Dai Kaiju Gamera/Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
Directed By – Noriaki Yuasa
Staring – Eiji Funakoshi
1 Hr 18 M
Gamera is fucking awesome.
There, I said it. I don’t care if you think the Showa Gamera films are “Childish”, or “Stupid”, Or “use too much Stock Footage”. Well the Godzilla films from the same time period were about all of those also, and you know what? They’re all awesome. The majority of Gamera films are pretty awesome too. Not really this one, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
“Gamera” starts out in the Arctic, kind of like “Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.” Hell you could call this a rip off of that movie more so then a Godzilla one. It even has a lighthouse scene!. So anyways Gamera is awakened because of a nuclear blast that is the result of a Soviet jet with a nuclear arsenal being shot down, which surprisingly doesn’t start WW3 After this Gamera goes on the usual trek across the Japan. Sorta halfway befriending a child, and destroying Tokyo. It’s all typical monster stuff.
That’s my problem with “Daikaiju Gamera”. It’s just too normal and regular, especially compared to the colorful creative entries later in the series. Godzilla films at the time had been in color for almost half a decade by this time, so it’s odd that they would decide to film in black and white, even for budget concerns. The characters in the movie are really flat, while the Godzilla films at the time usually had interesting characters at the least. And the “Kenny” character, well that deserves a new paragraph.
Fuck this kid. He’s the worst kid in any kaiju film ever. He’s a self centered brat that doesn’t care about his sister, or anyone else. All he cares about is a giant turtle that is seen burning people to death on screen. In one part a guy saves his life, almost risking his own. And you know what Kenny has to thank him for? Nothing! He’s almost mad because he doesn’t get to see Gamera! This kid is the worst, and really makes the kids seen later in the series seem not as bad.
The effects in “Daikaiju Gamera” are above average for Japan at the time, they don’t compare to Godzilla’s best efforts in this era, but they’re still decent. Save for a few wires on planes and such. The Black and White actually helps the effects believability a little bit.
Overall I would give “Daikaiju Gamera” a very uneasy “Yes”. While it’s dull compared to later efforts in the series, it also makes for an entertaining afternoon and a decent introduction to what’s to come in the series.
Good city destruction action.
It’s really short
Surprisingly well directed and has good cinematography
The Kenny character, fuck him.
Uninspired and dull for a Gamera film
Zero Character development.
Gamera really works best with another monster.
NUMBER RATING 3 Out of 5