17 January 2018

WAR OF THE INSECTS aka GENOCIDE/1968

War of the Insects, or genocide, is an odd little film put out by the Shochiku company. It would later be more known for animated films and family fare, but it did put out a few interesting horror films during the 60’s period. Some of the titles a little more well known might be Black rose (1969), Black Lizard (1968), Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) and The Living Skeleton (1968). In fact, I am not sure if they are more well known or not. I personally have seen them or seen parts of them. Those films are a bit more “artsy” in style, and War of the Insects/Genocide is reminiscent a bit of the style, or at least intent, of films from TOHO or TOEI, with an emphasis on monsters spawned from some sort of radiation or evil human experimentation. Here we have a little bit of both I guess and while a goofy flick in many ways it is overall rather watchable if like this sort of thing.

Arrogant American Air Force officers are told “just because you won a war doesn’t make you right!” Greasy Japanese guys frolic with those always easy to sack white women. A white woman is the evil master-mind of a plan to wipe out mankind. A black guy has a known history of drug abuse and mental instability but passed the rigorous Air Force screening process and got to be on a B-52 with a hydrogen bomb. A black guy later goes nuts and freaks out on wasps (or bees) and shoots things to pieces in a state of insanity  and tries to rape a Japanese woman torture guinea pigs for the good of man kind. Evil landlords try to rape fragile females and stare at their butts while they clean up the floor. Hydrogen bombs are detonated by arrogant American Air force officers in order to save the whole world (but just eliminate most of Japan). Shady gangsters in sun glasses slither in and out of scenes. Doctors inject themselves with insect venom and hallucinate. And it pretty much goes on and on.

The big disappointment for me was the insects that wage war in fact are only bees. And in close ups they seem to be wasps. Mostly a bunch of stock footage and when someone is being attacked the insects becomes little black dots drawn onto the film surface. When I started watching it I thought there were going to be all these cool “kaiju” type creatures. Maybe not super giant, but some sort of animated tarantula puppet or man in a praying mantic costume at least. Nope. Just stock footage bees. But to be honest I enjoy these sorts of films for the most part and am planning on rewatching a few I have not seen in many years. Director Kazui Nihonmatsu (The X From Outer Space) works under the name Norman Cooper for some strange reason. 














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