Mediocre movies are forgotten. The worst bits of a horrible movie bring a smile--ideally--for a truly hilarious absurdity.
Edward D. Wood, Jr had a gift for making horrible movies. "Plan 9 From Outer Space" remains a classic of the, uh, genre.
I was reminded tonight of another awful favorite, "The Evil Brain From Outer Space." TEBFOS was a 1950s Japanese take on the Superman idea. When the Earth (Japan in particular) is in trouble, the Emerald Men from--where else--the Emerald Planet sometimes choose to send Star Man to Earth. Star Man has a gut on him that makes Adam West's Batman look chiseled by comparison. Fortunately, Star Man has not only his gut but a handy device called the "globe meter."
The globe meter allows Star Man to do three things.
- Fly through space (very handy since that's how he gets here from the Emerald Planet)
- Detect radioactivity (Balazar's evil brain is radioactive, if I remember correctly)
- Speak any language on planet Earth
The Pacific Rim region of the globe figures prominently. If the predominance of Japanese characters doesn't tip you off that this isn't a Hollywood picture, then the globe meter itself might do that. Unless it just reflects a preference of the Emerald Men, of course.
This is where the Emerald Men make their decisions on whether or not to send Star Man to Earth.
These guys don't appear to talk much. The dudes (?) seated around the table appear to communicate with deliberate and repetitive arm movements. The ones standing around the perimeter rotate their torsos right and left.
It seems to work, anyway.
One of my favorite parts of the Emerald Men deliberation scene is the way that big ringed planet in the background moves very noticeably side-to-side. Probably a gravitational effect, but to a primitive Earthling it makes it look like the planet is attached to something up above by ropes or wires.
Yes, the film is silly, but it has some very enjoyable moments.
At one point, a scientist character warns the Japanese authorities: "We must destroy Balazar's brain! But it won't be easy--it's indestructible!"
Bless the translators for that one.
"Star Man" also features heavy use of a popular film technique. Sometimes you want the hero to fight a whole bunch of guys, but getting a whole group choreographed take$ time. So you have one or two guys at a time attack the hero while one or two others just kind of crouch in the background, angling for an opening that never seems to come no matter how wide open Star Man seems to have left himself.
Watch a Star Man film sometime. You'll be sorry--but it's fun anyway.