Gamera 1965 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

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gamera 65poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed: Noriaki Yuasa
  • Producer: Hidemasa Nagata,Yonejiro Saito,Masaichi Nagata
  • Japanese Release Dates: November 26, 1965. Running time 80 min. (Original)
  • US Release Date: December 15, 1966. 86 min. (USA)
  • Alternative Titles: Gammera the Invincible, Giant Monster Gamera, Gamera: The Giant Monster


A scientific expedition journeys to the arctic in search of evidence of a race of giant, prehistoric turtles. Interrupting this scientific endeavor is a mid-air battle between U.S. fighter jets and bombers of unknown origin. During the battle, one of the bombers is damaged and crashes into the arctic ice cap. At this point, we learn the bomber is carrying nuclear weapons since a nuclear explosion occurs.

The heat and radiation from this explosion, revives a dormant, giant, prehistoric turtle – known as the legendary monster Gamera by the Eskimo natives. Gamera proceeds to free itself from the ice and wander around the Arctic landscape. Gamera happens upon the research vessel for the turtle expedition and proceeds to destroy it. Only Dr. Hidaka, his assistant, Kyoke, and a news reporter Sakurai, because they are off ship, manage to survive.

Stopping in New York, Dr. Hidaka announces the existence of Gamera and states his theory on Gamera’s origins. Gamera, meanwhile, appears in Japan and moves to attack a power plant. Dr. Hidaka arrives at the power plant and directs the military to electrocute Gamera with high voltage wires. The electricity has no effect, and indeed only seems to strengthen Gamera. Dr. Hidaka yields control of the situation to the military.

Artillery fire, rockets and machine gun fire pelt Gamera, again to no effect. Gamera then demolishes the power plant and releases much flames and wreckage. To Dr. Hidaka’s horror, Gamera then feeds on the rampant flames, gaining sustenance from the released energies. It is hypothesized that Gamera is made of some organic metal and that such a construct gains sustenance from energy directly.

Dr. Hidaka and the military try to brainstorm a plan to destroy Gamera. The military offers to use a new freeze bomb to stop Gamera dead in its tracks. Unfortunately, the military acknowledges that the freeze bomb has only a temporary effect. A plan is put into action to use the bomb on Gamera. Gamera is attacked as it crawls over a mountain top. The   freeze bomb is detonated and renders Gamera immobile upon the mountain top. Japanese army demolition teams then race frantically to plant charges in the mountain as Gamera slowly melts. The charges are completed just as Gamera frees itself from the effects of the freeze bomb. The charges are detonated. The mountain explodes and Gamera is thrown down upon its shell and is rendered incapable of movement.

The Japanese military hopes that Gamera will be unable to flip itself back onto its feet and will slowly starve to death. Unfortunately, Gamera displays a previously unknown ability, flight capability, and lifts off the ground and flies away. Gamera flies around the world, doing fly-bys of all the major cities.

Gamera appears briefly on a coastal town in Japan, where it attacks a light house and saves a little boy. That good deed accomplished, Godzilla proceeds to level Tokyo in a one night destruction fest. In desperation, Japan turn to the scientists of the world, who concoct a plan to lure Gamera to a rocket launch pad and shoot Gamera into space? A hurricane threatens the scientist’s plan, but in the end, Gamera is lured into the rocket and launched towards the planet Mars, where the turtle can live without harming Mankind.

What I think about the Movie

Well because it’s the original it is set like that of Godzilla 1954 it has a very serious tone to it. I especially like the black and white versions especially Gamera approaches the light tower with the kid it is a sight to see. He doesn’t find any monsters in this movie it pretty much just wanders destroying everything in his path and the cool thing about this movie is Gamera steps down inside of a pod which turns out to be a rocket and is sent off into space however in the next movie the rocket collides with the meteor and yes Gamera flies back to earth. I like this movie like I mentioned before it has a serious tone to it and the next couple do as well but then they get stupid after one until the Heisei Series.


  • A sequence with Gamera attacking two strippers in a nightclub was shot, but cut from the final finished version of the film.
  • This is the only film in the series in which Gamera does not fight another monster.
  • This is the only film in the Gamera series that was filmed in black and white.
  • This was the final kaiju movie to be filmed in black & white.
  • This is the only film in the series with Gamera as the antagonist.

Closing Statements

this is perhaps the best movie of the Showa series with the exception of maybe Gamera versus Baragon 1966 or Gamera versus Gyaos. These 3 movies scene but in the top of the list for comes in the Showa movies. It is a very good movie very entertaining movie for Gamera to be an antagonist this movie is pretty solid. It gives off the same eerie feeling as the original 1954 Godzilla movie. It is worth a watch if you have not seen this yet.


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