After an accidental nuke strike (thanks to America again!) in the Arctic, a deep fissure is opened and an ancient prehistoric creature, a Gamera, emerges from its depths! This Gamera, a massive turtle-like creature, descends upon Tokyo with all of its stomping, flying, fire-breathing might. After a couple unsuccessful attempts to stop the rampaging creature, the scientific community and Japanese government decide there is only one way to halt the creature’s advance…set Z Plan into motion!
What the hell is Z Plan, you ask? Well you’re just going to have to purchase Shout Factory’s fantastic release of Gamera to find out now aren’t you?
The giant monster game is a pretty competitive arena, especially when you’re constantly being sized up against cinematic heavyweights like Godzilla and King Kong but Gamera holds his own and, down through the years, has shown himself to be every bit as capable as the big boys. With twelve films under his belt and not one damn crossover guest appearance by Godzilla, Gamera has become just as important to Kaiju Eiga as any of the other well-known monsters.
Forget what you saw on MST3K, Gamera kick all sorts of ass and deserves to be seen in all of its uncut glory! Is this film occasionally silly? Name a Kaiju flick that isn’t! Does this film feature often confusing jumps in time and location? Yes but in its defense, lapses in little things like time and location are an odd thing to gripe about when you’re watching a film featuring a giant, fire-breathing, flying turtle with tusks. You either accept and embrace the absurdity of it all or not. When you consider much of the science fiction cinema coming out in the sixties and earlier, it’s not at all strange to see hokey dialogue, bad FX and inconsistencies in continuity.
One of my biggest complaints concerning Gamera is his origin, which in my opinion is far too similar to Godzilla’s own nuclear conception. It would have been nice to of seen a more original origin constructed for this film but what we get is clearly still intended to be political commentary on the Cold War, Arms Race between super powers and the threat of nuclear annihilation and it was relatively effective message.
Shout Factory have done a magnificent job on this release and they’re to be commended for bringing this entire series, uncut, into the states and to DVD/BRD. They get a big thumbs up for the effort they put into the clear transfer and special features though I would like to recommend for the future that they consider a menu option that allows for selection of subs for the film. If you’re like me and you use your cable TV remote to control your DVD player and receiver, you may find yourself panicking as there’s no clear way to turn on subs through the main or special features menu. I was forced to pop batteries into my old DVD player remote and hit the subtitle button. I’m lazy, I dislike having to whip out the dusty remote, don’t make me do that again Shout Factory…not again.
All in all, ace release. I love Gamera just as much as Godzilla, King Kong and Mothra. If you’re a Kaiju Eiga fan or a cult cinema geek, this is a MUST-HAVE release of this film. Grab it now.