A journalist is saved by a giant submarine captained by a 200 year old man who takes him to an underwater paradise city where no one ages. That's when monsters and mutants sent by the captain's rival, a 200 year old scientist, attack.
When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the ... See full summary »
A space probe is infiltrated by alien beings and then crashes on a remote Pacific atoll. A group planning to build a resort hotel land on the island and discover it to be inhabited by giant... See full summary »
A librarian is subject to a scientific experiment which goes wrong and transforms him into 'The Human Vapour'. He uses his new ability to rob banks to fund the career of his girlfriend, a ... See full summary »
During WWII, a human heart taken from a certain lab in Europe (Dr. Frankenstein's) is kept in a Japanese lab, when it gets exposed to the radiation of the bombing of Hiroshima. The heart ... See full summary »
Racked by earthquakes and volcanos, Japan is slowly sinking into the sea. A race against time and tide begins as Americans and the Japanese work together to salvage some fraction of the ... See full summary »
Early in the film, Saeko says that four H-bombs would destroy Japan. Later images in the Alliance missile control-center shows four targeted areas on the map of Japan. See more »
When Tamura is turning the car around in a U-turn to take his customer back to where he was picked up, he is turning the wheel to the left but the background footage obviously shows the car going right. See more »
Interesting Curio That Overcomes Its Pretentiousness
I was fortunate to obtain a widescreen subtitled edition of this 1961 movie, which is really the proper way to see it, devoid of bad English dubbing and rearranged sequences etc. In its original version, there are some great SFX sequences by Japan's master Eiji Tsubaraya, who was responsible for all the Godzilla movies, but rather than shock the viewer for its "graphic" depiction of nuclear war, as the filmmakers hoped to do, they just come across as neat-interesting in the "Armageddon" way of filmmaking that we see today. What makes "The Last War" more entertaining then films of today like "Armageddon" is that the acting is better (at least the Japanese actors), and there's just a greater sense of style in films from this era then what we see today.
Not that the movie is without flaws. The anti-nuclear war message is delivered in a very pretentious fashion, and its depiction of how the war breaks out is, as noted below, totally ludicrous with no context offered as to why tensions are escalating between the "Federation" (i.e. NATO and the US) and the "Alliance" (i.e. the USSR) in the first place. Scenes of the "Federation" and "Alliance" at their military bases are shot in English and feature very bad amateur "actors" mouthing dialogue that no one with a real grasp of the English language would ever have written (the Alliance commander at one point utters a dated exclamation, "Egads!" among other things) We also get that nice coat of whitewashing of Japan's aggressive past as an Imperial power that infests every Toho sci-fi movie that gets on a soapbox about the evils of atomic weapons. And the ending blatantly plagiarizes the ending of "On The Beach" to not good effect.
Still, I recommend owning a copy of this in the original widescreen subtitled format, just as a fascinating curio piece and also the chance to see some great special FX for the day in full splendor. Along with "Gorath" and "The Mysterians" it shows how there was much more to Toho FX movies of the 50s and 60s then just Godzilla and other giant monsters.
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