So what if the only Scorsese movie Netflix Streaming offers is Last Temptation of Christ? Who cares if their Spielberg collection consists of Amistad, Hook and 1941? What Netflix does have in abundance is garbage. It’s time to surrender and celebrate it. This isn’t so bad it’s good… this is so bad it’s Netflix.
Our Slow Children of Star Wars celebration concludes with:
Message from Space (1978)
With a budget of six million dollars, Message from Space was the most expensive film Japan had ever produced at the time. By 1978, every country on the planet was busy making their own “Star Wars,” and Message was Japan’s first attempt. Hoping for international success, the filmmakers hired three American actors to headline (Vic Morrow, Philip Casnoff, Peggy Lee Brennan). You’ll be glad to know all three were allowed to bring their heavy New Yawk accents with them. Did the director ask them to be super New York-ey or did he just not give a shit if they used their real voices?
In a momentary lapse of reason, Universal Pictures forked over a million bucks for Message‘s U.S. distribution rights. Reknowned critics like Janet Maslin actually had to review the thing (I am still feeling embarrassed for her). Alas, Message received no love in America; Siskel & Ebert’s Sneak Previews even featured it in their “Dog of the Week” segment. It must have done some business in its native land, where a spin-off TV series, Message from Space: Galactic Wars, made it to twenty seven episodes.
I have to ask- if Message‘s budget was so damn big, how come the actors had to wear plastic vegetation on their heads?
Also, did we really have to see a dude in a football jersey hanging out in the “cantina” scene?
So many questions. Just so you know just how desperately Message tries to copy Star Wars; the “Princess Leia” figure of the film is named Meia. Pronounced “May-yah.” I’m starting to think Buckwheat wrote the script.
Let’s go to the So Bad it’s Bullet Points!™
Poor Vic Morrow
Awesome Bad Guy Costumes and Sets
Magic Space Walnuts