The Mysterians/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Mysterians
  • Yoshio Tsuchiya was offered the lead role but turned it down, instead opting to play the Mysterian leader.
  • An early concept of Mogera was of a four-footed mecha, more along the lines of a mole. The name "Mogera" was based on the Japanese word for "mole" ("mogura"). Mogera was not in the original script, but was added at the insistence of producer Tomoyuki Tanaka who felt the movie needed a giant monster.
  • U.S. press material issued at the time of the film's original release incorrectly listed 'Masaru Satô' (another highly regarded Japanese film composer), rather than Akira Ifukube, as the creator of the score.
  • This was one of the last films to be distributed by RKO in the United States. When RKO ceased operations, most of the first run was handled by MGM.
  • This was one of the first Japanese productions to be shot in anamorphic widescreen. Toho, which called its anamorphic system "TohoScope", specifically made this film to show off the process. Part of Akira Ifukube's battle score was used for the TohoScope logo, which appeared at the beginning of the Japanese prints.
  • Tadao Nakamaru played a first lieutenant in this film. It was his first feature film role in a career that spanned almost 40 years.
  • Mogera, the giant robot that was added to the film, was created to be a Godzilla-like mechanical monster, including spines along the back and a large tail. In the final edit of the film, most of the selected shots hide the fact that the robot does have a tail.
  • In the original Japanese version, the aliens are called "Mysterians." When he visited the US, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya was surprised to discover that the term "Mysterians" was well known. It had also been used in the English dubbing, and the film had even been released in the United States under the title "The Mysterians".
  • Japan's Self Defense Forces gave assistance to this production and allowed the filming of military equipment and personnel. Through them, the production was also allowed to shoot TohoScope footage, especially of military aircraft, at U.S. military installations in Japan.
  • Released to theatres in the USA on a triple bill with the East German film Der Schweigende Stern (1960) and the Italian film Space Men (1960).
  • The one-hit-wonder band, Question Mark and the Mysterians, named themselves after the the movie's US title, "The Mysterians." They're known for the song "96 Tears" and the eccentric behavior of their leader, who had his name legally changed to "?".
  • The Mogera suit, originally worn by Haruo Nakajima, was, after filming, kept in storage in one of Toho's visual effects soundstages, until 1974, when it was destroyed in a fire on the lot, caused by a pyrotechnical accident during filming of Nosutoradamusu no daiyogen (1974).
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