Warning from Space

May 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm (6 Heads, Warning from Space) (, , )

Warning from Space – 1956 – Japan

When a rogue planet threatens to collide with Earth, star-shaped otherworldly beings intervene to help. Their inhuman appearance horrifies Earthlings, so one alien takes the form of a Japanese pop star. She befriends a group of astronomers but exposes her identity by leaping ten feet high and teleporting. After being warned of the approaching cataclysm, the astronomers request the “World Congress” to deploy all Earth’s atomic weapons and destroy the rogue planet. Of course, the bureaucratic World Congress lollygags until too late, leaving Earth’s fate to a lone scientist and his prototype nuclear super weapon.

Warning from Space’s coolest element are the strange and iconic aliens. The man-sized pentagrams have a single flickering eye. It is suggested this form is actually a protective suit, although the idea is never elaborated. They originate from Paira, Earth’s twin on the opposite side of the Sun, and their technology is so advanced that it is transparent. The only gadgetry they possess is a statue of spinning rings, which moves courtesy of an amazing special effect.

Warning from Space is the first Japanese color sci-fi film. It is mostly monochromatic, but red tinting provides apocalyptic atmosphere as the fiery rogue planet nears Earth. Images of tidal waves, dying wildlife, and panicked crowds are chilling. The film’s production value is great, with scenic Tokyo locations and surprising effects. Scenes of the alien transforming into an Earthling and later leaping enormous heights still impress.

Although atomic weaponry was a common component in science fiction of the 1950s, it is interesting to see it as the savior of mankind. The aliens banned nuclear power on their world since it is too difficult to control, yet eventually help scientists build the super bomb that destroys the rogue planet. This optimism about technology surprises me, especially from Japan, the only country to suffer an atomic attack.

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. I tried to research this, but came up short. Are the English dialogue voice actors Japanese, or Americans faking Japanese accents?

Here the aliens are having a conference. In the foreground is their awesome statue.


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