Difference between revisions of "The Mysterians"

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{{Tab
 
{{Tab
|soundtrack={{soundtracktab|soundtrack=The Mysterians (Soundtrack)}}
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|soundtrack=The Mysterians (Soundtrack)
 
}}
 
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{{Infopelicula
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{{Infobox Film|ratings=yes
 
|type1      =Steel
 
|type1      =Steel
 
|type2      =Electric
 
|type2      =Electric
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|distributor =[[Toho]]{{sup|[[Japan|JP]]}}<br>[[RKO Pictures|RKO Radio Pictures]]{{sup|[[United States|US]]}}
 
|distributor =[[Toho]]{{sup|[[Japan|JP]]}}<br>[[RKO Pictures|RKO Radio Pictures]]{{sup|[[United States|US]]}}
 
|rating      =Unrated
 
|rating      =Unrated
|budget      ={{tt|$?,???,???|¥?,???,???}}
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|gross      ={{tt|¥193,000,000|$1,389,244}}<ref name="Honda">{{cite book|title=Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film |author=Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizewski |date=2017 |publisher=Wesleyan University Press |page=141 |isbn=9780819577412}}</ref>
|gross      =~{{tt|$1,389,244|¥193,000,000}}
 
 
|runtime    =88 minutes{{sup|[[Japan|JP]]}}<br />{{Small|(1 hour, 28 minutes)}}<br />85 minutes{{sup|[[United States|US]]}}<br />{{Small|(1 hour, 25 minutes)}}
 
|runtime    =88 minutes{{sup|[[Japan|JP]]}}<br />{{Small|(1 hour, 28 minutes)}}<br />85 minutes{{sup|[[United States|US]]}}<br />{{Small|(1 hour, 25 minutes)}}
|designs    =[[Moguera|ShodaiMoge]]
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|aspectratio =2.35:1
 
}}
 
}}
 
*''For the alien race, see [[Mysterians]].''
 
*''For the alien race, see [[Mysterians]].''
 
{{Quote|From behind the [[moon]] [[Mysterians|they]] come... To invade the [[Earth]]! Abduct its women! Level its cities!|[[United States|American]] tagline}}
 
{{Quote|From behind the [[moon]] [[Mysterians|they]] come... To invade the [[Earth]]! Abduct its women! Level its cities!|[[United States|American]] tagline}}
'''''The Mysterians''''' {{Nihongo|地球防衛軍|Chikyū Bōeigun|lit. ''Earth Defense Force''}} is a [[1957]] [[tokusatsu]] [[kaiju]] [[:Category:Kaiju Films|film]] produced by [[Toho]] It was released to [[Japan]]ese theaters on December 28, [[1957]] and to [[United States|America]]n theaters on May 15, [[1959]].
+
'''''The Mysterians''''' {{Nihongo|地球防衛軍|Chikyū Bōeigun|lit. ''Earth Defense Force''}} is a [[1957]] [[tokusatsu]] [[kaiju]] [[:Category:Kaiju Films|film]] produced by [[Toho]]. It was released to [[Japan]]ese theaters on December 28, [[1957]] and to [[United States|America]]n theaters on May 15, [[1959]].
 
==Plot==
 
==Plot==
The films starts with Astrophysicist Ryoichi Shiraishi, his fiancee Hiroko, his sister Etsuko, and his friend Joji Atsumi witnessing a festival at a local village near [[Mount Fuji]]. Shiraishi then tells Atsumi that he has broken off his engagement with Hiroko but gives no reason other than an undisclosed obligation to remain in the village. A mysterious forest fire is then seen near them. Shiraishi rushes out to investigate and disappears during the confusion.
+
The astrophysicist Ryoichi Shiraishi is acting peculiarly. He has called off his engagement to Hiroko Iwamoto and moved to a small village near [[Mt. Fuji]], estranging himself from his friends and colleagues. Prior to his seclusion, Shiraishi had been working on a series of fantastic reports for his mentor, Dr. Adachi, on a former planet he calls [[Mysteroid]]. According to this theory, the asteroid belt beyond Mars was once a singular planet. Adachi notes that the latest report surprisingly is incomplete at the time of its submission. Mystery follows Shiraishi to his new home: one summer night, a forest near the town erupts in a brilliant blaze in which the source of the radioactive flames is underground. Within days of this event, tragedy again strikes the village as a sudden and violent landslide annihilates the small town and seemingly all of its residents, including Ryoichi.
  
The next day, Atsumi is at the local observatory, where he meets the head astronomer, Tanjiro Adachi. He hands the doctor a report written by Shiraishi. The report concerns a newly-discovered asteroid that Shiraishi theorized was once a planet between Mars and Jupiter. He has named it Mysteroid. However, Adachi does not believe in his radical theory and also points out that the report is not complete.
+
[[Joji Atsumi]], a fellow scientist, joins the official investigation. Atsumi and several policemen are investigating radiation levels in the vicinity of the former village when a [[Moguera|giant monster]] emerges from the side of a hill. The survivors of the attack retreat to alert the authorities, but by nightfall the monster has already reached the nearby city. The [[JSDF|Defense Force]] is summoned to help evacuate the populace and defeat the [[kaiju]]. During this evacuation, Atsumi and Etsuko –his lover, and Ryoichi's sister– observe what appear to be [[Mysterian UFO|flying saucers]] in the night sky, although the advance of the monster gives them little time to process this. Despite the creature's incredible destructive force, it's killed in the JSDF's destruction of the Koyama Bridge.
  
Meanwhile, the village in which Shiraishi was staying is completely wiped out by a massive earthquake. While investigating the area, Atsumi and a group of police officers stumble upon a giant robot, [[Moguera]]. The robot then advances on a town near Koyama Bridge that night, and is met by heavy resistance from Japan's self-defense force. However, the conventional artillery and other weapons has no effect on the war machine, and the automaton continues its rampage until it tries to cross the Koyama Bridge, which is detonated sending the machine crashing down to the ground below, destroying it.
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An analysis of the creature's remains determines it to be a robot, although the presence of unknown elements suggests its origin is extraterrestrial. After reevaluating the Mysteroid report, Adachi's observatory sights alien activity near the [[moon]], and after hearing Atsumi's testimony about the saucers over Fuji, the doctor publicly announces the findings. A team of scientists, including Atsumi and Adachi, investigate the region highlighted in Shiraishi's report. A large artificial dome rises from the ground and an alien voice greets and requests the presence of the scientific party. Inside the [[Mysterian Dome|Dome]], the aliens introduce themselves as [[Mysterians]], the last survivors of the planet Mysteroid, annihilated in an atomic war hundreds of thousands of years ago. Fearing retaliation would lead to another nuclear war on Earth between man and Mysterians, they launched their robot, Moguera, to demonstrate that man's technology was no match for their own. They request to immigrate to Earth and occupy the three kilometers surrounding their dome. Furthermore, the fallout from their wars has poisoned their bodies, resulting in 80% born with severe abnormalities. In the hopes of continuing their race, [[Mysterian Leader|the leader]] also appeals for the right to intermarry with human women. Five have already been chosen, he says, and Etsuko and Hiroko are among them.
  
At the [[National Diet Building|Diet Building]], Atsumi briefs officials on what has been learned about the robot. The remains of the giant machine reveal that it was manufactured out of an unknown chemical compound. Shortly afterwards, astronomers witness activity in outer space around the moon. They alert the world to this discovery, and not long after the aliens emerge, their gigantic [[Mysterian Dome|dome]] breaking through the Earth's crust near Mount Fuji.
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The Ministry of Defense officially declines these requests, citing the Mysterians' hostile acts, and prepares countermeasures against the Dome. Police protection is arranged for Etsuko and Hiroko, and during a visit with Atsumi, the three are contacted by Ryoichi over the television. He declares that he had joined the Mysterians prior to his disappearance to study their sciences, and he asks Atsumi to have the impending attack cancelled, suggesting it will only lead to useless bloodshed. The attack ultimately proceeds on schedule, however, and the JSDF forces are predictably eliminated by the alien invaders.
  
A group of scientists are politely ushered into the dome, where the [[Mysterians]], a scientifically advanced alien race, list their demands from the people of Earth: a two-mile radius strip of land and the right to marry women on Earth. The reason for this is that 100,000 years ago their planet [[Mysteroid]], once the fifth planet from the sun, was destroyed by a nuclear war. Fortunately, some Mysterians were able to escape to Mars before their planet was rendered uninhabitable. However, due to the nuclear war, Strontium-90 has left 80 percent of the aliens' population deformed and crippled. The proposed interbreeding with women on Earth would produce healthier offspring and keep their race alive. The latter part of their demands is downplayed as they admit to already taking three women captive and reveal two others that they are interested in, one of which is Etsuko.
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The Japanese government requests foreign aid and the [[United Nations]] is called to session to establish an international coalition against the threat. An electron gun is developed and equipped to the airships [[α (Alpha)|Alpha]] and [[ß (Beta)|Beta]] for a test. Although the weapon proves successful in combat, the Dome's heat ray results in the destruction of the Beta. In retaliation to this attack, the Mysterians announce the occupation of a 120-kilometer radius, and privately, the alien leader tells Ryoichi that they will soon be capable of controlling all of [[Japan]]. The [[United States]] introduces a new technology, dubbed the [[Markalite Cannon|Markalite F.A.H.P.]], which has the ability to reflect the Mysterian heat ray to its source. A decisive assault is planned using the new weapon in concert with the Alpha.
  
Japan quickly dismisses this request and begins the mobilization of its armed forces around Mount Fuji. It's also discovered that the missing Shiraishi has sided with the advance race due to their technological achievements. Japan wastes no time, though, and quickly launches a full-scale attack against the Mysterians' dome. However, the modern weaponry is no match for their technology, and Japan's forces are easily fought back.
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Etsuko and Hiroko are kidnapped on the eve of battle and taken to the Dome. Incapable of convincing Dr. Adachi to stall the offensive to mount a rescue effort, Atsumi, having previously found an obscured underground tunnel to the Dome, descends into the alien base. The Alpha, shielded by the new technology, distracts the Mysterians while the Markalite Cannons are dropped via [[Markalite GYRO|rocket]] into the battlefield. With the heat ray's destructive effects now mostly neutralized, the tide of the war turns in favor of humanity. In a final effort, the Mysterians induce a tidal wave to destroy one Markalite, while a [[Moguera#Moguera (No. 2)|second Moguera]] is sacrificed to destroy another cannon from below. Meanwhile, Atsumi is captured and silently led back to the cave where the earth women are waiting. His captor reveals himself to be Ryoichi Shiraishi. Finding himself in disagreement with the Mysterians' plans for conquest, he allows his friends to escape with his final report while he heroically returns to the Dome to sabotage the invaders' efforts from inside.
  
Distraught by this setback, Japan sends their plea to other nations that they might join together to remove the threat of the Mysterians from Earth. The nations around the world answer the plea, and in no time issue another raid against the Mysterians' dome, this time utilizing the newly developed Alpha and Beta class airships. Sadly, this attack meets failure as well.
+
Now facing certain defeat, the Mysterian leader orders a retreat to their [[Mysterian Space Station|orbiting space station]]. The Dome explodes, ending the alien occupation. The Alpha pursues the escaping saucers, destroying three, but the U.N. forces allow the rest to disappear into the cosmos. Dr. Adachi notes that humanity must not repeat the Mysterians' mistakes. The groundwork has been laid for a united world: now its nations must continue working together to achieve lasting peace.
  
The Mysterians then increase their demand, asking for a 75-mile radius of land, as the Earth continues to develop a new method of attack. Earth's efforts in this matter pay off as the [[Markalite Cannon|Markalite FAHP]] (Flying Atomic Heat Projector), a gigantic lens that can reflect the Mysterians’ weaponry, is designed. Meanwhile, the Mysterians kidnap Etsuko and Hiroko, causing Atsumi to search for, and locate, a back entrance to the Mysterians' dome.
 
 
In the meantime, the Markalite FAHP's are deployed by large Markalite GYRO rockets and the final battle against the Mysterians' base of operations commences. During the battle, one of FHAP was destroyed by flashing floods and another FAHP was destroyed by second Moguera which burrowed next to it, causing the cannon to fall on top of Moguera, destroying the robot. As Atsumi, later joined by Shirashi who sacrifices himself in a final attack on the Mysterians after learning of their true ambitions, attacks the base from the inside, the Markalite FAHP's assault the base from above ground. Together, the structure is finally destroyed, the kidnapped women are rescued, and the Mysterians expelled from Earth forever.
 
 
==Staff==
 
==Staff==
 
{{Staffs
 
{{Staffs
 
|Directed by|[[Ishiro Honda]]
 
|Directed by|[[Ishiro Honda]]
|Written by|Shigeru Kayama, Takeshi Kimura, and Jojiro Okami
+
|Written by|Shigeru Kayama, [[Takeshi Kimura]], and Jojiro Okami
 
|Produced by|[[Tomoyuki Tanaka]]
 
|Produced by|[[Tomoyuki Tanaka]]
 
|Music by|[[Akira Ifukube]]
 
|Music by|[[Akira Ifukube]]
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|Cinematography by|Hajime Koizumi
 
|Cinematography by|Hajime Koizumi
 
|Edited by|Koichi Iwashita
 
|Edited by|Koichi Iwashita
|Production Design by|Teruaki Abe and Akira Watanabe
+
|Production Design by|Teruaki Abe and [[Akira Watanabe]]
 
|Assistant Directing by|Koji Kajita
 
|Assistant Directing by|Koji Kajita
 
|Special Effects by|[[Eiji Tsuburaya]]
 
|Special Effects by|[[Eiji Tsuburaya]]
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{{Cast
 
{{Cast
 
|[[Kenji Sahara]]|[[Joji Atsumi]]
 
|[[Kenji Sahara]]|[[Joji Atsumi]]
|Yumi Shirakawa|Etsuko Shiraishi
+
|[[Yumi Shirakawa]]|Etsuko Shiraishi
|[[Momoko Kochi|Momoko Kōchi]]|Hiroko Iwamoto
+
|[[Momoko Kochi]]|Hiroko Iwamoto
|[[Akihiko Hirata]]|Ryōichi Shiraishi
+
|[[Akihiko Hirata]]|Ryoichi Shiraishi
|[[Takashi Shimura]]|Dr. Kenjirō Adachi
+
|[[Takashi Shimura]]|Dr. Kenjiro Adachi
 
|Susumu Fujita|General Morita
 
|Susumu Fujita|General Morita
|[[Hisaya Ito|Hisaya Itō]]|Captain Seki
+
|[[Hisaya Ito]]|Captain Seki
 
|Yoshio Kosugi|Commander Sugimoto
 
|Yoshio Kosugi|Commander Sugimoto
 
|Fuyuki Murakami|Dr. Nobu Kawanami
 
|Fuyuki Murakami|Dr. Nobu Kawanami
 
|Tetsu Nakamura|Dr. Kōda
 
|Tetsu Nakamura|Dr. Kōda
|[[Yoshio Tsuchiya]]|[[Mysterians|Mysterian]] Leader
+
|[[Yoshio Tsuchiya]]|[[Mysterian Leader]]
 +
|[[Haruo Nakajima]] and [[Katsumi Tezuka]]|[[Moguera]]
 +
}}
 +
===Bang Zoom! Entertainment English dub===
 +
{{Cast
 +
|[[wikipedia:Michael Forest|Alfred Thor]]|Commander Sugimoto
 +
|[[wikipedia:Christopher Corey Smith|Chris Kent]]|Yamamoto
 +
|[[wikipedia:Dave Mallow|Dave Mallow]]|[[Mysterian Leader]]
 +
|[[wikipedia:Dave Wittenberg|David Lelyveld]]|[[Joji Atsumi]]
 +
|[[wikipedia:Doug Stone (voice actor)|Doug Stone]]|Dr. Nobu Kawanami
 +
|Erik Blackthorn|Immerman
 +
|[[wikipedia:Joe Cappelletti|Joey Capps]]|Commander
 +
|[[wikipedia:Bob Papenbrook|John Smallberries]]|Miyamoto
 +
|Lesli Todd|Etsuko Shiraishi
 +
|[[wikipedia:Melodee Spevack|Melodee M. Spevack]]|Etsuko's Mother
 +
|[[wikipedia:Michael McConnohie|Michael McConnohie]]|Dr. Kenjiro Adachi
 +
|[[wikipedia:Michelle Ruff|Michelle Ruff]]|Hiroko
 +
|[[wikipedia:Kirk Thornton|Sparky Thornton]]|Ryoichi Shiraishi
 +
|[[wikipedia:Steve Kramer (actor)|Steve Kramer]]|General Morita
 +
|[[wikipedia:William Frederick Knight|William Frederick]]|Hanamoto
 
}}
 
}}
 +
 
==Appearances==
 
==Appearances==
 
{{col-begin}}
 
{{col-begin}}
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*[[Mysterians]]
 
*[[Mysterians]]
 
*[[Mysterian Dome]]
 
*[[Mysterian Dome]]
*[[M4A3E8 Sherman Tank]]s
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*[[M4A3E8 Sherman Tank]]
*[[F-86 Sabre]]s
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*[[F-86 Sabre]]
 
*[[Mysterian UFO]]
 
*[[Mysterian UFO]]
 
*[[Mysterian Space Station]]
 
*[[Mysterian Space Station]]
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*[[Markalite Cannon]]
 
*[[Markalite Cannon]]
 
*[[Honest John Missile Launcher]]
 
*[[Honest John Missile Launcher]]
*[[24 Twin Rocket Car]]s
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*[[24 Twin Rocket Car]]
 
*[[Long Range Missile Launcher]]
 
*[[Long Range Missile Launcher]]
*[[F-104J Starfighters]]
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*[[Lockheed F-104 Starfighter]]
 
*[[155mm Howitzer M2]]
 
*[[155mm Howitzer M2]]
*[[Sikorsky H-5]]
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*[[wikipedia:Sikorsky H-5|Sikorsky H-5]]
 
*[[M2A1 75mm Howitzer]]
 
*[[M2A1 75mm Howitzer]]
*[[M24 Chaffee Tank]]s
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*[[M24 Chaffee Tank]]
 
*[[C-124 Globemaster II]]
 
*[[C-124 Globemaster II]]
 
{{col-end}}
 
{{col-end}}
 +
 
==Gallery==
 
==Gallery==
 
{{Main|The Mysterians/Gallery}}
 
{{Main|The Mysterians/Gallery}}
 
==Soundtrack==
 
==Soundtrack==
 
{{Main|The Mysterians (Soundtrack)}}
 
{{Main|The Mysterians (Soundtrack)}}
 +
 
==Alternate Titles==
 
==Alternate Titles==
 
*'''''Earth Defense Force''''' (Literal [[Japan]]ese Title)
 
*'''''Earth Defense Force''''' (Literal [[Japan]]ese Title)
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*'''''Space Beasts''''' (''Weltraum-Bestien''; Austria, Germany)
 
*'''''Space Beasts''''' (''Weltraum-Bestien''; Austria, Germany)
 
*'''''Prisoners of the Martians''''' (''Prisonnières des Martiens''; France)
 
*'''''Prisoners of the Martians''''' (''Prisonnières des Martiens''; France)
*'''''Mars vs Earth''''' (''Άρης εναντίον Γης''; Greece)
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*'''''Mars vs Earth''''' (Άρης εναντίον Γης ''Áris enantíon Gis''; Greece)
*'''''Invasion of the Moon''''' (''Εισβολή από τη Σελήνη''; Greece)
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*'''''Invasion of the Moon''''' (Εισβολή από τη Σελήνη ''Eisvolí apó tu Selíni''; Greece)
*'''''Flying Saucers Hit Earth''''' (''Ιπτάμενοι δίσκοι χτυπούν τη Γη''; Greece)
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*'''''Flying Saucers Hit Earth''''' (Ιπτάμενοι δίσκοι χτυπούν τη Γη ''Iptámenoi thíokoi chtipoón ti Gi''; Greece)
 
*'''''The Unknown''''' (''De ukjente''; Norway)
 
*'''''The Unknown''''' (''De ukjente''; Norway)
 
*'''''Earth is Under Attack''''' (''Jorden angripes''; Norway, ''Jorden anfalles''; Sweden)
 
*'''''Earth is Under Attack''''' (''Jorden angripes''; Norway, ''Jorden anfalles''; Sweden)
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*'''''Space Monsters''''' (''Monstros do Espaço''; Portugal)
 
*'''''Space Monsters''''' (''Monstros do Espaço''; Portugal)
 
*'''''Phantom 7000''''' (Germany)
 
*'''''Phantom 7000''''' (Germany)
 +
 
==Theatrical Releases==
 
==Theatrical Releases==
 
*[[Japan]] - December 28, [[1957]]
 
*[[Japan]] - December 28, [[1957]]
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*West Germany - February 5, 1960
 
*West Germany - February 5, 1960
 
*Denmark - March 2, [[1961]]
 
*Denmark - March 2, [[1961]]
==International Distribution==
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==Foreign Releases==
 
A November 1, [[1957]] report states that Southeast Asian distribution rights to The Mysterians were sold to Shaw & Sons of Hong Kong for the highest amount paid for a Japanese film of that time. Rights to other parts of the world were sold for a record price for a [[Japan]]ese film to Topaz Film Corporation in February of [[1958]].
 
A November 1, [[1957]] report states that Southeast Asian distribution rights to The Mysterians were sold to Shaw & Sons of Hong Kong for the highest amount paid for a Japanese film of that time. Rights to other parts of the world were sold for a record price for a [[Japan]]ese film to Topaz Film Corporation in February of [[1958]].
 
===[[United States|U.S.]] Release===
 
===[[United States|U.S.]] Release===
[[File:4mysterianposter.jpg|thumb|right|200px|American ''The Mysterians Poster'']]
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[[File:34428 1 large.jpg|thumb|right|200px|American ''The Mysterians'' poster]]
''The Mysterians'' was released theatrically in the [[United States]] by [[RKO Pictures|RKO Radio Pictures]] and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in May of [[1959]]. The film was advertised as "The greatest science-fiction picture ever conceived by the mind of man." The film was later re-released in July.
+
''The Mysterians'' was released theatrically in the [[United States]] by [[RKO Pictures|RKO Radio Pictures]] and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in May of [[1959]]. The film was advertised as "The greatest science-fiction picture ever conceived by the mind of man." The film was later re-released in July. The U.S. version is notable, as it was the first Toho science fiction film to receive an English version without extensive re-editing. Only small edits were undertaken, and the English dialogue remains faithful to the Japanese script. This shortened 85 minute cut of the film was later distributed in European territories by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
  
After multiple VHS releases over the next half-century, Tokyo Shock released the full Japanese version of ''The Mysterians'' along with an optional English dub on DVD in the U.S. This release also included various special features, including audio commentary from [[Koichi Kawakita]] and [[Shinji Higuchi]].
+
After multiple VHS releases over the next half-century, Tokyo Shock released the full Japanese version of ''The Mysterians'' along with a new English dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment on DVD in the U.S. This release also included various special features, including audio commentary from [[Koichi Kawakita]] and [[Shinji Higuchi]].
 
{{Clear}}
 
{{Clear}}
 
==Reception==
 
==Reception==
 
In the [[United States]], despite its successful theatrical run, ''The Mysterians'' was reviled by critics. ''The New York Times'' criticized the film as a generic alien invasion film with "runny color" and poor acting.
 
In the [[United States]], despite its successful theatrical run, ''The Mysterians'' was reviled by critics. ''The New York Times'' criticized the film as a generic alien invasion film with "runny color" and poor acting.
  
Nevertheless, ''The Mysterians'' proved to be an influential and important entry in Toho's library of science-fiction films, inspiring several more alien invasion and space-related films from director [[Ishiro Honda]], including a sequel, ''[[Battle in Outer Space]]'', and ''[[Gorath (film)|Gorath]]''. [[Koichi Kawakita]], later known as the special effects director for the [[Heisei era|Heisei]] [[Godzilla (Franchise)|Godzilla]] series and the [[:Category:Rebirth of Mothra|Rebirth of Mothra]] trilogy, said he was thrilled when he saw this film while in junior high and it inspired him to work in special effects. Fans of the [[tokusatsu]] genre often praise the film for its special effects, the introduction of the monster [[Moguera]], and its score from [[Akira Ifukube]].
+
Nevertheless, ''The Mysterians'' proved to be an influential and important entry in Toho's library of science-fiction films, inspiring several more alien invasion and space-related films from director [[Ishiro Honda]], including a sequel, ''[[Battle in Outer Space]]'', and ''[[Gorath (film)|Gorath]]''. [[Koichi Kawakita]], later known as the special effects director for the [[Heisei era|Heisei]] [[Godzilla (franchise)|Godzilla]] series and the [[:Category:Rebirth of Mothra|Rebirth of Mothra]] trilogy, said he was thrilled when he saw this film while in junior high and it inspired him to work in special effects. Fans of the [[tokusatsu]] genre often praise the film for its special effects, the introduction of the monster [[Moguera]], and its score from [[Akira Ifukube]].
 
==Sequel==
 
==Sequel==
 
{{Main|Battle in Outer Space}}
 
{{Main|Battle in Outer Space}}
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===Trailers===
 
===Trailers===
 
{{Videos|
 
{{Videos|
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">Cz2wBAaEjnk</youtube>|Japanese ''The Mysterians'' trailer}}
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{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">Cz2wBAaEjnk</youtube>|Japanese ''The Mysterians'' theatrical trailer}}
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">AHbL8a71Hoo</youtube>|American ''The Mysterians'' trailer}}
+
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">-6XFqdKruSY</youtube>|Japanese ''The Mysterians'' newsflash/special announcement}}
 +
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">RLCMdEv6qik</youtube>|American ''The Mysterians'' theatrical trailer}}
 +
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">3zHIkj-WuLY</youtube>|American ''The Mysterians'' reissue trailer}}
 +
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">ZdOPEn8f9cA</youtube>|American ''The Mysterians'' DVD trailer}}
 
}}
 
}}
<!-- ''The Mysterians'' American trailer (DVD release) NEEDS TO BE ADDED -->
+
 
 +
===Miscellaneous===
 +
{{Videos|
 +
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">0WQuNiQ5OqY</youtube>|American ''The Mysterians'' opening and closing credits}}
 +
{{vid|<youtube width="300" height="169">etVV9oxhvec</youtube>|French ''The Mysterians'' closing credits}}
 +
}}
 +
 
 
==Trivia==
 
==Trivia==
 
*''The Mysterians'' is notable for being the first [[tokusatsu]] filmed in TohoScope and the first Toho film to use Perspecta stereophonic sound.
 
*''The Mysterians'' is notable for being the first [[tokusatsu]] filmed in TohoScope and the first Toho film to use Perspecta stereophonic sound.
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*''The Mysterians'' was the first Toho film to feature an alien race, as well as the first to feature a mecha.
 
*''The Mysterians'' was the first Toho film to feature an alien race, as well as the first to feature a mecha.
 
*In an interview conducted just before his death, [[Ishiro Honda]] stated that ''The Mysterians'' was his favorite film that he directed.<ref>[http://www.davmil.org/www.kaijuconversations.com/honda.htm Ishiro Honda Interview]</ref>
 
*In an interview conducted just before his death, [[Ishiro Honda]] stated that ''The Mysterians'' was his favorite film that he directed.<ref>[http://www.davmil.org/www.kaijuconversations.com/honda.htm Ishiro Honda Interview]</ref>
*In ''[[Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla]]'', special effects director [[Koichi Kawakita]] redesigned the giant robot [[Moguera]] into an anti-[[Godzilla]] mecha for the later film, called "[[M.O.G.U.E.R.A.]]" (Mobile Operations Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype).
+
*In ''[[Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla]]'', special effects director [[Koichi Kawakita]] redesigned the giant robot [[Moguera]] into an anti-[[Godzilla]] mecha for the later film, called "[[MOGUERA]]" (Mobile Operations Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype).
 
*The [[Earth Defense Force]] is also featured in ''[[Godzilla: Final Wars]]''.
 
*The [[Earth Defense Force]] is also featured in ''[[Godzilla: Final Wars]]''.
 
*Moguera's inclusion was a last minute idea as producer [[Tomoyuki Tanaka]] felt the film needed a monster.
 
*Moguera's inclusion was a last minute idea as producer [[Tomoyuki Tanaka]] felt the film needed a monster.
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[[Category:Toho Champion Festival releases]]

Latest revision as of 18:43, 28 June 2019

Article.png
Image gallery for The Mysterians
The Mysterians soundtrack


The Mysterians
The Japanese poster for The Mysterians
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Earth Defense Force (1957)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Shigeru Kayama
Takeshi Kimura
Jojiro Okami
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
RKO Radio PicturesUS
Rating Unrated
Box office ¥193,000,000[1]
Running time 88 minutesJP
(1 hour, 28 minutes)
85 minutesUS
(1 hour, 25 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
4.42
(48 votes)

From behind the moon they come... To invade the Earth! Abduct its women! Level its cities!
„ 

American tagline

The Mysterians (地球防衛軍,   Chikyū Bōeigun, lit. Earth Defense Force) is a 1957 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho. It was released to Japanese theaters on December 28, 1957 and to American theaters on May 15, 1959.

Plot

The astrophysicist Ryoichi Shiraishi is acting peculiarly. He has called off his engagement to Hiroko Iwamoto and moved to a small village near Mt. Fuji, estranging himself from his friends and colleagues. Prior to his seclusion, Shiraishi had been working on a series of fantastic reports for his mentor, Dr. Adachi, on a former planet he calls Mysteroid. According to this theory, the asteroid belt beyond Mars was once a singular planet. Adachi notes that the latest report surprisingly is incomplete at the time of its submission. Mystery follows Shiraishi to his new home: one summer night, a forest near the town erupts in a brilliant blaze in which the source of the radioactive flames is underground. Within days of this event, tragedy again strikes the village as a sudden and violent landslide annihilates the small town and seemingly all of its residents, including Ryoichi.

Joji Atsumi, a fellow scientist, joins the official investigation. Atsumi and several policemen are investigating radiation levels in the vicinity of the former village when a giant monster emerges from the side of a hill. The survivors of the attack retreat to alert the authorities, but by nightfall the monster has already reached the nearby city. The Defense Force is summoned to help evacuate the populace and defeat the kaiju. During this evacuation, Atsumi and Etsuko –his lover, and Ryoichi's sister– observe what appear to be flying saucers in the night sky, although the advance of the monster gives them little time to process this. Despite the creature's incredible destructive force, it's killed in the JSDF's destruction of the Koyama Bridge.

An analysis of the creature's remains determines it to be a robot, although the presence of unknown elements suggests its origin is extraterrestrial. After reevaluating the Mysteroid report, Adachi's observatory sights alien activity near the moon, and after hearing Atsumi's testimony about the saucers over Fuji, the doctor publicly announces the findings. A team of scientists, including Atsumi and Adachi, investigate the region highlighted in Shiraishi's report. A large artificial dome rises from the ground and an alien voice greets and requests the presence of the scientific party. Inside the Dome, the aliens introduce themselves as Mysterians, the last survivors of the planet Mysteroid, annihilated in an atomic war hundreds of thousands of years ago. Fearing retaliation would lead to another nuclear war on Earth between man and Mysterians, they launched their robot, Moguera, to demonstrate that man's technology was no match for their own. They request to immigrate to Earth and occupy the three kilometers surrounding their dome. Furthermore, the fallout from their wars has poisoned their bodies, resulting in 80% born with severe abnormalities. In the hopes of continuing their race, the leader also appeals for the right to intermarry with human women. Five have already been chosen, he says, and Etsuko and Hiroko are among them.

The Ministry of Defense officially declines these requests, citing the Mysterians' hostile acts, and prepares countermeasures against the Dome. Police protection is arranged for Etsuko and Hiroko, and during a visit with Atsumi, the three are contacted by Ryoichi over the television. He declares that he had joined the Mysterians prior to his disappearance to study their sciences, and he asks Atsumi to have the impending attack cancelled, suggesting it will only lead to useless bloodshed. The attack ultimately proceeds on schedule, however, and the JSDF forces are predictably eliminated by the alien invaders.

The Japanese government requests foreign aid and the United Nations is called to session to establish an international coalition against the threat. An electron gun is developed and equipped to the airships Alpha and Beta for a test. Although the weapon proves successful in combat, the Dome's heat ray results in the destruction of the Beta. In retaliation to this attack, the Mysterians announce the occupation of a 120-kilometer radius, and privately, the alien leader tells Ryoichi that they will soon be capable of controlling all of Japan. The United States introduces a new technology, dubbed the Markalite F.A.H.P., which has the ability to reflect the Mysterian heat ray to its source. A decisive assault is planned using the new weapon in concert with the Alpha.

Etsuko and Hiroko are kidnapped on the eve of battle and taken to the Dome. Incapable of convincing Dr. Adachi to stall the offensive to mount a rescue effort, Atsumi, having previously found an obscured underground tunnel to the Dome, descends into the alien base. The Alpha, shielded by the new technology, distracts the Mysterians while the Markalite Cannons are dropped via rocket into the battlefield. With the heat ray's destructive effects now mostly neutralized, the tide of the war turns in favor of humanity. In a final effort, the Mysterians induce a tidal wave to destroy one Markalite, while a second Moguera is sacrificed to destroy another cannon from below. Meanwhile, Atsumi is captured and silently led back to the cave where the earth women are waiting. His captor reveals himself to be Ryoichi Shiraishi. Finding himself in disagreement with the Mysterians' plans for conquest, he allows his friends to escape with his final report while he heroically returns to the Dome to sabotage the invaders' efforts from inside.

Now facing certain defeat, the Mysterian leader orders a retreat to their orbiting space station. The Dome explodes, ending the alien occupation. The Alpha pursues the escaping saucers, destroying three, but the U.N. forces allow the rest to disappear into the cosmos. Dr. Adachi notes that humanity must not repeat the Mysterians' mistakes. The groundwork has been laid for a united world: now its nations must continue working together to achieve lasting peace.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Bang Zoom! Entertainment English dub

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Gallery

Main article: The Mysterians/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: The Mysterians (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Earth Defense Force (Literal Japanese Title)
  • The Barbarians Invade Earth (Los bárbaros invaden la Tierra; Argentina, Os Bárbaros Invadem a Terra; Brazil)
  • Space Beasts (Weltraum-Bestien; Austria, Germany)
  • Prisoners of the Martians (Prisonnières des Martiens; France)
  • Mars vs Earth (Άρης εναντίον Γης Áris enantíon Gis; Greece)
  • Invasion of the Moon (Εισβολή από τη Σελήνη Eisvolí apó tu Selíni; Greece)
  • Flying Saucers Hit Earth (Ιπτάμενοι δίσκοι χτυπούν τη Γη Iptámenoi thíokoi chtipoón ti Gi; Greece)
  • The Unknown (De ukjente; Norway)
  • Earth is Under Attack (Jorden angripes; Norway, Jorden anfalles; Sweden)
  • Mysterious Strangers (Tajemniczy przybysze; Poland)
  • Space Monsters (Monstros do Espaço; Portugal)
  • Phantom 7000 (Germany)

Theatrical Releases

Foreign Releases

A November 1, 1957 report states that Southeast Asian distribution rights to The Mysterians were sold to Shaw & Sons of Hong Kong for the highest amount paid for a Japanese film of that time. Rights to other parts of the world were sold for a record price for a Japanese film to Topaz Film Corporation in February of 1958.

U.S. Release

American The Mysterians poster

The Mysterians was released theatrically in the United States by RKO Radio Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in May of 1959. The film was advertised as "The greatest science-fiction picture ever conceived by the mind of man." The film was later re-released in July. The U.S. version is notable, as it was the first Toho science fiction film to receive an English version without extensive re-editing. Only small edits were undertaken, and the English dialogue remains faithful to the Japanese script. This shortened 85 minute cut of the film was later distributed in European territories by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation.

After multiple VHS releases over the next half-century, Tokyo Shock released the full Japanese version of The Mysterians along with a new English dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment on DVD in the U.S. This release also included various special features, including audio commentary from Koichi Kawakita and Shinji Higuchi.

Reception

In the United States, despite its successful theatrical run, The Mysterians was reviled by critics. The New York Times criticized the film as a generic alien invasion film with "runny color" and poor acting.

Nevertheless, The Mysterians proved to be an influential and important entry in Toho's library of science-fiction films, inspiring several more alien invasion and space-related films from director Ishiro Honda, including a sequel, Battle in Outer Space, and Gorath. Koichi Kawakita, later known as the special effects director for the Heisei Godzilla series and the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, said he was thrilled when he saw this film while in junior high and it inspired him to work in special effects. Fans of the tokusatsu genre often praise the film for its special effects, the introduction of the monster Moguera, and its score from Akira Ifukube.

Sequel

Main article: Battle in Outer Space.

Toho produced a sequel to The Mysterians, Battle in Outer Space, two years later in 1959. The film is set in 1965 and features some returning characters from The Mysterians, most of whom are played by different actors. This film features a new invading alien race, the Natarls, who engage in a war with humanity in outer space. Another sequel was planned, but was changed into a standalone film called The War in Space.

Video Releases

Toho DVD (2001)

  • Region: 2
  • Audio: Japanese

Tokyo Shock DVD (2005)[2]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (5.1 Surround, Bang Zoom! dub), Spanish (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Koichi Kawakita and Shinji Higuchi (subtitled), "backround music only" audio track, photo gallery, concept art, trailers
  • Notes: Out of print. A 2007 release packages it with Varan and Matango.

Toho DVD (2007)[3]

  • Region: 2
  • Audio: Japanese

Toho Blu-ray (2010)[4]

  • Region: A/1
  • Audio: Japanese (LPCM Mono, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Remix)

Videos

Trailers

Japanese The Mysterians theatrical trailer
Japanese The Mysterians newsflash/special announcement
American The Mysterians theatrical trailer
American The Mysterians reissue trailer
American The Mysterians DVD trailer

Miscellaneous

American The Mysterians opening and closing credits
French The Mysterians closing credits

Trivia

  • The Mysterians is notable for being the first tokusatsu filmed in TohoScope and the first Toho film to use Perspecta stereophonic sound.
    • It is also known for its use of color, in particular its heavy use of day-for-night shots and bright alien costumes.
  • The Mysterians was the first Toho film to feature an alien race, as well as the first to feature a mecha.
  • In an interview conducted just before his death, Ishiro Honda stated that The Mysterians was his favorite film that he directed.[5]
  • In Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, special effects director Koichi Kawakita redesigned the giant robot Moguera into an anti-Godzilla mecha for the later film, called "MOGUERA" (Mobile Operations Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype).
  • The Earth Defense Force is also featured in Godzilla: Final Wars.
  • Moguera's inclusion was a last minute idea as producer Tomoyuki Tanaka felt the film needed a monster.
  • Moguera was originally conceptualized as a living breathing monster, however director Ishiro Honda reworked it into being a robot as a way to further demonstrate the technological power the Mysterians possessed.
    • Moguera's original concept can still be seen in story board stills, which depicted him as a half-mole half-reptilian monster. Though the design was never used, some key details were later used in the monster Baragon for the film Frankenstein vs. Baragon. Most notably was the monster's burrowing ability, heat ray, and a ridged back.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for The Mysterians. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizewski. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film. Wesleyan University Press. p. 141. 2017. ISBN: 9780819577412.
  2. Amazon.com: The Mysterians (2005) Tokyo Shock
  3. Amazon.co.jp: 地球防衛軍 (2007) 東宝
  4. Blu-Ray.com: The Mysterians (2010) Toho
  5. Ishiro Honda Interview

Comments

Showing 4 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

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ShodaiMeesmothLarva

11 months ago
Score 1
Why the plot section still has plagiarized content? Should it be removed like in other pages?
avatar

Green Blob Thing

11 months ago
Score 1
Bit rich coming from a user who tries adding plagiarised content to pages and passing it off as their own.
avatar

ShodaiMeesmothLarva

11 months ago
Score 0
Well I'm sorry to not include the notice to the edit I made, since there is a notice template regarding these things.
avatar

Green Blob Thing

11 months ago
Score 3
Don't add plagiarised content at all.
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