GLORIO’s King of the Kaiju Episode 4: Space Amoeba

Giant monsters are fucking rad, that’s an undeniable fact. But there are hundreds of kaiju films that have spawned out of Japan and the rest of the world, and we desperately needed a flimsy excuse to watch more of them. So join myself and colons each month as we take a look at different kaiju films, from the famous to the obscure, as we work out which ones are worth your time, and who truly is the king of the monsters.

For episode four, we’re watching Space Amoeba! This lesser-known Ishiro Honda film was released in 1970, and features three incredible monster designs that I’m astonished didn’t set the world on fire. If you want to watch the film before listening to the podcast, you can do so here via Archive.org.

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Opening music: “EM20_Jerry_GZM” – Shin Godzilla Original Soundtrack
Ranking sound clip: “Main Title” from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed MonsterShin Godzilla Original Soundtrack
Closing music: “Badman Riddim (Jump)” – Vato Gonzalez ft Foreign Beggars

Show Notes

Space Amoeba (1970)

Directed by Ishirō Honda
Produced by Toho
Runtime: 84 minutes

Starring:
Akira Kubo as Taro Kudo
Atsuko Takahashi as Ayako Hoshino
Yukiko Kobayashi as Saki
Kenji Sahara as Makoto Obata
Haruo Nakajima as Gezora/Ganimes
Haruyoshi Nakamura as Kamoebas
Ichiro Murakoshi as Yog (voice)

2:26 A brisk walk into the fact zone

7:37 Kicking off the movie with a clip show

16:18 Aizen from Ultraman R/B shows up except it’s the 70s

24:55 First death of the movie

35:20 Aizen, the Bond villain-looking guy, is a villain

41:10 The kisslip cuttlefish is on fire and yet no one comments on the smell

43:28 A second monster approaches, and kills Aizen but not really

44:56 Giant crab blows up, now there’s a giant crab. A turtle is here too

46:55 The scientist whose answer for everything is aliens. And he’s always right.

49:34 Suddenly there’s a wedding, and the groom is completely incapacitated for the majority of it

55:23 Bats, my one weakness

59:44 Friendship ended with the Tokyo Tower, now volcanoes are my best friend

1:03:39 Some post-film discussion

1:06:16 It’s colons’ cuddle corner!

1:19:20 Adding Gezora, Ganime and Kamoebas to the official GLORIO’s King of the Kaiju monster ranking

1:27:20 A brief mention of next month’s kaiju film

-=-

Thanks for tuning in! Let us know your thoughts below, and consider preparing for October’s episode by watching the next film on our list; Yongary, Monster from the Deep. See you in episode five!

One thought on “GLORIO’s King of the Kaiju Episode 4: Space Amoeba

  1. I watched the first three minutes of the film, and rewatched the space section a few times to try and work out what was going on. I’m no rocket scientist, but I have solved the rocket equation on occasion, and this sequence wasn’t as hilariously bad as I thought it would be.

    I quite liked the first stage separation, it looked like something out of a SpaceX webcast. (Was there video footage of stage separations from NASA missions when the film was made? If not the it’s mighty impressive!)

    The shot of the oversized ship very rapidly moving towards Jupiter was weird and seemed a bit out of place.

    The next few shots show the ship moving left to right, towards the mysterious cloud which is vaguely moving the other way. Then after a shot I can’t work out the angle of, the ship is shown moving towards the camera, with the cloud moving away towards the ship. Then in subsequent shots the ship is stationary. It’s not clear whether this is because the camera has sped up to match the velocity of the ship, or because the cloud has slowed the ship down. Given the small relative speed between the camera and the ship, it’s not completely impossible that a mysterious space amoeba would have enough momentum to slow it down? Although it seems unlikely.

    The rotation is the most implausible bit. The thruster jet would almost have convinced me that it was stopping the rotation, were it not for the fact that the rotation started without one.

    Moving off from “stationary” looked quite nicely done, assuming “stationary” in this case was just the rest frame of the rocket (I.e. still heading towards Jupiter). It’s quite unlikely that the ship would have enough fuel to reverse course however—a lot of the energy to get it to its current speed came from the jettisoned first stage. Any route back to earth would necessitate some fancier orbital manoeuvres harnessing other bodies’ gravity, most likely Jupiter. Of course is possible that that would require a burn in the direction seen (I’m not enough of a rocket scientist and there’s probably not enough information give to judge), but then I’d the cinematography is at least a little misleading. Unless of course the space amoeba has the power to massively increase the potency of the ship’s fuel, in which case all bets are off.

    As for why there’s an occupiable compartment with buttons and switches in the uncrewed probe, you could make a (weak) argument that it’s some kind of SpaceX Dragon-style capsule that has shared design elements for crewed and uncrewed variants to reduce design cost, but that doesn’t really fit the technology level implied in the introductory spiel. You could also make an even weaker argument that they say “unmanned”, not “uncrewed”, so in fact the ship is piloted by women, who for whatever reason are not shown on screen. (If you wanted to view this as an actual documentary of some future occurrence, you could try and paint it as the 1970 producers being so shocked at the presence of an all-woman crew that they cut them out, or you could suppose that the women being presumably murdered by the amoeba was too gruesome to show. But that’s really clutching at straws.

    Apologies for the wall of text!

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