Thursday, April 7, 2011

Green Slime!

"You think it's something in your head.  Well you'll believe it when you're dead!"
 --the love theme from Green Slime

If you're wondering why I've chosen to blog about this of all movies, stay with me til the end.  You'll find out, I promise you.

Ahhh Green Slime.  Where would science fiction be without it?  Probably very much as it is now, but with a bright spot of fun erased from it.  
I first saw Green Slime in 1987 and my life has never quite been the same. The film's a Japanese production from 1968 with an all-American cast and the special effects of your typical Godzilla movie.   It stars Robert Horton, who I swore was Jack Lord upon my first viewing.  You'll probably recognize Richard Jaeckel from is innumerable guest appearances on various TV series, among those being ABC's Supercarrier.  (contented sigh)  The slinky Luciana Paluzzi plays a thick-accented doctor by the name of...get this...Lisa Benson.  Nope.  Nothing incongruous there.
And the plot of this opus?  Glad you asked.  An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth.  Our only hope is that a crew of astronauts from an orbiting space station can travel to the big rock and blow it up.  As they land on the asteroid, they find that it is pockmarked with puddles of green slime (I'm guessing that's where the title came from.)  A foppish doctor wants to take a sample but studly Robert Horton forbids it.  The doctor does it anyway and that's when trouble starts a'brewin'.  The crew destroys the asteroid and returns to the space station in one of the most jubilant scenes ever put to film.  But when exposed to energy, the slime mutates into shambling, tentacled, one-eyed monsters.  Soon the killer creatures are replicating at a logarithmic rate and the station is being overrun.  Death, chaos, and hangnails ensue.  Can the crew survive?  My God, the drama!  The suspense!  The action!  The terror!  The idiocy!
That's right folks.  Before there was Aliens.  Before there was Armageddon.  There was Green Slime.  Not only does it have all that, but this film has by far, hands down, the greatest theme song I have ever heard in my long life of moviegoing.
But is this a good movie?  Oh by no means.  I'm giggling furiously at the mere argument for that.  But damn it if it isn't fun.  Loaded with unintentionally hilarious dialogue, overacting, and special effects provided by what looks like a toy company, this is one hell of a ride.  Go ahead and watch it.  If you don't have a tear in your eye in the final scene, then you're just not human.  And I mean that the tear will be from laughter.  I've watched many quality science fiction films.  Planet of the Apes, 2001, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and of course Blade Runner, but none of them make me as happy as Green Slime.  It is for that reason that I believe I must now give something back.

If you haven't seen it, go rent it.  Add it to that Netflix queue.  Seriously.  Go do it.  I'll wait here.
If you have seen it, then this a momentous day for you!  For I have... 

written a sequel to Green Slime!  

It is a glorious piece of work entitled Green Slime: Earth War and it picks up right where the movie leaves off.  I will soon be posting that story right here on Strange Horizons in installments!!

You may email your thank yous to my account at your leisure.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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