MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: Atomic Rulers of the World (1957)

There are nine Sūpā Jaiantsu (Super Giant) movies that were first shown in Japan. Takeo Nagamatsu’s 1930 kamishibai The Golden Bat (Ōgon Batto) may have been Japan’s first modern superhero and Gekkō Kamen (Moonlight Mask) the first hero to be on TV, but the first actual super hero movie in Japan was this one.

It was bought for distribution to U.S. television and edited into four films by Walter Manley Enterprises and Medallion Films. The first two original Japanese films, Super Giant and Super Giant Continues, have been cut, edited and have library music instead of the original soundtrack. Also, Super Giant became Starman.

The Mysterious Spacemen’s Demonic Castle and Earth on the Verge of Destruction were turned into Invaders from Space, while The Artificial Satellite and the Destruction of Humanity and The Spaceship and the Clash of the Artificial Satellite was released in the U.S. as Attack from Space. The last film, Evil Brain from Outer Space, is edited together from three movies, The Space Mutant Appears, The Devil’s Incarnation and Kingdom of the Poison Moth.

The films were also sold to France and Italy, where Super Giant is known as Spaceman.

Ken Utsui plays the hero and he always downplayed this movie when interviewed. Some say he was upset about the costume, which had a stuffed crotch. In the first installment, he fights to save the Earth from the country of Metropol and their nuclear arsenal. You’ll notice the connection to sentai shows like Power Rangers with this, but it’s also very similar to the American TV version of Superman. I loved it when I was a kid and still do.

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