Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968)

Starring Teruo Yoshida, Tomomi Sato, Eizo Kitamura, Hideo Ko, Kathy Horan
Directed by Hajime Sato
(actor & director credits courtesy

A Japanese flight crashes after encountering a UFO, and something from the spaceship takes over one of the passengers, transforming him into a human vampire.

We have here a very memorable horror film from Japan, which despite its effects showing their age, still has the power to unsettle viewers.  After establishing an actor's possession by the aliens in a gruesome scene, the filmmakers are able to build suspense without showing anything more than his sinister expression below a simple makeup scar in eerie closeups, and the terror in the actors trying to elude him.  It makes for an exciting and effective feature, enhanced by a haunting music score from Shunsuke Kikuchi, and the frightful use of color in the reddish skies that the plane plunges into, as well as the luminous shades of the kaleidoscope-like flying saucer.

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