Release Date: 1987 (US home video)
Directed by: Minoru Kanaya, Kiyosumi Kuzakawa
Written by: Keiichi Abe, Bunzo Wakatsuki
Based on: Star Wolf by Tsuburaya Productions
Music by: Norio Maeda
Cast: Tatsuya Azuma, Jô Shishido, Miyuki Tanigawa
Tsuburaya Productions, Sandy Frank Enterprises, 75 Minutes
“It’s not going to be easy, getting into this place.” – Rocky
Like it’s predecessor, Fugitive Alien, this film was made by splicing together episodes of the Japanese tokusatsu television show Star Wolf. And also like its predecessor, this was f’n terrible. Luckily for us, this one was also featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I think the consensus is that the first movie edit of this is the better of the two. I think this one has the edge though, simply because of the climax, which features a spaceship dogfight that is definitely a complete ripoff of the trench run scene from Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope. It is also a trench run that happens in daylight, which made it visually interesting.
That being said, I can’t realistically praise the special effects. They are exactly what you would expect from a ’70s tokusatsu show. And while Tsuburaya was really good at making miniatures, at the time, it can’t match the production value or the quality of something you’d see in a Hollywood blockbuster.
The dubbing in this is cheesy as hell, the narration is bad and I’m pretty sure that the story being told in this English translated abomination is nothing like the original story that was found in the episodes used for this film edit.
The Star Wolf show itself had several stylistic nods to the Ultraman shows that Tsuburaya is most famous for but it lacked one key thing: giant monsters to fight.
This isn’t worth anyone’s time really, unless you’re a glutton for punishment: Japanese style. But it does make for a good episode of MST3K.
And I guess I’ll just put the entire episode of MST3K below, as there isn’t a trailer for this anywhere.
Pairs well with: Other tokusatsu shows chopped up into feature length films: Fugitive Alien, Time of the Apes, Mighty Jack and Super Robot Mach Baron.