Archive for Gamera Vs Guiron

Turtle Eclipse

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on May 10, 2021 by dcairns

GAMERON VS GUIRON (1969) is dumb but good-looking. Like a kaiju Matt Dillon, if you will.

The Gamera series, about the misadventures of a giant jet-propelled turtle, is to me more fun than the Godzilla films, because Gamera is (a) aimed at children more clearly than the big lizard’s romps — children tend to play prominent roles in the stories, and Gamera is “the protector of children” and (b) they are also insanely violent — the monsters bleed various brightly-hued ichors, and get their limbs pierced, lopped off, etc. Because kids love that shit.

Argh! Gamera gets throwing stars stuck in his face! Urgh, Gyaos, the vanquished enemy from a previous film in the series, accidentally lasers his own leg off! Urk! Guiron, whose head is a cleaver, hacks off the disabled monster’s head!

I haven’t looked up what Gyaos’ star vehicle is called, but I’m going to take a wild guess and suggest it might be GAMERA VS GYAOS.

Weird, fun, ineffective stuff in this film:

It intercuts the big battles on another world, witnessed by our boy heroes, with the family members left behind on earth. Mom refuses to believe her son and his friend have taken off in a flying saucer. So nothing happens in these scenes, but it happens quite slowly.

There’s a flashback to Gamera’s previous escapades. An insanely long clipshow of previous kills.

Have to give director Noriaki Yuasa credit for this lovely image

There are two lady aliens, last survivors of a dying race. They want to eat the boy-heroes’ brains, and to this end they shave one kid’s head. As the author of a children’s TV episode about a brain-eating alien (the late, much missed Ricky Callan) I couldn’t not be down with this.

The process photography budget was apparently nil, so the kids sometimes stand beside giant photographic blow-ups of the model shot they’re supposed to be inhabiting.

One of the kids is a gaijin, so there’s a kaijin and a gaijin

Watching Gamera movies is definitely a waste of time but I’m probably going to watch them all now. Because if I tried to structure my viewing based on the principle of the finite lifespan, I’d probably be too depressed or anxious to watch anything.

Turtle Victory

Posted in FILM with tags , on August 3, 2015 by dcairns

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As I mentioned before, I like Gamera. The big flying space turtle strikes me as immeasurably superior to Godzilla in entertainment value. True, the early, more sombre Godzilla films have a certain High Seriousness pertaining to their status as metaphors for the atomic age — ridiculous metaphors, but metaphors nonetheless. And Godzilla’s roar, made by grasping the strings of a bull fiddle with a catcher’s mitt and pulling the strings through your fist, is a magnificent sound. And he has an inappropriately jaunty theme tune, which is nice. More monsters should have inappropriately jaunty theme tunes. If the mutant fish monster from THE HOST sploshed about to the strains of the Baby Elephant Walk, I take the view that he’d be a lot more popular than he presently is.

But Gamera, nevertheless, has it all over Godzilla. His films are more avowedly for kids, lending them a natural dignity that isn’t possible when you ask adults to take seriously a sweltering bit player in a baggy lizard suit (Godzilla seems to be wearing scaly jodhpurs — ugh!). The films are super-colourful. And super-violent. While Godzilla, once he lightened up and started playing tag-team grudge matches with other underpaid Toho employees in disfiguring attire, basically bounced around harmlessly with his foes, crushing the same model pagoda in film after film, Gamera actually rips his opponents to bloody shreds. No wonder kids love him so.

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GAMERA VS GUIRON is a good entry — some kids, chasing a rabbit (a conscious nod to Lewis Carroll?), find a flying saucer and the Japanese boy and the gaijin boy accidentally fly it off to an alien world (leaving the little girl behind on Earth because girls are boring). The alien world is colourful, and we get a fight between two kaiju, seemingly the pattern for Lancelot’s duel with the Black Knight in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. Guiron literally takes Gaos to pieces. There’s very little blood, because Gaos is composed of solid purple on the inside, so that’s okay I guess. I shouldn’t think he felt a thing, except when his legs and wings and head got chopped off.

Guiron is basically a big laughing knife, about which I shall probably be dreaming tonight. It’s a good job Gamera can retract all his vulnerable bits.

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Lovely sets! (and matte paintings!)

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Lovely aliens!