Sunday, January 29, 2023

Gamera, the Giant Monster (1965) directed by Noriaki Yuasa


Oddly this is personal film for me. I used to watched Creature Double Feature on UHF TV with my mother and this was her favourite monster.. it wears ridiculous and Gamera was "the friend of the children".As my mother died recently, it seem a homage to her to cover this here. 

Gamera was a direct response to Godzilla. Made by a rival studio it was pretty much a ripoff of the king of the monsters. No one wanted to direct it so they gave it to a failed director who was just happy to get hired again and to everyone's surprise it was a big hit! It led to a long series of films with Gamera some more serious than others but all of them fairly bizarre. Many of the films are pretty violent for children's films and many don't seem to make the slightest attempt to make sense. 

Regardless of your memory of Gamera, the Giant monster, this movie is a lot more random and ridiculous than you remember. The fact that there is a giant turtle the shoots fire from its leg holes when they are retreated into it's body and flies around is just the start of it. Why is he the friend of children? He save a kid in this movie. The kid love turtles but how Gamera would know that is never explained. Gamera must of killed 100s of kids on one of many rampages in the movie as well. The scientists come up with a a plan to get rid of Gamera, a "Z" plan... I guess because it's the last chance and last letter of the alphabet? They lure him in to a trap which consists of using fire to get him to stand on a platform which closes a huge container over him and sends him to Mars... I guess he will be Mars's problem from then on. How this thing was built and implements in what must have been a couple days at best is also not explained. In the end, it doesn't really work as the next movie starts with an asteroid hitting the spaceship, freeing the giant monster and he head immediately back to earth! 

Gamera was along running joke between my mom and I and as dumb as it is it will always have a place in my heart. My spouse watched it with me, he had never seen it and oddly enough found it fun! 

I made my own poster for the film not long ago. If I can get some money together I want to make a t-shirt from it. Miss you mom. 


Lawrence said...

The MST3K version is especially hilarious since the Z-plan ending mirrors host Joel’s fate of being shot into space.

T' said...

What an odd movie to have in common with your mom! I actually think this is the weakest film of the Gamera "oeuvre." My favorite is "Destroy All Planets," with the two weird aliens that want to eat the brains of the two witless kids who fly a ship back to their planet. There's another one I really like, too which involves a giant squid monster and a spaceship that looks like the back ends of five bumble bees stitched together. Gamera, in general, IS lot of fun mostly because the movies are so cheaply made and horribly dubbed. They were a staple of the "Creature Double Feature" with host Dale Dorman. Channel 56 forever!

Behemoth media said...

I know! She loved "the friend of children thing". We just watched "Destroy all Planets" over the weekend! The latest one has a GREAT dinosaur monster villain. I love how it looks but Gamera looks like a Disney version of Gamera in it! I think it is called "Gamera the brave". Will "Shin Gamera " be next?

Behemoth media said...

I had forgotten about the "Z Plan" ending when it watched it this time and how weird and dumb it was! I watched alter gamera film with the MST3K guys after this and man... these Gamera movies are so strange! I had seen them all multiple time but never wrote about them critically so it was like seeing them for the first time!