With the third film in the series, Gamera finally delves into the realm of terrible. That might even be putting it kindly. Far too kindly. This movie was an utter atrocity and yet, surprisingly, it was not a complete loss. Why the Daiei Film Company greenlit the changes they did to this film, especially after how essentially ‘well’ the last two went is a mystery, but they were definitely not for the better. Instead of making another solid B film, the quality would drop even lower and at times, it would really hurt a lot more than it helped. It is more than likely these changes were not made by director Noriaki Yuasa but by someone higher up and while Yuasa did his best, this film is one that barely makes it into the win column.
So why was it so terrible? First off was the poor script from Nisan Takahashi which started treating the material as nothing more than Saturday morning fare for children. The first two films, while geared towards those of a younger age could still be enjoyed by all, but come this film the material was dumbed down more so than the previous movies. Secondly there was no standout star of the film other than Gamera himself, which is fine in a way. With a substandard story why should the giant monster not be the one to carry the film? Next on the list is the new costume for Gamera and the costume for Gyaos. The first costume design for Gamera, while looking a little fake, was miles ahead of the suit that would appear in this film. Here he seems to have gotten a whole new mask and head sculpt and it does no favours for the character, the studio or the viewers. Gyaos though is an embarrassment with his obviously styrofoam head and incredibly bad paint job. The rubber suit was little better and altogether, Gyaos has been the worst creature to come out of one of these films yet. And lastly, Naoyuki Abe as Eiichi was incredibly annoying. It would have been nice for Daiei Studios to find a child with some actual talent.
So once again, this film does see Gamera battling another giant creature, saving all of mankind from the threat and even rescuing Eiichi, the little boy from Gyaos at one point. This time though, Gamera has his hands full as Gyaos can fly, shoot lasers from his mouth and flame retardant from his chest. The humans of the film are completely useless when it comes to kaiju so it is a good thing that Gamera has had a change of heart and for whatever reason, wants to save us all.
There is a little bit in the film to save it from utter ruination though and that is the camp of it all. This is a classic case of a film being so bad that it is actually good. It seems strange to even say it, but despite all of the weaknesses this film has, it is not the worst thing ever filmed. There are even some good effects within the movie namely the moments when Gyaos is slicing cars and helicopters in half with his laser beams. Those moments of the film looked really good and redeemed the people who worked on this film a very small measure. So far though, this Gamera picture is the worst out of the first three and if you have something else to watch, then do so instead of viewing this.
First entry – Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
Second entry – The Monolith Monsters (1957)
Third entry – Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
Fourth entry – Tarantula (1955)
Categories: Movies and Film, Science-Fiction
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