Message from Space? 1978
Here is an obscure reference I found:
Walnuts in Space
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley/Canoga Park area of Los Angeles in the late 70's early 80's. This was not the most glamourous of neighborhoods. For example, one of the area's landmarks was a decaying movie house that showed double-features of second-run films for only .49¢. I recall seeing lots of different movies there during my childhood (Saturday Night Fever, Hair, and Ragtime all come to mind). But the movie I most fondly remember seeing there was some sort of post-Star Wars rip off I saw with my father that somehow involved glowing walnuts. Yes, glowing walnuts.
At first I was bored out of my mind. I may have even dozed off. But then characters in the film started discovering glowing walnuts (apparently sent from space) in their beverages and elsewhere and these discoveries seemed to signify something important to those who found them (I don't remember what). It was at this point in the film that the audience began laughing — timidly at first, but eventually quite uproariously. When it was over, my father kept saying that he really couldn't tell if the movie was supposed to be a comedy, but that it was one of the funniest movies he had seen in a very long time.
Over the ensuing years, my father would bring up the "walnut movie" from time to time; but neither of us had any idea what it was called. And when we asked people about it, no one knew what we were talking about.
I started thinking about the movie yesterday. It's just one of those things that crosses my mind on occasion. So I typed "70's sci fi movie walnuts" into Google. and lo and behold, the results gave me exactly what I was looking for. After 25 years, I now know what that crazy walnut movie was! It was a 1978 Japanese production called Uchu kara no messeji that was released in the U.S. as Message from Space. Here are all the details from IMDB. It hasn't been officially released on DVD, but it looks like there are some DVD-R copies floating around on Ebay. I'll see if I can get a winning bid. I'm sure the movie is horrible. But if there was ever an opportunity to regain — even for just one brief moment — that lightening in a bottle that was my childhood, this must be it!
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