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Don’t Swallow Your Oxygen Gum

In my ongoing quest to find cheesy movies to write about, I watch some pretty bad ones. I try to make it all the way through them, just on principle. However, I think it is OK to write about a movie I didn’t watch all the way through, as long as I make a full disclosure.

Full Disclosure: I did not watch all of Battle in Outer Space (sorry, didn’t write down the year) (I’m not even sure I wrote down the right title; I can’t find it in any of Steven’s movie books). I don’t think I even watched enough to warrant a spoiler alert.

Steven and I tried to watch the movie twice. The second time, we weren’t even sure we had tried it before. The title didn’t sound familiar (I think I have established that it is not very memorable). On consulting the TV Journal before writing this, I learned that it was two weeks between attempted viewings.

Once it started I said, “Oh, yes, we started to watch this. Remember, the credits are in Japanese.”

Steven asked, “Is this the one where the guy goes up in the air?”

The scene Steven referred to is pretty much all I remember from the movie, and it goes way beyond “Waaait a minute” and into “Huh?” or even more vulgar expressions. A group of men (no women in this movie, another thing to dislike about it) are walking through a space ship, in outer space. Suddenly one of them starts to float up to the ceiling. One of his colleagues pulls him back down.

“I forgot there’s no gravity here,” Floating Guy explains. And they continue to walk down the corridor. On the ground! As if there’s plenty of gravity!

Excuse me, what? Just by knowing there’s no gravity they can act as if there’s gravity? It’s never explained. Not even some bad science crap like, “Push the button on your belt to create your personal gravity field.” I suppose some people would have found that harder to swallow than force of mind overcoming all, but I like an explanation, however spurious.

For example, I don’t know if anybody remembers a cartoon from (I think) the 1960s (I saw it in the ’60s) called Marine Boy. Marine Boy could function perfectly well in the water because he had — I kid you not — Oxygen Gum. I was about three years old (don’t sit there doing the math and shake your finger at me like I’m pretending to be younger than what I am) (I’m 49). I took things at face value. The only thing I found odd about Oxygen Gum was that Marine Boy put it in his mouth, gave one chew and was done. I did not have gum very often, but I knew you were supposed to keep chewing it.

I did not spend much of my young life pondering the inconsistency. I suppose it wasn’t too many years later that I began to understand the limitations of animation.

I don’t intend to spend too much of my middle age wondering what the makers of Battle in Outer Space were thinking with that gravity thing. The movie was dull, and there were not enough scientific howlers to distract me from that.

Perhaps I could find some re-runs of Marine Boy on the Cartoon Network.