14 June 2015

"GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE" (Chilling 20 Movies Pack, #8)


Original Title:
Daikaij├╗ Gamera

Alternate Titles:
Gamera: The Giant Monster/ Gamera

German Title:
Gamera - Frankensteins Monster aus dem Eis

Japan / USA, 1966
Directors: Noriaki Yuasa & Sandy Howard


As I already mentioned in my "Godzilla 2014" rant, I've always been a huge fan of Godzilla & Co, mainly because Austrian and German TV stations showed them sooo often, I just had to become a fan :-) Unfortunately, "Gamera"-films were, and still are, largely unknown here. A few of them have been released under "Godzilla"-, "Dinosaur"- or "Frankenstein"-related titles but for whatever reason, they've never been broadcasted on TV at all, and VHS releases were hard to find.

So, this is actually the first "Gamera"-film I've ever seen - and unsurprisingly, I enjoyed it! "Gammera (sic!) The Invincible", a silly and unoriginal but highly entertaining "Godzilla" rip-off about a giant fire-breathing / fire-eating monster-turtle, awakened from its sleep by an atomic exlosion and ready to destroy Japan.

The Public Domain version in Mill Creek's "Chilling"-Box is NOT the Japanese original, but the re-edited/re-worked/re-named American version that includes new footage showing smartass Caucasians talking about how to stop the turtle-madness. This footage is of course pretty unnecessary, but compared to the reworked and fucked up US versions of "Godzilla" films (usually with Raymond Burr), the footage here works so much better, mainly because it's actually quite funny, especially the newspaper headlines:

The monster effects are all solid, especially the scenes where Gam(m)era destroys huge buildings (power stations, lighthouse) or where he's flying around, looking like a, erm, flying saucer. Music and cinematography are good. The acting is ok, though most characters are just cardboard cut-outs - aside from some weird and extremely turtle-obsessed kid that is so friggin' annoying, you just want him getting crushed by Gam(m)era [SPOILER: he obviously survives :-/] Also, there's not much tension and the pacing is a tad lame.

Nevertheless, "Gammera The Invincible" is a fun monster flick, highly recommended to fans of everything Kaiju-related.


  1. From what I remember, the following Gamera movies are a mix of fun entries, really boring ones, and ones that are made up partly, or almost entirely, of stock footage from the previous movies. Then, following the first series, there was the reputedly totally awesome 90's trilogy.

    1. I have seen one more: Attack of the Monsters (review soon). That one seem to be completely original, and gladly without any added US footage. Curious about the other ones, the old and the new.


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