Information Exchange => Reader Comments => Topic started by: Swamprat on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Swamprat on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
It's Ultraman meets the Jedi! Sushi burners without giant fire squirting lizards just ain't worth a sqaut. I saw this on cable a long-long time ago, in a galaxy far-far away. The glowing walnuts, without a doubt, were highly symbolic of something...I guess one has to be Japanese to know what the hell it was. I always feel a twinge of pain for American actors like ol' Vic Morrow who find themselves in these ripoff foreign films in quest of a buck...This film needed a lizard, or at least something in a rubber suit besides the common astrojaps spouting comic relief lines. I know I've seen this film at least a half dozen times, not counting all the times I've caught bits and pieces of it...I still can't comprehend the plot, or even most of the individual scenes. With a giant lizard you know what's going on...he's big, he's p**sed, he's radioactive, he's p**sed, he's on his way, he's p**sed, and for some reason he seems to hate the Japanese...Tokyo residents inparticular...and he is p**sed. The Japanese are small and polite...and they run like hell as thier plastic tanks and aircraft go up in smoke. Now that's a Sushi burner! Message from space is far below par for even the lowest of the Jap-Sci-Fi efforts. If you like the usual example of these movies, you may be amused...or disappointed...I for one, can watch it if I have someone there with me who hasn't seen it before...just to do the MST treatment along the way.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Gutter on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I cannot bring myself to dislike this movie. Sure it has many downsides (including the cheese factor) but having Vic Morrow there (even if its a sign of HASBEEN) and the mix of Star Wars and 7 Samurai  just brought it together. Hate me all you like for liking this movie but Id take it any day to the horrendous EPISODE's I-III.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Hiker on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Notice the spherical structures with the guns coming out of the sides?  

Do they remind you of anything from, say, "Attack of the Clones?"


Title: Message from Space
Post by: Squishy on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
George Lucas also showed his characters bogging about in the vacuum of space with only respirators, in "Empire"...

Title: Message from Space
Post by: polly on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
This movie is on all the pay channels right now it seems so i've watched it some . And my opinion is this : this movie is like star wars in more than visuals . When u 1st see it you're like "wow " . Then the 2nd time you're thinking "hmmmm" . 3rd time you're going "errr what the..." just like most people did with star wars . I realize i'm gonna get flamed for saying that about star wars but i don't care . The movies just aren't that great.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Dodes on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Geez, I remember dad taping War of the Worlds at the start of a video, and then this at the end... must have watched it like 5000 times... when i was that young, i didn't even consider that it was anything like star wars... no wonder i couldn't stop watching it...

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Anything goes on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I haven't seen this movie.  But I still remember the spinoff serie, San Ku Kai, somewhat (I say somewhat) popular in Quebec in the 80's.  I enjoyed it quite a lot, it was all about people fighting each others and a giant cristal ship.  Silly, but enjoyable.  

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Matt on May 07, 2003, 08:46:39 PM
I ruined my tv by throwing up on it after seeing this movie (yes, the movie made me sick). God, what an awful piece of work. A wannabe Star-Wars from Japan, made a year after, with a $100,000 budget.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: BoyScoutKevin on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
How interesting that the film features a sailing ship in outer space, as 15 years previous to this, I remember that in "Planet of the Apes" by Pierre Boulle, there is a sailing ship in outer space.
And almost 15 years after this, on "Star Trek: Deep Space 9," Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and his son would build a sailing ship and sail it through outer space from Bajor to Cardassia.
And there is a sailing ship in "Treasure Planet." Enjoy!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Andrew on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Is this movie also called "ACORNS FROM SPACE"??? Cause I remember borrowing a video called that, which sounds exactly the same as this.. Weird

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Brian D on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
i have loved this movie for years, and haven't been able to get a good clear copy of it yet...

If, by chance, anyone out there happens to have digital cable and wants to make a few bucks by selling me a copy of it, i'd be more than happy to oblige... Drop me a line!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Matt Petty on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
There was an old puppet series called StarFleet, which had a bad guy dressed exactly like the one here. Plus a princess, sailing ship, ape-like bodyguard, converting ship,  etc etc.
Top stuff.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: a human on May 19, 2003, 10:28:27 AM
brilliant, compelling, magical , love the  giant hovering ship ,anyone got the soundtrack?!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: James Perry on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
This is fun stuff. are a fan of the Japanese movie episodes of MST3K like Fugitive Alien and Godzilla VS MegaGodzilla.  It's actually a lot of fun when it's not a bit boring.  I was interested in how Vic Morrow ended up in it...?

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Liz on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
This movie is a hoot. Great special effects for '78, excellent costumes and even a plot. The dialog is hilarious. I can't wait to own a copy of this. I think there should be an "Ed Wood" award given.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Noirman on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I saw this film during its theater release, so I have a bit of a different view than most respondents. We ALL knew its history then: that, upon seeing the grosses from Star Wars, the studio essentially got an embargo to keep it out of the country while they constructed their own "space opera", and this was it. To attack it as derivative is naive, since Lucas steals almost as much as Spielberg, especially from 633 SQUADRON, which must have been a seminal must-see for George, Steven and their classmates. If you turn off the critical filter mental circuit, it's a fast-moving, howl inducing, pyrotechnic-filled funfest. The explosion of the giant space carrier alone rivals the best pyro model work done anywhere. And the makeup! The Queen's nose extension is so obvious I wondered how Vic Morrow didn't laugh - but that's the difference about this movie. Even when they do broad "comedy', the cast takes this flick deadly serious at all times.
I have always liked it, and when I met Philip Casnoff years later (he was starring on Broadway in Shogun - The Musical: ironic?) I gave him my Shogun Warriors metal Liabe model. Stunned, he went back through the stage door, and I heard him say "There's some guy out here who saw that Japanese sci-fi movie I did a million years ago, and this was one of the ships!". He didn't offer to trade me his ankle-length deerskin coat (with matching hat), but I was OK with that.
PS: He later went on to do a great job in the Frank Sinatra biopic, and did his own singing - but they still dubbed him!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Hunt on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
This movie seemed a little corny, but I loved it,especially Philip Casnoff.

I've been watching Philip Casnoff from his first appearance in 1978 to Oz and Strong Medicine. Loved him in Red Wind (looks great in drag).

I think he's great, and absolutely adorable as Aaron in Message From Space. If anything makes this movie work it's him.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Jacob on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
Dear--sweet--Jesus: this was a bad movie. Really freakin bad. So bad it fell down so hard it bounced up to good---and back DOWN to bad again. God dammit I wish I could just erase it from my memory. Especially the part where the ships "combine" and the robot becomes a hero crap, all of a sudden appearing with his stoopid seeds (I use 2 'o's because it doesn't merit a 'u'). Save yourselves, leave this movie be.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Ryan on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I bought a movie quite similar to this one from Blockbuster in the 80's called "Space Ninja Sword of the Space Ark".  It feature the same characters but with different names.  It is my favorite movie of all time.  It is a piece de resistance of dubbing.

My friend sent me a link to this website and told me he had found the original "Empire Strikes Back".  This stuff is so much better than Star Wars, i cant believe how close they copied this masterpiece.

If anyone knows where a copy of this can be purchased I would love to know.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: C. David Webster on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I'm a huge fan of post-1977 space opera and I've never seen Message from Space but I want to SOOOO badly!I try to keep up to date with new DVD releases but can't find any info on Message. If anyone finds out please email me so I can finally see this film. It looks too fun to pass up.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Carl B. on December 25, 2003, 04:46:57 PM
I`m truly amazed at how many people still remember this flick! The last time I saw this movie in the theater, my brother and I almost got thrown out of the place because we were laughing so loudly. This has got to be the worst movie of all time. I saw it twice!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: David McRobie on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
This is actually based on a Japanese story- SATOMI HAKKENDEN that predates Star Wars by more than a few years.  It's been filmed many times, as cartoons, with puppets, with an all child cast, and in the early 80s as LEGEND OF THE 8 SAMURAI (with a lot of the same cast).
It's not like Star Wars is so blazingly original- mix THE HIDDEN FORTRESS with THE MAGIC SERPENT (both Japanese films) and you get SW.
The movie SWORDS OF THE SPACE ARK is the sequel teleseries to this movie.  Just condensed, a'la ATTACK OF THE SUPERMONSTERS.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Roddy Dottie on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I hold this movie as a link to my childhood.  So what if I don't remember the plot.  I just remember the series...San Ku Kai.  Probably the greatest movie of all time when I was 5 years old living in Peru.  Back in 1980, I triumphed in collecting and completing the San Ku Kai sticker book.  I still have it to this day.  A link to my past.  There has got to be more San Ku Kai babies like me.  Give me a holler.

San Ku Kai in NYC

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Teresa on February 14, 2005, 03:56:25 PM
I have to see this movie! Does anyone know of a cheap way of getting it? I live in the northern part of Sweden and we really need some good culture here. please help!!!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Jan Tanjo on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I saw this in the theatre also, I had just seen Star Wars and it wasn't enough. They even had trailers on tv for this (Canada) and everything that Star Wars wasn't this movie was. One quick example, in Star Wars everything blew up into space dust and in my mind that just didn't work.

I have always found Japenesse "stories" to have very rich plots but silly charactors, If you could combine hollywood charactors with japenesse stories, now that would be something worth paying to see.

I feel that this movie REALLY weted my hungry for movies, especially sci-fi, and rich story texture and my passion for technology, (I own and use 12 computers in my house.) Anyway

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Kurt Arnold on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Gosh I loved this movie.  I saw it 8 or more years ago and never caught the name.  The funny thing was that I was half in the sack when I saw it so wasn't quite sure if it was a dream or reality (but I was pretty sure it wasn't a dream).  I'm sure most of you know this movie isn't listed on very many sites and its not really all that easy to search for a Star Wars parody that involves glowing walnuts.  But after all these years of searching I have so happily discovered the name and am just as excited to hear that there are other fans.  I'm dieing to see it again.

Does anyone have a clue how I can get a DVD English copy?  Please help.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Matt Haley on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I. LOVE. This. Bad. Movie. I finally got a DVD-R of it recently, and have just aboout worn it out. The end swordfight scenes are worth the price of admission alone, as it looks liek they're running around inside a KISS pinball machine. Poor Sonny (KILL BILL) Chiba broke his ankle sliding into a shutting door near the end, and they had to stop filming until it healed so he could run around like a nut again. This movie made me go hunt doen GREEN SLIME, SAN KU KAI, WARNING FROM SPACE (1958), and even the execrable LATITUDE ZERO. - mh

Title: Message from Space
Post by: The Old Hippie on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
The story of how a brave Japanese movie studio got the government to delay the release of Star Wars for a year so this film could be made and marketed is already known, I hope. This film, which was the highest budget of the immediate Star Wars ripoffs, and is a feast of all the things people that enjoy Japanese sci-fi films like: uncomfortable American stars looking for paychecks (a young Philip Casnoff and an older Vic Morrow); special effects that wander from brilliant to amateurish in the extreme (excellent pyro effects, but the "space fireflies" scene is a howl) and a story you feel must have lost quite a bit in translation. Now, as to corrections: that's EMERALIDA who is Princess of JELUCIA, actually. Also,there is an anime crossover in costuming - Vic's outfit (worn flat brim hat and cloak) is a popular style from SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK and VAMPIRE HUNTER D just for starters1
A good movie to enjoy while baked or getting so....every movie isn't meant to be THIS ISLAND EARTH, you know, including STAR WARS.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: phil matthews on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
Still one of my favorite sci-fi flicks. I have it on tape but I want it on DVD with extras if it exist. I remember some of the footage was used in a 80's video game but I can't remember the name. Good Times!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: yawn. on September 17, 2005, 09:15:21 AM
I remember the commercial for this film back in 1977.  This and battlestar galactica came out as a result of this unexpected success of Star Wars.  I thought it was miserable then and is so now.  Same with battle star galactica.  Oh, that includes Napolean Dynamite.  Please.  Kind of reminds me of Welcome to the Dollhouse.  Stupid movies getting green lit.  

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Caleb on August 18, 2005, 09:32:08 PM
I did a double feature that day, Superman The Movie and Message From Space when they came out, $4.50 total for both movies.  I am glad to see that someone agrees about Lucas stealing scenes to make Return of the Jedi.  When it came on TBS I video taped it, so I have my full copy. Yes, I liked it despite the bad acting and effects.  Also did you know that scenes were taking from it and Star Trek II to make the first laser disc video game.  I played it a lot until made it to the end.  Forgot the name of the game.  By the way the seeds were golden in color, not green. =)

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Michael on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
I saw this a few times about 25 years ago (on HBO?) and have always had the image of that ship in my head.  None of my friends or relatives or any of the geeks that I know have any knowledge of this movie.  I have been searching for this movie for years.

Being that I was a little kid my favorite part about the movie was the two young guys in there really cool ships.  At least that is how a little kid thought about it.

I would be interested to see it again but think that the dialogue will probably be as bad as Napoleon Dynamite.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Steve on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I saw this theater in the late 1970's in a second-run movie house in the San Fernando Valley in California. It was one of those decaying theaters that charged .49 cents (later .99 cents) for a double feature.  I was only 8 or 9 and went with my father, who was always a big sci fi fan, I remember being really bored by the movie until the glowing walnuts appeared. At that point, the half dozen people in the audience started laughing. Another half and hour in, we started having a great time, as we assumed this was *supposed* to be a funny movie. In all events, I've been dying to remember the name of the film ever since. On a whim, I typed in "70's sci fi movie walnuts" into Google and like magic, I've finally gotten the scoop on this silly little movie I remember watching so long ago. Now that I know what it's called, I've just got find a DVD of this movie and share it with my father!

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Bobby Gemmell on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
The ultimate sci-fi headtrip. Imagine Star Wars on acid and it was made in Japan, then you'll know what i'm talking about. If any of you guys want to see this again without having to wait a long time for it to appear on tv, go to to get the japanese dvd. That is what i'm gonna do anyway. A must see B-Movie.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Fran on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
It's me again. Sorry folks, I forgot to mention one important thing: the english title of this movie won't respond on the French websites I've mentioned earlier. "Message from space" becomes in French: "Les évadés de l'espace" Type that, click on the search button, and the DVD showing deep space with this unbelievable white sail-space-ship on the cover.

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Carl Booth on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM
I am totally shocked and saddened by all of you who want to part with your hard-earned money to buy such an utterly bad movie. I only have one thing to say to you. If you really want to purchase this "turkey", go to `Monsters In Motion` ( There you can get this work of art on DVD for $19.99 plus taxes. That's where I bought my copy. Enjoy.:)

Title: Message from Space
Post by: Fran on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM
I just read that some people on this forum would like to purchase an eventual copy of this movie. After all my searches, only a French edition with 2 DVDs including interviews and bonus is available at, but costs € 33.00 ($ 42.00. However, there are some other websites wich sells it for € 17.99 -$ 22.85- at or € 19.99 -$ 25.38- at But I think that this copy only presents the French Dubbed version (it only shows VF on the language description.) The three website don't give much technical information about the product, unfortunately. The copy is for zone 2 (Europe and Japan) players only but will play on a region free player anyway.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: chris conley on December 20, 2007, 11:47:34 PM
Rarely seen film by battle royale director kinji fukasaku  who did not base this on star wars but on the hakkenden this was later remade as Legend of the eight samurai
now avaliable subbed on dvd it has the same plot as this film but takes place on the ground and involves samurai and ninjas a subbed version of message from space in the near future would be nice

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: william on May 17, 2009, 07:11:19 PM
I saw this film when it came out in the US. It was late 1970s probably 1979. I understood even then it was a Star Wars spoof but it was also addressing much deeper topics and the characters were much better developed than George Luca's 2 dimensional characters. Yes, I was a child but it was pretty easy to tell how much someone's character just isn't alive or kicking.

Anyway, I really thought the special effects were great and the imagination into the large sail ship was great. It was a mix of Japanese folklore exploring moral issues and ethics with a sci-fi spin. Much like many of the 1950s Japanese Sci-fi animations like Astroboy or the early 1970's Yamato which later came out in the US (1979) as Star Blazers.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Flangepart on May 20, 2009, 06:43:48 PM
In the words of the Foywonder, "I Paid to see MESSAGE FROM SPACE!"
Did not regret it. A nice slice of Japanese / American cheese.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Anonymous on May 21, 2010, 10:16:10 PM
Well at least this movie is better than the the trilogy of badness that was  Cosmos: War of the planets, War of the Robots and Space Odyssey. In fact those movies make this a masterpiece. But hell, these movies make Starcrash look like a masterpiece.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Moviefan on May 22, 2010, 04:29:03 PM
If you look on Ebay and Amazon you'll be able to buy Message from Space in its original Japanese language version as well as its English Dubbed version featuring Vic Morrow's voice all on the same disc. Its  from Eastern Star a Hong Kong DVD company, has subtitles in english, that although some of the names are translated wrong are pretty accurate and are not dubtitles. Plus its presented in its original aspect ratio and features trailers for the film(sorry no US trailer) and a Photo Gallery featuring Posters (Not the American one though), and stills from the movie.
Errors with names:
General Garuda= General Gulda
Jillucia= Jultia
Gavanas= Gabanas
I don't know if this actually how the names are, but its only a minor annoyance. The rest of disc is fantasic and the presentation is light years better than the bad beat up pan and scan print on the VHS tapes and the DVD-Rs, and is on par with the presenations of the movie on pay channels right now (Mabye a little bit better than those even).

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: ralphyralph on March 29, 2011, 04:23:36 PM
This movie kicks the crap out of Star Wars any day of the week.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Blacklight on May 13, 2011, 10:31:23 PM
Have you noticed that two of the main characters have prominent Brooklyn accents and Aaron even sounds exactly like John Travolta ?  Is it also a coincidence that Grease was released the same year and Travolta was hot at the time ?

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Pacman000 on February 01, 2012, 01:55:09 PM
I like this movie. Sure it's over-the-top, and yes, the FX vary in quality, but that's all part of the fun.

You can watch it on youtube (where I first saw it).  I also saw it on This (MGM's TV network) one Saturday morning, but they haven't played it again.  :bluesad:

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Pacman000 on April 10, 2012, 08:45:18 PM
I finally got this on DVD!  Hopefully I'll get to watch it soon.

In Japan & France there was a TV series; in the US someone edited it into a movie: Swords of The Space Ark.  I'll have to find a copy of that, somehow.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Rev. Powell on April 21, 2013, 12:17:12 PM
This is on Netflix streaming until 5/1/2013, so hurry up and catch it. It's also recently been released on DVD by Shout! Factory.

I believe I saw this when it first came out in 1978 when I was about 10. I remember the sailing ships in space, thinking that it was going to be another STAR WARS, and discovering that it was a cheap piece of Japanese crap instead. I remember walking out of the theater and playing the video game in the lobby until my mom came and picked me up.

Or, I might have my memories wrong and I could be remembering MESSAGE FROM OUTER SPACE (AKA SWORDS OF THE SPACE ARK) 1981, which was a movie made from a Japanese TV show that re-used some of the footage from this one to tell a similar story. From the clips I've seen on YouTube that was is even worse than this one! (In OUTER SPACE they're finding glowing eggs rather than nuts, which sort of fits my memory better). I need to see that one in its entirety to be sure.

As for this movie... it's pretty "meh." The costumes are colorfully ridiculous, at least. And this is the only movie I've ever seen where they actually use "space" as an adjective (someone talks about being born after the last "space war" and being afraid of being thrown in the "space clink.") I didn't find it too hard to follow but there were too many subplots; I think that it may have played better if they'd written the Vic Morrow character out of it entirely.

I'd give it a generous 2/5.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Trevor on April 29, 2013, 03:37:41 AM
I remember walking out of the theater and playing the video game in the lobby until my mom came and picked me up.

You were fortunate to have videogames in your theater's lobby: if my hometown cinema manager caught us little ones loitering in the lobby, he would shout "Hey you: no hanging around! [Expletive deleted] off home!"   :buggedout:

Ahh: memories.  :wink: :wink:

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Pacman000 on May 09, 2018, 03:41:15 PM
! No longer available (

Here's some thing that popped into my YouTube Suggested Videos thread today: the opening to Message From Space's TV show.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Pacman000 on January 28, 2019, 05:36:53 PM
While browsing YouTube, I came across some music from Message From Space with a lot of Japanese comments. Here: (

Ran a lot of them through Google Translate. Interesting stuff:

EDIT: Apparently Google won't let you link to their translator pages anymore.

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Alex on January 28, 2019, 05:45:22 PM
Uhm... ok?

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: Pacman000 on January 28, 2019, 06:13:10 PM
Yeah, saying "These comments are interesting" isn't much of a comment in-and-of itself. So I'll try to pick out a few things which caught my attention

A couple of commentators said the music was based on this:

Sorry... (

Title: Re: Message from Space
Post by: pacman000 on March 17, 2024, 05:55:17 PM
While browsing Amazon Prime a few days ago, I found the complete "Message From Space: Galactic Battle" TV series, with English subtitles. It's a sequel to the film, set generations later, after humanity's colonized the stars. The Gavanas return, & the new main characters have to free the 15th solar system.

Corny fun, with decent-but-dated FX. Scripts could've used a few extra drafts to smooth things out, like the movie.

If you like the movie, or other goofy space operas, the series is worth a try. It's fast paced, & there are only 27 episodes.

I've watched about 4; this is more of an announcement than a review.