The X from Outer Space (1967)

The X from Outer Space is another Godzilla-inspired entry in the Japanese kaiju craze of the 1960s. Unlike Gamera however, the kaiju featured in X – dubbed “Guilala” – offers little inspiration. No wonder then, that this represents the lone giant monster outing from Shochiku.

Director: Kazui Nihonmatsu
Runtime: 89 minutes
Japan Theatrical Release: March 25, 1967; Shochiku

The X from Outer Space follows another common trope of 1960s kaiju films: outer space. I believe this is where The X from Outer Space excels most, leaning into the Trekkian space adventure. The slick sci-fi production design, coupled with a groovy bossa-nova score should delight any fan of the genre.

Where The X from Outer Space stumbles then is the monster itself… the creature design here is a jumbled mishmash of ideas, as if a child glued together some toys left on the floor. Letterboxd describes it as, “a giant chicken-lizard-alien monster”. Beyond that, the suit is goofy and awkward; the actor inside shows no interest in being more than a bizarre mascot, bumbling along in the dark confines of the suit (as opposed to any of the Godzilla actors of the time).

I do not think The X from Outer Space stands the test of time as a complete film. It has solid moments, but ultimately fails to live up to its own hype. High camp factor, yes, but I would only recommend for the most hardcore kaiju fans.

by Vincent S. Hannam

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