Pint-sized aliens from the planet Natal invade Earth from their base on the moon in 1959's Battle in Outer Space. The poster above comes from an edited and English-dubbed version of the Japanese movie Uchu Daisenso, which was produced by Toho Studios, the folks who brought us Godzilla.
Short on plot and character development, the film has fantastic sets and innovative special effects. In it, the nations of the world unite to battle the aliens on Earth, the moon and in outer space. Some of the best action comes when astronauts in lunar tanks blast away at alien flying saucers.
The climatic battle is reminiscent of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers in the way the Natalians reduce world landmarks to rubble, then suck up Tokyo with a blinding blue ray from a flying saucer. Meanwhile, the action-packed battle-royale in space is a forerunner of the Star Wars films.
"Some of the artwork is downright nifty, especially when an earth rocket soars to the moon to destroy the palpitating missile base," said New York Times film critic Howard Thompson. "And the Japanese have opened a most amusing and beguiling bag of technical tricks, as death-dealing saucers whiz through the stratosphere, and the lunar landscape is just as pretty as it can be."
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