I had read a lot of movie monster books when I was a kid and thought, for some reason, I was now aware of just about every monster and scifi movie ever made, obviously I wasn’t, and these surprises tended to pop up on TV every now and then, The Green Slime being one of them!
Growing up the only two “blob” movies I ever saw were Beware, The Blob (1972) and X The Unknown (1956). From what I can remember the original The Blob (1958) was never aired in my area, or if it was, it came on when I didn’t know it. The Green Slime came on out of the blue one day, though I have a vague memory of, maybe, coming across some mention of it in a book, but the memory that really stands out is seeing it listed in the TV guide and feeling excited, mainly because I never knew there was another “blob” movie in existence. Same way I felt when I saw X The Unknown.
The Green Slime is one of many movies that prompted me and my brother to go out and play after we saw it. This happened with a lot of scifi/monster flicks back in the day. We’d see it and get so excited by it, we’d retrieve some of our toy guns after it was over and go outside and pretend ‘insert-movie-monster-here’ was coming after us.
Before I start I need to point out the title is somewhat deceptive. The Green Slime starts out as actual “green slime,” but once it gets to the space station it metamorphosis into a two legged, two tentacled, one eyed kaiju-type creature, and there isn’t just one, but a whole slew of them that take over the station since shedding their blood will result in multiplication. Oh, and it has one thing in common with The Blob (1958), both movies come with funky opening credits music. Once you hear them you will not be able to get them out of your mind. You have been warned. Listen to them here and here. Remember, I warned you!
Here’s the movie’s three main characters: Commander Jack Rankin (Robert Horton), Commander Vince Elliot (Rickard Jaeckel) and Dr. Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi). All three have an intertwined history. Jack and Lisa used to be an item, before Jack’s “military attitude” fucked it all up, then she hooked up with Vince. Vince and Jack used to be best friends before Lisa started banging Vince. Best friends torn apart by a chick. I can’t think of anything worse. Anyhow all three are thrown back together when an asteroid is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth, and the only way to stop it is to dispatch a team that’ll plant explosives in it and blow it up. Sounds like a job for Bruce Willis and Director Michael Bay. This whole plan will be spearheaded from the Gamma 3 space station that Vince has been in command of for some time. Jack doesn’t believe Vince is command material, and he’s kind of right. Vince’s decisions are questionable, but I will say both he and Jack fuck-up twice each so monumentally that we wouldn’t have an entertaining movie had they not. Jack’s sole fuck-up comes in the beginning after he, Vince, Dr. Hans Halversen (Ted Gunther) and the various soldiers get to the asteroid and start planting the explosives. This is when they encounter the slime, and at this stage it’s not much of a threat, all it does is clog up their vehicles, but Halverson wants to take a specimen back with him. With no time to spare he returns to the ship and Jack won’t let him take it. Now, had he not made a spectacle of it and slammed the container on the ground, shattering the glass and shooting a minuscule hunk of slime onto Halversen’s suit, we wouldn’t have a movie at all.
Vince’s solo fuck-up, actually, he fucks-up on a smaller scale a couple of times throughout the movie, but his big one (not as big as Jack’s I have to say) is when he shouldn’t have tried to save Halversen from the compartment he was trapped in with the rampaging monsters. Jesus, I mean, you can tell he’s probably already dead and he was when he finally got the door opened, but Jack told him not to open the door, because they’ll all come rushing out after them, but Vince doesn’t want to leave a man behind. Yeah, well, that’s nice and all, so, he opens the door. We see Halversen is indeed deader than a doornail, and like predicted he just made the whole situation worse. The discovery of Halversen’s body reminded me of a scene from Galaxy Of Terror (1981) where a character is gruesomely dispatched and the body is only discovered after they slide the door open and there they are pressed up against it bloody and dead. I’m being vague here because I can’t remember the character, or what happened to them, only that moment of discovery. Halversen is found in that manner too, just not as jacked up bloody as the dude from Galaxy Of Terror.
The creatures do not feed on the humans on the space station, they feed on anything that generates energy and the main form of energy here is electricity. They also kill using electricity. I guess we can be thankful they weren’t up against something intelligent, these creatures just go towards anything electrical, absorb it, and move on, and will attack on site anything that moves around and doesn’t generate the kind of energy they need (i.e. humans). Sunlight also heals them. They can also heal themselves. Lasers do work, but it also splatters their blood everywhere, which just makes everything worse.
At any rate we learn Lisa isn’t really over Jack and only hooked up with Vince out of pity. The monster’s numbers get so out of hand Jack has no other recourse but to order the station destroyed because these bastards cannot make it back to Earth. I kind of knew from the start, once I saw Vince’s character, that he wasn’t going to survive the movie, and he doesn’t, though he does go back and help Jack after their final argument led to a fistfight.
Only other movies I have seen Jaeckel in are Grizzly (1976) and The Dark (1979), and I may have already seen them before I saw The Green Slime, because I have this memory of recognizing Jaeckel when I saw him.
The effects are what they are, but that never bothered me. Well, only a little bit, back when I was a kid if I saw a wire holding something up it completely destroyed the experience for me, and you do see wires in this flick. But I never remember being disappointed by them in this one. The cinematography and the models remind me of any Godzilla movie, which makes sense since it’s a partial Japanese production, and I love Godzilla movies, so there’s another point for why I liked this movie and still do.
The Green Slime is considered to be the unofficial fifth movie in the Gamma One Quadrilogy, four Italian science fictions movies I remember quite vividly from childhood: Wild, Wild Planet (1965), The War Of The Planets (1966), War Between The Planets (1966) and The Snow Devils (1967). Warner Brothers, I believe, owns them, except for War Between The Planets, and I’d love to see them blued too (hint, hint).
Warner Brothers finally gave The Green Slime the DVD treatment back in 2010 through their MOD program, Warner Archive, and it’s Warner Archive that’s finally given this fun film the much desired blu-ray treatment (all of WA’s blues are pressed, their DVD releases, however, are always DVD-Rs). You can buy both on Amazon here and here.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.35:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English SDH subs only.
When I saw the screencap comparisons DVD Beaver had up on their site I became increasingly worried Warner Brothers created a bad transfer. Beaver’s caps showed the DVD-R sported a crisper transfer. That can’t be! I refuse to believe it! Well, I still own my DVD-R of it, so I compared them, and those screencaps are wrong. This blu-ray is an immense improvement, making WB’s old DVD-R version look darker, less colorful and less detailed. Trust me, if you’re a fan of this flick, and have a blu-ray player, you need to upgrade ASAP!
Extras included . . .