Movies and Film

Bye For Now – Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)

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For the second time, Gamera faces an extra-terrestrial threat though unlike the last time, these aliens want to rule the Earth and keep everyone as a food source.  Of course, Gamera will not stand for it and when a couple of kids become involved then all bets are off!  If there is one thing that giant monsters should not do, it is endanger children.  Children are our future.  Gamera knows that and so whenever they need his help, Gamera will be there.  One thing these films never manage to show though, is what happens when there is more than one set of kids in trouble?  How does Gamera split his time between them?  What if there are multiple kids calling him from all different corners of Japan?  These are mysteries that will never be solved but then again, these movies are made for the younger crowd and as such, do not really matter in the larger scheme of things, like monster fights.

Gamera-vs.-Zigra19Gamera does battle Zigra and while it might not be as fierce, violent or bloody as many of his previous battles it is still fun to watch.  The battle is also not as drawn out, instead most of the story focusing on the kids and their fathers as they deal with the human woman aboard the spaceship.  Even though it might have been fun, the battle against Zigra is also one of the worst to ever be featured in a Gamera film as once again, Gamera breaks out the dance moves and proves he can get down with the best of them but only after he uses a rock to play Zigra’s fins like a xylophone.  Godzilla never danced, King Kong never danced, no other monster comes to mind that busts a move in the middle of a fight, yet Gamera will.  Maybe it can be chalked up to a victory ritual though at the point that this takes place, he has not yet defeated his foe completely.  What is also quite ridiculous is that Zigra resembles a shark in every respect and yet, when caught on land he can sometimes stand up on his legs which you only see a couple of times in the film because during the rest of the time he has a normal tail.

Zigra is not alone in his quest to rule all as he is joined by one single woman who possesses some powers of her own which she uses on her hunt to kill the two kids who have found her out.  So for a good part of the film we get to see her chase these kids around, even at one point going undercover in a tiny little bikini because, why not?  The acting by all involved was fairly terrible, especially by the kids with the alien woman being the best of the bunch.  The script was horrible and the dialogue just as bad.  The film looked really good though with some great direction from Noriaki Yuasa, except for the battle scenes as they were just your standard guys in rubber suits fighting and looked the same as every other movie that had come before.  This would also be the last film in the Shōwa series of Gamera films as Daiei went bankrupt leaving an unfinished Gamera film to never see the light of day.  Suffice it to say, coming to the end of the first series of the films (there would be a reboot many years later), it is a little sad for even though most of them were fairly terrible, they were still fun and campy and for the most part, entertaining.  This film was not the best of the bunch, but it was better than the previous two, perhaps because the story was so outlandish, or perhaps because it radiated a kind of manic energy, but whatever the case, the film though awful in a way, will manage to hold your attention and maybe even delight.

3 out of 5
christmas-13

First entry – Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
Second entry – The Monolith Monsters (1957)
Third entry – Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
Fourth entry – Tarantula (1955)
Fifth Entry – Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
Sixth entry – Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
Seventh Entry – Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
Eighth entry – The Cyclops (1957)
Ninth entry – Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)
Tenth entry – Monsters (2010)
Eleventh entry – Gamera vs. Jiger (1970)
Twelth entry – The Killer Shrews (1959)

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