Daikaijū Kūchūsen: Gamera Tai Gyaosu (1967)
This picture has been known in the U.S. as Return of the Giant Monsters and Gamera vs. Gyaos.
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa (Apparently, Yuasa was given the first picture because he was junior director at the studio, and no one above him wanted to do it. When the film was a hit, a higher-ranking director was given the second film. When the second film tanked, the third picture was given to Yuasa.)
Kojiro Hongo returned, this time as road crew foreman Tsutsumi.
Reiko Kasahara played Sumiko, the token female character.
Naoyuki Abe played Eiichi, Gamera's newest acolyte, and kid brother to Sumiko.
Yoshiro Kitahara returned, this time as ineffectual zoologist, Doctor Aoki.
Shin Minatsu played Okabe, the cowardly photographer.
Kichijirô Ueda played the vaguely Charlie Weaver-esque village headman, also grandfather to Sumiko and Eiichi. Ueda had small parts in Scandal, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, I Live in Fear, Throne of Blood, The Lower Depths and The Hidden Fortress.
Plot: Stock footage of volcanic eruptions has led to earthquakes in Japan. Young Eiichi watches as Gamera is attracted to the volcano, and a research team is sent to investigate. Elsewhere, executives of a company that is building an expressway through Eiichi's village is concerned, as the farmers won't sell him their land, and put pressure on Tsutsumi, their foreman on-site. He sends his two stooges - one fat and one thin, comedy gold! - out to prep the worksite. Meanwhile, the research team notices a green glow from the mountainside. The glow sends out light beams, one of which slices their helicopter in half, killing them all. The two stooges find themselves confronted by a mob of anti-expressway townies. Sumiko breaks up the confrontation. In the confusion, a photogrpaher named Okabe sneaks up the mountain. We see that the locals are only making trouble for the company in hopes of driving up the price of their land. Okabe convinces Eiicih to guide him up the mountain, and the two enter a cave. The ground begins to shake, and Okabe, cowardy cutlet that he is, runs out on Kenny Eiichi, only to be promptly eaten by a monster. (That's another difference between Toho and Daiei - in Daiei pictures, people get eaten. As far as I can recall, the only Toho critter that ate people was the original Rodan.) The new monster captures Eiichi, but Gamera rescues the child, and, after a battle with the new monster, drops Eiichi off at an amusement park. Gamera then takes off to heal his wounds. Eiichi names the new creature "Gyaos". The SDF attacks with jets, who get slaughtered. Eiichi notices that Gyaos only comes out at night, so the SDF begins dropping flares. A tank attack on Gyaos is also beaten, and the creature flies to Nagoya to snack on some commuters. Gamera returns, and the two critters skirmish until sunrise, when Gyaos sacrifices some toes in order to escape. The toes are recovered, and Dr. Aoki discovers that Gyaos is vulnerable to UV radiation. During a conference to determine how to fight Gyaos, the construction of a giant UV projector is dismmised as "impractical". Instead, it is decided to use artificial blood to lure Gyaos on to a giant turntable, and then spin it until it is so dizzy it won't be able to hide at sunrise. Gyaos is lured onto the turntable (why is doesn't fly off when it begins to spin is beyond me), but the generator fails at the last minute and all seem lost. Elsewhere, the villagers turn on Eiichi's grandpa, as it looks as though they won't be able to gouge the contruction company after all, but Eiichi and Sumiko shame them. Eiichi gets the bright idea of starting a forest fire to attract Gamera. This works, and Gamera and Gyaos duke it out. (There's a great bit where Gamera throws a rock into Gyaos' mouth to block the death ray.) Gamera then drags Gyaos into the volcano - the second picture in a row where it beats an enemy by dragging it into something! Gamera flies off, and the film ends wih a song - though not the famous "Gamera March".
Gamera Facts: Gamera's blood is blue/green.
Gamera learns to fly without spinning, and to fly with its forearms out, using only its rear "jets".
Gyaos Facts: Gyaos is a reptilian sort-of fox/bat creature.
Gyaos fires a cutting beam from its mouth. Dr. Aoki theorizes that it is sonic in nature.
Gyaos shoots a fire-suppressant yellow mist from its chest.
Exposure to UV radiation in sunlight is harmful to Gyaos.
Gyaos emits a green glow occasionally. Dr. Aoki theorizes that this is a sign of hunger or anger.
Gyaos' blood is pink.
Gyaos can regenerate lost body parts.
What'd I Think of the FIlm?: It was OK, but not one of my favorites. I understand that they were trying to aim these pictures at kids, but even when I was a little kid, I found it implausible that people would listen to Eiichi the way everyone in this picture did.
I watched Gamera the Invincible last night. I guess I've never seen the original version. Tracy was late coming home last night and didn't arrive until the very end. She's always sympathetic towards the monsters. Last night she said (to Gammera), "No, honey, don't go in there! They just want to shoot you into space!"
Mystery Science Theater 3000, Show 308: "Gamera vs. Gaos"
1)Crow and Servo are pretending to be Lucille Ball and Harvey Feirstein. Joel must become Brenda Vaccaro in order to survive.
Mads: Printers that reproduce your self-image
Joel: A combination FAX machine/Kleenex dispenser
3)Joel attempts to teach the kids at home how to make a model of Gaos. the Bots make unhelpful suggestions.
4)It's Gameradammerung! It doesn't end well.
5)We re-visit The Ed Sullivan Show as Joel is plate-spinner "Gaos the Great".
6)Joel and the Bots think up ways to get rid of Gaos.
Post-Credits: Tsutsumi's two stooges do comical "frightened" faces.
Favorite Lines: "The mint jelly's attacking!" "Don't see that often."
"It's Rex Dart - Eskimo spy!"
"Welcome to this week's edition of Eat the Press."
"How does Gamera steer?"
Film Notes: This print seemed a bit "muddy".
DVD Extras: Gamera Obscura: A Brief History by August Ragone - a guy who once wrote a book about Eiji Tsuburaya talks about the Gamera movies.
Original Japanese trailer
Overall: A good episode - host segments were a little weak, but not bad.
Gamera Tai Uchū Kaijū Bairasu
Gamera Tai Daiakujū Giron (1969)
This film has been known in the U.S. as Attack of the Monsters and Gamera vs. Guiron.
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Nobuhiro Kajima played Akio, a young boy and would-be astronomer
Christopher Murphy played Tom, Akio's American buddy.
Miyuki Akiyama played Tomoko, Akio's little sister
Yuko Hamada played Akio's mother.
Eiji Funakoshi, who played Dr. Hidaka in the first picture, returns as astronomer Dr. Shiga.
Edith Hanson played Tom's mother
Hiroko Kai played weird alien woman Barbella
Reiko Kasahara, who played Sumiko in the Gyaos picture, returns as other weird alien woman Florbella
Kon Ohmura played wacky but good-hearted Officer Kondo.
We beign with narration talking about how big the universe is, and cosmic stuff like that. We are givne the information that observatories around the world having been picking up what seem to be signals from space. Astronomer Dr. Shiga asserts that the signals seem to be coming from nearby, cosmically speaking, which is good, because it would take too long to drive to Proxima Centauri. We then cut to three children - Akio, his sister Tomoko and Akio's buddy Tom, who are stargazing and spot a UFO landing. The boys want to go investigate, but Akio's mother says it's too late, despite Akio's calims that this discovery could lead to a world without wars or traffic accidents, causing the children to reflect that "Grown-ups have no dreams." The next day, the three children go off o seek the spaceship, stopping only to harass local wacky policeman Kondo - 'cause, you know, it's always a good idea to harass a cop. Kondo is an amiable soul, however, and merely threatens to shave their heads. The children find the spaceship - apparently no one has noticed it sitting out there in the open overnight - and Akio and Tom enter it. The ship takes off with them in it. They encounter Gamera out in space. Gamera saves them form a meteor shower, but cannot keep up with the ship. We hear slightly different lyrics for the Gamera song:
You're so very strong, Gamera.
Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus...
Is it Mars or is it Venus?
Come on, space monsters...
It cuts, it pokes, go-go-go,
It has mighty jet propulsion.
Back home, Mom doesn't believe Tomoko. Mom's pretty skeptical, in general. Meanwhile, the ship has landed on another planet, where the boys spot a Space Gyaos. Space Gyaos attacks the buildings nearby, but another monster - Guiron - comes up from underground and defeats Space Gyaos, dismembering and decapitating it. It then laughs at Space Gyaos, decides it smells funny, and then goes back into its hole. The eventually find their way into a building, after playing with a transmat for awhile. The boys are being wathced by two gerbil-sounding aliens, who turn out to be two young women in fetish gear. These are hight Barbella and Florbella, and explain that the planet is Tera, a sort of Counter-Earth. they explain that Guiron is their watchdog, and that their world was once highly advanced, but suffered a technological disaster. the rest of their race left in a space ark, which blew up, and they're the only two left. Akio suggests that they all go back to Earth, but the women become suspicious when they hear the boys mention Gamera. The Terans discuss among themselves that the ship can only hold two people, so they intend to use the boys as rations instead. They then probe Akio's mind for information about doughnuts and Gamera. They plan to give the boys drugged food to make them fall asleep,s ot hey can eat their brains and thereby gain all their knowledge. Back on Earth, Tom's mother stops by to pick him up, and seems fairly nonchalant about the fact that the boys are missing. She leaves, but Tomoko has stowed away in her car. Tomoko explains the situation, and summons Kondo, who outrages Mrs. Tom's Mother by being willing to believe Tomoko. (You know, considering that Earth got invaded from space in the last picture, the fact the two mothers refuse to even consider the possibility of life in outer space is extremely puzzling.) Back on Tera, the boys eat the drugged food, and pass out. the Terans shave Akio's head preparatory to eating his brain, but Gamera arrives and distracts them. When their missile defenses prove ineffective, they send out Guiron. The two monsters scrap - and the fight ends inconclusively, as Guiron retreats, and Gamera falls into a lake. Tom has awoken and overhears the women's plans. He frees Akio, and the women giv echase, eventually capturing and caging them. Back on Earth, reporters show up to interview Tomoko, and the two mothers are astonished to consider the posssibility that she's not a little liar. On Tera, Tom uses his dart gun to try to hit the control that will open the cage, but ends up freeing Guiron instead. Guiron goes nuts, on the two Terans attempts to flee in the saucer, but Guiron slices it in half. Florbella kills the wounded Barbella and attempts to fire another missile. Gamera and Guiron scrap, and the epic battle does indeed involve Gamera doing gymnastics and dancing go-go. The boys, who have gotten free, manage to find the switch to send Guiron back to its hole, and Gamera falls in the lake again. Florbella has managed to prime the missile, but is killed when something blows up for some reason. Guiron dive sint helaek after Gamera, but Gamera grabs him and spikes his head in the ground. The boys fire the missile, and Gamera catches it, and uses it to blow the top of Guiron's head off. Gamera welds the ship back together, and uses it to carry the boys back to Earth. Our heroes are reunited with their families, and al is well as Gamera flies off.
Gamera Facts: Gamera is capable of interplanetary travel.
Space Gyaos Facts: Space Gyaos looks exactly like Earth Gyaos, except it's silver instead of black. It has a cutting beam like Earth Gyaos, but doesn't seem to mind sunlight the way Earth Gyaos does.
Guiron Facts: Guiron a has monstrous knife-blade for a head. The blade can reflect Space Gyaos' beam. It can fire shurikens from its temples.
Whatds I Think of the FIlm?: I liked it. It's fairly goofy, but to be fair to the dubbers, alot of the goofiness was there in the original version of the film. It's pretty hard on adults, though, Kondo's really the only adult in the film who doesn't come off as a bit of a jerk.
Mystery Sceince Theater 3000, Show 312: "Gamera vs. Guiron"
1)Crow and Servo compare school lunches.
Mads: Racy Rorschach centerfolds
Joel and the Bots" Collapsible trash can for campers
3)Joel and the Bots sing their version of the Gamera song.
4)The old sawing a robot in half trick!
5)Joel and the Bots discuss the fact that the character of Tom in the movie vaguely resembles Richard Burton.
6)Joel and the Bots sing the Gamera song again. Meanwhile, Michael Feinstein (Michael J. Nelson) visits Deep 13.
Post-Credits: Tom: "What a monster!", Akio: "Yeah."
"Servo, you don't have a mother."
"Are we not Mom?"
"We are filled with shame."*
"Ernest Borgnine is Gamera!"
"Oh, no! Gamera blew a valve!"
"I'll show her - I'm gonna grow up to break up the Beatles."
"You win. I can't fight you, you're too goofy-looking."
"We cannot answer because we do not exist."
"What if goblins come?"
"What if goblins come?"
"I'm Tom, spank me!"
Film Notes: The film itself has a really weird dub with some really strange line readings. The two Ternas sound like they're from down South somewhere. The music at the stsrt of the films sound slike incidental music from Get Smart to me.
MST Hour Wraps
Original Japanese trailer.
Overall: This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. Lots of amusing lines in this.
*Yes, that's where that came from.
Gamera Tai Daimajū Jaigā (1970)
This picture has been known in the U.S. as Gamera vs. Monster X and Gamera vs. Jiger.
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Tsutomu Takakuwa plays our hero, young Hiroshi.
Kelly Varis plays his buddy, Tommy.
Katherine Murphy plays Tommy's kid sister, Susan.
Junko Yashiro returns, this time as Hiroshi's older sister, Miwako.
Kon Ohmura reutrns, this time as Hiroshi and Miwako's dad.
Ryô Hayami plays Keisuke, Miwako's boyfriend
We open with Gamera on a storm-wracked volcanic island, then get the Gamera song over footage of some of his previous battles. We then cut to Osaka, where young Hiroshi is waiting for his sister Miwako's boyfriend Keisuke to take him to Expo '70. He passes time helping his father work on a mini-sub, which is going to be used as a kiddy ride at the Expo. (I assume Daiei wanted to amortize the mini-sub, they keep working it into these movies.) Keisuke picks up Hiroshi, and in the ride over they discuss Hiroshi's buddy Tommy, whose dad, Professor Williams, is down on Wester Island (Yuck-yuck-yuck) to pick up an ancient statue called "the Devil's Whistle" for exhibition at the Expo. We then get what amounts to a brief infomercial for the Expo. ( I remember hearing about these Expos when I was a kid - I think there was one in Montreal a few years before this.) Keisuke is summoned to his office, where the envoy from Wester Island is all bent out of shape, claiming that moving the statue will invoke a curse. Keisuke gives him a slideshow about Mayan ruins, which somehow does not pacify him. The envoy says "Jiger" alot. Down on Wester Island, Professor Williams is overseeing the removal of the statue. Gamera appears, and attempts to warn them off, but as Gamera is somewhat lacking in communications skills, he fails, and the statue is removed and loaded on a ship. A volcano erupts, ominously. Tommy and Susan are seen to have returned to Japan, and are impressed by the mini-sub. On Wester Island, Jiger awakens and has a drink of water. Gamera shows up, and the two critters scrap. Jiger impales Gamer awith some spines, and takes off for the big city. Meanwhile, the ship carrying the statue has reached port, but many men on board has contracted a mysterious illness. Jiger arrives in town, apparently chasing after the statue. As Jiger attakcs the city, Gamera manages to free himself from the spines, and we get yet more new lyrics for the Gamera song:
You're wonderful, Gamera.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
A big monster's in the way.
A deep-freeze monster, come what may.
It leaped, it jumped, go-go-go.
You've jet propulsion, we know.
You're wonderful, Gamera.
Gamera reaches the city and starts kicking the crap out of Jiger. Jiger jabs Gamera with its tail. Gamera staggers off, and collapses at the shoreline (Gamera really milks this scene), and its head and forelimbs go all pale. At Jiger Countermeasures HQ, the boys observe as people figure out that the statue was what was making the crewmen sick, and keeping Jiger dormant. Meanwhile, Jiger has thrown the statue into the sea. The boys convince the authorities that Gamera is the only hope. Gamera is X-rayed, and they relaize that Jiger injected a larva into Gameras' lung. The boys sneak off in the mini-sub and sail it into Gamera's insides, where they kill the larva with a walkie-talkie (An interesting sort of reversal of Fantastic Voyage.), inadvertently discovering that Jiger is vulnerable to certain sound frequencies. The SDF uses sound to immobilize Jiger, while another group tries to use electricity to revive Gamera. They succeed in revivign Gamera, by accidentally short out the speakers keeping Jiger docile. The two monsters fight, and Jiger uses his death ray on Gamera, and Gamera defends itself by sticking light poles in its ears! Gamera goes and gets the statue, and rams it into Jiger's head, then carrying the defeated creature back to Wester Island. Expo is saved!
What'd I Think of the Film?: I liked it. The kid who played Susan did pretty well, as far as kids in these pictures do. From looking at the IMDB, most of the kids in these pictures didn't have second jobs, so I guess that none of them went on tohave huge careers.
Jiger Facts: Jiger has vacuum suckers in its feet.
It has jets behind its jowls that enable it to fly short distances, and swim real fast.
It can fire a destructive ray from its nose.
It can inject a larva into other creatures via a spike in its tail.
It can fire impaling spine at an enemy.
Baby Jiger is seen to fire a sort of sticky mucus.
Jiger is vulnerable to certain sound frequencies.
Jiger's blood is red.
Gamera tai Shinkai Kaijū Jigura (1971)
This picture was known in the U.S. as Gamera vs. Zigra. Apparently, AIP never released ths one, so there's no alternate title for it.)
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Yasushi Sakagami plays Kenichi Ishikawa, a kindergartener
Gloria Zoellner plays Helen Wallace, also a kindergartener
Kôji Fujiyama plays Dr. Tom Wallace, some sort of marine biologist, or something, father to Helen and Margie.
Isamu Saeki plays Dr. Yosuke Ishikawa, also some sort of marine biologist or soemthing, and father to Kenichi
Reiko Kasahara plays Kiyoko Ishikawa, who I think is Yosuke's sister, it's not made clear
Mikiko Tsubouchi plays Mrs. Ishikawa, Kenichi's mother
Arlene Zoellner plays Margie Wallace, Helen's older sister
Eiko Yanami plays Chikako Sugawara
We begin watching as a Japanese moonbase is attacked by a spaceship that looks like like a candy dish filled with Trix. One lunar rover escapes the carnage. but is beamed aboard the spaceship. We then cut to Kamogawa Sea World, where the Wallace sisters, Margie and Helen, are staying with the Ishikawas, as their mother is back in New York having another baby, and their father is apparently incompetnet to look after them by himself. The Ishikawas include Dr. & Mrs Ishikawa, young Kenichi, their son, and Kiyoko, who is either Kenichi's older sister or Dr. Ishikawa's younger sister, I'm not sure. We see footage of a Canadian dolphin having its teeth cleaned, and of seals playing basketball. Down at the beach, Drs. Ishikawa and Wallace are discussing water pollution, listening to news reports of earthquakes and discovering that Kenichi and Helen have stowed away and eaten their lunches. They watch as the UFO crashes into the sea, and go out to sea in a small boat to investigate, acquiring Gamera as an escort. The spaceship beams them aboard, where they are welcomed by an extremely hot spacewoman, who announces that they are Zigra from Planet Zigra. The Zigra polluted their own planet, and now want to colonize the Earth, and keep humans as livestock. She sends an enormous earthquake to wreck Tokyo off-camera, and then broadcasts a surrender demand. The two fathers irritate her, so she puts them in a trance. The kids escape, and somehw manage to beam themselves and their fathers back to Earth. Gamera drops the Earth people off back on land, and Zigra orders the spacewoman to follow and kill the children. The kids go far help for their entranced fathers, and encounter the It's Man. Back at Sea World, the SDF interrogates the kids, but discovers that toddlers don't make reliable observers. The UN decides to attack Zigra, but all Earth forces get wiped out. Meanwhile, the spacewoman comes ashore and hypnotizes some women and steals a bikini form one of them. This picture immediately becomes alot more interesting. Elsewhere, a hotel manager and a guy from Sea World argue about fish at length. The Sea World guy wins, and gives the spacewoman a ride to Sea World, where she hypnotizes another woman and steals her clothes (off-camera, of course) so she doesn't have to go wandering around in a bikini. The picture becomes slightly less interesitng. The spacewoman chases after the kids, but they outwit her fairly easily. At about the same time, Gamera fights the ship underwater. He destroys the ship, and Zigra gets loose, growing to enormous size for some reason. Zigra looks like sort of a silver parrot/shark combo. The two monsters fight, and Gamera brings Zigra up on land. Zigra zaps Gamera with a ray beam that knocks him out, and into the sea. Zigra goes back underwater, uttering threats. Back at Sea World Fish Argument Man and a scientist somehow figure out that they can awaken the entranced men by saying "Aaah!" at them. They then defeat the spacewoman by saying "Aaah!" at her. Recovering her senses, she reveals that she is Chikako Sugawara, a geologist who was in the lunar rover in the opening scene, and who was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Zigra. Kenichi suggests that Gamera can help, and since no one over the age of six has any ideas, their two fathers go down in a bathyscaph (What, no mini-sub?) to see whether Gamera can be revived. Kenichi and Helen naturally sneak aboard. They use sonar to try to revive Gamera, but only succeed in awakening the napping Zigra, who cuts the cable to the bathyscaph, trapping them underwater with only an hour's worth of air. Zigra demands that Earth surrender or it will destroy the bathyscaph. The SDF decides to surrender, but the inhabitants of the bathyscaph have worked out the Zigra is sensitive to light, and so refuse to turn off their headlights, irritating Zigra and provoking it into zapping them with its paralyzing ray. Eight hours later, all seems lost - however, lightning has revived Gamera, who sneaks up on the napping Zigra (Zigra naps alot!) and takes the bathyscaph back to land. As it happens, Zigra's ray saved the humans by zombifying them, thus stretching out their oxygen supply somewhat improbably. Gamera and Zigra battle underwater and on the land. Gamera lodges a boulder on Zigra's head, causing it to fall flat on its face. then, in what is surely the greatest scene in cinema history, Gamera uses another boulder to play its them tune on Zigra's dorsal spines, dancing gleefully. The playful mood continues, as Gamera then sets Zigra on fire, burning it to death. We get a brief anti-pollution message, and as Gamera flies off, we get one more variation on the Gamera song:
You're strong, Gamera.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...
Mars, Venus, some other stars.
Space monster...come what may.
It cuts, it pokes, go-go-go.
You've jet propulsion, we know.
You're strong, Gamera.
Gamera Facts: Gamera can shoot fire underwater.
Gamera can play the xylophone.
Zigra Facts: Zigra can fire a paralyzing ray beam.
What'd I Think of the Film?: I like this one alot. It's my favorite of the Showa Era Gamera films. It's just so playfully absurd.
Not wild about Zigra as a monster design, but otherwise, the film is quite possibly one of the best insane kiddy movies ever made. Even the kids aren't really that annoying.