Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)


Aka "Gamera vs. Gaos", "Return of the Giant Monsters", "Giant Monster Mid-Air Battle: Gamera vs. Gaos"

This third entry into the “Gamera” series introduces one of our gigantic flying turtle’s most interesting nemesis’, a Rodan inspired flying bat-like creature that has the ability to shoot destructive sound rays. The problem with this entry, one that always seem to plague “Gamera” films, is that the filmmakers fail to intertwine the human and monster plots in a provocative manner making this entry a step down from the enjoyable second film “Gamera vs. Barugon”.

Gyaos appears from a volcano in the middle of a major highway construction site. While eating a newspaper reporter and kidnapping a kid, Gamera shows up out of the blue to save the day but not before almost getting his arm blasted off by Gyaos’ sound ray. While healing at the bottom of the sea, Gyaos is destroying Tokyo so the Japanese government decides to come-up with an asinine plan to hire a chemist to create synthetic human blood to attract the beast and kill it with electricity (even though Gyaos has demonstrated to like livestock blood just as much but let’s pay a smug scientist thousands of dollars anyway). This of course fails and it’s left to Gamera to save the day.
This is truly the first entry to display Gamera as a hero from the start of the film and to be honest I miss the anti-hero nature that he could turn on the human race at any moment. The filmmakers also opt to pander this film more to children, even having a child as a main character but this entry doesn’t pander it nearly as much as sequels to come. As I mentioned the human and monster plots intertwine poorly with our construction site/farmer fued subplot falling into the monster scenario purely by coincidence.
The special effects, though shoddy by today’s standards, are on par with previous Gamera films with Gyaos having a vicious look about him with his wedge-like head (I also dug a scene where Gyaos slices a helicopter full of reporters in half). This villain keeps one interested in this otherwise routine Kaiju giant monster flick but it is one of the better entries into the initial run of the Gamera franchise.
Written By Eric Reifschneider

1 comment:

  1. I fondly remember these Japanese giant monster films over 40yrs ago while my brother and I watched these on "Creature Feature", channel 11 in L.A. Are they cheesy to us now? Yes but back then it was a big deal, and we were just awed by these movies, and at 52 yrs old I still watch them for they bring back the memories. It's just something about "CGI" that just doesn't do it for me. Ok so they're rubber/latex suit monsters attached to wires - but there's a certain special and emotion with these because in my opinion there's a creativity and personality involved in these films that you just don't get with CGI. The younger generation may tend to poke fun at these movies, but that stuff on SyFi channel is ridiculous. I'll take Return of the Giant Majin over "Dragoncuda vs RoboShark" any day!!