Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Japan, 1968. Shôchiku Eiga. Screenplay by Kyuzo Kobayashi, Susumu Takaku. Cinematography by Shizuo Hirase. Produced by Akira Inomata. Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi. Production Design by Tadataka Yoshino. Film Editing by Akimitsu Terada.
Culty good times as an Air Japan flight crashes in a barren landscape and finds itself inconveniently stranded near the recent landing of an aggressive alien species. A passenger who had tried to take the plane hostage while it was in flight now wanders off and has his body taken over by a foreign parasite, complete with painfully unsubtle vaginal-style split in the forehead, while the rest of the survivors try their best to ward off the evil. In trying to figure out how to get themselves out of a terrible (and possibly hopeless) mess, the remaining figures descend into petty bickering that encompasses subjects like the war in Vietnam and the economic boom that turns humanity into adding machines. It lags frequently in places, with scenes of dialogue whose characterizations aren’t rich enough to say it is an overly charismatic experience, but the fun, bouncy colours and campy plot make it well worth the effort, right down to the deliciously ominous conclusion.