The Mysterians, released in Japan as Earth Defense Force (地球防衛軍 Chikyū Bōeigun?), is a tokusatsu science fiction film produced and released by Toho Studios in 1957. It was directed by the "Golden Duo" of Ishirō Honda (drama) and Eiji Tsuburaya (special effects). It is notable for being the first tokusatsu filmed in TohoScope and the first Toho film to use Perspecta stereophonic sound. Allmovie praises the film for its excellent special effects. The Mysterians (which inspired Rudy Martinez to name his band Question Mark & the Mysterians) was followed by a sequel, Battle in Outer Space. The Mysterians, Battle in Outer Space, and Gorath are considered Toho's "Space Opera Trilogy." For Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), special effects director Koichi Kawakita redesigned the giant robot Mogera into an anti-Godzilla mecha called M.O.G.U.E.R.A. (Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype).
Scientifically advanced wanderers from the destroyed planet Mysteroid request a patch of land on Earth and the right to marry earthling women. After a demonstration of their destructive abilities from the help of their giant robot Moguera, mankind must decide whether to capitulate or to resist. Predictably, the earthlings choose to resist. The Mysterians have giant burrowing dome/bases that can come up out of the earth and deploy death rays that emanate from the dome's crown and can melt the tanks and jeeps as if they were plastic. Miraculously, the earthlings develop their own death-ray equipped, agile rocket-aircraft, which enable them to blow up the domes.
Kenji Sahara - Jōji Atsumi
Yumi Shirakawa - Etsuko Shiraishi
Momoko Kōchi - Hiroko Iwamoto
Akihiko Hirata - Ryōichi Shiraishi
Takashi Shimura - Dr. kenjirō Adachi
Susumu Fujita - General Morita
Hisaya Itō - Captain Seki
Yoshio Kosugi - Commander Sugimoto
Fuyuki Murakami - Dr. Nobu Kawanami
Tetsu Nakamura - Dr. Kōda
Yoshio Tsuchiya - Mysterian Leader
A November 1, 1957, report states that Southeast Asian distribution rights to The Mysterians were sold to Shaw & Sons of Hong Kong for the highest amount paid for a Japanese film to that time. Rights to other parts of the world were sold for a record price for a Japanese film to Topaz Film Corp. in February 1958.
Lobby card for the 1959 US release of The Mysterians The film was released in the U.S. in May 1959. In July, The New York Times called the film "an ear-splitting Japanese-made fantasy, photographed in runny color and dubbed English," and concluded: "This Metro release is crammed with routine footage of death rays and scrambling civilians, not one of whom can act. Tomoyuki Tanaka produced the mess and Inoshiro Honda directed it. Peter Riethof and Carlos Montalban are responsible for the 'English version,' and may it spread no further linguistically."