Gamera vs Barugon 1966 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1966poster

Movie Information

  • Directed by Shigeo Tanaka
  • Produced by Masaichi Nagata
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Starring Kōjirō Hongō Kyōko Enami
  • Music by Chūji Kinoshita
  • Cinematography Michio Takahashi
  • Editing by Tatsuji Nakashizu Studio Daiei Film
  • Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan) AIP-TV (USA)
  • Release dates April 17, 1966
  • Running time 106 min. (Original)
  • 89 min. (USA)
  • Country Japan
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternative Titles: Gamera vs Barugon, Giant Monster Dual: Gamera vs Barugon, War the Monsters

Synopsis

The narrator relates the events that transpire in “Gamera” 1964. At the end of this film, Gamera is launched into space by Project Z and sent toward Mars. Unfortunately, a meteorite collides with the rocket, destroying it and freeing Gamera. Gamera returns to Earth and promptly destroys Kuroba Dam in Japan. After causing mayhem at the dam, Gamera picks up the scent of energies coming from an erupting volcano at Earth’s volcano. Gamera then dives into the volcano to feed on the energies contained therein.

In Osaka, a group of people hatches a plan to visit an island in the South Pacific. Two brothers, one a pilot, a mobster, and a naval officer plan to steal a giant opal from a forbidden cave in Jibashi Island. The pilot Keizuke, the mobster Onodera, the naval officer Kawaji, are sent by Kano to Jibashi Island. Landing on the island, the group encounters the Black Tribe, a pacifist group that inhabits Jibashi Island. Matsushita, a Japanese doctor, lives with the Black Tribe.

Karen, a tribal girl who acts as Matsushita’s assistant quickly guesses the nefarious purpose of the Keizuki, Onodera and Kawajiri. The three men escape the Black Tribe and journey to the cave of the giant opal. In the cave, the three men find the opal but Kawajiri finds death by the stinger of a scorpion. Onodera decides to betray Keizuke and flees with the opal, blasting the cave in around Keizuke with grenades. Keizuke is rescued by Karen, who angrily tells him that a terrible evil will be released upon the world because of their efforts.

Onodera has made good his escape and is recuperating on a freighter bound for Kobe. Onodera leaves the giant opal beneath an infra-red light to play a game of poker. The infra-red beams incubate and hatch a giant monster from the opal, Barugon. Barugon emerges from the ship as it comes into Kobe harbor, destroying it. Onodera escapes death and runs right into Keizuke’s brother, Kano. Kano has brought a gem dealer with him to appraise the opal they’ve found.

Onodera tells Kano that his brother Keizuke perished, something which upsets Kano, but not enough to keep him from asking about the opal. Onodera then tells Kano that the opal is at the bottom of the harbor, news Kano does not take well. To make matters worse, Barugon emerges from Kobe bay and proceeds to destroy everything in sight.

Kano and Onodera flee to Osaka. During another conversation, Onodera lets slip that he killed Keizuke and Kawajiri. This enrages Kano, who attacks Onodera. Onodera bests Kano and kills him, taking what money Kano has on him. Barugon then attacks Osaka, freezing large parts of the city with a freezing tongue ray, and destroying a missile strike with a rainbow ray.  Gamera, attracted by the rainbow ray, arrives on the scene. Barugon and Gamera fight. Gamera does well, until Barugon applies the old freeze ray.

Gamera then gets frozen solid and falls inert onto the ground. Victorious, Barugon departs Osaka for the next large urban target. Keisuke and Karen find Onodera, and wrest a confession about Kano’s death from him. In the ensuing fight, Keisuke beats up on Onodera and ties him up. Keisuke and Karen then go to the Japanese defense ministry. There Karen outlines a “Diamond Lure” defense. This plan uses the giant diamond of the Black Tribe to lure Barugon into a lake to drown. The plan is affected but fails to move Barugon out into the lake.

Afterwards it is theorized that the infra-red radiation has made Barugon immune to the effects of the “Diamond Lure”.  Another plan, the “Infra-red Diamond Lure” defense is hatched. This would involve putting the Black Tribe diamond in an infra-red generator and using the resultant ray to lure Barugon to a watery death. Karen reveals that rain weakens Barugon and the Japanese military keeps Barugon doused with artificial rain.

The “Infra-red Diamond Lure” defense is put into effect. Onodera, however, gets wind of the plan and resolves to steal the Black Tribe diamond. The plan is executed and this time Barugon follows the lure without hesitation. Just as Barugon is about to be drawn into heavy water, Onodera bursts on the scene and steals the Black Tribe diamond.

Barugon approaches the boat carrying the infra-red generator and destroys it. Barugon then eats Onodera – and the Black Tribe diamond. Having failed, the Japanese military keeps Barugon sedated with rain. In dejection, Keizuke and Karen visit the site of Barugon’s attack on the missile battery and discover an anomaly, everything but glass has been destroyed.

From this comes the theory that Barugon’s infra-red beam can be reflected. With this information, the “Reflect attack” plan is hatched. A giant mirror is constructed and put in front of Barugon. Barugon is then goaded into firing the rainbow ray. The mirror reflects the ray back upon Barugon, but the monster stops firing before the ray can be lethal.

This exchange again attracts Gamera, who has thawed out after last battling Barugon. This time, Gamera manages not to get frozen, and eventually manages to drag Barugon into deep water, where the monster drowns. The threat vanquished Gamera flies off in search of some convenient volcano for dinner.

What I think about this movie

The movie is one of the better movies of the Showa series of Gamera movies. The things I like about this movie are the actual crystal ruby type egg that Barugon comes from. And he grows to be a very huge monster. Barugon has some pretty impressive weapons let’s start with the rainbow weapon and did I know what you want to call it but it does burn everything in his path that is one bad ass rainbow. That long tubelike, has that freezes everything in sight and freezes Gamera that is a pretty impressive weapon itself. All in all I don’t have anything really bad to say about this movie because like I said is one of the best ones in the Showa series. The one part when I 1st seen this movie I was very young is when Gamera pulls the monster into the water and drowned him it was a little eerie being a kid and seeing Gamera hold him down initially and drowned his ass. That took me a little by surprise, but as you watch them more more than memory tends to fade away.

Trivia

  • This is the only film in the series to not feature a child as the main human character.
  • The first Gamera movie in color.
  • The first draft of the script didn’t have any references to the first movie.
  • Onodero’s mistress wasn’t in the first draft of the script.

Closing Statements

This like I mentioned earlier is one of the better movies of the Showa series of Gamera movies. I like Barugon and all his impressive weapons Gamera does have a tough time at this one but he manages to pull off like he does it all the other movies. This movie if you haven’t seen it is definitely worth watching.

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