The 1968 motion picture “The Green Slime” is only rival to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” as the most important and influential science fiction film of the 1960s.
I’m kidding. That’s a complete lie. “The Green Slime” is an American—Japanese co-production made by MGM and Toei Company (who later went on to produce what we know over here as Power Rangers). What makes “The Green Slime” a cult favorite is not the plot, nor the effects, but the fact that it is one of the most unintentionally funny sci-fi monster movies ever made. If that wasn’t enough, “The Green Slime” has a special place of honor in pop-culture. A 20 minute segment of the movie was used in the original proof of concept pilot for “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
Set in the far off future—the year is never stated—“The Green Slime” is the story of space station Gamma 3, who sends a crew to plant explosives on a giant, planet sized asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth. Landing on the asteroid they find a glowing, green slime (WE HAVE A TITLE!) covering the various formations on the planet. A small amount of slime adheres itself, unknowingly, to one of the space suits worn by the crew. When the suits are placed into a radiated chamber to decontaminate them, the slime feeds off the energy, spawning four foot tall tentacles monsters that wreak havoc on the ship. Blasting them with lasers doesn’t help, the monsters only feed off those too, and that can even cause them to spawn more little beasties.
“The Green Slime” is a film I knew of a good decade plus before I ever got around to seeing it. I first learned of its existence on a tape that was made available to members of the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” fan club in the late ‘90s, which featured a short clip of the pilot episode. I first saw the film maybe eight years ago when it turned up on Turner Classic Movies in their 2:00 AM weekend cult slot. “The Green Slime” is everything you’d think of when you think of a cheesy, low-budget sci-fi monster movie. It’s full of mostly television actors you’ve never heard of, and the lone note-able in the cast is Luciana Paluzzi—who was in the James Bond movie “Thunderball.”
“The Green Slime” was first released on DVD in 2010 by Warner Archive, who this past Summer at Comic Con announced the film would be getting a blu-ray upgrade this fall, which was released last week just in time for Halloween. A brand new HD master was created this year for the release, and the film looks really good. There’s some heavier grain in a few shots, but that’s just due to this being a low-budget film that was cranked out in a couple of weeks. Sound is clear and sharp, a mono DTS-HD Master Audio track, that shows off that the film’s most unique theme song—a garage/soul/rocker number loaded up with late 1960s theremin, sitar, and organ. MGM actually released the theme as a 7” single, it’s a very rare and coveted collectable, going for nearly $500 on eBay. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer.
“The Green Slime” is a real hoot from start to end, the kind of movie that might have scared you when you were 12, but you’d still think there was something decidedly low-rent about the whole thing. It’s a real surprise to see this cult favorite get a blu-ray release. But what a delight that Warner Archive saw fit to bring this one to HD. They’ve had a real impressive year with their blu-ray catalog, and it continues to delight and surprise. See you next week.