Uchu Kara no Messeji
1978 / 105m - Japan
Sci-fi, Adventure
Message from Space poster


January 25, 2022


Kinji Fukasaku's take on Star Wars. When the budget and skillset isn't entirely there, all you can do is to go full kitsch, and that's exactly what Fukasaku was going for here. The result is a pretty draft and cheesy film, but because of its dedication to camp it's still pretty damn fun. Just as long as you don't expect a very serious effort.

A species on the brink of extinction has one more chance to survive their oppressor. They send out 8 seeds into the galaxy. Whoever finds them becomes a savior, and when all eight saviors return to their planet the prophecy foretells their race will be spared. It's a nice bit of sci-fi/fantasy nonsense that offers more than enough potential for campy entertainment.

Some elements are copied straight out of Star Wars, though Fukasaku never really matches the scope and ambition of that franchise. Instead we get some kind of space theater, sporting people in silly costumes and weird make-up, dressed up with some goofy special effects. The pacing makes sure it never gets boring, but if you want to get the most out of this film, it's mostly about embracing the kitsch.