1987, Movies

Star Force: Fugitive Alien II (1987, Minoru Kanaya, Kiyosumi Kuzakawa)

No, I have not seen the first Fugitive Alien.

This is one of those overdubbed Japanese films that has been bastardized for English audiences. In this case it’s not even a film, it’s two episodes from a Japanese TV show. (I guess the first film is two earlier episodes?) So at least it isn’t full of additional content made by Americans, I guess.

As you can guess, it’s extremely episodic, since it’s literally two episodes. And I guess that’s a bit of a narrative flaw.

But the bigger issue is that this film has a budget of a Japanese TV show in the ’80s. And I have to tell you, I was absolutely shocked that this was made in 1987. Because it feels like it is from another time in terms of its special effects. Now, that turns out to be entirely because it’s a TV show but, if you had stumbled upon this on your own back then, you might be really surprised.

The plot is not great, as you might imagine. And the climactic battle of the “film” is literally stolen from Star Wars (but with a hilariously worse budget): the villain is wearing a German army helmet that looks conspicuously like somebody else’s helmet, and there is one shot where the hero is flying through a trench.

But the main problem is that it is just very, very boring. I imagine the show was not good even for a Japanese audience as there is the kind of filler only low budget movies resort to, showing people doing not much of anything. That might have been acceptable on Japanese TV in the 1980s, as I have no idea what the quality of TV was like. (If this is anything to go by, it wasn’t good.)

Not a real movie. And bad TV.


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