aka Daikaijû Gamera (Japanese title)
aka Gamera the Invincible
Director: Sandy Howard/Noriaki Yuasa
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).