Battle in Outer Space, released in Japan as The Great Space War (宇宙大戦争 Uchū Daisensō?) is a tokusatsu film produced and released by Toho Studios in Japan in 1959, and distributed worldwide (sans Far East Territories) in 1960 by Columbia Pictures. The screenplay was written by Shinichi Sekizawa (from a story by Jojiro Okami) and was brought to the screen by Toho's well-known kaiju eiga specialists, Ishirō Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, Tomoyuki Tanaka, and composer Akira Ifukube.
Battle in Outer Space is a loose sequel to The Mysterians (1957), jumping ahead several years to 1965, when Etsuko Shiraishi and Dr. Adachi, among others, are now heavily involved in the United Nations Space Research Center in Tokyo. Rather than have the Mysterians return to Earth for this sequel, a new, more sinister race was created: The Natal, diminutive and aggressive beings who wield powerful anti-gravity weapons and mind-control devices.
Plot[edit | edit source]
In 1965, a series of mysterious and devastating incidents are happening on Earth. These incidents range from a railroad bridge levitated off the ground causing a train wreck in Japan; an ocean liner lifted out of the Panama Canal by a waterspout, destroying it; severe flooding in Venice, Italy; and the destruction of the J-SS3 space station.
An international meeting is called at the Space Research Center in Japan. Major Ichiro Katsumiya, Professor Adachi and Dr. Richardson open the conference and describe the disasters, adding that the survivors suffered from extreme frostbite. Dr. Richardson theorizes that some unknown force lowered the temperatures of the objects so as to lower the Earth's gravitational pull: thus making the objects easier to lift, regardless of their size and weight. Katsumiya determines that such an action could only be accomplished by a force beyond the earth.
Dr. Ahmed, an Iranian delegate at the meeting reacts as though suffering from a severe headache and slips away. Ahmed walks outside to a courtyard in a daze. Etsuko sees him and watches in horror as he is enveloped in a red light coming from the sky. Astronaut Iwomura comes in and Etsuko tells him what happened but Ahmed is nowhere to be seen. Back at the conference, it is believed that aliens might be behind the disasters and it's suggested that the Earth be prepared militarily.
Dr. Ahmed appears and tries to sabotage the heat ray experiments held at the meeting. He is caught before completing his mission. He briefly takes Etsuko hostage and warns them that the Earth will soon become a colony of the planet, Natal. Ahmed's hand is injured and he makes a run for it. However, a Natal saucer appears near the center and vaporizes him, but forensics find a tiny radio transmitter that was put in him. The transmissions locate the suspect aliens on the moon.
The U.N. decides to launch two rocket ships, called SPIPs, to the Moon on a reconnaissance mission. En route, both ships are attacked by remotely-controlled meteors called 'space torpedoes'. Iwamura, the navigator of SPIP-1, is also under mind control by the aliens. He is caught trying to disable the rocket's weapons and is tied up. Both SPIPs avoid the meteors and are given a warning by the Natal not to land on the moon, but it is ignored. Once the rockets land on the moon, the two teams look for the alien base in lunar rovers. Meanwhile, Iwamura has untied himself and blown up SPIP-1. They find a cave on foot and locate the Natal base in a deep crater. Etsuko is temporarily captured by the Natal but is rescued by Katsumiya. A beam weapon battle erupts as the teams attack the base. The Natal base is destroyed which frees Iwamura of the aliens' mind control. Feeling guilty, Iwamura stays behind to give covering fire, allowing the SPIP-2 to escape.
Back on Earth, the world prepares for a final conflict against the Natal. Scout Ships (based on the North American X-15 experimental rocket plane) and Atomic Heat Cannons are built to counter the invasion fleet. Eventually, the Natal saucers and their mothership approach Earth. Squadrons of Scout Ships (converted into Space Fighters) are sent up into space and engage in a massive dogfight with the saucers. The Natal mothership launches Space Torpedoes that hit New York and San Francisco. The mothership descends upon Tokyo and lays the metropolis to waste with its anti-gravity ray. The remaining saucers and mothership advance on the Space Research Center. But, the Atomic Heat Cannons finally destroy the mothership and the Earth is saved.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Dr. Ichiro Katsumiya - Ryo Ikebe
- Etsuko Shiraishi - Kyoko Anzai
- Yuichi Iwamura - Yoshio Tsuchiya
- Commander of the Self-Defense Forces - Minoru Takada
- Kogure (Engineer), SPIP-1 Crew - Hisaya Ito
- Dr. Kenjiro Adachi - Koreya Senda
- Dr. Roger Richardson - Leonard Stanford
- Dr. Immelmann - Harold S. Conway
- Dr. Ahmed - George Wyman
- Silvia - Elise Richter
- Okada, SPIP-1 Crew - Nadao Kirino
- Captain of Space Fighter Squadron - Kozo Nomura
- Inspector Ariake, Secret Service - Fuyuki Murakami
- Railroad Track Inspector - Ikio Sawamura
- Lieutenant General - Jiro Kumagai
- Maritime Self Defense Forces General - Katsumi Tezuka
- Air Self Defense Forces General - Mitsuo Tsuda
- Adjutant - Tadashi Okabe
- Lieutenant Pearce, SPIP-1 Crew - Malcolm Pearce
- Araki, SPIP-1 Crew - Yasuo Araki
- Welch, SPIP-1 Crew - Leonard Welch
- Sato, SPIP-2 Crew - Koichi Sato
- SPIP-2 Crew - Rinsaku Ogata
- SPIP-2 Crew - Osman Yusef
- SPIP-2 Crew - Heinz Bodmer
- SPIP-2 Crew - Yutaka Oka
- JSS-3 Communications Officer - Kisao Hatamochi
- JSS-3 Crewmember - Yukihiko Gondo
- JSS-3 Crewmember - Yoshiyuki Uemura
- U.S. Army General - Ed Keane
- Mrs. Richardson - Dona Carlson
- Science Center Engineer - Shiniro Hirota
- Tokaido Express Train Engineer - Yasuhisa Tsutsumi
- Tokaido Express Train Pilot Engineer - Shigeo Kato