Monday, February 1, 2010
SPECTREMAN was a 1970's Japanese kaiju kiddie program that featured an android superhero from outer space that routinely thwarted the evil machinations of the simian Dr. Gori and his henchman, Rah. The villains seek to dominate Earth and destroy mankind before we make the planet uninhabitable by our reckless polluting. The environmental angle is very strong and apparently figures into the plots of all the shows.
The episode I enjoyed opens with Dr. Gori snatching an Earth gorilla from the zoo, whom he transforms into another flunkie. Rah isn't too pleased by the addition to the ranks but apparently his recent tangles with Spectreman haven't gone well. The new and improved gorilla goon Karis is only one spoke in the wheel of doom! True to the environmental angle, Dr. Gori plots to use pollutant derivative goo fumes to murder the inhabitants of Tokyo. After an initial test on a security guard that proves deadly, Spectreman collects some soil samples (?!) in an effort to track down the furry fiends. In a bid to distract him from the search, Dr. Gori sends a gigantified Karis to do battle with Spectreman, who can also increase his size. Some mediocre Kaiju scrappin' follows, though there are a few Kong inspired moments that are good laugh. The conclusion of the battle is never in doubt and Karis is summoned back to homebase to face the profound disappointment of Dr. Gori.
If you’re into pyschotronic children's programming with a message I heartily recommend checking the show out. I imagine it must be available on DVD somewhere, but I came across the episode on mininova. I'll leave it to you to decide if bootleg downloads is the route you want to take.
Here are some Spectreman YouTube clips to enjoy!
English dub opening sequence
Clip from TERROR OF THE POLLUTION PEOPLE with an extended Spectreman vs Gorilla sequence.
Very odd clip with Gori cruising the downtown wearing a floppy brim hat and a caplet/shawl before heading off to the local disco to grove with some hip Japanese girls.
Not from the episode I reviewed.