Message From Space

Kinji Fukasaku · 1978
105min · digital
  • Thursday, May 4, 2023, 9:15pm

Wanna break from the typical, increasingly self-serious May the 4th fare, but still craving a fun, operatic space adventure? Well then, consider answering this message: a MESSAGE FROM SPACE!

The once-thriving planet Jillucia is in trouble, under threat from an evil empire run by Darth Vad--er, um... Rockseia XLL (yeah, that's the ticket...). So the peace-loving denizens look to the skies for help. A Jillucian wiseman sends out eight magical Liabe seeds to scour space and find protectors for their troubled world. Among those enlisted are a spoiled rich girl who has a thing for fireflies, a space gangster, a vengeful, sword-wielding warrior, and a drunk rogue and his robot, Beba-2. This ragtag crew will have to work together if they're to defeat Rockseia and his domineering mother.

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLE ROYALE, THE GREEN SLIME) and starring Vic Morrow along with Sonny Chiba and Sue Shiomi (THE STREET FIGHTER and SISTER STREET FIGHTER, respectively), MESSAGE FROM SPACE is a weird and wonderful, distinctly Japanese take on you-know-what that’s as fun as it is bewildering.

“Loaded with gorgeous, elaborate sets and costumes and featuring some of the loveliest & most complicated miniature work I’ve ever seen. I may never be able to tire of watching these chunky plastic starfighters in space dogfights, suspended on wire tracks, slingshotting around asteroids. The illusion may not be as convincing but the sense of speed and motion here rivals and occasionally even surpasses the Death Star trench run. Such a beautiful movie.” Matt Lynch, Scarecrow Video