Saturday, December 22, 2012
From Beyond Television: Ultraseven Episode #7
Episode Seven: SPACE CAPTIVE 303 (also listed as ALIEN PRISONER 303) *
Aboard Space Station V3, agent Mizuno receives multiple transmissions from an alien source, but has been unable to decipher them. Meanwhile, two hunters find a small, single passenger alien spacecraft in the woods and are attacked by the fish-eyed, gas drinking alien traveling inside. Upon transcribing the messages, it turns out the monster is a murderous fugitive escaped from an intergalactic prison. The Ultra Guard members and local police seek him out before the beast can kill more people. After the monster kidnaps Anne and hijacks one of the ships that make up the Ultra Hawk 1, the chase is on.
This is a mediocre show, and among the weakest, if not the weakest thus far; and not necessarily because there's no monster fight at the end. The Kyuraso grows to giant size, but never engages Ultraseven in action. It's also a fairly poor creature design and looks a lot like Eric Stoltz from MASK (1985).
Unfortunately, you only see Ultraseven fleetingly as he transforms to escape the crashing of the Beta ship; one of three aerial ships that can link up to form a powerful flying machine.
As the Kyuraso has now gone Giant, he's encircled in flames and just seems to stand there. Apparently the shows makers had no idea where to go with the last two minutes. Instead of a monster battle, we're treated to a Moroboshi monologue instead just before the monster is blown to smithereens from all the gasoline it's consumed; a beast that would be pretty easy to destroy if you ask me.
This minor episode is essentially a Sci-Fi version of a cop show. It's an interesting premise, but flatly directed and never quite takes off till the finale. Only in the world of Japanese rubber suit mayhem will you see a news broadcast about an alien criminal at large. All citizens please remain indoors!
The nighttime air chase is about the best part of this one. The monster attacks on civilians are shot differently than usual. The camera hides the full form of the creature at first, as opposed to revealing him right away; possibly they knew it was best to hide this slapdash design till the last minute. However, that the beast can kill three people at a gas station in broad daylight and no one sees anything is hard to swallow, even for a Japanese monster series.
MONSTERS: Kyuraso (subbed here as Curio)
WEAPONS: Ultra Hawk 1 (Alpha, Beta, Gamma)
To be continued in Episode eight: THE CURSED TOWN!!!