Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY Reviewed on 7/15/2011...
Superpower tensions lead to a dogfight over the Arctic in which a USAF fighter shoots down a Soviet aircraft. The crash causes the explosion of a small nuke, which in turn releases a monster. As a monster it is hard to take seriously – a turtle walking on its hind legs, with tusks, and it flies and eats fire. The monster acts mixed-up too: destroying infrastructure and cities but making bids for our sympathy.
Footage shot in the US remind us of how far we’ve come, media-wise. Two scientists on a talk show have a loud argument which ends up with name-calling, which never ever happens on TV nowadays. A US senator insists on nonsense and balderdash in the face of stern reality – unheard of today, thank heavens. Poor Brian Donlevy makes an appearance as an USAF general, looking rather blurry and slurring lines, very far indeed from his starring roles in noir classics such as "Impact" and "Kiss of Death."
I’ve seen Gammera movies better than this one - quit raising those eyebrows - but let’s finish this review on this movie’s merits. It is not too long and the inevitable kid as the Monster’s Little Advocate doesn’t show up much. Gammera’s roar scaringly combines an elephant’s trumpeting with a factory klaxon. Both Japanese females, Michiko Sugata and Harumi Kiritachi, have a goofy but trusting and sturdy look.
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GAMERA!!! THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. KNOW YOUR GAMERA.
A. C. Cronvich | Planet Zeist | 08/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THERE ARE THREE VERSIONS OF THIS FILM. DON'T GET CONFUSED!!!! #1 The first version is the japanese original GIANT MONSTER GAMERA. #2 This version (the second ) is the first version released in America in the 60's. The dubbing (By SPEED RACER's Peter Fernandez) is excellent and new scenes with American actors Albert Dekker (DR. CYCLOPS) Brian Donlevy (CURSE OF THE FLY) and Allen Oppenheimer (The voice of Skeletor) were added. Very entertaining and well produced. #3 The third version was the SANDY FRANK version released on video in 1987. it is a straight dub of the japanese version, but the voice acting is inferior to the #2 version. This is the version that aired on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and should be avoided. Buy the above version instead."
This is the version of Gamera to *Shell* out the money for
D. Steigman | USA | 03/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS REVIEW IS ABOUT THE 2010 VERSION OF GAMERA Here is a brief history of Gamera before we get on to the DVD release... In 1965 Gamera was created by Daiei to compete with Toho's Godzilla. The first film was a more serious effort. The plot is very simple. Gamera arises from the Arctic to destroy Japan, & he does . Is there nothing to stop the giant turtle from destroying Japan and the entire universe ? The special effects in this are good for the most part, save for some obvious toys used but the miniatures used and the Gamera suit were well done. I feel this movie is a little underrated and gets a bad rap at times but overall it is entertaining and a lot better than later releases.. Before getting to the 2010 DVD releases here are some notes about previous releases to home video of Gamera Sinister Cinema carried a USA version of Gamera called Gammera the Invincible - this version had extra scenes with Albert Dekker (Dr. Cyclops) and Brian Donlevy (he was Professor Quatermass & was in some excellent film noir movies such as Impact, the Glass Key,etc). This version also contained the Gammera song. A few years ago this same version appeared was released by Alpha DVD and other low budget DVD companies.. Another USA version of Gamera came out, simply called Gamera minus the USA Gammera footage, minus the original credits , replaced by what I call the "water credits scenes" where this movie and 4 others all had credits on water. These are called the Sandy Frank versions and were released on VHS from Celebrity Video (and a laserdisc distributed by Image entertainment) These also contain a different English dubbing. These versions were used for Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes for Season 3 as well as the KTMA Season - the earliest MST3K season. Several years later (the early to mid 1990s) Gamera again came out on VHS via Neptune Video - in 2 versions - English dubbed and English subtitled and called Giant Monster Gamera. The English dubbing was yet another different dubbing the other 2 Gamera releases... Now here we are in 2010 and Shout Factory has gotten the rights to not only release the original Gamera on DVD in its uncut *authentic* original language,but they have the rights to ALL the Showa Series Gamera which goes all the way to Gamera vs. Zigra. That's right - ALL of them.. This NEW DVD from Shout Factory - will be anamorphic widescreen from an HD Transfer - expect a great transfer basically :) As of this moment the bonus features are being worked on - what I do know is there will be a 12 page booklet with an essay by director Noriaki Yuasa, a photo gallery, trailers & the big news is an audio commentary by one of the most knowledgeable persons of not just Kaiju like Godzilla, Gamera, etc, but of Japanese pop culture. That man is the one and only August Ragone. I expect a truly fantastic insight to the history and making of Gamera & overall a fantastic commentary. For those that know August - he is the author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters & has written many articles for G-Fan, his own magazine called Markalite Magazine. And he had big role with the Neptune Video VHS releases of Gamera many years ago. With his vast knowledge of Gamera on audio commentary - plus the anamorphic HD transfer & the bonus features , this will easily be the best Gamera DVD release & should not be missed by any monster movie lover & fan , die hard or otherwise."
It's about time Gamera got his due credit.........
firstname.lastname@example.org | USA | 09/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Giant Monster Gamera (LBX , SUBS).For many years these films have been produced on cheapy SLP tapes , and never subtitled..Now , it is. The movie is one that any true Kaiju fan should buy if not , only rent it then. The film has been completely remastered and its uncut.In the film , Gamera is awakened by a plane that crashes into the artic. From there on Gamera goes on a killing spree , but not because he's violent , instead the creature is hungry.(Don't beleive me? check out the cover's reverse side) After destroying much of Japan the beast is rocketted into outer space.... Other movies are.. Gamera Vs. Barugon , Gamera Vs. Gaos (Gayos , Gyaos) , Gamera Vs. Viras , Gamera Vs. Guiron , Gamera Vs. Jiger , Gamera Vs. Zigra , SuperMonster - Gamera (yuck) , Gamera : Guardian of the Universe , G2 : Advent of Legion and G3 : Awakening of Irys (Iris)...All are okay but maybe not to all...."
Visions Of Terrapins Float Through The Sky
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 04/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to believe that I was already in college when this came out. And that I had to sneak away from the local art theaters to watch this at a downtown Saturday kid's special. Yes, as the dust of an atomic squabble between the US and the USSR settled and a man in a giant turtle suit climbed out of the ice, I was stuffing my mouth with popcorn - with real butter in those days.The basic film is pretty simple minded. Japanese scientists investigating Eskimos witness an atomic accident that releases a giant turtle. After a short flying tour of the world, Gammera descends on Japan and Tokyo for an extended lunch. An irritating young boy names Toshio races about telling everyone not to kill the terrapin from hell. Which is moot, since nothing can kill him. Does the Earth get saved? Or is the turtle toast? I'm not telling, but anyone who has ever watched a Japanese monster movie should have no trouble guessing.What I missed in my adolescent popcorn days was that Gammera is about 60% biting satire about scientists, news writers, and politicians (both US and international). It makes you wince a bit to realize that the filmmakers had no delusions about how silly we all are. And how many double standards we have. There were moments when I wasn't sure if I was wincing at the humor or the acting. The latter is classic Japanese sci-fi - awful.The transfer is nothing to sing about, unfortunately. It looks like a copy of a copy. Which is probably exactly what it is. Even so films like these have a certain timelessness, like bomber jackets and BurmaShave signs. So, if you to once had a mouthful of popcorn on the Saturday matinee, I salute you. Some things never change."
The one that started it all!
Marc Ruby? | 02/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of the Gamera series, you have to see how it all began right? And if you are just a fan of japanese monster movies, you will want to check it out. It isnt as much fun as the silly sequels it inspired, but the effects are fair and the japanese cast does a good job. The added american scenes are boring but brief enough. Check out the cool lighthouse sequence that forshadows what Gamera would become! Not as serious as the original GODZILLA, and not as juvenile as the rest of the series, its certainly worth a look!"