Gamera vs Jiger 1970 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1970poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Yoshihiko Manabe, Hidemasa Nagata, Sandy Frank
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Starring Gloria Zoellner, Arlene Zoellner, Koji Fujiyama, Daigo Inoue, Reiko Kasahara, Daihachi Kita, Goroo Kudan, Shin Minatsu
  • Music by Kenjiro Hirose (Gamera song only) Shunsuke Kikuchi
  • Cinematography by Akira Uehara
  • Editing by Yoshiyuki Miyazaki
  • Studio Daiei Film Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan) Sandy Frank (US version)
  • Release Dates July 17, 1971
  • Running Time 87 Min.
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternative Titles: Gamera versus Giant Demon Beast Jiger, Gamera vs Monster X

Synopsis

Movie starts off on storm-tossed Wester Island located; you guessed it, deep in the South Pacific. Stock footage highlights of Gamera’s previous monster battles are displayed: vs. Barugon; Gyaos; Viras and Guiron. Scene shifts to Osaka, site of the Japan World Fair. Little Hiroshi is nosing around his dads blacksmith shop. Seems that Hiroshi’s dad is building subs for children to ride in the upcoming World Fair. Keisuke, an engineer for the World Fair, stops by to see how Hiroshi is doing & to ogle Hiroshi’s sister. Hiroshi and Keisuke travel around the Japan World Fair grounds, marveling at the many feats of architectural mastery displayed there.

Hiroshi tells Keisuke that his best friend, Tommy Williams, is currently on Wester Island with his archeologist dad trying to excavate a giant statue to bring to the Japan World Fair. Keisuke suddenly gets called over to Fair headquarters and brings Hiroshi along. At Fair HQ, Keisuke tries to calm a Wester diplomat very upset over the attempts to remove a statue, the Devil’s Whistle, from the island. This is the very same statue that Tommy’s dad is excavating. Keisuke tries to calm down the Wester diplomat by giving him a slide show that displays where in the exhibit the Devil’s Whistle will go, but images of the statue just incense the Wester diplomat and he stalks out muttering about curses and a “Jiger”.

Segue to Wester Island, where Prof. Williams stands on the brink of airlifting the Devil’s Whistle to a waiting ship, the Nakai-maru. Then, Gamera suddenly appears on the scene trying to keep the archeological team from removing the statue. Gunfire from Prof. Williams’s teams distracts Gamera long enough for the helicopters to bring the statue over to the Nakai-maru, which then promptly departs. Before Gamera can munch on the archeological team, a volcano on Wester Island erupts and lures Gamera away. Back in Osaka, Tommy and his sister relate their story to Hiroshi.

Seems they hate Gamera as an evil monster. Hiroshi is mortified by their attitude and chides them that Gamera is the friend of all children, so there must have been something very wrong in removing the statue for Gamera to object in such a way. On Wester Island, the old resting place of the Devil’s Whistle suddenly erupts with activity. The monster Jiger has awakened and roars her challenge to the world.

Gamera answers and the two monsters fight against the backdrop of an exploding volcano. Jiger attracts objects with her claws and jet through the air. Gamera still manages to latch onto Jiger and gives the big monster a serious beating. Jiger falls on the ground and appears dead. Gamera approaches to finish Jiger off. Too late, Gamera realizes that Jiger has been faking – Gamera is punctured in the arms and legs by nose spears from Jiger. A stray blast of Gamera’s breath hits Jiger and drives the monster in to the sea, leaving Gamera upside down to fend for itself.

In Osaka and anxious Prof. Williams and Keisuke await the arrival of the Nakai-maru. The ship has not communicated with the port authority for some time. Keisuke finally gets through, seems that many of the ship’s crew have become sick since taking the statue on board and believe it to be cursed. Keisuke organizes the dock workers to truss up the Devil’s Whistle, which is then carried away by World Fair helicopters.

Out at sea, an approaching Jiger cuts a merchant ship in 2. Soon after Jiger comes ashore in Osaka, rampaging free throughout the city, seemingly in search of something. On Wester Island, Gamera finally wins free of the spears and immediately heads off towards Osaka. Back at Fair HQ, Japanese military and scientific figures have gathered to figure out how to deal with the new Kaiju threat.

The head scientist, Dr. Suzuki, reveals that Jiger’s primary weapon is an ultraviolet/ultrasonic ray that breaks down atoms. Their musings are interrupted by the arrival of Gamera in Osaka. Gamera advances on Jiger, who fires her nose spears. Gamera blocks this attack with a factory tower and flames Jiger in return. Gamera tries to use the same tower to swat Jiger, but Jiger evades. Gamera then rams Jiger and tosses the giant beast around. But Jiger uses her suction powers to trap Gamera with its shell up and then injects Gamera with a Jiger egg. Mortally stricken, Gamera staggers off, only to collapse halfway into the water.

With Gamera vanquished, Jiger continues her rampage. There is a news conference at fair HQ. Closing the Japan world fair is discussed. Prof. Williams shows up with news of the statue emitting a strange sound and causing some workmen to become sick and complain of the “horrid sound”. Jiger suddenly appears and attacks the Devil’s whistle, casting the statue into the sea. From Jiger’s behavior, Dr. Suzuki and Prof. Williams surmise that the sound of the whistle hurts Jiger. Hiroshi then suggests to the assembled scientists that another way to hurt Jiger might be to revive Gamera.

The brass at Fair HQ pursues this idea, using helicopters to get a composite X-Ray shot of Gamera. What they find is disturbing. Gamera has been impregnated with Jiger’s larval progeny, and this Jiger larva is eating Gamera away from the inside. Prof. Williams demonstrates a similar case of parasitic birth in elephants and recommends exploratory surgery on Gamera to discover the full extent of the giant turtle’s wounds.

Hiroshi and Tommy get a jump on the authorities by taking out the sub Hiroshi’s dad built and piloting it into Gamera ala “Fantastic Voyage”. Tommy’s sister, Susie, gets wind of the boy’s plan and immediately tells Keisuke, their parents and the authorities, all of whom freak out. Roaming around inside Gamera’s body, the boys communicate with Fair HQ by wireless phone. Keisuke guides the boys to Gamera’s lung, site of the larval Jiger.

The boys land and get out searching for the little critter. Larval Jiger finds them, and chases them around for a while. Larval Jiger finally corners Hiroshi, who throws the cordless phone at larval Jiger in desperation. Miraculously, however, larval Jiger shrieks in pain and eventually dies in agony from the static on the wireless phone. Prof. Williams and Dr. Suzuki conclude that the static heard on the wireless phone is of a frequency and amplitude that is toxic to Jiger. This explains both the purpose of the Devil’s Whistle and Jiger’s obvious distaste with it. 

Fair HQ then formulates a plan to weaken Jiger by using large numbers of speakers to blast Jiger with sound. At the same time, Fair HQ hopes to revive Gamera using electrical shocks to the turtle’s heart. The boys volunteer to enter Gamera a second time to place the wires. Both plans are set into motion and brought to fruition in short order. Huge arrays of speakers are deployed to give Jiger a very unpleasant lesson in “surround sound”.

Overvoltages from the power plant revive Gamera from the coma brought on by Jiger. The power drain is so great, though, that power to the speakers restraining Jiger is cut. Freed of the prison of sound, Jiger rampages towards the Japan World Fair. Gamera intercepts Jiger, itching for a rematch.

Jiger tries to nail Gamera with nose spears but is blocked by a rock. Jiger and Gamera struggle back and forth, but Jiger is on the losing end of this exchange. Gamera crushes Jiger’s tail stinger, and pummels the monster heavily. Suddenly, Gamera flies away. The people at Fair HQ tremble as Jiger gets up and comes right at them and despair that Gamera has abandoned them. In reality, Gamera has fetched the Devil’s Whistle and returns with it to attack Jiger.

The fluting noise of the Devil’s Whistle drives Jiger berserk. The monster stops the attack on the Japan World Fair and tries to snatch the statue from Gamera. After several attempt, Jiger only succeeds in getting Gamera to plant the Devil’s Whistle in Jiger’s forehead. This ends both the battle and Jiger. Amid the cheers of adults and the adulation of Hiroshi, Tommy and Susie Gamera returns to Wester Island with Jiger and the Devil’s Whistle.

What I like about This Movie

It’s one of those movies you either like it or you don’t. I especially the monster Jiger because of his roar and the way he is built. He seems to be one of those monsters that is unstoppable. Gamera does have his hands full with this one. What I like about this movie is the monsters and the ancient statue that destroys Jiger in the end. What I don’t like about this movie I don’t have too much bad to say about it because I haven’t seen in a while and I do remember it wasn’t the worst movie I have ever seen. It is one of the better ones and this one is not so cheesy with wimpy little boys and girls. Not trying to put them down but this is a monster movie. No place for children here.

Trivia

Filmed at the real Expo ’70 World Fair in Osaka, Japan.

Closing Statements

If I can vaguely remember this movie wasn’t all that bad the monster was one of the better ones. It was killed in the most unique way. Gamera through this coming statue towards Jiger and it ended up in his four head killing him for good. This is a movie you need to say because it is at the top of the list of better show what Gamera movies.

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