Also known as: Uchū Daikaijū Girara, lit. Giant Space Monster Guilala (Japan)
Release Date: March 25th, 1967 (Japan)
Directed by: Kazui Nihonmatsu
Written by: Eibi Motomochi, Moriyoshi Ishida, Kazui Nihonmatsu
Music by: Taku Izumi
Cast: Shunya Wazaki, Itoko Harada, Shinichi Yanagisawa, Eiji Okada, Peggy Neal
Shochiku, 88 Minutes
I didn’t discover this film until just a few years ago. Being a big fan of kaiju pictures, I wanted to learn more about the genre outside of the Godzilla and Gamera franchises that dominate the giant monster movie game.
This picture is unique, to say the least. Well, it isn’t particularly good and it pales in comparison to any Godzilla film ever released, except that 90s American one. The monster Guilala is pretty memorable though, but mostly for its strangeness.
I do like Guilala. He is some sort of hybrid between a reptile and a chicken, similar to Gigan, I guess, but nowhere near as cool and terrifying. His head is an odd shape and really, so is his body. Maybe Shochiku’s creative team were trying to be different, even though they were making a blatant Gojira ripoff in a sea of Gojira ripoffs. But I like the design. Maybe I love the bizarre look of the creature but he certainly stands out and is his own kaiju, unlike other wannabe Godzilla’s who look like shitty versions of Godzilla.
Moving past the monster, the special effects just aren’t that great in this film. They aren’t horrible but the minatures don’t hold a candle next to what Toho was doing with their kaiju pictures. Eiji Tsuburaya was on a different level at Toho and while he was producing his Ultraman franchise.
The plot is slow and pretty nonsensical. You don’t get to see Guilala rampage until fifty minutes into the movie and by that point, you could be half asleep. It also doesn’t help that the Guilala sequences aren’t very good to begin with.
Ultimately, the human heroes win and Guilala is sent back into space, probably to set up a sequel that didn’t materialize. That could be due to the fact that kaiju films were so common that the public was losing interest and, at this point, Ultraman was already on the small screen and Japanese children didn’t have to leave their house to see the giant monsters they loved.
The X From Outer Space isn’t a complete waste. It is enjoyable at its high points and if you are a die hard fan of daikaiju eiga, it is worth a watch.