So this is one of two Toho movies that took me a long time to finally own. See, years ago I had a Nintendo game called Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, which was a fun game where you played as either Godzilla or Mothra and battled other monsters that were trying to invade Earth. On the very first level of the game, there were two monsters that you fought called Gezora and Moguera and at the time, I had no idea who they were. Several years later, and some internet searching, revealed that those monsters came from two Toho movies that I had honestly never heard of but knew I needed to own. Unfortunately, my initial attempts to buy these movies usually resulted in getting outbid on Ebay (frickin Ebay snipers) but persistence pays off and I did finally manage to obtain a copy of today’s movie, The Mysterians.
The plot: Astrophysicist Ryoichi Shiraishi, his fiance Hiroko Iwamoto, his sister Etsuko, and Joji Atsumi are watching a small village festival near Mt. Fuji. When Shiraishi walks off, Atsumi follows him, asking him why he is breaking off his engagement and saying that people are worried about him. Shiraishi says that he feels like he must stay in the village for a while but before he can say anything further, he notices a forest fire and tells Atsumi to look after the girls before racing towards it. At the festival, the alarm is sounded concerning the fire and the villagers all rush towards the nearby lake shore. Three men head up the hill to try and stop the fire and run into Shiraishi, who warns them to head back but they ignore him but end up being killed by the fire. A few days later, Atsumi heads to the observatory that Shiraishi works at and gives them a report from Shiraishi about his theory concerning Mysterioid, the planet that once existed between Mars and Jupiter, but Shiraishi’s boss, Dr. Tanjiro Adachi, comments about it not being finished. Atsumi receives a call and tells Dr. Adachi that the village Shiraishi was staying at was struck by a massive landslide and the whole village wound up sinking into the ground. As Atsumi is being taken to the village, he is told that they believe it was an intentional attack due to radiation being detected but when they get there, there is no sign of any radiation. Deciding to search for answers closer to the mountain, Atsumi and the three police officers with him stop when their jeeps tires start smoking and they discover the ground is radioactive. Suddenly a giant robot burst out of the side of the mountain and destroys the jeep, causing the men to run. The robot heads towards the nearby town and begins to destroy it and the JSDF tries to stop it and eventually is able to destroy the robot. Atsumi returns to the observatory just as Dr. Adachi and his assistant take pictures of a fleet of flying saucers flying off from the moon. Heading to a lake that Shiraishi theorized served as a landing area for flying saucers, Atsumi, Dr. Adachi, and the rest of their group notice the ground churning and witness a large dome emerging from the ground. A voice calls out from the dome and asks for Atsumi, Dr. Adachi, and the others from the observatory to enter the dome and they agree. They meet with the leader of the Mysterians who tells them that their planet was destroyed by nuclear war but some of their race managed to escape to Mars but the exposure to the massive amounts of Strontium 90 has left 80% of their race deformed and they had to be destroyed. The leader then gives them a list of their demands, which is mainly that the want a small parcel of land to resettle on and the right to marry Earth women in order to help repopulate their race. The leader admits to already having some of the women they want and Atsumi is shocked to discover that Etsuko and Hiroko are two of the women the Mysterians want. As Atsumi is telling Etsuko and Hiroko about this, Shiraishi contacts them through the TV and tells Atsumi to convince the authorities not to attack, and says that he is working with the Mysterians. Atsumi goes to tell Dr. Adachi about Shiraishi just as the JSDF launches their attack on the Mysterians’ dome but their weapons have no effect and the Mysterians are easily able to destroy the JSDF forces with their own weapons. After the failed attack, Japan pleads to the rest of the world to help, saying that there is nothing stopping the Mysterians from attacking other countries and the world leaders agree. and launch a second attack, using a newly developed of airship to attack the dome but this attack also meets with failure. The Mysterians meet with the Japanese government and demand an even larger area of land, saying that anyone that enters it will be removed by force. The Earth leaders suggest using hydrogen bombs but the Japanese government refuses to allow that. A new idea is thought up using a giant lens that would be able to reflect the Mysterians rays back at them. Meanwhile, two Mysterians craft head toward the house that Etsuko and Hiroko are staying at and the two women are kidnapped. Atsumi tells Dr. Adachi that he knows a way to get inside the Mysterians’ dome and plans to go in and rescue the girls before the final attack is made on the Mysterians. As Atsumi makes his way through the undergorund passage, the attack commences and the three lenses, attached to giant moveable tripods, begin attacking the dome, accompanied by a barrage of rockets. The Mysterians warn the Earth leaders to discontinue the attack, using their power to cause a flood that destroys a nearby village as a sign of retaliation but the attack continues. Atsumi gets inside the dome and begins shooting some of the systems in the dome, causing the power to go out in the dome but he is quickly captured. He is led away by a Mysterian and taken to the tunnels, where he finds all of the captured Earth women, including Etsuko and Hiroko. The Mysterian tells Atsumi to lead the girls to safety, revealing himself to be Shiraishi, and says that he was tricked into helping the Mysterians and plans on sacrificing himself in order to blow up the dome. As Shiraishi does his part to help destroy the dome, the Mysterians escape in their flying saucers and the Earth forces chase after them, destroying some of the saucers before they are able to escape into space, leaving the Earth to hope that they don’t repeat the mistakes that the Mysterians made on their planet.
This was an interesting sci-fi movie from Toho. The acting was ok from what I could tell but the dubbing seemed pretty bad at times. Since the original dubbing was lost, I have no idea if it would have been better. The story was also ok, though it honestly didn’t really seem original. The special effects were pretty decent for the time as they had to do more than just your typical giant monster destroying buildings. Honestly, I think the whole story behind Moguera was one of the most interesting aspects of the movie, as the inclusion of a kaiju was very last minute. The original design for Moguera was actually a half-mole, half-lizard monster but was changed into a robot for the movie, but the concept for the monster would later be used to create Baragon while Moguera itself would get an upgrade in 1994 in Godzilla Vs Spacegodzilla. It’s a decent sci-fi movie if you want to watch something new.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5