And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Gamera vs. Viras (1968)

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYL4gTIA?p=1 width=”640″ height=”510″]

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5 Comments so far
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Wonderful review. Can’t really add anything.

Comment by ProfessorMortis

Excellent review, sir. I’d like to ask you some things:
1. Have there ever been any Gamera box sets?
2. Which Gamera film do you think is best?
3. Any hope of a revival for the Big Green Badass?

Comment by Jordan Levells

1) Yes…kinda. As with Godzilla’s films, various rights issues (owing to the fact these movies were imported to America at various times by various organizations) keep Gamera’s filmography from appearing in the super-special-awesome Ultimate Collection it deserves. God only knows when that’ll happen. To give you an idea of the time-scale we’re dealing with, similar issues kept MST3K from offering their Gamera episodes up for retail sale until just last year.

Thankfully, the mid-to-late 90s Gamera Trilogy doesn’t have that problem, and Mill Creek just released a mind-bendingly gorgeous Blu-ray box set of those. Which nicely segues into…

2) It’s a three-way tie between all of Shusuke Kaneko’s films. It’s hard for me to pick one since they work so well as a trilogy. Individually they range from kick-ass (Guardian of the Universe) to oh-my-fucking-god-that-was-awesome (Awakening/Revenge of Iris), but as a trilogy, I consider them the Star Wars of giant monster movies – straight up, no joke, sans irony. All we kaiju fans have to do is tell every non-kaiju fan we know about them and how awesome they are, since they make great evangelical tools…especially when screened back-to-back over three nights. That’s what I did, and by Godzilla it worked, convincing my entire household that Gamera was, in fact, really neat.

That said…the real answer is Gamera 3. It’s the most “Kaneko-esque” of the trilogy (i.e., it feels like a horror movie that just so happens to feature all our friends from Guardian of the Universe) and as such, gets better every time I see it…though I doubt it would have near as much impact if screened by itself. So, yes: buy the trilogy box set.

3) Well, they tried in 2006. Made a movie called Gamera the Brave…which almost no one likes to talk about anymore…so is that answer enough? I know it’s not, certainly not for me, but it’s the best anyone has at the moment. The whole sub-genre’s trapped in this weird quantum flux it almost always falls into whenever Godzilla takes a decade-or-so off. We’ll see what Toho has in store for the Big G’s 60th birthday. After that, who knows? Our Terrible Terrapin may yet see sky again.

Comment by David DeMoss

I’ve never seen the legendary Gamera trilogy but I’ve heard so many good things about them (and I loved GMK) that I picked up the bluray boxset. It’s just one of the many films I have set aside for summer (once I get through the entire Universal horror catalog and Val Lewton collection that is).

Comment by Daniel Knepp

Of course. Excellent to hear, Daniel. You’ve made a fine and educated choice.

Comment by David DeMoss




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