Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Today's monster isn't actually a giant kaiju; it's a strictly human-sized alien, with Ultraman only directly battling their starships. Why they get a title like "Space Phantom" is anyone's guess, since they're quite physical, mortal critters and their only ability is to suck blood. They definitely have a very fun, unique design however, designed like a big, black brain with legs and a shrimp-like face down at the bottom. So what makes this an entry in our "horrifying" Ultramonsters? It may not even really be their fault.

Shortly after the arrival of their ominous, black starships, the beings are found to have been abducting and experimenting on a variety of Earth animals, for purposes unknown until one of the lead characters, a young woman, is found unconscious with a strange, red cyst on her arm - most unpleasantly portrayed by a throbbing, balloon-like prop.

When the object is removed, a Buraco soon appears to attack the sleeping girl, and subsequent dissection of its body finds the same cyst-like objects half-digested in its stomach.

What exactly drove the Buraco from their home planet is not known, but it seems they are incapable of surviving without an intake of these "red spores," and have come to Earth desperately seeking a new host for the fungal organism. By disturbing coincidence, the only suitable hosts appear to be humans with "XX" Chromosomes, which as you know is most common in women, which the aliens intend to use as what they consider "farms."

The old "ALIENS WANT OUR WOMEN!" routine was a somewhat sleazy stock trope of science fiction at the time, but this feels like a subtler, creepier, and more "plausible" take on it. It's not that these are some sort of horndog tentacle monsters, here...they need to eat to live, and by cruel cosmic happenstance, they apparently can't do so without exploiting one genotype of one species on an entirely different planet.

This situation isn't really fair to either species, and personally I have a lot of difficulty projecting human "morals" onto nonhumans...but these aliens, adorable though they may be, never show a moment's hestitation or regret in their actions, and made no attempt to simply ask us for help. Of the two victims we see in the episode, both of them even make a full recovery later...surely there are people out there who wouldn't mind providing a few crops of spores in exchange for enough money? Maybe even just for, I don't know, a starship ride? Maybe we could have put our heads together and figured out some other solution, like simply using cultured human tissues?

Any species civilized enough to travel between worlds (or, for that matter, land masses) has no excuse to look at other sapient people and see only a resource. What places the Buraco here is that cold and immediate lack of sympathy for such a deeply grotesque demand.