Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Flying Turtle!

Gamera: The Giant Monster

Everyone who reads this blog knows I love giant monster movies (Kaiju), so it’s no surprise that I own every Gamera movie (pronounced Ghaa-Merhah). So over the next little while I will be on a Gamera marathon, along with my regular movie reviews. Before I begin with the first Gamera movie let me share this Roger Ebert quote from his Gamera: Guardian of the Universe review. He basically states what I have always believed.

“There's a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like ``Gamera'' more than ``Air Force One'' because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop ``taste,'' and prefer ``Air Force One,'' which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn't it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to ``Gamera'' again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness--and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.”

Full review:

So basically I agree with what Ebert is saying here, but I would even go a step further in saying that these movies are good – PERIOD. Not “so bad they’re good” just plain good. Actually I think their GREAT! I love them! Not in a joking way either, I mean I love them!

Finally on to Gamera. Now this is the first of 12 Gamera films, Gamera, for those not in the know, is a giant flying turtle. He is not to be confused with Godzilla, but he was sort of his competition. Anyway this first film is in black and white and its your basic fare. Airplanes crash in the arctic and awake Gamera. He cause damage and the army and scientists cannot find a way to defeat him.

The effects are good, just think Godzilla, only Godzilla is a bit better, but the cool thing about this movie is how they defeat Gamera in the end. I wont give it away, but they come up with the mysterious Plan Z (or Z Plan – as it is sometimes subtitled). Just let me tell you that it is a brilliant way to defeat a giant monster.

Check this out when you can.

5/5 – note I give all Kaiju 5/5 – except that piece of crap Cloverfield.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. I love all 'Japan movies', because in my county (East Java, Indonesia, Asia Pacific) where I've born (1968) hard to find them. Since 1978 I became a 'fantasy - superheroes' pictures collector. Now I have more than 12500 real pictures, and I store them at my scrapbooks. We live in 'digital world' now, and I'm so grateful with all 'old-movies' database, especially Giant Monster, Super Hero, and a lot of films that I never think about it! Thank you!