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The War in Space (1977)

Wakusei daisenso (original title)
Earth is attacked by alien spacecraft from Venus. But a Japanese scientist has constructed a space craft, the Gohten, with which he may save humanity.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kensaku Morita ... Miyoshi
Yûko Asano ... June Takigawa
Ryô Ikebe ... Professor Takigawa
Masaya Oki ... Reisuke Muroi
Hiroshi Miyauchi ... Morrei
Hideji Ôtaki ... Dr.Matsuzawa
Katsutoshi Atarashi ... Tadashi Mikasa
... Defense Countermeasure Supreme Commander Oshi
Gorô Mutsumi
Isao Hashimoto
Shôji Nakayama
David Perin ... Jimmy
William Ross ... Dr. Schmidt / Helt
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Storyline

Earth is attacked by alien spacecraft from Venus. But a Japanese scientist has constructed a space craft, the Gohten, with which he may save humanity.

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17 December 1977 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The War in Space  »

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(English dubbed)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last Toho tokusatsu film to be shot in the 2.35:1 (CinemaScope) aspect ratio before Godzilla 2000 (1999). See more »

Connections

Follows The Mysterians (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Toho sci-fi trash.
26 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

In 1977, 20th Century Fox gave us Star Wars; Japanese studio Toho, on the other hand, presented The War in Space. Star Wars spawned umpteen sequels, made George Lucas impossibly rich, and became a phenomenon that is as popular today as it was 30 years ago; The War in Space didn't.

But Jun Fukuda's epic sci-fi effort doesn't fail because of its crap effects, awful design and ridiculous plot (these elements actually make the film just about bearable); it fails due to it's dreary beginning, dreadful pacing and complete lack of excitement.

The film starts with an attack on Earth by an alien fleet that has its base on Venus. After several notable landmarks are destroyed (in a scene that reminded me of Independence Day, but made without the benefits of computers and a decent budget), we meet the heroes of the piece: Professor Takigawa (Ryo Ikebe), his babelicious daughter (Yûko Asano), and her two suitors Miyoshi (Kensaku Morita) and Morrei (Hiroshi Miyauchi).

These guys, along with a small, dedicated (and seemingly expendable) crew, head for Venus in their fresh-off-the-forecourt battleship, The Gohten, and proceed to kick extraterrestrial butt.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, sometimes it is, but.....

...the film takes a long time to get going, with lots of talking where there should've been action (not that the action is much cop: badly choreographed laser shoot-outs and tedious space battles are the order of the day) and a pointless romantic sub-plot also gets in the way of the good stuff.

And by 'the good stuff', I mean the awful spaceships (that resemble galleons and submarines), the poorly conceived aliens (the main baddies have painted green faces and wear particularly daft outfits, whilst a huge hairy wookie-style monster has big yellow horns and brandishes an axe), the inventive weapons (The Gohten is equipped with huge lasers, that look like the bullet chamber from a giant revolver, and a flying drill/über-bomb), and, of course, the great scene in which June is kidnapped, and forced to wear a saucy leather outfit!


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