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#819:
Invasion Of The Neptune Men


Filmed in exquisite Pain-O-Rama, this paean to Japan's failure as a Twentieth Century World Power pits the fierce little archipelago against a dozen lumbering mute robots in a rocket which might at fullbore achieve dirigible-like speeds. The eponymous invaders seem to have but one superhuman power, the ability to transmogrify into transsexual infantrymen. But once again, at the time of most critical need, the reigns of Japanese governance are given to children. And not charming little children, but mincing, horrid little spawn whose only redeeming quality is that they can only become less annoying as adults. Right on cue, the invaders invade, drooling Japanese scientists are helpless, the military postures and rattles its flaccid spears, and the children assume power and pull the country's ohtoro out of the fire, again. Oh, and there's an impotent hero named Space Chief. Starring no one, not a living soul, and filmed in black and white so depressing it would drive Fred Rogers to eat a Glock. Watch for a delightful cameo by Adolph Hitler (in the film I mean).

Prologue: Crow and Servo are disgusted by the thought of Mike having eyelash mites, actual ravenous creatures living on his filthy eyelids, and decide to take action.

Segment One: Crow and Tom ally with the Nanites and stage an all-out assault against Mike's eyelash mites. But the Mites are too powerful for the courageous Nanite forces, who are laid waste, in a scene in which humor borders on the tragic, and, hopefully, makes gives us all pause. Ah, hell, who am I kidding.
Meantime, Pearl and Observer, trapped in Ancient Rome, finally meet up with Bobo, who has lost his memory and become the toast of Rome as the Mad Goth, a savage gladiator with many a lion kill under his belt. Bobo's a celebrity, and acts the part, happily receiving a massive -and anatomically complimentary- statue in his likeness.

Segment Two: The Bots stage a Kabuki play, Mike mentions Noh Theater, the Bots get confused and a lively wordplay sketch ensues. A tip of the hat to The Marx Brothers and of course Abbott and Costello, or maybe Allen and Rossi.

Segment Three: Observer and Pearl try to convince Bobo that he is not the Mad Goth, but all Bobo needs is a statue and a grape to make him happy. Meanwhile Servo suffers form Roji Panty Complex, poor guy. Mike applies panties.

Segment Four: The Movie is getting our guys down. Mike and the Bots are clearly struggling with this one. But who should happen along to light up their lives but The Phantom Dictator of Krankor, from Show #816, Prince of Space!!
...So who is this clown, you ask? Did you see show #816? No? Never mind. Think of it as Bill Corbett in an embarrassing costume.

Segment Five: Crow uses a fabricated suggestion box to try his hand at Japan-bashing. Mike stops him just in time.
In Roman Times, Pearl, now fed up with Bobo, bashes him with a stone tablet, resulting in Bobo regaining his memory, and immediately getting them all arrested, complete with Nifty Star-Trek-style end-of-the-segment tension hook. Enjoy in moderation.

Reflections:
I have walked this earth scarcely two score years. And rife as I may be with the callow demagogic wisdom of middle age, quick am I to call up the genuine horrors of my youth, when evil was real and palpable, and to look upon a thing which tore at the sinews of my fledgling soul and look away without pause was to name its maker, the antithesis of joy and love, the teller of dark lies, the beast.
But enough about Batman and Robin.

Suffice it to say that the reprehensible nature of Invasion of the Neptune Men is embodied in the filmmaker's choice to use actual WWII file footage in what is ostensibly a children's film. To glibly summon the darkest shadows of our century because one has run out of models to blow up is to stoop to Schumacherian levels of banality. Though we as a rule cut only for time, we also cut for violent content, and we very clearly considered arial bombardment footage of Japan to be of a violent nature. Nuff said.
...can you tell I hated this film?
- Kevin Murphy


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