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Kiddie matinée, Japanese style. There were quite a number of kid oriented sci-fi adventure films with costumed super-heroes made for the movie theaters before the success of Ultraman and Kamen Rider on TV. Others that have made it to the US are Starman, Prince of Space and another Sonny Chiba film, Attack of the Neptune Men. Most of these films feature heroes that never really caught on the way the TV super heroes did. Filmed in glorious black and white, the effects were sometimes better then the color films from the same time.
A teenage boy discovers that the planet Icarus is on a collision course with Earth by gazing through his telescope. Scoffed at by the scientific establishment, the boy is kidnapped and brought to a secret UN base in the Japan alps. He is immediately inducted into the secret program whose mission is to finish the Super-Destruction Beam cannon and destroy Icarus. The cannon is missing a special mineral for the lens. The team heads for a mysterious island in the middle of the Pacific. There they find ancient ruins of Atlantis but they are suddenly attacked by a strange drill shaped metal squid spaceship. It's commanded by the evil being Nazu who has engineered the collision with Icarus! He doesn't want to share the universe with humans and he really doesn't want the cannon finished. The action is on and the team discovers the Golden Bat who has been asleep for over 10,000 years awaiting this very moment to save the earth!
It's very hard to describe the silliness of the film. If you've seen other early Japanese super hero films you'll be prepared for the outlandish wardrobe on display here. The villain Nazu is absolutely unscary, a four eyed cloth bear with a robot claw hand and no nose or mouth. The Golden Bat is a strange design for a hero as he resembles the Red Skull of Marvel comics fame. The character is apparently an Osamu Tesuka creation.
The film is well paced and actually photographed better then it needed. At 73 minutes it a good laugh.
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