Even by 2010's high standards for special effects, 1968's "The Green Slime" is a great movie -- and a must watch for fans of the "Alien" franchise. There can be no doubt that Dan O'Bannon, Ridley Scott and the other creators of the first "Alien" film knew they were borrowing liberally from this Japanese production.
With a Japanese director and crew, and special effects that were about as good as what we saw on the original "Star Trek," "The Green Slime" has a damn good pace, a decent story, hilarious monsters and surprisingly a ton of suspense. It's certainly more sci-fi than horror, but the fact that it served as the basis for the "Alien" films qualifies it for inclusion in any horror film fan's classic film library.
Despite its Japanese director, "Slime" has a cheesy-rific Euro-American cast, which made it palatable for mainstream U.S. audiences back in the day. Luciano Paluzzi, the hot Euro assassin from "Thunderball," stars as the love-triangle, girl interest that pits two square-jawed Americans against one another for her affections, while they first attempt to save the earth from an asteroid, then try to save their space station from an alien slime they inadvertently brought aboard. The hilarious-looking eight-armed creatures thrive off energy, so laserblasts only cause them to automatically reproduce -- rendering them close to invulnerable.
Despite the camp presence of '60s rock, laughable costumes (including motor cycle-style helmets used in space battle sequences) and of course incredibly goofy-looking monsters, "The Green Slime" is a seriously good movie. Perhaps part of the reason it's received a bum rap over the years is that it's never been available in widescreen until now.
Warner recently unleashed a remastered, widescreen print of the film as part of their Warner Archives series, and it looks great. This was definitely a film that can only be appreciated in the format.
Director Fukasaku would go on to direct one of the landmark horror films of the past decade, "Battle Royale."