Gamera: Revenge of Iris/irys 1999 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


g3poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Shusuke Kaneko
  • Produced by Miyuki Nanri, Naoki Sato, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa
  • Studio Daiei Film
  • Release Dates March 3, 1999 (Japan)
  • Running Time 108 Min.

Synopsis

Movie opens in an equatorial Jungle in 1999. The ornithologist from Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Nagamine is escorted to a remote jungle village. There she finds the remains of a young Gyaos rotting in the sun and being beaten by the mother the monster’s last meal. Ngamine now realizes that the Gyaos are back.

Segue to a submarine expedition off Okintorishima, Japan’s southernmost point. A research team piloting the robotic submarine, Kaiko, finds dozens of Gamera shells resting on the ocean floor. The team realizes that Gamera is neither unique nor the first of its kind to tread upon Japan.

At this point the title credits roll and feature flashbacks to action sequences seen in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. The action then segues back to the pivotal battle in that movie between Gamera and Gyaos.  A professional photographer carries his daughter into the family car and then rushes back into their apartment to retrieve his wife. The father finds his wife trying to get the family cat, Irys out from under the bed.

The cat rushes out of the bed and into the living room, where she finds her husband recklessly taking photos of the battle between Gamera and Gyaos going on right outside their living room window. His indulgence turns out to a fatal mistake as Gamera is hurled into the building, destroying it before the daughter’s horrified eyes. Her last conscious moment is watching the Gamera looming over the freshly made tomb of her parents.

Open eyes wake the girl, Hirasaka, from the nightmares of her past, into the misery of her present. Hirasaka is living in the remote town of Minami Asuka, Nara Prefecture with her brother and uncle. She is very unhappy without her parents and continues to blame Gamera for her misfortune. Her uncle wants Hirisaka to move on and change her name to his family name. She does not want to do this at all.

Segue to military/corporate building where we see two mysterious figures, a man and woman, escorted into a classified storage area. Here the pair are shown several comma-shaped jewels collected by the Japanese government during Gamera’s visit to Sendai during Gamera 2: Advent of Legion. All of the jewels are decayed (perhaps because they need to be in proximity to either Gamera or the individual to whom Gamera is telepathically linked),

Segue to Ryuseicho temple where some girls dare Hirisaka to find a magic stone contained in the temple. If she finds the stone, they will leave her brother alone. Hirisaka finds the stone, which has markings that look similar to Gamera and another strange monster. The stone glows when she touches it. A boy, Moribe, comes on the scene and tells the other girls to shove off. Moribe meets up with Hirisaka, and tells her that she needs to return the stone she took.

Moribe tells his female friend, Miyuke, to stay put. Moribe and Hirisaka carry the Gamera stone back into the cave. Moribe explains that his family’s duty is to be guardians of the temple ruins and to safeguard the very stone Hirisaka has disturbed. The two try to replace the stone but it is too heavy and falls from their grasp, causing a strange wailing sound to issue from deep inside the temple. Hirisaka and Moribe look around and find a strange egg-shaped stone at the back of the temple. All the strange happenings freak out the young couple, who hasten out of the temple.

Her curiosity aroused, Hirisaka asks her cousin about the Ryuseicho. The cousin obliges her, relating to her a portion of Chinese mythology that tells of a Guardian of the South, Ryuseicho. The guardian is aligned with the constellation Hydra, the water snake. Her cousin tells her that a turtle (Gamera) guards the North, a tiger guards the West, and a dragon guards the East. Her cousin tells her that the Guardian of the South is the enemy of the Guardian of the North. This fact interests Hirisaka a great deal.

Segue to Tokyo, where Nagamine returns home and receives a mysterious package from a Shinya Kurata in Kyoto. Bird Lady also receives word from Kobayashi to go to the Monster Damage Control Committee meeting. Walking to the meeting, Nagamine encounters someone who reminds her strongly of the detective she worked with in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Osako. The man denies he is Osako and moves on.

Segue to Minami Asuka, Nara Prefecture. Moribe tries to start up a conversation with Hirisaka’s brother. Moribe learns that his parents accompanied Hirisaka into Tokyo from another town to be with her while she had her appendix taken out. So Hirisaka blames herself (and Gamera) for her parents’ deaths. Hirisaka shows up and puts a quick end to the personal history research. Moribe tries to tell Hirisaka not to hate Gamera, that the big turtle is a friend to humanity. Hirisaka tells Moribe to tell her dead parents that Gamera is a friend of humanity.

Segue to the Tokyo and the Monster Damage Control Committee. Nagamine finds the interior minister, another face from Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, at the proceedings. The minister points out the mysterious woman, Mito Asakura, to Nagamine. Turns out that she is the government’s chief “fortune teller”. Segue to evening in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Osako is hanging out with some other homeless people. Fireballs from Gamera lighting up the sky shatter his rest. Gamera is in pursuit of a Gyaos and unleashes a barrage of fireballs at the beast.

One fireball connects with Gyaos and it plummets into Shibuya, destroying a hotel. Gamera lands in pursuit, and goes after Gyaos with no regard for the people dying all around. Gamera incinerates the stricken Gyaos with a fireball that incinerates everything for a radius of several blocks. A second Gyaos arrives on the scene and attacks Gamera. Gyaos’ sonic beam obliterates several buildings. Amidst the chaos, a small boy is about to be killed by Gyaos’ sonic beam. Gamera shields the boy from the attack and obliterates the Gyaos with a fireball. Chunks of burnt Gyaos fall on Shibuya while the boy tearfully wonders if Gamera is good after all.

News reports flood in about the damage caused by Gamera’s battle with Gyaos. Hirisaka watches these reports and they confirm everything she knows is wrong with Gamera. Casualties hovering between 15-20 thousand people, high-level meetings on Gamera, military mobilizations, all these confirm Gamera as a threat that must be stopped. Hirisaka thus goes back to the Ryuseicho temple ruins, hoping to find something that can be used against Gamera. What Hirisaka does find is a strange jewel shaped like a comma that glows when she touches it, eliciting a strange sound from the surrounding cave.

Segue to Moribe being told by his grandmother that he will one day be guardian of the Ryuseicho and that it must be safeguarded at all costs. Moribe’s grandmother tells him that the Ryuseicho will bring great disaster and sorrow upon Japan if it released. However, nothing should happen as long as the guardian stone remains in place within the temple. Barring the stone, his only defense against the monster is a 10” dagger kept near the shrine.

The dagger can kill the Ryuseicho. He hasn’t quite told her that he has already failed miserably at his task. Moribe then follows a sinking suspicion back to the temple ruins and finds Hirisaka cuddling the infant Ryuseicho. Moribe’s desire to kill the young monster is curtailed by Hirisaka’s affection for the monster, which she names Irys.

Back in Tokyo, Nagamine decides to investigate the mysterious disk sent to her. The disc is a Dreamcast game that simulates environmental effects and civilizations. Shinya Kurata programmed the game. The game revolves around mana, or the planetary life force. The Gyaos attack Japan when it is low in mana, as it was in 1995 and is now in 1999.

Segue to Kyoto, where Shinya Kurata gets a call from Mito Asakura, who tells him that the Japanese government has authorized Gamera’s destruction. Segue to the Ryuseicho shrine, where Moribe I pulling out the 10” dagger to take care of Irys, when Hirisaka shows up with food for Irys.

Moribe confronts Hirisaka about Irys. Hirisaka tells Moribe that Irys and she are very much alike; both have had their families destroyed by Gamera. Moribe, chastened, grudgingly leaves Irys alone. Later, Hirisaka goes to visit Irys, but finds no sign of the creature. Hirisaka chases after Iris and finds the creature wasting away in the forest. Hirisaka comforts Irys, who seems to immediately grow stronger from the attention. Irys then enfolds Hirisaka into an embrace and the two proceed to bond symbiotically.

Segue to the Tokyo Natural History museum. Nagamine meets up with Asagi and the two compare notes on Gamera’s recent activities. Asagi also mentions the mysterious life force “mana”, relating to Nagamine that modern industrial nations drain mana from the earth and this attracts monsters like Gyaos and Legion.

Segue to the Ryuseicho shrine. Hirisaka’s family discovers that she is missing at dinner. They call Moribe to check in. This prompts Moribe to check out the temple ruins to see if anything is amiss. Something is very wrong there. Irys has drawn Hirisaka into a cocoon and is merging with her. Moribe uses the 10” dagger to cut the umbilicus and free Hirisaka. Unfortunately, Hirisaka remains comatose and needs to be sent to the hospital.

Segue to Kyoto, where Shinya Kurata listens to reports of more Gyaos attacks and news of a typhoon approaching Kyoto. Back in Tokyo, Nagamine reconnects with Osako. Osako relates how his life went down the tubes after his encounters with Gyaos and Legion. Nagamine and Osako watch TV report of Gyaos sighting near Minami Asuka in Nara prefecture. Osaki offers to help Nagamine and she immediately accepts his offer.

Nagamine and Osaki visit Nara and find widespread destruction. Unfortunately, the dead do not seem to be victims of a Gyaos attack. Nagamine and Osako learn that phone lines were cut near Ryuseicho temple, so they set off to investigate the temple. The pair visits the shrine and finds the remains of Irys’ birth. Nagamine send the tissue samples off to the National Genetic Research Laboratory to determine if the tissue comes from Gyaos, or another monster. Osako thinks the tissue may come from a new monster.

Just then, Moribe comes running up to the shrine and they learn about Hirisaka’s coma from him. Nagamine and Osako go to the hospital to see Hirisaka, accompanied by Asagi. They immediately notice the jewel on Hirisaka’s chest. Asagi is shocked at Hirisaka’s jewel telling Nagamine that it is like hers but black and larger in size. Nagamine questions Hirisaka’s doctor, who tells her that Hirisaka has an enlarged hippocampus, the brain organ that deals with memory and emotion.

Hirisaka and her condition come to the attention of Shinya Kurata and Mito Asakura. Nagamine get email from her geneticist friend, Sakurai. He tells her that Irys’ chromosomes are not related to Gyaos at all. Headlines appear in newspapers @ Gyaos appearing all over the work. Osako tells Nagamine he wants to question Moribe some more. Suddenly, Hirisaka’s brother shows up and tells Nagamine that Hirisaka has been taken away from hospital to Kyoto.

Segue to Kyoto, where Mito Asakura checks in on the comatose Hirisaka performing a ceremony where she invokes Irys against Gamera. This wakes up both Hirisaka and Irys, who then attacks and kills some campers in Nara.

Nagamine gets a call from the Interior minister, who reveals the location of Hirisaka and Mito Asakura. Nagamine and Asagi travel to Kyoto and are met by Shinya Kurata. They learn that she is linked to Irys and controls Irys. Shinya Kurata continues, telling Nagamine and Asagi how the Gyaos serves a noble purpose, weed out the human populations and restoring mana to the Earth. Nagamine and Asagi do NOT agree with Kurata’s worldview. Shinya Kurata goes on to say how Gamera is an earth vessel and how Gamera should satisfy the needs of the planets more than the needs of man. Kurata believes Gamera does not do this because it is still connected to mankind.

Segue to Nara prefecture, where a GSDF platoon discovers Irys. Irys discovers the GSDF platoon. Irys proceeds to annihilate the platoon in short order.

Segue to Kyoto; Nagamine and Asagi confront Asakura about Hirisaka. Nagamine then proceeds to liberate Hirisaka from Mito Asakura. Osako finds a moribund Moribe sitting alone outside the Ryuseicho temple. Osako tells Moribe to get off his ass and to go to Kyoto if he wants to help her. Nagamine, Asagi and Hirisaka arrive in downtown Kyoto, just as a typhoon hits.

Irys goes airborne and flies toward Kyoto. Irys is picked up by a JSDF AWAC plane, which dispatches JSDF fighter jets. Planes engage Irys but are too slow to hit Irys. Irys closes in on the jets with its tentacles, but ceases it attack with Gamera’s arrival. The two monsters battle in midair. Irys hits Gamera with its tentacle beams while Gamera pummels Irys with his saucer attack. As Irys is hurt, Hirisaka recoils in sympathetic pain. The JSDF intervenes in the battle, firing Patriot missiles at Gamera. These impact, letting Irys escape, but do no damage to Gamera. Gamera races off in pursuit of Irys, who approaches Kyoto. As Gamera approaches Kyoto, the girls encounter Shinya Kurata and Mito Asakura.

Shinya Kurata tells Nagamine, Asagi, and Hirisaka that Irys was created to destroy mankind before Gyaos could. Shinya also predicts Gamera’s defeat at the hands of Irys and that Irys will merge with Hirisaka to become even stronger. Hirisaka senses Irys’ arrival in Kyoto. Irys lands in Kyoto during the typhoon, like some dark god brought to life, and heads toward Kyoto train station – and Hirisaka. Shinya Kurata notes how Hirisaka moves to a balcony to be close to Irys as it approaches her. Mito Asakura looks on and he comments that, although she has the blood of a priestess like Asagi and Hirisaka, her bloodline is too thin to control Irys.

Gamera arrives in Kyoto and rains fireballs down upon Irys, who brushes the attacks aside and turns Kyoto into a raging inferno in the process. Gamera flies by Irys, lands and then moves on Irys. The two monsters face off. Irys is the bigger of the two. As the typhoon subsides, the battle begins. Moribe and Osako arrive in Kyoto and rush towards Kyoto train station, while Gamera and Irys battle one another.

Hirisaka feels the advantage is hers in this battle and orders Irys to kill Gamera. Irys complies by running Gamera through with an arm spike. As Gamera lies impaled on Irys’ arm, Nagamine and Asagi plead desperately with her for Gamera’s life. Mito Asakura then snatches away Hirisaka’s necklace, severing her link with Irys. Mito tries to control Irys herself, but cannot seem to do it. Finally, she manages to compel Irys to withdraw its arm spike from Gamera, but in so doing lets Gamera fall on Kyoto station, and her.

Shinya Kurata also dies at this moment. Gamera and Irys stumble through Kyoto station, destroying it. With Gamera fallen, a triumphant Irys meets up with Hirisaka once more, while Moribe tries desperately to get above Irys to hit him with the 10” dagger. Irys opens itself up to Hirisaka and invites her in. With no other option, Moribe hurls his dagger at Irys. The weapon bounces harmlessly off Irys, but hits Hirisaka, breaking her trance. Too late, she realizes that being sucked into Irys is a bad idea – as she is sucked into Irys. 

All is well with Irys until Gamera rises up yet again and attacks. Irys responds by slamming Irys against the wall of Kyoto station and impaling Gamera’s hand. Then Irys beings to drain Gamera’s life force from the wound it has created. Realizing that death is imminent, Gamera sacrifices its own hand by blowing it off to deny Irys power.

The confusion caused by this act of self-sacrifice allows Gamera to shove its good claw into Irys and remove Irys’ heart (Hirisaka). Meanwhile Asagi tries desperately to free Nagamine from wreckage in Kyoto station. Irys then readies a killing attack on Gamera with its tentacles. Irys fires on Gamera, but Gamera catches the blast in the stump of its hand and drives the energy right back into the exposed chest cavity of Irys.

This reflected energy shatters Irys from the inside out, along with the rest of Kyoto Train station. The girls are protected from the blast by Gamera’s bulk. Nagamine, Asagi and Moribe recover to find Gamera happily stomping on the smoking innards of Irys. Gamera returns a dying Hirisaki to Nagamine and Asagi. The girls try to revive Hirisaki but are unable to keep her from slipping away. Asagi looks up and pleads to Gamera to help Hirisaki.

Gamera accedes, bringing vitality back into Hirisaki with its mighty roar. Hirisaka revives, to the amazement of Nagamine and Asagi and the joy of Moribe. Hirisaka knows NOW that Gamera is not her enemy and not the cause of her parent’s deaths. Gamera moves away from Kyoto Station.

Segue to JSDF headquarters, where reports indicate thousands of Gyaos are descending upon Japan. The JSDF (FINALLY) orders attack orders switched from Gyaos to Gamera. With one last bellow, Gamera sets off through the flames of Kyoto to do battle with the Gyaos horde – mortally wounded, alone. Perhaps for its last battle.

What I like about This Movie

I have to say that this movie is perhaps the most technologically sound out all of the Heisei Series movie. No storyline it does come up short I really didn’t care too much for the storyline and then not saying it’s the worst, but it leaves you hanging just don’t know what happens to Gamera when all the Gyao show up recover in the last movie Gamera messes up the Earth’s energy and now everything is out of whack.

What I like about this movie clearly the suit is the best looking suit of all the Gamera. It has such an evil look than it looks really impressive. Let’s talk about Irys he goes through many stages and she is considered an abnormal or different version of a Gyaos. Like I said earlier many different stages to her final form truly awesome. What I didn’t like about the movie I would have to say I didn’t care too much for the storyline.

Closing Statements

This is a really good movie when it comes to special effects and sound as well. Gamera just looks truly awesome in this and this new monster Irys she does stand apart from all the other once that is for sure. The actual movie goes like this a young girl named Ayana is pissed off at Gamera because in the movie Gamera: Guardian of the Universe 1995 seems to her that Gamera till her parents. In this scene you see a completely different Gamera and it is called Trauma Gamera or Nightmare Gamera this is totally bad ass. I would love to see them doing movie with this suit it would be awesome if they get the storyline right.

Anyway she has a connection with Irys forces Irys to try to kill Gamera however we all know that’s not at work. Towards the end of the movie she realizes that her anger has consumed her rational thinking. Realizes that Gamera is a good guy and all is well in the end. This is one of the best of the best if you watch all of the Heisei Series Gamera movies then you definitely add this one to the list. In the end of the movie Gamera walked out of Kyoto station weary and exhausted with one less arm however you do see a tremendous amount of Gyaos storming in on him. This is where the movie ends however they did not pick up on that in the next movie to me is quite a disappointment because we go back through the child friendly Gamera.

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Gamera: Attack of Legion 1996 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gvslposter

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Shusuke Kaneko
  • Produced by Miyuki Nanri, Naoki Sato, Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa
  • Studio Daiei Film
  • Distributed by Toho (Japan) ADV Films (USA)
  • Release Dates July 13, 1996
  • Running Time 100 Min.

Synopsis

The movie starts in space with meteorite showers bombarding the Earth. One large meteor impacts in northern Japan, at Sapporo. A group of amateur astronomers, headed by a woman named Midori Honani, are startled by the meteor’s impact. The meteor strike prompts the mobilization of a disaster response team to investigate the meteor’s effects on the countryside. Colonel Katarese and Hanatani head up the disaster response team.

The team gets onsite and checks out the meteor strike. Col. Katarese and Hanatani are not comforted to learn that the meteor changed direction in midflight to avoid smashing into the earth at full force. The blast from the strike has no pollution or radioactivity. Normal meteors do not exhibit these qualities.

Honani is hanging out back at the Sapporo science center with a colleague. They notice that the phone lines no longer work in the science center and that this has been the case since the meteor landed. But the source of the problem seems distant from where the meteor landed. Honani gets a call from someone describing a green glow to the south. We see a green glow in the Southern skies. Honani then goes to Lake Shikotsu for a closer look with her boss. Honani’s boss talks about unusually intense northern light activity.

Honani’s journey ends when a strong magnetic field kills their car. Honani gets out to take a look around. She runs into Katarese and Hanatoni. They find Honani and her boss’ info about the strange electromagnetic fields very interesting. Honani posits the idea that the meteorite moved and notes how strange it is that the meteorites all bee-lined towards earth. Then Katarese’s lighter goes crazy when he tries to light a cigarette.

A couple of days pass, Katarese and Hanatani investigate strange goings on at a beer bottling plant. A guard there reports exploding bottles and a strange monster. At the NTT Sapporo network operation center, the management team can only watch helplessly as someone (or something) destroys their fiber optic network. By the next day it seems that cables are being removed, not destroyed. Honani notes that this activity started in the south and moved north. It is concluded that the meteor might be playing a role in recent events.

Honani gets call #2, it’s Katarese and he wants her help. They visit the glass factory together and she confirms her theory that something is moving north from Lake Shikotsu. the security guard relates a story that he saw a crab-like creature eat the glass bottles. We find that this same guy used to be a police detective who saw Gyaos in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. Analysis of the glass at the beer factory come ins. Seems as if the glass was chemically dissolved into silicon powder.  Honani mourns all the threats Japan has to face and voices her suspicion that this threat is probably extra-terrestrial.

The next day the scene changes to a subway station in Sapporo Odori subway Station. A train runs suddenly into rubble on the track. The conductor stops the train and sees monsters surround his train. The monsters then dissolve the glass windows and attack him & the passengers, killing them. But the monsters only take glass.  The military arrives on the scene. Cordons off the station. Katarese and Hanatani show up. A military team descends into the tunnel to find the missing subway car but are instead attacked by monsters and many are killed. Honani watches the unfolding events on TV with great concern. Then the TV dies. Suddenly a giant plant bursts out of the ground and wraps itself around several buildings.  At the phone network center all systems go offline. Katarese and Hanatani show up for real with the disaster unit.

At the subway, the team descends into the tunnel. Back topside, the military becomes worried that the atmosphere in the tunnel has 4 times the normal amount of oxygen. Katarese and Hanatani go down into the tunnel and  find strange creatures hard at work at  . . . .something . . . A squad member then discovers survivors from the subway and the team gets them out, but are left puzzling over  why some people were attacked and others were spared. Katarese and Hanatani are called into active duty and report their current findings. Hanatani reports that the creatures are increasing oxygen levels to a point where people cannot survive, Katarese says that the creatures must die for humanity to live. Segue to Honani who compares the creatures & pod to leaf cutter ants and the mushrooms the ants grow. She tells this to Katarese.

Nighttime in Sapporo. The plant flowers, prompting the JSDF to attack the flower. The JSDF sets up camp and evacuates Sapporo. JSDF then plants explosives on the plant roots. Honani and the science team do a simulation of the blast damage from a detonation of the O2 contained in the flower. They think that the flower will launch a pod, creating an explosion the blast would be comparable to an A-Bomb, a 6km blast radius. The flower gets ready to burst. Nearby on the Sanriku coast, a helicopter patrols the shoreline.

Checking out a strange contact the helicopter is nearly destroyed when Gamera bursts from the ocean. In Sapporo, JSDF blows the tunnel. This causes the plant to lose life and restore power. Gamera is sighted approaching Sapporo. JSDF moves to attack aliens. Gamera arrives. “Cool effects on body” Gamera beelines towards the plant. Gamera blasts the flower pod to bits with a fireball. Gamera then attacks and overturns the plant body before hitting it again with a fireball. The creatures in the subway then swarm out and engulf Gamera. The small  creatures wound Gamera seriously. Gamera stumbles about until flying away. Katarese gives a name to the strange menace:

“And he asked him, “What is thy name?” And he answered, saying . . . “My name is Legion. For we are many. “

A transformer draws off the bugs until Gamera can retract his body and saucer away. Gamera’s blood splashes off Honani.  A giant Legion then emerges from the rubble and flies off to the South. JSDF jets chase in pursuit and, apparently, shoot the giant Legion from the sky. News reports tell of the battle and how dead Legion litter the seashore where Gamera retreated into the water. The JSDF is desperate to find out any information on Gamera, so Honani points them to Asagi, the girl telepathically linked to Gamera. Katarese and Honani attend a dissection of the alien Legion. At the operation they discover that the Legion have a hard shell but are hot air beneath it all.

Katarese, Obitsu and Honani meet at Honani’s place. They compare notes on Legion: that Legion is a gaseous creature; that Big Legion is probably still alive; that Legion’s skin is a semiconductor. Legion is made of silicon. Making silicon produces oxygen. This explains the high O2 levels and missing glass. Legion creates silicon to make O2 for its pod and the O2 powers pod launch into space. Legion is made of silicon, a  semiconductior. But why build in cities? Honani then gives the men a drink. And they guess that Legion communicates electro-magnetically.

Radio signals drive them crazy, so large sources of electricity, cities seem like enemy nests. “Cute reference to Gamera: GOTU with a shot of the downed Tokyo Tower”. From JSDF headquarters in Tokyo we segue to a Pachinko parlor in Sendai where dead Legion are discovered. Katarese is sent to Sendai. Obitsu and Hanimani check out the Pachinkco Parlo. They see lots of dead Legion. The next morning, a pod flowers at Sendai Station. The city is then evacuated for 6KM radius in case of a pod detonation. News reports telll of a mass exodus of Sendai. Katarese sends Honani to Kasuminome airfield at Sendai.

The airfield is suddenly attacked by Giant Legion.  The last evacuation helicopter with Asagi and Honani cannot take off because of the turbulence of Legions emergence. Gamera appears and protects Asagi.  Legion begins fighting Gamera to delay the turtle long enough for the seed pod to launch. Gamera distracts Giant Legion long enough for the helicopter to get away, but gets a big can of whoop ass applied in the process. Katarese tells his commander that the city is lost and that they should flee. With Gamera seemingly vanquished, Legion leaves.

Gamera, wounded, gets back up and continues on. Katarese sees Gamera go towards the center of Sendai and towards the flower. Gamera destroys the flower, but is too late to stop the seed pod blast. So Gamera throws itself on the seed pod to prevent it from launching. The resulting explosion obliterates Sendai and, seemingly, Gamera as well. “Awesome effects when Sendai goes boom” Cool snippets ensue from world papers, including times.

At JSDF HQ the mood is grim. Tokyo is threatened. Don’t know how or when Legion will attack. Honani suggests Legion cannot reproduce until a seed is launched. Gamera has stopped them twice but now seems dead. HQ resolves to defend Tokyo at all costs. Shot of Gamera’s battered copse. Segue to Obitsu as he learns that small legions are attracted to a certain type of electromagnetic wave. Segue to Tokyo and an announcement from the Prime Minister. He states that Tokyo is next target of Legion. The fight against Legion is vital to nation’s survival. He invokes JSDF Article 9 that authorizes deployment of armed forces. Several “Top Gun” shots of the JSDF Tank forces.

More news reports. Japanese helicopter report. More JSDF tank love shots. Honani helps Asagi go to Sendai to try and revive Gamera. Helicopters find Giant Legion traveling underground. At JSDF headquarters, the brass plan more attacks on Legion. Obitsu goes to command center and gets promised a drink after the battle by Hanatani. More JSDF tank love shots. Mt. Akayuki. Sendai Station now, as children gather with Asagi near Gamera. Their thoughts and Gamera’s sigil are employed to revive the stricken turtle.

At Mt. Akayuki, Legion emerges from underground. JSDF opens fire. Legion retorts. Tanks die. Back at Sendai Station, the prayers of the children and the sigil of Asagi fuse to create a coruscation of energy. Segue to Mt. Akayuki, where Giant Legion rakes the tank regiments with blistering death rays. Facing tank losses of over 50%, the military commander withdraws the tanks and calls instead for jets to bomb Giant Legion. Giant Legion then releases a swarm of Legion towards Tokyo at over 150MPH. At Sendai, the combined force the children’s prayers and Asagi’s sigil re-energize Gamera.  “Cool Resurrection scene” Gamera revives and takes off towards Tokyo.

Gamera flies off in flipper mode. Machine guns cut down some of the approaching swarm. Gamera joins battle with Giant Legion, by landing and unleashing a flurry of fireballs on the monster. Legion uses a force shield to deflect the fireballs and recalls the Legion swarm to attack Gamera. Obitsu commandeers a power station in a desperate bid to divert the Legion swarm. Obitsu gets the power station running and the signal draws the swarm away from Legion, much to the creature’s dismay. HQ dispatches helicopters to destroy the Legion swarm, drawn to the power station. Meanwhile, Gamera fights Giant Legion. Big Legion pins Gamera on the ground and prepares to blow Gamera’s head off. A quick burst of Gamera’s jets blows Giant Legion’s shot off course. Giant Legion approaches the 2nd Japanese defense line with Gamera still trying to stop him.

“It is confirmed that Gamera seems to be trying to stop Giant Legion.”

Segue Nasaki transmitting station. Obitsu arrives as the swarm is clustered around the power lines. Obitsu checks inside the power station, while Katarese arrives at the power station. Segue to Giant Legion kicking Gamera’s ass. Gamera’s steadfast defense of Tokyo prompts the military commander to issue the following order:

“Order all forces to fire on Giant Legion and support Gamera”.

JSDF launches missiles at Giant Legion, who stops some, but gets hit enough to lose some arms and the shield power. This allows Gamera to score a hit on Giant Legion with a fireball. Stunned, Giant Legion now gets slapped around by a very pissed Gamera. Segue to power station. Attendant is cursing Obitsu for commandeering power station. Both men are almost killed by a stray Legion. The creature is dispatched by Katarese. Katarese informs Obitsu that he has come with anti-tank helicopters to finish the Legion swarm. Anti-tank helicopters then destroy the swarm. Gamera rushes Giant Legion while it is confused and manages to rip off its power horn.

This REALLY hurts Giant Legion. Giant Legion revives though, and hits Gamera with some sort of energy whip. Giant Legion uses this new weapon to punch Gamera through Tokyo’s final defense line. Segue to power station where tank helicopters blow up swarm. The swarm’s death injures and confuses Giant Legion. This allows Gamera to get back up off the ground and use its final weapon, where Gamera draws upon the life energy of Earth itself and fires it out reflex-gun style as Giant Legion approaches. Giant Legion is then literally blown away by Gamera’s power blast.

The enemy toasted, Gamera flies away as the JSDF soldiers salute the turtle. Asagi, her bond with Gamera sacrificed to save the turtle, bids her friend a tearful goodbye. Segue to Sapporo where Obitsu and Honani walk together and talk about Gamera. Honani says Gamera protects the earth not necessarily man and warns us not to get on wrong side of the conflict.

What I Think about This Movie

Legion regardless of what anyone says he did is Gamera toughest opponent to date. The reason I say this is because all through the movie Gamera has tried to stop Legion, but has failed. Gamera has thrown everything and Legion, but she manages to keep coming until the end.

This is because the armor how to use a different energy force to destroy Legion is call earth Mana which is an energy that surrounds the entire planet and keep things in balance. After using this energy in the next movie the balance is upset. Things I like about this movie obviously Legion fantastic design here. The many weapons of Legion and her swarm are another thing that is high on the list and put a hurting on Gamera. The negatives about this movie I really can’t recall any because this is my favorite Gamera movie from the Heisei Series. My favorite Gamera suit is that of Gamera three.

Trivia: I have a small amount of trivia for the movie Gamera vs Legion 1996

March 11, 2001, there is a lot more irony in the girls standing in front of Sendai Station and saying that New York is dangerous. In fact, the whole Sendai destruction sequence is somewhat disturbing.

Goofs

The “My name is Legion” quote is from Mark 5:9, not Mark 9:8 as claimed by one of the soldiers (in the dubbed DVD version)

Closing Statements

I have to say that I am quite impressed with this movie and everything about it seems that Shesuke Kaneko is by far the best director when it comes to making Kaiju movies. With the exception of Ishiro Honda and some others that are atop that list. It seems that each and every time that he does a Gamera movie he does get better however the third one the storyline does slip a little bit what the special effects are top-notch. This movie if you haven’t seen it you need to see is that good.

Gamera: Guardian of the Universe 1995 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


ggotuposter

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Shusuke Kaneko
  • Produced by Hiroyuki Kato, Shigeru Ohno, Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa, Seiji Urushido
  • Studio Daiei Film
  • Distributed by   Toho (Japan) ADV Films (USA)
  • Release dates March 11, 1995
  • Running time 100 min.
  • Country Japan

Synopsis

A transport ship, the Kairyu-Maru, is plying the waters of the South Pacific ocean, carrying over a ton of plutonium waste to a disposal site in Japan. The Kairyu-Maru is escorted by a Maritime Safety Agency Patrol boat Najima, piloted by a man named Yonemori. Suddenly, the Kairyu-Maru runs aground – not strange except for the fact the ship is in the Phillipines Deep, where the bottom of the ocean is 6000 feet down. Radar shows the object the Kairyu-Maru hit is a drifting reef, which then suddenly dislodges and floats away. The transport suffers only minor damage, but the incident is reported in several papers, prompting an investigation of the incident by the Maritime Safety Agency.

At Maritime Safety HQ, Yonemori is questioned about the incident by the head investigator, Dr. Kusanagi. While Dr. Kusanagi assures Yonemori that the accident was not his fault and that no damage occurred, Yonemori nonetheless feels very shamed by the incident. Yonemori further implores Dr. Kunasagi to include him on the Yasu Marine Investigation team,which will go searching for the floating reef. Dr. Kunasagi is noncommittal about including Yonemori in the mission. Segue to Fukuoka Municipal Zoo, where a Professor Hirata is the presiding ornithologist. His assistant, Nagamine is conducting research while Prof. Hirata is away at Himegama Island to investigate reports of giant birds. Segue to Himegama Island, engulfed in a typhoon. A sailor and policeman desperately try to flee the island, but are killed by an unknown enemy.

Segue to a residential neighborhood outside Fukuoka, Yonemori visits a local grocer’s shop to get some liquor as a gift to present to Dr. Kunasagi when he pays the Dr. a housecall. By chance, Dr. Kunasagi’s daughter, Asagi, is at the store shopping and not only recommends a good bottle of liquor, but also takes Yonemori back home with her. Dr. Kunasagi arrives home to find Yonemori cooking for him with Asagi looking on bemused. Dr. Kunasagi resigns himself to Yonemori’s persistence and tells the man that he has found a position for Yonemori on the Yasu Marine Investigation.

Yonemori is visibly elated by the news. The next day the pair embarks on the research ship Kenzaki to search for the floating reef. Segue to Fukuoka Municipal Zoo, a police detective informs Nagamine that Dr. Hirata and the inhabitants of Himegama Island have been missing now for several days. When the detective mentions that “a giant bird” was involved, Nagamine’s interest is piqued enough to compel her to accompany the detective to Himegama island. Nagamine and the police detective search the island for clues as to what happened to the inhabitants. All Nagamine finds is a giant animal dropping pellet – containing Dr. Hirata’s pen and glasses.

Brief segue to the Kenzaki, where Yonemori finally strikes gold and discovers the strange, floating reef.

Back at Himegami island, Nagamine and the police search futher and discover the source of the giant pellet is discovered – a giant, birdlike creature. Nagamine and the detective race after the creature in a helicopter, hoping to track it and warn the mainland of the creature’s imminent arrival. The Air Traffic Controller at Nagasaki airport thinks the detective’s story is crazy, but puts out a general warning nevertheless. Nagamine manages to get the creatures’ attention with the helicopter, but the giant avian almost destroys the helicopter before Nagamine fends it off by stunning it with camera flashes.

Before peeling away, Nagamine discovers 2 other creatures have joined the first flying above Himegami Island. Newspapers and television shows broadcast news of the strange, new, birdlike creatures.

Segue to the research ship Kenzaki, where the Yasu team is studying the floating reef closely. They determine the general size of reef and discover that is emitting low levels of radiation. Prof. Hirata directs the team to venture onto the reef and search it. The team discovers strange, comma-shaped symbols on the reef as well as a strange metal object embedded in the reef. Prof. Hirata orders the metal object to be excavated.

Seque back to Japan, where the police detective pleads with Nagamine to meet the Japanese cabinet and to serve as the zoological advisor in the matter of the giant birds. At first unwilling, Nagamine is finally swayed by the earnest detective and proceeds to attend the cabinet meeting on the giant birds. At the meeting, Nagamine meets several cabinet members including environmental agency commissioner Saito. Commissioner Saito has authorized Saito to capture the giant birds, and he wants Nagamine to give him a plan to do it. Nagamine protests that the birds are unknown and dangerous. Saito informs her in no uncertain terms that their decision is final and her cooperation is expected.

Segue to research ship Kenzaki, the Yasu team has successfully excavated the metal statue which has a set of heiroglyphs engraved upon it.

Prof. Hirata prepares to airlift the statue off the reef. Yonemori touches the statue and finds it as warm as a person’s skin. Yonemori’s colleague does the same, and the contact causes the statue to shatter. With the statue destroyed, the reef comes to thunderous life. Yonemori is thrown into the ocean, and glimpses a monster beneath the reef.

Back in Fukuoka, Nagamine and the detective are working late trying to find a way to capture the giant birds. The detective hits upon using Fukuoka baseball stadium to trap the birds while they feed. Nagamine suggests that they use helicopters with strong lights to direct the birds to Fukuoka and then force the birds to the stadium. At the stadium, huge piles of meat will entice the birds to feed. Multiple doses of the sedative succinycholine would then be shot into the birds to sedate them. The Cabinet approves Nagamine’s plan and it is set into motion. As the trap slowly closes in on the bird creatures, however, Yonemori shows up and warns them of a giant monster fast approaching Fukuoka.

Commissioner Saito dismisses Yonemori’s monster to concentrate on capturing the giant birds. The giant birds take the bait and fly down to the floor of Fukuoka stadium to feed on the piles of meat dumped there. Unfortunately, the military opens fire on the birds too early and one manages to escape. A military helicopter tracks the beast, until a giant monsters burst forth from Fukuoka Bay and smashes the giant bird into an oil refinery, where it is incinerated.

The monster Yonemori mentioned has arrived and makes a beeline for the stadium, where the other two giant birds have been placed into cages. The residents of Fukuoka, civilian and military alike flee before the approach of the hulking turtle monster. The monster demolishes part of Fukuoka stadium trying to reach the birds imprisoned there. Sensing an imminent loss of life on their part, the giant birds use sonic beams to break free of their cages and to fly away. The giant turtle monster retreats into its shell and fly’s off in pursuit of the giant birds.  Yonemori and Dr. Hirata have dinner with Asagi and discuss the new monster. Dr. Hirata has translated the heiroglyphs from the statue found on the floating reef and believes the monster to be a creature called Gamera, created by the Atlanteans many years ago to counter a threat called Gyaos – apparently the giant birds.

Yonemori gives Asagi one of the comma-shaped amulets from the reef as a gift. The amulet glows mysteriously when she incants the translation from the statue. Nagamine returns to Himegami Island to learn more about the Gyaos, but only finds cannibalized corpses in the cave which was once their nest. At the next Cabinet meeting, Nagamine reveals that the Gyaos eggs are 10,000 years old and that the Gyaos are all female. Commisioner Saito concludes that Gamera is a bigger menace to society and persists in his desire to capture the giant birds.

The Japanese military is mobilized to locate Gamera, and they concentrate their efforts on the Seto Inland Sea in hopes of locating the giant monster. Sensing the encroaching Japanese military, Gamera flees the area by rocketing into the air and heads towards Kii peninsula. At this same location, Dr. Kusanagi & Yonemori are looking for Nagamine and a research team that is searching the countryside for Gyaos. Coming to a small village, the pair witnesses a mass exodus of people from the village. They stop a villager, who tells them that Nagamine and the research team found Gyaos – an it was hungry. Yonemori rushes towards the area where Nagamine was last seen, only to encounter her on a bridge, fleeing Gyaos with a small child. Nagamine and the child become trapped on the bridge, and Yonemori only manages to put himself in the path of danger. Just as their fate as a Gyaos snack seems sealed, Gamera appears.

The giant turtle roasts Gyaos with a plasma fireball. Unfortunately, a third Gyaos immediately swoops in to avenge the death of its sibling. Gamera takes damage protecting Nagamine, Yonemori and the child from Gyaos’ sonic beam. Gyaos then flees, with Gamera in hot pursuit.  Gamera’s actions prompt Yonemori to state plainly to Dr. Kunasagi that Gamera is on mankind’s side in this fight. Unfortunately, the Japanese parliment disagrees and enacts a bill authorizing the Japanese Self-Defense Force to attack and destroy Gamera. Missiles launched by SDF fighters punish Gamera just as the 3rd Gyaos is about to be destroyed by a plasma fireball. Gamera crashes into the forests surrounding Mount Fuji. Asagi learns of the Japanese parliament vote and SDF attack on the radio.

These actions prompt her to rush off to the battle zone to help Gamera, first by train then later with the help of a slightly loony cab driver. Night falls on Mt. Fuji and Asagi arrives just in time to witness the Japanese SDF launch a full scale bombing and artillery barrage upon Gamera. The ferocity of the SDF attack is so great that Gamera is knocked on its back and rendered temporarily helpless. Gyaos, watching the battle from high above, seizes the opportunity to finish off its greatest foe. Only Asagi’s breathless mental surge to Gamera allows it to jet out of harm’s way, but not before taking some serious beam damage to one of its arms. The SDF realizes belatedly both Gyaos’ surprise attack and Gamera’s jet-powered escape from the battle zone. Asagi then falls unconscious, stricken by the wound she shares with Gamera.

At the hospital, Dr. Kunasagi anxiously waits for his daughter to regain consciousness. Asagi wakes up, but lies in a fevered daze. Dr. Kunasagi tells his daughter that Gamera escaped the SDF and has gone into the sea. This comforts Asagi, who tells him that she and Gamera must rest and strengthen up for the final battle with Gyaos. Asagi then loses consciousness once more.

At yet another high level Japanese military/cabinet meeting, Commissioner Saito and Yonemori spar over whether to kill Gyaos or Gamera. Nagemani recommends that they prepare against both monsters instead of fighting over which monster to kill. After the meeting, Nagemani & Yonemori go to the home of Michiya, a geneticist friend of Nagemani’s who has analyzed Gyaos’ DNA. They learn from Michiya that Gyaos is a biological weapon, an organic construct created through genetic manipulation of animal DNA. They also learn that Gyaos is male/female, hermaphroditic, and thus capable of producing offspring without a mate. It takes little time for them to realize the horror that awaits mankind should Gyaos reproduce. Segue to the forests around Mt. Fuji where Gyaos continues to feed . . . and grow.  Nagamine and Yonemori visit Dr. Kunasagi hoping to use Asagi to contact Gamera, because of her apparent psychic link to the giant turtle.

Dr. Kunasagi strongly rebuffs them suggesting that Asagi’s mental contact with Gamera could get her killed. Sitting together, the three postulate on Gamera and Gyaos’ origins. They believe that Gyaos was created by the Atlanteans thousands of years ago. But Gyaos quickly grew and reproduced out of control. Gamera was created by the Atlanteans to destroy Gyaos but showed up too late in the game to save the Atlanteans. So the Atlanteans put Gamera into hibernation, in the hopes that Gamera would save future generations from Gyaos.   Later, Yonemori and Nagemani hang out at a bar and lament how mankind’s abuses of nuclear energy and the earth have created the very conditions which revived the Gyaos. Segue to Tokyo, a passenger trains becomes the object of some unwelcome interest, namely from Gyaos. The giant bird creature rips a car from the trains and brings it to a park in Tokyo, where it promptly opens up the train and its occupants like canned herrings. The latest atrocity by Gyaos prompts the cabinet to revoke their support of Comm.

Saito’s plan to “capture” Gyaos. Comm. Saito meekly appeals to Nagamine to help them destroy Gyaos. Nagamine advises that they attack Gyaos during the day, when the creature appears weakest. Segue to Tennosu Island Command HQ. From here, the SDF has a clear view of Gyaos resting in the park near Tokyo tower. The SDF plans to use guided missiles to kill Gyaos. Nagamine takes a closer look at Gyaos and is disturbed to find shield plates around Gyaos’ eyes, an apparent adaption to sunlight. Nevertheless, the SDF launches a punishing missile attack on Gyaos that strikes the creature right on target . . . and succeeds only in arousing the creature to angry flight. A second wave of missiles homes relentlessly in on the flying creature. But Gyaos uses these weapons to its advantage, guiding them into Tokyo tower – destroying it and making an ideal nesting site for its burgeoning clutch of Gyaos eggs. As night falls on the ruins of central Tokyo, Gyaos screams its defiance of all mankind.

News reports tell of the creature’s power and of the economic and physical mayhem caused by the creature. Dr. Kusanagi checks on his daughter and his concern revives both Asagi and Gamera. The next morning at Tennosu Island Command HQ, Yonemori and Nagamine wearily wait what may be Tokyo’s last morning. Yonemori asks Nagamine out on a date, if they survive all this. Nagamine is psyched. Suddenly, Dr. Kusanagi and Asagi show up with a message  . . . Gamera is coming. An earthquake suddenly rips through central Tokyo stopping at the base of Tokyo tower.

Gyaos checks the threat out sleepily and then returns its attention to the nest, only to be roused once again by a resurgent Gamera and a plasma fireball wake up call. Gyaos barely escapes incineration, but its clutch of eggs is not so lucky, all of them are destroyed. Gyaos retreats by air with Gamera in hot pursuit firing off plasma fireballs. The blasts don’t touch Gamera, but DO touch large parts of Tokyo’s downtown district. Asagi and the gang chase after the pair of monsters in a military helicopter. Gamera and Gyaos touchdown in Rapongi district and give fierce battle. The two monsters rage back and forth until an ankle blade from Gamera plunges into Gyaos and send the bird creature careening back into a skyscraper.

The building collapses onto Gyaos, prompting it to slice and dice the building with its sonic ray. Gamera takes off in the confusion and goes straight up. Gyaos emerges from the rubble and gives chase. The two creatures move quickly out of sight and out of the atmosphere. As Gyaos stops to get behind Gamera, the giant turtle suddenly turns on Gyaos and bites its leg. Gyaos then plunges back into Earth’s atmosphere dragging Gyaos with it. Re-entry and the descent start to incinerate both monsters. Gyaos fires away madly at Gamera, causing both the turtle and Asagi(much to Dr. Kunasagi’s consternation) many cuts and abrasions. Gamera plunges earthward hoping to destroy Gyaos, even at the cost of its own life. Gyaos finally frees itself from Gamera by severing its own leg, regaining control just as Gamera impacts on an oil refinery.

Gyaos adds to the incendiary chaos, blasting the remaining oil tanks with its sonic beam. Nothing seems to remain in the chaos. Then the flames retreat into the center of the conflagaration, where Gamera feeds off the energy and re-energizes itself. The two monsters square off knowing the next exchange will kill one of them. They wait for the moment to strike. Asagi senses the time to strike and relays it to Gamera. Gyaos makes its move.

A sonic beam and plasma fireball whiz by each other. Gamera gets a scratch. Gyaos loses its head, and falls back dead. Gamera roars in triumph that its enemy is dead and the threat has been vanquished . . . at least until the next batch of Gyaos eggs hatches. Gamera turns to Asagi and heals the wounds she took for Gamera and then turns to the sea to return home. Asagi wishes Gamera well and assures her friends that if the world is in danger, Gamera will come again.

What I like about This Movie

I like so much about this movie that is a serious jump up from the Showa Series that I can’t possibly begin to tell you how much better it is. The Gamera suit awesomely designed Gyaos another great suit and very highly detailed with much more mobility than the original. The fight scenes are top-notch. What I did not like about the movie is nothing everything about this movie to me is great. The storyline, the action scenes, and the ending was refreshingly good to see.

Trivia

  •   The Gyaos creature was performed by a female actress so that it would convey more ‘feminine’ like behavior. Apparently this was the first time a Kaiju was ever performed by a woman.
  • The film’s Japanese poster is a nearly identical recreation of the Japanese poster of the first film in which Gamera fought Gyaos, Daikaijû kûchûsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu.

Closing Statements

Watch this movie now! Is a really good movie and Shesuke Kaneko is perhaps the best suited director for any Kaiju movie. He did the movie GMK: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: All-Out Monster Attack. If you have seen this movie and you want to see a Gamera movie that has the same, special effects then the Heisei Series of Gamera movies is a must-see, check this movie out and you see what I mean.

Gamera: Super Monster 1980 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1980poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Masaichi Nagata, Hirozaki Ohba, Shigeru Shinohara, Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Masaya Tokuyama
  • Distributed by Daiei Film
  • Release Dates March 20, 1980
  • Running Time 92 Min.
  • Country Japan

Synopsis

The opening sequence shows a sequence of space drawings with a voice in the background soliloquizing about the vastness of space and isolation of earth among the heavens. Next, the narrator relates through a series of storyboards the arrival of a giant pirate ship. The star destroye-, I mean, pirate ship then appears onscreen ala “Star Wars”, the evil leader relating to us his intention to destroy Earth.  A woman in a pet store gets a chime alarm from her earring and launches into action, performing some funky aerobic ritual and transforming into a caped SPACEWOMAN! A second woman gets the chime alarm and changes into a spacewoman before flying away.

A third woman, driving an old van, gets the chime alarm and changes the van into a glowing, white, amorphous spaceship. Meeting the pirate ship in space, the spacewomen are confronted by the tyrranical pirate leader. Xanon know about the spacewomen from the Peaceful Star and informs them that nothing they can do will thwart his plans for world domination, and they are warned not to interfere on pain of death.

Conducting a strategic retreat the spacewomen do the strange aerobic ritual to change into their non-detectable human forms and ride around in the now transformed van discussing their helplessness in the face of this intergalactic threat. Xanon wants to ensure that the spacewomen don’t cause any mischeif, so he sends Spacebabe, his leuitenant, down to Earth to locate and destroy the spacewomen. Spacebabe touches down on Earth and assumes the guise of a comely, young earth girl to search for the spacewomen. An earth man hits on her and is electroshocked into submission by SpaceBabe.

Segue to a Japanese household, where young Akiachi is trying to learn how to play the piano and failing, badly. Frustrated by his lack of ability, Akiachi sets off in search of a new pet turtle. Akiachi tries to get a turtle from the local policeman but fails. In a pet shop, Akiachi does manage to convince the spacewoman Kalara to give him a free turtle. Kalara then gets a chime alarm an has to leave Akiachi to go home with his new pet. Kalara changes into spacewoman and rushes to confront Xanon, who rambles on about the natural disasters which will soon befall the Earth.

Then we are treated to some nice stock footage of a volcano erupting, and then some more natural disaster stock footage, and then more stock footage, and then we segue back to more awful piano lessons by Akiachi – AIIIIIGGGGGGHHHH!!!! . . . Can’t . . . watch . . . this . . . film . . . any  . . . longer [I’m back now, the Prozac did wonders.]

Akiachi’s mother intrudes on his piano practice(Ostensibly to kill Akiachi over how bad his piano playing is, but lacking any convenient weapons opts for the more subtle, physchological approach) to chide him to spend less time playing piano and more time studying. While she is at it, Akiachi’s mother gives the boy a guilt trip about keeping his beloved pet turtle captive and forces him to promise to set the turtle free. Akiachi dutifully does his mother’s bidding and we are treated to an emotional farewell scene between Akiachi and his turtle on a riverbank.

On the world front, Gyaos attacks the earth, presumably under pirate control. Stock footage fleshes out appearances of the monster. Spacewoman detects the monster and changes into spacewoman and meets her fellow spacewomen. Spacebabe detects the surge in energy and reports to Xanon for further instructions. Xanon directs Space babe to destroy the spacewomen. Space babe calls down beam fire from the star destroyer, pirate ship!

Spacewomen narrowly escape death, but a spacewoman’s red sports car/spaceship gets trashed. The spacewomen transform back to humans to escape detection. Back at the pet shop, Akiachi shows up to apologize to Kalara for freeing the turtle she gave him. Kalara tells Akiachi, no big deal. Kalara shows Akiachi her pad, and Akiachi thrills Kalara with this piano rendition of the Gamera march.

More pirate activity is detected, the spacewomen try to transform but are detected and fired upon almost immediately. Gamera shows up and proceeds to fight and defeat Gyaos in a series of stock footage outtakes, interspersed with exasperated commentary from Space babe. Akiachi runs into spacebabe and makes the wrong friend. Akiachi confides in space babe that his pet turtle changed into Gamera, Space babe in turn confides in Akiachi that Gamera is going to get its ass kicked. Akiachi doesn’t believe Space babe, and Gamera’s victory confirms his beliefs. Perplexed, space babe moves off to ponder the connection between Gamera and Akiachi.

Looking to test the connection between Gamera and Akiachi, space babe lures Akiachi out to lunch and throws the boy into a space warp that plops Akiachi down in the path of an oncoming Vigras.  During the stock footage battle, space babe exposes her true nature to Akiachi and the boy flees her. Monitoring the battle, Kalara opens a space warp for Akiachi to jump through. Denied her prize, spacebabe can only watch the stock footage destruction of Viras, and plead with Xanon for another chance.  Another shot of little Akiachi in Kalara’s room. Kalara introduces her space woman cohorts, Marsha and Mitan and reveals to Akiachi that they are from the planet of the Peaceful Star.

The spacewomen tell Akiachi that they must leave to fight Xanon. Stock footage of Star Blazers relates this gripping departure. The spacewomen in fact do not leave Earth, but retire instead to the magic van for a good night’s rest. However, space babe has detected their wheels and plants a time bomb under the van. The bomb explodes, obliterating the magic van. Akiachi stares in horror at the blackened space where his new friends once were, only to hear the voices of the spacewomen coming from a red lunchbox.

Turns out that the red lunchbox is their miniature space house and is protected from both Xanon’s bomb and detection system. The spacewomen transform quickly to check out the bomb site and then switch back to go into the lunchbox. Akiachi is charged with getting the red lunchbox, and the spacewomen, back to the petshop. Space babe nearly gets Akiachi in the process.

Kalara uses her magic organ to view Gamera’s battle vs. Jiger. Stock footage recounts Gamera’s 2nd victory against this monster. Space babe manages to plant a remote control device on Gamera, putting the giant turtle under her control. Gamera then proceeds to commit much stock footage destruction mayhem. Kalara tells Akiachi that she will risk her life to free Gamera from alien control. Kalara does the aerobic thing and switches into SPACEWOMAN! Dodging laser blasts from Xanon’s ship, Kalara reaches the probe on Gamera’s neck and manages to trick Xanon into blasting it.

Freed from alien control, Gamera jets off to its next stock footage battle. Spacewoman transforms back to Kalara, only to be confronted by a gun-toting space babe. Kalara and space babe, fight. Kalara donates a can of whoop ass to space babe. Kalara is gracious in victory, lecturing space babe and returning her blaster. Space babe is changed by Kalara’s mercy towards her. Gamera goes to the pirate’s planet (presumably) and fights a re-animated Guiron.

Stock footage relates Guiron’s grisly death at Gamera’s hand in some detail. For his victory, the viewer is treated to stock footage of the anime show “Galaxy Express 999”. Back on Earth, space babe tells Akiachi that she has learned about love from him. Gamera returns to Earth and defeats Baragon in a stock footage battle of epic proportions and predictable ending. This last defeat incites Xanon to attack Earth directly with his pirate ship. First, Xanon will obliterate Akiachi and the spacewomen.

Space babe bravely gives Xanon false coordinates and brings down laser fire on herself to save the spacewomen and Akiachi. In space, Gamera rams into the pirate ship, dying but destroying it in the process. Kalara consoles a grieving Akiachi by telling him that Gamera died to make the world a better place. Kalara then asks Akiachi to fly with her and the other spacewomen. The credits roll as we see Akiachi fly away with Kalara.

What I Think about This Movie

This movie is super loaded with stock footage. The alien women definitely the stupidest part about this movie is the cheesiest of all the Gamera movie. The one thing I do like is the new look of Gamera still has a showa series look about him. That’s the one thing I like about this movie. The rest that I hate.

Trivia

Showa era refers to the giant monster films made between Godzilla and this film. The Heisei era of giant monster films would begin with Godzilla 1985: The Legend Is Reborn but the Gamera series would not be revived for the Heisei era until Gamera: Guardian of the Universe which ignored the previous films.

Made with the intention of pulling production company Daiei out of debt. The film failed at the box office, and Daiei filed for bankruptcy about six months later. The low budget of the film is evidenced by the extensive use of stock footage; all scenes of Gamera battling other monsters are taken from previous films in the series.

Gamera knocks over a billboard at one point in the film. The camera zooms into the billboard, revealing it to be an advertisement for a Godzilla film.

Closing Statements

This is definitely not the best of the series of Gamera movies and this is because 80% of this movie is stock footage which in a sense school if you haven’t seen any of the other movies it does show you the fight scenes with all the other monsters. So you don’t want to pick up the entire collection pick this one up and you will get the highlights of all the movies if you can tolerate the cheesiness of the alien women.

Gamera vs Zigra 1971 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1971poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Yoshihiko Manabe, Hidemasa Nagata, Sandy Frank
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan) Sandy Frank (US version)
  • Release Dates July 17, 1971
  • Running Time 87 Min.
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternate Titles Gamera versus Deep Sea Monster Zigra, Gamera vs Zigra

Synopsis

Our adventure starts on a UN moon base, where the narrator gives a rousing account of humanity’s conquest of space, and the dangers in the cosmos we may face. Suddenly, out of the blackness a strange, alien spaceship appears and uses a ray beam to slice and dice the base into little pieces.

The disaster goes unnoticed on Earth, where all eyes seem to converge on the Okigawa Sea World, where cutting edge research and training is done on whales, dolphins and seals. We are treated to a short essay on how to brush the teeth of killer whales and introduced to 2 marine biologists, the nominal heroes of the film. Each biologist has 1 child, both of whom are great friend.

The biologist goes out to the ocean on a field survey and pal around while pontificating on the ecological damage of pollution. In the distance, the scientists view a UFO descending into the ocean. Curious the biologists take their boat out to sea to investigate.

Checking their boat for lunch, the biologists discover that their children have stowed aboard the boat. There is no time to chasten the little children, however, as Gamera suddenly appears on the scene and flies around in search of the downed UFO. The biologists and the kids are hit with a tractor ray and beamed aboard the alien ship. Onboard, the group is confronted by 2 aliens, space babe and someone (thing) called Zigra.

Space babe tells the group the story of the planet Zigras and their plans for earth, wanting them to return to land and tell everyone. Having a change of plan, space babe decides to level Tokyo with a magnitude 18 earthquake to prove the superiority of Zigran science. Space babe levels Tokyo with a giant earthquake, much to the horror of the biologists. Space babe rebuffs the biologists, telling them that man has polluted the Earth and are no longer worthy to rule there. She then hypnotizes the biologists with her ruby Hypnos stare.

Space babe tries to hypnotize the kids, but they fiddle with the ship’s controls and manage to paralyze space babe. The kids use the ensuing confusion to escape the alien ship with their fathers. Space babe recovers and is told by Zigra to find the children and kill them because they “know too much”. Space babe pilots the Zigran ship towards the children, destroying a freighter that gets in the way. Just when it seems that the children are doomed, Gamera swoops in and plucks the children from the jaws of death. Gamera deposits the children and their fathers on a desert island nearby before returning to battle the Zigran ship.

The children learn that they are on Noah Island near the Sea World at Okigawa. Somehow the kids return to Sea World with their fathers in tow. The kids are debriefed by the military and scientists assembled there. The folks there learn little from the children. The children’s fathers do not respond to any treatment the doctors administer for their condition. The military attacks Zigra with warplanes that are promptly zapped out of the sky. Zigra dispatches space babe to Sea World to find and kill the children. Space babe materializes in Okigawa and makes/hypnotizes her way to Sea World.  Space babe finally reaches the children but is unable to catch them.

A chase ensues with much footage and mass hypnotization. The chase ends with Space babe tricked into riding a Ferris wheel. Gamera reaches the Zigran ship hiding underwater. Lasers and Fiery breath are exchanged. Boulders get tossed by Gamera at the Zigran ship. Under this combined assault, the Zigran ship is destroyed. Zigra, however, escapes and grows to tremendous size due to the lower water pressure of Earth. Gamera and Zigra do battle, with Gamera dragging the giant shark creature onto shore. After some pounding, Zigra morphs into a land form and dope slaps Gamera with a laser beam.

Gamera falls, catatonic, into the ocean. Zigra then goes back into the ocean and swims around – lamenting the loss of the spaceship and describing how it will destroy all of human civilization while humanity can only watch helplessly. Space babe gets free of the Ferris wheel and continues to rummage around zapping people and chasing the kids. A Sea World employee tells the military about Space babe. Space babe is cornered and then knocked out by a soldier yelling “Ah” into a walkie-talkie. The military uses the walkie-talkie technique to revive the children’s fathers.

Revived, they volunteer to go underwater in a bathysphere and revive Gamera with the walkie-talkie technique. The former Space babe revives and has no recollection of her nefarious activities. The kids hide on the bathysphere the fathers intend to go underwater in. The fathers descend to where Gamera lays, stricken, underwater.  They zap Gamera with sound once. No good. They zap Gamera again, louder this time, and it was still no good. Zigra shows up, attracted by the commotion, and proceeds to beat up the bathyscaph.

The fathers manage to use light to drive away Zigra, but Zigra then zaps the bathysphere. Just when all seems lost, a lightning storm appears and zaps Gamera reviving the giant turtle. Gamera sneaks in and blindsides Zigra, which allows Gamera to rescue the bathysphere and return it to the surface. The military uses the walkie-talkie technique to revive the fathers and their children. Meanwhile Gamera joins battle with Zigra once more. Ray fire is exchanged between the two beasts. Zigra then turns to slashing Gamera with its dorsal fins, with some success.

But Gamera tires of this quickly, and seizes Zigra flying the monster into the light and onshore, where it is weaker. Gamera picks up Zigra and drops the beast from a great height. Gamera then shoves a boulder down Zigra’s snout, blocking its laser ray. Emasculated, Zigra can only observe helplessly as Gamera pummels it mercilessly. Gamera takes a tower and plays a merry tune on Zigra’s dorsal spines before cooking the fish thoroughly with its fiery breath. With Zigra burned to a crisp, Gamera endures the hero’s final speech about the importance of ecology before flying away.

What I Think about This Movie

Well let’s just say that this movie too has some cheesy moments. Let’s get into what I like about the movie and that is Zigra is a cool looking shark with great-looking detail. Gamera is still the same they don’t usually change him until 1980 minus all the stock footage he does have a new look somewhat. He is drastically change in the Heisei Series. The one thing I did not like about the movie is the xylophone scene this they went little too far with.

Trivia

  • Zigra in full shark mode resembles a Goblin shark, a rare species of deep sea shark found most commonly near Japan.
  • Gamera vs. Zigra was the only classic Gamera film not released in the U.S. until the advent of home video. All the previous films had been picked up for theatrical distribution or for television. Gamera vs. Zigra first appeared in the U.S. in 1987 via video tape, long after its Japanese release.

Closing Statements

This is one of those movies that you can sit there and watch and be amused by some of the dumb things you see in this movie we even have Zigra the talking shark (LOL) quite amusing. Some of the scenes are a little far-fetched, but all in all it’s okay to watch once in a while.

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.

Gamera vs Guiron 1969 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1969poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Hidemasa Nagata, Sandy Frank, Masaichi Nagata
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Starring Nobuhiro Kajima, Miyuki Akiyama, Chrystopher Murphy, Yuko Hamada, Eiji Funakoshi, Kon Omura
  • Music by Kenjiro Hirose, Shunsuke Kikuchi
  • Cinematography Akira Kitazaki
  • Editing by Eli Haviv
  • Studio   Daiei Film Distributed by AIP-TV
  • Release Dates March 21, 1969
  • Running Time 82 Min
  • Country Japan
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternate Titles Gamera vs. Giant Evil Beast Guiron, Attacking the Monsters, Gamera vs Guiron

Synopsis

A 50’s style narrator expounds upon the vastness of space and the hidden wonders and terrors that may lie therein. Newspapers around the world report a mysterious signal coming from space.  Dr. Shiga, a prominent Japanese astronomer, holds a press conference to report his findings. Dr. Shiga believes the signals are interstellar in origin, and as such, cannot be responded to in person. He brushes aside other reports of the signal originating from someplace within the solar system and categorically details why no known planets in the solar system can support life. Meanwhile, Akio and Tom are two young children very interested in alien life. Who are keeping up with the astronomers’ daily reports?

In addition, the boys scan the heavens nightly for any signs of alien spacecraft or new undiscovered worlds. The boys firmly believe in intelligent life somewhere else in the universe and hope other races can show humanity how to live in peace. The boys see an alien saucer in their telescope while watching the night sky. The saucer lands in some woods nearby. The boys set out with Akio’s sister to check out the saucer the next morning. Sure enough, the boys find the saucer exactly where they saw it last night. Akio’s sister resists going on to the saucer to check things out, but the boys have no such hesitations. While onboard. Tom accidentally activates the saucer’s remote control unit.

In no time, the saucer lifts off and the boys are hurtling through space towards some unknown destination. Some oncoming asteroids threaten to crush the saucer and the boys like so many grapes. However, Gamera bursts upon the scene and saves the children from certain death.  Summoned by the boy’s danger, Gamera then hangs out in space with the boys accompanying them on their journey. Gamera races the saucer as the boys cheer him on.

Suddenly, the saucer starts to speed away from Gamera. Gamera tries to catch the spaceship, but it slips away from Gamera and rockets towards its destination – Earth’s secret twin planet – Terra! The spaceship lands in a large alien city. The boys debark and start to look around, but are shocked when Space Gyaos arrives on the scene and begins attacking the city. Suddenly another monster, Guiron, emerges from a nearby riverbed and battles Space Gyaos. Guiron makes short work of Space Gyaos, slicing the monster to pieces with its hatchet head. Guiron then returns to its riverbed lair.

The boys seek refuge from monsters within the alien city.  After travelling around a bit, the boys encounter brain-eating space babes, Barbella and Flobera, the sole inhabitants of the alien city.

Barbella relates the story of their people: highly advanced sister race to the people of earth. Their computers messed up and started making monsters and an ice age. Their people tried to escape but their ship was destroyed. Now it is only Barbella and Flobera and soon they will die too, from the cold or the monsters. Offering to take the boys home with them, Barbella and Flobera play nice with Akio and Tom. The boys receive donuts and milk, but fall asleep because the food is drugged.

Seems the spaceship can only hold 2 people for the journey to earth, so Barbella and Flobera decide to use Akio and Tom’s brains for food and to absorb the knowledge of Earth people as well. Just as Flobera is to open up Akio’s head with a saw, Gamera arrives on Terra. The 2 space women leave to defend against Gamera.

Well, it seems as if Akio was a pig – eating all the donuts and most of the milk. This means that Tom is only slightly drugged up. Tom wakes up early to find all of Akio’s hair shaved off. Teleporting to the control room to see what is going on; Tom learns the space women’s true nature and watches as they unleash Guiron to battle Gamera. Tom rushes back to Akio and frees the boy from alien influence by slapping him around.

The two boys then flee Barbella and Flobera. Guiron battles Gamera, and loses, until unleashing shirukens from its hatchet head. These weapons severely wound Gamera, forcing the turtle into the seas of Terra to recuperate. With Gamera driven off, Guiron returns to its lair. With Guiron safe, the space women discover that the boys have escaped and race to recapture them. The boys and the space women play hide and seek, until they find the boys and recapture them. The boys are placed in a cage to await consumption, while the space women go off to repair their ship. Tommy uses his darts to try to hit the switch that will free them on the control panel.

Tommy manages to set Guiron free without any remote control. Guiron then proceeds to trash its surroundings and then threatens the space ship where Barbella and Flobera are working. The space women attempt to escape, but their ship is sliced in two by Guiron’s hatchet-head. Flobera is injured in the crash and then is on the receiving end of Barbella’s idea of first aid – a disintegrator pistol.

The boys get free of the cage, but are threatened by a rampaging Guiron. The boy’s cries revive Gamera, who rejoins the fight. Gamera and Guiron battle furiously, even as Barbella reaches an auxiliary control room. Here she hopes to fire missiles that will destroy both monsters. Barbella succeeds in firing the missiles but to no effect.

Guiron rewards her efforts by smashing into her hiding place and crushing her. Gamera catches one of the rockets and sticks it in Guiron’s hatchet head. Then Gamera breathes on the rocket, detonating it and destroying Guiron. With Guiron vanquished, Gamera repairs the spaceship and returns to Earth. There, amid reporters, scientists, and happy parents, the boys summarize what they learned about their search for peace and how Gamera really taught them about peace. Gamera flies off into the partly cloudy skies.

What I like about This Movie

Well it seems that this is like most Gamera movies they have a certain amount of cheesiness. Now don’t get me wrong on Gamera movies are not like this is just that in the Showa Series Gamera is to child friendly for me. The two boys in this movie they come close to getting their brains eaten out kind of like dessert for the alien women. What I did not like about this movie was the horrible acting, the two boys, and I guess that’s it.

Trivia

The first Gamera film in which a creature (besides Gamera) makes a return appearance through new footage.

Closing Statements

This is a bad movie with horrible acting. The monsters are cool because you’re on is one of the coolest looking monsters of the Showa series of Gamera movies and yes you get to see Space Gyaos who seemingly gets cut in half by Guiron. Gamera has his hands full with this one, but he does what most of them anyway. There is a cheesy moment with Gamera where he swings on a pole and the somersaults which I thought was funny but Guiron shoots stars at Gamera causing him serious pain. This movie is okay if you get beyond the crappy acting.

Gamera vs Viras 1968 Movie Review

Written by Danny Toth


gamera_vs_viras_front

Destroy All Planets Daiei was a Japanese film company who was in the red in the mid-1960′s. To escape the threat of being completely bankrupt, they gave us another monster movie series that was heavily influenced by Toho’s successful Godzilla films to rake in some of that yen that poured into the box office. They gave us giant turtle Gamera, the Friend to Children.

At first though, just as Godzilla, Gamera was a villainous beast that ravaged Tokyo. In his second film, he became the protagonist and battled the lizard-like Barugan (I think of a certain Toho monster when I hear that one’s name). In his third run, he fought the Rodan-like Gyaos. Though they were successful with children, fans of the Godzilla films often referred to the Showa Gamera films as the “poor man’s” Godzilla series.

The fourth film to star the saber-toothed turtle was GAMERA vs. VIRAS from 1968. This was the first film that cemented Gammy as the official “friend to childen,” a title which haunts him to this day, even with the inclusion of the adult-oriented Gamera films from the 1990′s. GvsV is hard to review. It’s such a strange movie and so centered around kids, that the only thing that can be said about it is how cheesy it is.

The film opens in outer space, just above Earth’s atmosphere. A very cheap looking spaceship spins around, scouting Earth for the relocation of its crew. Then, as they send their report to their own planet, Gamera comes out of no where! He crashes his head into the command bridge and lets loose great balls of fire, destroying the weird looking starship. Well now, you think. That was easy. What’s the point of continuing a film when the enemy is already dispatched within the first couple minutes?

But wait…another goofy-looking ship, this time aware of Gamera, is sent to avenge the last goofy-looking ship he attacked.

Down on Earth, we see a Japanese/American boy scout crossover group (beware the scout masters, kids). The leader is a very stern man, with no sense of fun whatsoever. Assisting him are three young girls, probably between 18 and 21. Why three sexy Japanese girls are with a boy scout group is never clear, but who cares. Apparently, I believe they were there for eye candy to keep straight, masculine thoughts in the minds of every little boy present (that’s what they did for me, anyways). But our main characters are two boys named Jim and Masao.

They are the kids left over from the “Our Gang” comedy series from some forty or so years back. They are mischievous and like to play pranks on their elders. So what? They’re kids having fun and the adults punish them for it. Not right by my standards.The kids get to ride a mini submarine, which they nearly sabotaged earlier by switching the controls. Masoa is a wiz with electronics, and Jim likes to explore. So, leave it to them to take the mini sub for a spin up and down the coast of Japan. They meet up with Gamera, swimming by offering to challenge the boys in a race. Whee.

Suddenly, Gammy and his little buddies are caught off guard by a weird beam of some sort. Gammy is captured, but manages to let the boys escape by blocking the beam with his hand. Once ashore, Jim and Masao try to convince the authorities that Gamera is in trouble and needs help (though Gamera isn’t as indestructible as Godzilla, he has character and is sort of the Batman of the kaiju genre).

While Gammy is kidnapped, the aliens tap into his memory, which is just stock footage from all the previous Gamera films. This goes on for about twenty minutes (literally). When all that stock footage passes, Gamera is under the aliens’ control after they attach this weird little radio receiver to his head.

So blah blah blah…they find that the aliens are trying to take over the Earth, the kids get kidnaped by them and all this weird stuff. Oh, almost forgot to mention, the aliens are wearing human skin as suits to live in our atmosphere, a concept that was later used for GODZILLA vs. GIGAN and again in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS. When the aliens are in dim light, their eyes emit this very, very eerie glow that would probably scare the hell out of little kids (as of this writing, I’m almost 21, and I still shiver at the sight of that).

The aliens have a secret cargo, their master Viras, a squid-like creature about the size of an average man who sits in some sort of cage thingy. Viras is a simple design, with cat-like eyes and a beak making up its small face. Tentacles drape down from its cone-shaped body. All in all though, its particularly ugly. I mean ugly.

The kids foil the aliens’ invasion plot, and soon Gammy is back to his good ‘ol self again. This time, though, he’s pissed and ready to stop the invaders from going any further. The kids run up and down the beach, and Gamera listens to their advice and starts to blow fire at the spaceship. Even when it separates into multiple vessels, the turtle is able to bring it down permanently. One section, which just so happens to be the section with Viras and his goons, lays on the ground with a big hole in its side. While the two boys watch, Viras knocks the heads off his thugs. They all really pretty much look like him. He tells them that he needs their lives to be able to kill Gamera and forces them to merge together with him. Within no time, he’s sized up to Gammy. 

The monsters engage in a long and bloody fight. Gamera shoots his fire (not too often, though) and Viras uses his weird-shaped head as a giant spear and literally drives himself into Gamera, stabbing him violently over and over (to tone the violence down, Gamera’s blood was always blue or green, but it still looked like it was extremely painful). Viras latches onto Gamera, so the turtle fires up his jet-propelled shell and flies up and up and up, until the two of them are so high up that Viras gets frosted! Then, Gammy dives down and Viras crashes into the water…dying instantly

Everyone cheers. Gamera roars. Earth is safe from squids (alien squids, that is). What else is there to say but this:

…the end.

GAMERA vs. VIRAS was a success. The reason why the film series itself was so popular was because they didn’t revolve around politics, scientific explanations and anything else that were typical in a kaiju film. They were pretty much strictly about the monsters and what the monsters do. Sure, they weren’t seen all the time, so when they were off screen, the kids in the theaters would go out into the lobby and have themselves a snack, boosting Japan’s economy and keeping Daiei in business until the company went under in the mid 1970′s.

The special effects in the Gamera films were kind of generic, but gave them the charm that we all know and love. What was done that was out of the ordinary was the constant movements of the eyes. The monsters blinked and their pupils moved, an effect rarely seen in the Godzilla series.

Another SPFX feat was Gamera’s flame. An actual flame was shot out of Gamera’s mouth (on a special suit with no actor inside), and it often went where it wanted to on the sets. The crew, most of the time, had to be ready to dodge the flame in case it decided to spray in random directions all over. This was an interesting effect that was fairly cheap, but extremely dangerous.

Gamera often is considered a rival of Godzilla as far as franchises go. There were even talks of making a “Godzilla vs. Gamera” if Toho gave the green light to a director. However, I would be against this concept due to the fact that the late Moriaki Yuasa, director of the Showa Gamera films, explained that Godzilla was Gamera’s teacher, and the turtle would never rise against his teacher (I actually was doing a fan film with that idea, but I lost ambition and my budget dried up…plus, I read what Mr. Yuasa had said to the kaiju fan community). It is my belief that to make the two battle each other as enemies would be disrespectful to Yuasa, but I would like to see them as allies.

So, GAMERA vs. VIRAS is one moldy piece of cheese. It’s not horrible, but it is easy to see why it, along with the other Showa Gamera films, ended up being heckled relentlessly on the cult TV series “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” But, it is an enlightening film that is both fun and warm-hearted.

Well, that sums up what I have to say about this little bit of film reeled together in a canister somewhere in a fan’s basement. It did have an American release, and is titled here in the states as DESTROY ALL PLANETS, mainly to capitalize the success of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. Gammy was always accused of riding Goji’s success, but that was the marketers’ fault, not his. But Gamera is still a great monster on his own, and will always hold a special place among the fandom.

(Carl Craig, who played Jim Morgan in GvsV, often appears at conventions oriented around kaiju fandom and recounts his experiences on the set to audiences. I hear he’s a good guy.)

Gamera vs Viras 1968 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1968poster

Movie Information 

  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Hidemasa NagataMasaichi Nagata
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Starring  Kojiro HongoToru TakatsukaCarl Craig Jr.
  • Music by Kenjiro Hirose
  • Cinematography Akira Kitazaki
  • Editing by Shoji Sekiguchi
  • Studio Daiei Film
  • Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan)AIP-TV (USA)
  • Release Dates March 20, 1968
  • Running time 90 minutes
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternative Title Gamera versus Space Monster Virus, Destroy All Planets

Synopsis

The movie opens with a strange spacecraft approaching the Earth. The aliens within seek to conquer Earth and colonize the planet for themselves. Earth’s atmosphere apparently has just enough Nitrogen and Oxygen for them. The alien’s leader seems to be a central computer. Gamera flies onto the scene and attacks the alien spaceship.

The aliens use a cold spray to extinguish Gamera’s front jets, but Gamera’s claws flash out and manage to destroy one section of the alien spacecraft. The spaceship retreats, but is pursued and destroyed by Gamera. Before destruction, the ship signals its home world, Viras, and warns the inhabitants of Gamera and exhorts them to find some weakness in the giant Turtle.

Two rabble rousing scouts, Masao and Jim, incite all kinds of mischief around the camp. Masao is an electronics genius. Jim is American.Masao has a big sister, Masuki. Masuki tries to keep an eye on the boys, but Masao and Jim slip away. The boys sabotage a new sub being developed by Dr. Dobie.

Because of Masao and Jim’s prank, Dr. Dobie. and the scout master have a rough time in the sub. But when the boys learn that rest of the scouts will suffer for their prank, they confess to the prank and offer to make amends for their crime. Masao and Jim board the sub fix the problem and take the sub out for a test drive. While out on the water, the boys find Gamera and play with him. Unfortunately, the Virans show up and want to play too. The Virans trap Gamera and the boys in a force field. Gamera manages to free the boys but cannot get free of the force field.

With Gamera captive, the Virans search Gamera’s memory for a weakness. The Virans learn of Gamera’s love of children. Gamera then breaks free of the force field. The boys report back to the scout camp and breathlessly report their adventure to a doubting scout master – but are interrupted by the Virans. The Virans capture the boys and hold them hostage. Then, the Virans order Gamera to land which enables them to implant a mind control device in the turtle.

Left to their own devices by their alien captors, the boys wander around the Viran ship and learn that it is controlled by thought waves. In the control room, the Virans direct Gamera to destroy Okumayshi dam (stock footage) which promptly gets crunched by Gamera. Next, the Virans direct Gamera to destroy Tokyo. The boys try to escape the Viran ship while Gamera attacks Tokyo, but are captured and tied up.

After trashing the city, the Virans threaten to have Gamera destroy Earth AND kill the boys unless Earth surrenders. The boys escape and manage to contact the military, but are told that Earth must surrender or the boys will die. The courageous boys tell the military to blast them out of the sky. Nosing around the Viran ship some more, the boys manage to reverse the brain controls for Gamera and the catch ray. The boys then use the reverse catch ray to escape. Freed of alien control and with no children at stake, Gamera attacks the spaceship and damages it seriously.

Desperate, the Virans appeal to their true master, Viras, for help. Viras absorbs the other crew and grows to enormous proportions.  Viras uses its spiked head and underwater prowess to menace Gamera for a few minutes. Viras even impales Gamera on its spiked head. But Gamera then drag/lifts Viras into the air, suffocating the beast by carrying it into the stratosphere. The enemy vanquished, Gamera departs, with teeming throngs of Boy Scouts chanting the turtle’s name.

What I like about This Movie

This is one of those movies you either like or you don’t know monster in this movie is called Viras is squid like monster and what I like about this monster is that it doesn’t have any really impressive weapons he does have one thing dictate it points over his head would get together and it suddenly hard as a rock and it forms a peak or point and he can use that as a weapon as he did in the movie by stabbing Gamera. He also gets a very head of his and some crazy predicaments like Gamera through a rock at his head and it got stuck on his head. However Gamera get the best of hand but taken all three space freezing Viras to the point where he fall into the ocean and dies. The negative side of this story is that she looking props however they can be cool because they give you a sense of retro.

Trivia

  • American International titled their U.S. version “Destroy All Planets” after the success they had with the release of Ishiro Honda’s Destroy All Monsters (1968) under the title “Destroy All Monsters”.
  • This was the first film in the series to use flashbacks from the previous Gamera films as a way of saving money on the production. In this film, the flashback sequence lasts approximately fifteen minutes.
  • This was Kôjirô Hongô’s final appearance in the series.

Closing Statements

What I think about this movie is it is an okay Gamera movie. Viras is a very cool character however he is limited in what he can do and honestly when they made this character they took the cheapest possible way out which don’t get me wrong it is a good idea when you get. Anyway if you happen to like these families this was not the worst of the bunch but it’s close to the bottom.

Gamera vs Gyaos 1967 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


gamera 1967poster

Movie Information 

  • Japanese   Daikaijū Kuchu Kessan: Gamera tai Giyaosu
  • Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  • Produced by Hidemasa Nagata
  • Written by Nisan Takahashi
  • Starring Kojiro Hongo, Kichijiro Ueda,  Naoyuki Abe
  • Music by Tadashi Yamauchi
  • Cinematography Akira Uehara
  • Editing by Tatsuji Nakashizu Studio Daiei Film
  • Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan) AIP-TV (USA)
  • Release dates March 15, 1967
  • Running time 87 minutes
  • Language Japanese
  • Alternative Titles Giant Monster Midair Battle: Gamera versus Gyaos, The Return of the Giant Monsters

Synopsis

An undersea volcano erupts in the South Pacific Ocean and also at Moyake Island. A Professor holds a news conference and tells the media about this new volcanic activity. Mt. Fuji erupts. Gamera appears, and then goes into Mt. Fuji to feed,   cheered on by a local child named Eichi. A UN research party goes off in search of Gamera’s fate inside the volcano. Meanwhile, Express Engineering Corp is building a highway in the area, but a small village stands in the way. Construction manager Tsutsumi is in charge. Tsutsumi is under pressure to finish the highway despite the volcanic eruptions and Gamera’s appearance.

UN Survey helicopter #JGC-21 gets sliced and diced by a ray beam from a mysterious cave near Mt. Fuji. Gamera is not blamed. Meanwhile, the villagers greatly hassle Tsutsumi. Eichi is found to be the grandson of the village elder and his sister is a babe! The villagers trash the worker’s camp. Eichi soon finds a reporter snooping around Mt. Futaba. The reporter convinces Eichi to lead him up Mt. Futaba to check out some mysterious lights sighted there. The pair soon finds and explores a large cave. Unfortunately, the cave is occupied  . . .  by a giant winged monster, Gyaos. The reporter abandons Eichi and tries to escape, but is killed by Gyaos. Tsutsumi & crew see the lights also and approach Mt. Futaba thinking it is gold. Meantime, Eichi finds Gyaos. Gyaos finds Eichi. Gamera finds Gyaos.

Battle ensues with Gyaos holding Eichi. Gyaos hurts Gamera with ray beams. Gamera flames Gyaos. Gyaos disdains being singed. Gamera rescues Eichi and flees. Gamera returns Eichi to the village and lets the people rescue Eichi off its back. Interesting, that Gamera would let people near so long. Eichi then holds a TV conference and tells viewers that Gyaos’ ray beam comes from its cry. Green light shows mood. Gyaos is prehistoric. Jp attack Gyaos.

But Gyaos fries them. Gamera recovers under ocean. Gyaos kills some cows. Farmer’s not happy want to sell out. Tsutsumis workers leave him. Eichi tells that Gyaos is afraid of light. Army uses flares to weaken Gyaos. Japanese forces attack Gyaos but Gyaos blows them away. Gyaos attacks Japanese forces and destroys cities, trains, planes. Gyaos likes to snacks on people. People trapped in stadium. Gyaos attacks Gamera to rescue.

Gamera attacks Gyaos in air knocks Gyaos around. Gyaos uses yellow powder to ground Gamera. Gamera traps Gyaos in the water as the sun rises. Gyaos cuts its own toes to escape. Japanese scientists learns that UV sunlight kills Gyaos. Plan is made to spin Gyaos until sun can kill it.

Tsutsumi heads the plan. Fake blood is used to get Gyaos. Gyaos takes the bait. Power fails. Gyaos escapes. Sun comes up. Gyaos flees. Plan failed. Eichi suggests they create a forest fire to flush out Gyaos. Gyaos kills the fires but Gamera comes. Gyaos drops Gamera a couple of times. Gamera finally gets on top of Gyaos and drags Gyaos to its death in Mt. Fuji. Gamera then flies away to kid’s music.

One Thing about This Movie

I actually just got done watching this movie as of February 16, 2014 it was around 3:30 PM when I started watching this because I have not seen in a while and I have to say the good points are the special effects were too bad but at the same time blatantly obvious. Gyaos is a very cool design for the Showa series there are 3 other different incarnations of Gyaos in the entire series of Gamera movies. This particular suit has the suit actor’s arms completely stretched across so that the wings do not have much movements just about to swing him back and forth.

Gamera is Gamera he hasn’t changed it looks good for the Showa series Gamera particularly fond of the Heisei Series of Gamera movies because of the suit designs my all-time favorite is the Gamera 3 suit. Some of the special effects are what they are especially when Gyaos is drinking the blood that clearly looks painting color. The lighting on top of the head of Gyaos it lights up red that was pretty cool. Gamera to slice and dice by his laser ray and goes off and does a healing process before coming back and dragging gyaos of the volcano and into the volcano.

Trivia

  • This is the first film in which Gamera bleeds.
  • Gamera vs Viras
  • American International titled their U.S. version “Destroy All Planets” after the success they had with the release of Ishiro Honda’s Destroy All Monsters under the title “Destroy All Monsters”.
  • This was the first film in the series to use flashbacks from the previous Gamera films as a way of saving money on the production. In this film, the flashback sequence lasts approximately fifteen minutes.
  • This was Kôjirô Hongô’s final appearance in the series.
  • Gamera Vs Gyaos 1967 Statistics: Here is some statistics on Gamera as well as Gyaos they are there height, weight and any other vital statistics that are interesting.
  • Gamera
  • Top Speed (Underwater): 150 knots/h (6 times that of a nuclear submarine)
  • Top Speed (Flight): Mach 3 (3 times of the speed of sound)
  • Top Speed (Stride): 20m (40 times of man’s adult) of steps
  • Powers/weapons: Flame-breath, Arm & Leg jets, Crimson energy beam from eyes, sulfuric acid mist, acidic mud, flight
  • Weakness: His weaknesses are being dried out, Hedorah fears that electricity the most.

Closing Statements

This movie is similar to Gamera vs Barugon 1967 this is another good movie based on a bird that has laser rays coming out of his mouth and it slice and dices Gamera up. The costumes I do like the suits in this movie especially Gyaos. Some of the flying scenes are blatantly obvious however that’s what makes this movie cool is not supposed to be perfect. You can see in these movies that people put forth an effort to meet these movies entertaining.

The things that I did not like about this movie are some of the acting wasn’t top-notch. Now don’t get me wrong I know Gamera in the Showa series is a child friendly Gamera, but somehow it made these movies a little too pathetic and cheesy in a way. Especially the boy in this movie is a little too happy for me at times. But this is a good movie if you can appreciate a good Kaiju movie.