Destroy All Planets (March 20, 1968)
Released on March 20, 1968: Aliens from outer space want to conquor the earth in this Japanese Sci-Fi thriller, and only the giant monster flying turtle called Gamela can save us.
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Written by Nisan Takahashi.
The Actors: Kôjirô Hongô (Scout Master Mr. Shimida), Kôjirô Hongô (Masao Nakaya), Carl Craig (Jim Crane), Peter Williams (Dr. Dobie), Carl Clay (Carl Crane), Michiko Yaegaki (girl scout), Mari Atsumi (Junko Aoki), Junko Yashiro (Masako Shibata), Kôji Fujiyama (Commander of Jietat), Genzô Wakayama (voice of Boss), Chikara Hashimoto (the General), Kenichiro Yamane (Mr. Shibata), Kenji Go (Commander at the dam), Akira Natsuki (soldier), Ken Nakahara (soldier), Mary Morris (Mrs. Crane), Yoshirô Kitahara (alien), Kei'ichi Noda (alien), Teruo Aragaki (Gamera).
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Okay, I will be the first one to admit it . . . if you are a fan of science fiction, and you thrill to the special effects that the masters of movie production can accomplish these days, this movie is quite lame. But if you can set aside what you know about science fiction today, and channel the twelve year old inside you, and travel back to the long ago age of 1968, you can enjoy a thriller that entertained many young folks of 1968. Like they did, you should get a large bowl of hot buttered popcorn, if you want the best, make sure that it is not the yellow kernel variety, but rather the white kernal popcorn. And maybe get a box of Good 'N Plenty candy, and of course you will need a large soda pop. In the late 1960's Japan was a prime producer of science fiction motion pictures, and this is one from that golden age of 1960's Japanese Sci-Fi.
The Earth is in danger! An alien planet is sending space ships to conquor the earth, and the only salvation of the planet is the super-hero Gamera, a giant flying turtle. Super hero turtles? Who'da thunk it . . . in 1968 yet . . . only thing is . . . Gamera was not a 'Ninja' turtle . . . but he had fiery jets that could propel him around the universe. Anyway, as the movie opens we watch as Gamera flies into space and destroys the first space ship that was sent to conquor the earth. Then we segway to a scout camp in Japan, with lots of mischievous young boys and girls. Two of the boy scouts have disappeared, off exploring an experimental mini submarine. They go inside when no one is looking, and change all of the controls so that forward is now reverse, and up is now down. They later have great fun when the scientists cannot control the sub, but they can. While they are underwater in the submarine, they come across Gamera, the giant super hero turtle, and snap pictures of him. About this time another space ship is approaching earth, and they try to kill Gamera before he can get to them. Gamera is hurt by their death rays, and the sub is disabled, but Gamera saves the sub and allows the kids to return to the surface.
Next, we join the attacking space ship as they turn on their machine to view Gamera's past, in order to discover his weakness. We are then shown flash-backs to two earlier Gamera adventure movies, when he fought the quick freeze monster, and the next movie where he fought the supersonic monster. After watching the best action scenes from the first two Gamera movies, we rejoin the present where the space ship conquors the two young boys and hold them ransom for the planet. As Gamera flies up to meet and fight the spaceship, the space ship Boss warns Gamera that if he harms their space ship, the two boys will be killed. How will Gamera conquor these space devils that want to conquor the earth? How will the young boys help the fight while being held prisoner aboard the space ship? Will the earth finally fall to the will of the aliens from outer space? Suspend your knowledge of today, and travel back to 1968 when a couple of boy scouts save the world, with the help of a giant flying turtle!