Space Amoeba (1970 Japan) a.k.a. Yog Monster From Space

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Space Amoeba (1970 Japan) a.k.a. Yog Monster From Space

Post  BoG on Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:56 pm


What's Happening: Parasitic aliens turn sea creatures into gigantic killers
Famous For: Same director as Godzilla; a.k.a. "Yog: Monster from Space"
Simple and fun, Space Amoeba is one of several non-Godzilla genre pictures directed by Honda for Toho in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While the plot offers some intrigue - rival real estate developers fighting to build a resort on a South Seas island - it's mostly a classic 1950s-style plot in which the monster appears from time to time, killing individuals or destroying buildings, until a small band of heroes can find One Thing that will defeat it. Luckily, the heroes are a likeable bunch, including a scruffy stubbled photographer, a cute and sensitive female publicist, a stern biologist, a crafty but likeable corporate spy, and various energetic natives. The monster is somewhat indistinct; it's not clear if the shimmering blue mist is a large group of individual aliens, a small group, or some kind of all-in-one composite. It's more of a ghost than an amoeba, really. But it has the ability to take over and transform Earth creatures such as a squid, a crab, and a turtle. Lest a squid, crab, and turtle sound unexciting, let me assure readers that all three are very well realized on film, convincing, powerful, weird, at times mesmerizing to watch (especially the squid, which gets the most screen time). Pacing is quick, and no more than five minutes ever passes without action. Kids 8-12 will like it best but adults should also enjoy it. I loved it as a kid and drew a picture of the amphibious squid attacking people on shore. A.k.a. "Gezora, Ganime, Kamoeba" [the monsters' names].

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 65277-65299). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
Yog Trivia:
The Media Blasters/ Tokyo Shock DVD includes a wonderful nine-minute documentary about the actual cuttlefish, rubble crab, and matamata turtle upon which the monsters were based. It also includes subtitled Japanese commentary from producer Fumio Tanaka and an interlocutor. The commentary is unenlightening for the first half but gets entertaining in the second half when the guys start joking. They imagine eating cuttlefish as sushi and having a matamata as a pet. The monster squid's eyes were supposed to move, but they broke. Tanaka wishes there were a campy line such as "the squid is roasting!" when the heroes lure it into the fire. "Yog" was derived from H.P. Lovecraft. Tanaka discusses some of the changes at Toho in the early 70s, such as shrinking budgets, the loss of special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya, and the difficulty of coaxing actors away from working for Japanese television which was overtaking the Japanese movie industry at the time.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 65300-65312). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.  
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