Thursday, February 2, 2012

DOOM'D Review: Gamera vs Viras (1968) [aka Destroy All Planets]

That jive talkin’, fire breathin’, building stompin, high flyin’, bad assin’, monster turtle GAMERA is back! And this time he’s gotta whoop some Space Squid ass.

 The Chuck Norris of Space Squids

Gamera is flying around in orbit one day when all of a sudden an alien spaceship appears. The ship, before its encounter with Gamera, promptly lays out in step by step detail its plan for the planet Earth. You see, it’s a suitable environment for their race and they’re looking for a new place to live. Thing is, those pesky Earthlings have got to go. But before anything can happen, Gamera flies in and smashes it to pieces…

With Good Reason.

…but not before it sends a signal to its home planet warning them of Gamera.

So another ugly ship is sent. Now we cut to Earth were there is a looooong and irritating plot development involving Boy Scouts and a particular pair of boys and their annoying pranks. (Which comes in conveniently later) They are on a field trip at a marine facility and they coax themselves into a submarine. While traveling around, they find Gamera and race him.(Not gonna lie, if I were a kid, my joy circuits would be overloading at this point.)

And then the aliens return. And what follows is nearly 20 MINUTES OF FLASHBACKS. The aliens do a “scan” of Gamera’s brain in order to find a weakness. This leads to reused footage from the first 3 movies that are pieced together to show him doing battle with monsters in order to save children. So the aliens steal the kids and hold them hostage to Gamera.

I literally fast forwarded through this part. I’ve already seen the first 3 movies, I DON’T need to see them again. I want more Gamera goddammit! I really hate when movies reuse footage like that in their movie. There’s instances like Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 that it’s hilarious that they do it but mostly it’s just such a copout and a waste of time. And it drug this already piss poor installment in the Gamera series dddoooooowwwwnnnn.

I’m starting to believe that Gamera has the Star Trek syndrome, every other movie is awesome while the rest are just…well…horrible.

 Thanks Bill.

Anyway, the aliens have captured the children and are forcing Gamera to stand down. (Because Gamera's loyalty to children outways the entire population of the Earth) They then attach a brain wave device to his neck which gives them complete control of Gamera. (Can you about imagine what you would do if you have a remote controlled Gamera?) Now, even though they do use Gamera to destroy Japan, I think it could have been used far better. If they wouldn’t have done the flashbacks and they would’ve just devoted more time to Gamera destroying things under alien control…this movie would have been a total winner. But no, they keep the flashbacks and…

…devote a lot of time to the two Boy Scouts wandering around the alien ship.

The boys wander across a squid like creature whom they assume is a prisoner. (We very quickly learn that it is indeed their leader) But the boys make it to the control room and after they tinker with some knobs they release Gamera from his hold. They then reverse the capture ray and beam themselves back to Earth.

Heh. Heh. Heh. It’s Gamera time

Gamera promptly unleashes monstrous hell on the alien ship and rips it apart. The alien squid creature then combines with all the OTHER alien squid creatures aboard the ship and it grows to Gameralike proportions. It’s time for the final showdown.

I’ll give this movie some credit, the final battle was pretty sweet. They do throw each other around like a couple of ragdolls. They both fly around, they topple into the river and do battle underwater, and the part that actually caused me a little nausea is when the squid launched itself at Gamera and pierced his underbelly and flew around with the tip of its head stabbed into Gamera.

Sexual undertones? Possibly. But mostly, the thought of a being stabbed in the stomach was disturbing.

Finally, Gamera says enough is enough, grabs the Space Monster Viras and flies up into outer space where Viras freezes to death. Gamera Over.

I hate to say this but I’m getting bored with the Gamera movies. The first one was just so damned amazing I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the rest of the series. The second, third, and fourth movies just weren’t that mind blowing. If Gyaos wasn’t as amazing as he is, this series would have been toast by then. Barugon can suck a log (and probably does) and Viras just didn’t have enough screen time. Fortunately, I know this series DOES eventually go somewhere and I’m going to stick with it to the end. After the 60s Gamera craze, the giant turtle took a nap until the 90s when it was resurrected with a bigger budget and spectacular effects. I know this because I just bought the 90s Gamera trilogy on Bluray and I can’t wait to get to it.

But first, I must continue my quest with Gamera vs Guiron: The monster with a KNIFE FOR A FACE.

Ah fuck yes. Star Trek syndrome.


  1. Sexual undertones? Ha! Until you've seen Gamera vs Jiger, you've seen nothing yet! haha!
    Also, word of warning, Gamera: Super Monster is mostly stock footage, but at least Gamera manages to have a sendoff...I've no idea if it's well-handled or cool or anything like that, but it's a sendoff at least.

  2. oh great. Super Monster is the Puppet Master: Legacy of the Gamera series. that's what I want to all the movies all over again. Why don't I just skip them all and just watch that one?

    lol. I'm gonna keep pushing forward. It'll probably be awesome anyway. It's like a highlight reel!

  3. Yeah, I think that it just has the monster fights from all the previous films, so it might be a huge amount of fun!