Body Snatcher From Hell / Cuerpos Diabolicos / Distruggete DC 59, Da Base Spaziale A Hong Kong / Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell / Goke The Vampire / Goke - Vampir Aus Dem Weltall
84' (cover 84') - Source: DVD (RC 2/PAL)
Germ.: 18; UK: 12; US: PG
Director: Hajime Sato (Terror Beneath The Sea 1966)
Producer: Shochiku Films Ltd.
Score: Toshiwa Kikuchi
Writer: Susumu Takahisa / Kyuzo Kobayashi
Director of photography: Shizuo Hirase
An airline crew senses something is wrong as the sky has turned blood red and birds are intentionally flying into the plane, killing themselves. An UFO flies overhead, causing the plane's instruments to short circuit, and the plane crashes. One of the surviving passengers, a would-be hijacker (Hideo Ko), takes a stewardess (Tomomi Sato) hostage and runs off into the night, but then falls into a trance and walks aboard the UFO, which has landed nearby. A mysterious, blob-like creature forces his forehead to open up, and the blob crawls inside, turning him into a bloodlusty vampire. One by one, the surviving passengers are forced to fight off this invader. But by the end only two people are left, the stewardess and the co-pilot (Teruo Yoshida), and after having made their way back to civilization, they make a terrible discovery...
- The anti-war/anti-nuke film (apparently influenced from Robert Heinlein's novel "The Puppet Masters" from 1951) blends two genres, vampire-horror and alien invasion, and is gorier than the usual Japanese science fiction movies from that period. - Hideo Ko was originally meant to be the vampire throughout the whole film, but due to a scheduling conflict, he left filming early. The film was then re-written with the college professor becoming a vampire later in the movie. - The orange sunset sky behind the airplane in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill is a homage to "Goke", as Tarantino wanted to evoke the look of the opening scenes from it. - The flying saucer was later reused in "Spectreman".
click here for filmstills (pictures from the movie)
When I watched the movie for the first time, my thoughts were "Oh my God, what a piece of crap!". But watching it again now, my opinion has changed, partly due to the uncut widescreen DVD I have at hand now instead of the fullscreen and cut (10 min!) German video tape. The film has some great scenes (e.g. the birds crashing against the plane's windows before a blood red sky), and the intelligent, demanding story is a nice variety from the ususal vampire lore.