Bad Movies Beware!
Almost thirty years ago, my brother and I saw this movie on a Sunday program, though it’s been so long that I can’t even remember what the name of the program was or who hosted it. I wanted to say that it was Commander USA’s Groovie Movies, but I just checked the list of what he showed and The Green Slime was nowhere in the line-up.
Wow, I just dated the s**t out of myself.
Anyway, I’m helping Bill Mulligan (uber-talented make-up artist, actor, and fellow connoisseur of crap cinema) build a panel for ConCarolinas this year around a few particular gems from the seedy underbelly of Saturday Matinees, and The Green SlimeThe Green Slime comes up during the brainstorm session!
So, of course, I have to watch it again because (duh) it’s THE FRIGGIN GREEN SLIME!!
Yeah, age makes a difference.
The Gamma 3 space station encounters an asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth. The opening credits begin as Commander Vince—
OH GOD, THE OPENING THEME.
BEST. OPENING THEME. EVER.
Vince sends out an S.O.S to Earth, and they respond by sending in Commander Jack Rankin to assume control of the ship and help Vince get everything under control. Once aboard, Jack decides to put together a team to land on the asteroid and plant bombs. Vince agrees, and Dr. Halvorsen decides to come along in case they encounter anything of scientific significance.
The group lands and immediately discovers a green viscous goo that forms in lakes and ponds all over the rock. It seems attracted to their electronics. They plant the bombs, and Halvorsen decides to take some slime back with them for study. Jack refuses, takes the jar, and smashes it. A few drops of slime get on Halvorsen’s suit.
They blow the asteroid and return to Gamma 3. So far, the movie moves at a bit of a crawl, coming off as more of a science fiction disaster flick than a monster movie. But, the asteroid exploding pretty much marks the beginning of the film.
And then there’s Luciana Paluzzi.
She plays Dr. Lisa and pretty much appears out of nowhere during the adventure on the asteroid. She stays on Gamma 3 and does well in looking worried for both Jack and Vince. It comes to light later that she was an old flame of Jack’s and is currently with Vince.
After all, what would a monster flick be without a love triangle?
Anywho, the slime on the space suit mutates during decontamination and transforms into a gigantic murderous alien monster that uses electricity to kill and destroy anything in its path. Kind of like a bad case of the crabs in college but magnified with Japanese monster movie goggles.
Jack and Vince suit up for combat and BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
I’m sorry, dude, I just can’t take you seriously in that helmet.
All he needs is crayons.
They discover quickly that making the monster bleed just makes things worse. Each drop and pool of booger blood quickly morphs into a new monster, and soon Sector C of the ship is literally swarming with the creatures. Jack calls for evacuation, but Dr. Halvorsen gets trapped and barbecued by the monsters. They open the doors and try to save him, but the monsters get loose. Soon Sector C is completely destroyed.
It isn’t too long before the entire ship is covered in Green Slime monsters looking for electricity to feed on. Jack calls for immediate evacuation and destruction of Gamma 3. Vince argues, and they come to blows. Jack has Vince arrested and locked away while the evacuation process begins.
The crew begins launching escape ships and get everyone off Gamma 3 except for our heroic group, and the monsters corner Jack while he tries to override the self-destruct system. Lisa frees Vince, and Vince helps Jack get the system squared away. The creatures kill Vince, and Jack escapes with Vince’s body.
Soon everyone boards an escape ship and they leave Gamma 3. They watch as Gamma 3 explodes, and they mourn Vince.
And cue the theme music! A little jaunty for a morose ending, but hey.
VERDICT: Guilty pleasure.
Don’t lie, we all got ‘em.
It honestly amazed me how much of this movie I remembered, and how much more of it I forgot about, so it was kind of cool to revisit a film I haven’t seen in almost three decades. I’m typically one of those annoying guys who watches movies he likes over and over again.
Speaking of which, I’m overdue for a Friday the 13th marathon.
Well, there’s always the game.
No, not that game.
There ya go.
Believe it or not, the acting in the movie is not that bad, considering the material. It’s a very run-of-the-mill, formulaic science fiction monster movie, but the actors do pretty well with avoiding overacting and overdoing their lines and actions, all things considered.
The writing is also done pretty well. Again, it’s a pretty standard formula, so it wouldn’t be difficult to write something like The Green Slime fairly quickly and shove it out there. There’s a lot of tech speak, which is kind of expected, though Lisa kind of appears out of nowhere and the beginning moves a little slower than I’d prefer.
The theme music, though ill-fitting, is great. It sets the complete WRONG tone for the movie, but it works because the movie itself is dark. If the theme set the tone of the script, then it actually wouldn’t work because the movie would be taking itself way too seriously.
The soundtrack, otherwise, is broken and clunky. A lot of the time it sounds like they handed a xylophone to a toddler jacked up on a sugar high.
What will throw everyone who watches it for the first time: all the credits are in Japanese. This is actually a Japanese monster science fiction flick with all English-speaking actors. Even the monsters are Japanese design.
Gonna give this one 3 Piles of S**t. It’s totally watchable. Not without its problems, mind you, but it has a lot of charm to it. It’s low-budget done right.