes could be bullet-pointed with the word “SEE!” in front of it.

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Space 1999: Aliens Are Jerks

The short-lived television program Space: 1999 taught us many things about our depressing universe. Chief among its concerns: reminding us every week that our fellow inhabitants of the galaxy are at least as awful as we are, only with magic powers. Space: 1999 taught me two valuable lessons. The first is that space is depressing and best represented by the

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