Blood Type: Blue (1977)

Also known as Blue Christmas, this movie is somehow way ahead of its time, as UFO abductees return to Japan with blue blood, which upsets everyone else because, well, do racist people really need a reason? And this also has a deeper story inside it, a remembrance of at least 17 Japanese citizens that were taken by the North Korean government.

Maybe it’s the time I’m watching this in — then again, you could have felt the same way at the start of AIDS or in how Japan and Korea view one another — but this is hitting too close to home. Reporters struggling to reveal the truth, lovers on opposite sides of a conflict united only by their hearts, human lives reduced to blood and organs under the scalpel, prejudice and feelings presiding over facts.

Director Kihachi Okamoto was drafted during the last years of World War II, into the very worst fighting, and was alone among his friends in that he survived. Most of his films have a very cynical edge, even his gangster films and it’s wild that this movie is from Toho.

There’s also the professor who broke this story, why he disappeared and where all the blue blood people are going. As for the UFOs, unlike most other Toho science fiction, they’re never seen.

Sure, this is long at 133 minutes, but it’s so strange, nearly shot like a parody yet dark in its tone. The closest thing I can compare it to is either Eyes Behind the Stars or Footprints on the Moon, but neither is anything like this. To be honest, the end of this has stuck with me for some time and this feels like another strange film that I’ll have to go back and watch several times.

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