ESPY

Japan Release: 1974
Running Time:
94 minutes

ESPY


Japanese Title

エスパイ
[Esupai]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho

Political turmoil is boiling over in the European country of Baltonia. Hoping to intervene, the United Nations dispatches a committee. In route, though, the delegates are killed, each shot in the head by a sniper. However, none of the delegates were visible to the assassin before being killed. Meanwhile back in Japan, race-car driver Jiro Miki is picked up by the International Pollution Research Center. The center, however, is a front for the United Nations' International Psychic Power Group. They reveal that Jiro is telepathic, having access to extraordinary powers. The group, also known as ESPY, manages to recruit the former driver. Their mission is to protect the Baltonian Prime Minister, fearing an anti-ESPY group, also telepathic, is behind the rash of assassinations and is targeting the European leader....

Live Action Science Fiction

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

ESPY

Initial US Title

ESPY
US Distributor: Toho (1975) / Time: 87 minutes

Alternate Titles

ESPY
[Literal translation]

ESPY Threat Extrasensory
[Italian]

The War of the Occult Powers
[Spain]

 


Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Staff

Cast

Directed by Jun Fukuda
Writing credits Sakyo Komatsu, Ei Ogawa
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Fumio Tanaka
Music by Masaaki Hirao, Kiyohiko Ozaki
Cinematography by Masaharu Ueda
Film Editing by Michiko Ikeda
Production Design by Shinobu Muraki
Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Yoshio Tamura Hiroshi Fujioka
Jiro Miki Masao Kusakari
Goro Tatsumati Katsumasa Uchida
Maria Harada Kaoru Yumi
Teraoka Goro Mutsumi
Salabad Eiji Okada
Ulrov Tomisaburo Wakayama
Airline Captain Robert Dunham
Hojo Yuzo Kayama
Baltonian Prime Minister Steve Green

Posters


Box Office

Release Date: December 24th, 1974 (Japan)
Distribution Earning: ¥827,896,000 / $2,800,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

DVDs and Blu-rays

Japan Region 2 ESPY Toho (2004)

CD Soundtracks


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Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on December 8th, 1986 with the registration number of PA0000317017. The movie was submitted under its international title, ESPY, and its Romaji title of Esupai.
  • Writer Sakyo Komatsu created the story behind ESPY as an ongoing story for Weekly Manga Sunday (週刊漫画サンデー - Shukan Manga Sande), which began serialization in 1964.
  • Toho purchased the rights to the story in the 1960's when it was first produced, but the script lamented at the company until the success of Submersion of Japan (1973) brought the concept to the forefront. This is referenced in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Director Jun Fukuda credits the success of the film to timing, that it was the next movie created from Sakyo Komatsu's work after the immense success of Submersion of Japan (1973). Producer Fumio Tanaka has a less idealistic perspective, citing its success more to double billings than even its attachment to writer Komatsu. These conflicting views are found in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Before casting had started, writer Sakyo Komatsu had envisioned the Maria Harada character as being played by Karou Yumi. To his delight, she was awarded the part. These details are mentioned in the 2012 book Toho Special Effects Movies: Complete Works (ISBN: 9784864910132).
  • The villain's hideout was originally aboard a satellite. Director Jun Fukuda notes that this was changed to the mansion in the mountains for budgetary reasons. This detail is mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Reflecting on the final cut, director Jun Fukuda has expressed disappointment over the teleportation scene. In particular the lack of surprise or impact from those observing it, lamenting that it comes across as "it's teleportation, it's nothing new" as if this were a common occurrence. This statement is listed in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Actress Linda Blair from The Exorcist, who was touring Japan at the time, was sought after to appear in the movie as one of the villains. Blair was enthusiastic and wanted the role, but her manager declined to have her participate. This fact is found in Age of the Gods (self-published).