Drive-in Double Feature: Prince of Space/Invasion of the Neptune Men DVD Review

Written by Steve Pattee

DVD Released by Dark Sky Films

Your weapons have no effect on me! – Prince of Space

Prince of Space (aka Yusei oji)

Directed by Eijiro Wakabayashi
Written by Shin Morita
1959, Region 1 (NTSC), 85 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on April 25th, 2006

Starring:
Tatsuo Umemiya as Wally/Prince of Space/Planet Prince
Ushio Skashi
Johji Oka as Phantom of Krankor
Hiroko Mine

Invasion of the Neptune Men (aka Uchu Kaisoku-sen)

Directed by Koji Ota
Written by Shin Morita
1961, Region 1 (NTSC), 74 minutes, Not Rated

Starring:
Sonny Chiba as Space Chief
Kappei Matsumoto
Shinjiro Ebara
Mitsue Komiya
Ryuko Minakami

Movie:

Prince of Space

When evil aliens from the planet Krankor invade Earth to steal a newly created fuel source, all hope seems to be lost.

Lucky for the citizens of Earth, there’s one man that can stand up to these deplorable Martians: Prince of Space. But are the powers of Prince enough to defeat the creatures from Krankor?

Invasion of the Neptune Men

When evil aliens from the planet Neptune invade Earth to take over the world, all hope seems to be lost.

Lucky for the citizens of Earth, there’s one man that can stand up to these deplorable Martians: Space Chief. But are the powers of Space Chief enough to defeat the creatures from Neptune?

Review:

With such similar plots and execution, it’s not necessary to separate these two B-movies for individual analysis — both are virtually identical.

Sure, the “deeper” plots differ, but certainly not enough to justify an in-depth examination.

A while back, I was interviewed for John Kinhart’s documentary on B-movie king Don Dohler (Harvesters, Alien Factor). One of the questions I was asked was, “Do you enjoy movies that are so bad, they are good?”

My answer at the time was a resounding, “No!” But I’d like to change that answer, John. My eyes are now open.

Because Prince and Invasion are so bad, they’re good.

What makes them good is not the acting — even a young Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter, Terror Beneath the Sea) can’t make Invasion more than it is. It’s not the stories. (Bad aliens invade Earth, superhero must defeat them…oh, please!) It’s not the special effects — although the space battles and city attack are absolutely priceless.

It’s the damn dubbed dialogue.

There were many times I’m sure a fly on the wall watching me would have witnessed my head cock slightly, my mouth open in awe, then, moments later, a guffaw that could be heard by the neighbors three doors down.

Both of these movies are pure Wisconsin cheese. Of the two, Prince has the cheesier dialogue, but Invasion makes up for it with the cheesier scenes.

So, either way, you are getting a cheese sandwich. It just depends on what kind of bread you prefer.

Video and Audio:

Both films are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Both suffer from print damage, but Dark Sky has them cleaner than they’ve probably ever been.

Each film is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, dubbed in English. Each films’ goofy dialogue is heard with crystal clarity and no audible distractions.

English subtitles are available for both movies.

Special Features:

Trailers for The Flesh Eaters and Dog Eat Dog are the only special features offered.

And while not really a special feature, Dark Sky gets kudos for putting a kick-ass intro on the DVD to get you in the drive-in mood.

Remember the dancing hotdogs and disappearing pizza slices? Yeah, you know what time it is.

Grades:

Movie:

2.5 Stars (Prince of Space) – I prefer pumpernickel bread, so Prince of Space gets the edge, here.

2 Stars (Invasion of the Neptune Men)

Video: 3 Stars (Both)
Audio: 2.5 Stars (Both)
Features: 2 Stars – While they didn’t have anything for the two movies on the disc, Dark Sky's little extra something was cool.
Overall: 2.5 Stars

Conclusion:

When you are looking for a good chuckle, call up Prince or Chief and they’ll keep you entertained.

Want to comment on this review? Head over to the Horrortalk Review Forum.

About The Author
Steve Pattee
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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