Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Another great double feature from Dark Sky Films, PRINCE OF SPACE/INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN (1964/1965) presents two black and white Sixties' Japanese "space hero" films in one deliriously camp package.

In PRINCE OF SPACE (YUSEI OJI), beak-nosed aliens from the planet Krankor invade Earth, only to have their invasion foiled by masked super-hero Prince of Space (Tatsuo Umemiya) with his flying saucer, barbecue lighter raygun and posse of Japanese children in short pants. Little does anyone know that Prince of Space is actually Wally the shoeshine boy! A favorite of the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 crowd, PRINCE is a deliriously entertaining weekend afternoon diversion.

INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN (UCHU KAISOKU-SEN) features a very young Sonny Chiba (THE STREETFIGHTER, KILL BILL) as the masked avenger Space Chief, who battles clunky robotic invaders from Venus with some killer karate moves and a flying sports car. Like Prince of Space, he also has a hero-worshipping cadre of small children. It's not quite as much fun as PRINCE OF SPACE, but it has its cheesy charms.

This first volume in Dark Sky Films' "Drive-In Double Feature" line offers both films in nearly pristine 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, absolutely rock-solid black & white transfers, with virtually no visible specks or scratches. Both films are dubbed into English and presented in 2.0 Dolby mono. Dark Sky has the disc set up so you can watch the two films as one long drive-in program – complete with trailers and snack bar intermission promos – or individually. The packaging is great, too.

As MGM seems to have discontinued its line of Midnight Movie double features, it's great to see Dark Sky has step up to the plate with their own high quality, vintage cult film line. PRINCE OF SPACE/INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN is a great shot of Saturday afternoon nostalgia and highly recommended for fans of Japanese fantasy and high camp super heroics.

BUY: Prince of Space/Invasion of the Neptune Men