By John Charles
Originally published in slightly different form in Video Watchdog #92
Dialogue heavy and featuring fewer special FX than would be the norm in later Japanese science fiction films, WARNING FROM SPACE still has its points of interest. The premise echoes that of GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (1954/56) by painting the atomic build-up as a countdown to Armageddon, though it ultimately deviates somewhat from this stance by having Matsuda's new super explosive be the only effective defense against Planet R. In addition to their advanced science and shape-shifting abilities, the Pairans display their superiority in another important way by tricking the Earthlings into using up their atomic stockpile in what the aliens almost certainly knew would be a futile effort. However, the screenplay never spells out why the visitors would risk their own destruction at the same time. The Pairans eradicated violence on their world and have come to their counterparts on the other side of the sun for aid in destroying the menace. The female Pairan agent admonishes Matsuda midway through the picture for his invention, which her people realized eons ago would be the harbinger of their doom. Why would everything come down to the wire, with a quest to find the kidnapped doctor, when the aliens could have produced the explosive (or one similar) and used it on their own? The admittedly silly looking starfish (which resemble people trapped inside giant pillows) are often cited for ridicule, but this is actually an accomplished production, with the sterile metallic interior of the Pairan's ship a particularly striking bit of design.