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Gamera vs. Zigra (1971).

March 27, 2009

The Scoop:
At last, the final first-wave Gamera movie!

Environmental concerns get a little spotlight here when an alien race flying a shark-shaped spaceship comes to Earth to conquer our oceans. The catch is that the aliens want us to clean up all our pollution first so that their new home is nice and pristine. There’s lots of silliness with the obligatory child characters trying to outsmart the aliens, then Gamera finally shows up to lay the smack down. Zigra, the alien leader, transforms himself into a giant land shark to battle our turtle hero. Good triumphs over evil in the end, as always, presumably freeing up humankind to keep polluting all it wants.

Whatever. At this point, the seventh in the series, everyone seems to have stopped caring. This is strictly bottom of the barrel Gamera, which is really saying something.

From here, Gamera went dormant, only to be resurrected in 1980 for “Gamera Super Monster,” which was assembled seemingly almost entirely from clips of the previous films. The series was brought back in a more formal way in 1995 with “Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe.” Much like its first incarnation, this revival was simply following the path of the Godzilla revival of the ’90s. There were two sequels before it petered out again.

So, there you have Gamera in a (very long) nutshell. Now let’s get back to some non-flying turtle movies, shall we?

Best Line:
“This will be the greatest earthquake ever!”

Side Note:
This is the film that finally bankrupted Daiei Studios, which is the only reason the original film series stopped.

Companion Viewing:
“Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster” (1971).

1,000 Misspent Hours.
The Shrine of Gamera.

Take a Look:
The Japanese trailer, which makes wonderful use of the Gamera theme song:

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