Gamera is the Daiei Studios kaiju star and chief rival of Toho's Godzilla, King of the Monsters. The several-hundred foot tall fire-breathing giant monster, who spins like a firewheel as he flies through the air, plays off the Japanese archetype of the sea turtle, an animal which is a holy creature in Asian mythology and not the comic figure it is in the U.S. Unlike Godzilla, who first appeared in an SF horror film, Gamera was introduced in a light-hearted children's fable, making him prey to increasing silliness as the original series went on. Fortunately, a new series of Gamera films have updated the origin and returned some measure of dignity to one of our favorite kaiju.

Also the codename for linux AOL client. The official word from AOL is that gamera will be tied to AOL branded linux network appliances, and will not available for downloading. There are several warez type web sites with a leaked alpha version of gamera in rpm format, but the leaked version will only log on to AOL employee accounts.

Title: Gamera
aka Daikaij├╗ Gamera (Japanese title)
aka Gamera the Invincible

Director: Sandy Howard/Noriaki Yuasa

Year: 1965

Brian Donlevy
Albert Dekker
Eiji Funakoshi
Michiko Sugata

Plot synopsis: An aeroplane loaded with nuclear weapons crashes in the Arctic, causing a massive explosion that awakens the giant turtle-monster Gamera and frees him from the ice which has imprisoned him for thousands of years. Gamera immediately starts destroying things and, like all good giant monsters heads straight for Japan. He then proceeds to trash a power plant, and after an attempt to electrocute him it becomes evident that using energy-based weapons against him only makes him stronger. Luckily the Japanese-American army (tm) has developed a giant monster freezing bomb for just such an occaision which they use to temporarily disable Gamera and flip him onto his back. Unlike regular turtles, however, Gamera can also fly and he responds to this attack by flying around the world scaring people. He also befriends a small boy who is, needless to say, the only one who understands that Gamera does not wish mankind any harm. The climax of the film comes as Gamera annihilates Tokyo, gaining strength as he eats petrol and other energy sources. Finally a plan is devised to launch Gamera to Mars on a rocket so that he can exist without threatening Earth... but will it succeed?

Genre: Science fiction/Kaiju

Comment: This production was the first rival to Godzilla. The apparent premise is derived from the fact that the Japanese supposedly have an irrational national phobia of turtles and tortoises. Using a theme that would run through many subsequent Gamera and Godzilla movies it is humans that are to blame for awakening the beast through their foolish wars and nuclear weapons. Gamera is the innocent victim, and it is presumably a result of his lack of a strong father figure in his childhood that he feels the need to eat Tokyo and kill thousands. Some highlights of the movie include Gamera himself, who aside from being a giant turtle has tusks on his lower jaw and a fantastic metallic monster-roar, and the typically pathetic translation to English. Anyone who understands the concept of a movie being so bad it's good will appreciate the breathtakingly terrible quality of this production. If you know what I mean then rent this tonight and set up your own personal Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Quotes: (from original English translation)
Small boy who understands Gamera means no harm: "No Gamera, don't do bad things!"
Dr Shimane: "(Gamera) is made of living metal, and created by Atlanteans 10,000 years ago." (Well obviously).

There are really two schools of thought on the translation of the Gamera theme song, the "real" and the "fake." You decide.

You are mighty, Gamera!
You are mighty, Gamera!
You are mighty, Gamera!
Sun, Moon, Mars Mercury
Jupiter, Mars or Venus
Or any planet at all
Come out space monster!
It slashes! It pierces! Go go go!
Use your jet propulshion
And deliver a body blow!
You are mighty, Gamera!
You are mighty, Gamera!
You are mighty, Gamera!

or this one...

JOEL: Let's go Gamera!

ALL: Gamera! Gamera!
Gamera is really neat.
Gamera is filled with meat.
We've been eating Gamera!

TOM: Dr. Forrester is kind of a jerk,
And Frank is really dumb, too.

CROW: We have to take part in these lame experiments.

JOEL: But do we complain?

TOM: No!


CROW: Yes!

TOM: Huh?
So we hi-keeba all over the place--

JOEL: --And talk of a thousand wonderful days.

TOM: Everybody now!

ALL: Gamera is really sweet,
He is filled with turtle meat.
Now we have Commercial Sign!

MiSTies of the world unite!

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