Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Christopher Murphy, Miyuki Akiyama, Nobuhiro Kajima, Yuko Hamada (Gamera vs. Guiron), Tsutomu Takakuwa, Kelly Varis, Katherine Murphy, Kon Ômura (Gamera vs. Jiger)
Both directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Distributed by Shout! Factory
Director Noriaki Yuasa is back with two more Gamera films for fans to get their fix of with varying degrees of success. Honestly, these two? They defy the laws of a rational rating, but I’ll do my best.
The first flick included here, 1969’s Gamera vs. Guiron, is nothing short of confounding. Simply put, it just seems unfinished. Let’s start off with the Gamera suit. Someone forgot to paint the creature’s teeth. They’re white. They’re Matt Dillon in Something About Mary white. Then there’s the alien planet which is apparently populated by just two women. What the hell is going on here? I just don’t know, but I also cannot take my eyes off of the screen.
The storyline as always is pretty simple – two kids find a UFO, get in, fly back to an alien planet, encounter two female aliens who want to eat their brains, Gamera comes to save them and take them back home. Yet, doing so isn’t gonna be easy as our favorite giant-sized fighting turtle must first defeat the living lizard-like bowie knife known as Guiron, who’s arguably the most memorable creature in the entire franchise. I mean come on! He’s a living knife that shoots ninja stars out of his nose! What’s not to like? In the end Gamera vs. Guiron was far worse than I remembered, but I loved every second of it!
Next up we have 1970’s Gamera vs. Jiger. When scientists discover a mysterious statue called The Devil’s Whistle on a remote island, they do what comes natural for mankind — they steal it away to show at the Fair! Why not, right? It couldn’t possibly be serving some purpose like, let’s say … keeping the Triceratops-like Jiger, who can shoot quills from his head and is packing a heat ray that can dissolve entire city blocks, down and in check! Of course once the beast is freed, it goes ape-shit and Gamera has to come clean up our mess. There’s just one problem – Jiger has a tail stinger that implants eggs into its victims. That’s right, kids! Gamera gets pregnant in this one, and it’s up to two kids in a submarine to travel though Gamera’s body to perform a high pitched abortion with a telephone. I shit you not! After the silliness of Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Guiron, this flick is thankfully a bit darker and gives the franchise back its much needed footing.
Once again this package is pretty much supplemental free, but Shout! Factory has provided some truly killer prints of these flicks for this release. And you can watch them with their original Japanese soundtracks! Yes, even that damned Boy Scout Choir Gamera Fight Song is translated. YAY!
At the end of the day this is another solid double feature. Fans of Gamera should be elated by these releases. Just a couple of more to go, and we’ll have the whole franchise set looking good! Take THAT subpar DVD releases from unknown labels!
4 out of 5
1 out of 5