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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1997)

Tsuyoshi Ihara , Akira Onodera , Shűsuke Kaneko  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Akira Onodera, Shinobu Nakayama, Ayako Fujitani, Yukijir˘ Hotaru
  • Directors: Shűsuke Kaneko
  • Writers: Matt Greenfield, James Shanks, Kazunori It˘
  • Producers: Hiroyuki Kato, John Ledford, Matt Greenfield, Seiji Urushido
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: ADV Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844JH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,841 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

A plan to dump radioactive waste at sea is disrupted when a mysterious atoll appears at the dumping location. That atoll proves to be something altogether different when hideous flying reptiles, the Gyaos, attack a nearby island-and the atoll rises from the sea. It is Gamera! The super turtle combats both a misguided military and the man-eating Gyaos, with help from a courageous naval officer, an intrepid ornithologist and a beautiful young psychic. Don't miss the most incredible slam-bang, knock-down monster slug-fest ever as Gamera turtle-waxes the evil Gyaos through downtown Tokyo in GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gamera Comes Back January 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
First, you must be a fan of this Genre'. With that understood, this new take on the old "Gamera vs. Gaos" movie is truely a 5-star effort.
The special effects were suprisingly good. Still using rubber suits and beutifully detailed models, this movie keeps the old charm. And now, the tasteful use of Digital effects for Gamera's Fire Ball Breath and Jets, brings this movie into the nineties.
It is enjoyable and fun for kids young and old. I recommend it highly to all fans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GAMERA KICKS BUTT February 20, 2003
Format:DVD
With a good script, a good director, and top-of-the-line special effects, GAMERA - GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE was considered during its release in 1995 to be the all-time best giant monster movie, a title it lost the following year to its own sequel. The DVD contains both the original Japanese dialog as well as the English dubbed. Do yourself a favor and watch the Japanese with English subtitles, as the dubbing--good as it is--glosses over some of the effective subtleties of the original script. This is a great sci-fi movie and can be enjoyed even by those who don't normally go into the giant monster movie genre.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Japanese monster movies... March 23, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
To me, with a lot of the 90's Godzilla movies, the special effects and especially the miniatures don't look as good as they did in the classic 60's Godzilla movies. But with the 90's Gamera, EVERYTHING is better. The FX, the miniatures, the pacing, the story, the action--it's all excellent. If you have any affection at all for Japanese giant monster movies, then you will definitely enjoy Gamera, Guardian of the Universe. And, this ADV release is widescreen, has optional subtitles and is full of extras and behind the scenes stuff. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new approach!/Looking for Gamera 2 & 3? September 25, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This 1995 film is as I see it a totally new approach, to the Japanese giant rubber monster genre. This film has a tight script, a heavy soundtrack and is cut in a faster pace than the Godzilla films of the 90s (And Godzilla 2000 for that matter). I've watched this film over and over, and I still enjoy it as much as the first time I saw it!
The origin of Gamera has been rewritten in this first film in the new series (G2 1997, G3 1999); Gamera is not an ancient race of giant turtles, that has accidently been awaken by nuclear testing - He's/She is some leftover biotech weapon from the anchient civilazation of Atlantis! He's left as an guardian against the people of Atlantis biggest biotech blunder; The Gyaos!
The story; A population of Gyaos have hatched on a island. The islanders and a professor and his team gets eaten. A huge floating atoll is found in the pacific - Is there a connection?
The Gyaos move in towards the Japan mainland, and attempt is made to capture the creatures. The Atoll inreases speed towards this location, Gamera arises in the harbour - The battle can begin!
A very enjoyable movie! Contains not so much digital effects as the later Gamera films - The gyaos for instance look very rubbery. But Gamera new "flame trower" is impressive. It's also fun to see him do the real Kaju thing; Wreck the tokyo tower...
The most remembered line in this film; "I would like to take you out, in a monster free Tokyo..."
This dubbed version has a more pumped up sound track then the subtitled version.
Looking for Gamera 2 and 3?
In Japan a Dvd box has been released, containing G1/G2/G3 that carry English subtitles. Japanese Dvd:s does however have a region 2 coding. Try to find Cd Japan, Japanese site, in English - That's all info I can give here
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE TOUGH TURTLE June 17, 2005
Format:DVD
I've always liked Gamera. His early films were a little silly, but they had a certain charm. It's inevitable that Gamera gets compared to Godzilla, and I think that's a real shame. Both are great monsters with very different styles. Godzilla is the Terminator of the kaiju scene. He's an unstoppable force with very little finesse. But Gamera is the kung fu master of giant monsters. Like watching a Jackie Chan film, you never know what quite to expect.

This first film of the new series is damn impressive. The story is clever. And Gamera's new origin makes him a good guy, so we're rooting for him in a way we rarely get to with Godzilla. But what makes or breaks a kaiju film for me is the fights.

This has some great ones, full of twists and turns. More than once did I wait in sheer suspense as I wondered how Gamera would defeat his foe, and I was blown away with his eventual triumph. (Hope that doesn't ruin the movie, but I assumed everyone already knows he's gonna win in the end.)

The next two films in this series are every bit as worthwhile. So I say it's a big universe. Big enough for Godzilla and Gamera to coexist peacefully. Of course they are giant monsters, and monsters tend to fight.

Gamera vs Godzilla? Never gonna happen. But wouldn't it be cool?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Father's Gamera May 12, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Before I review the importance of this film, allow me to digress.
Why is a film that incorporates CGI considered to have "better special effects" than effects done using minitures and costumes? To this point, within a couple frames:
a> You can tell "immediately" if a creature is done in CGI.
b> You can tell "immediately" if a creature is a costume.
In both cases, the effect is ineffective in that you know it's a special effect. Something either looks convincing, that is "real" and you can't identify the technique used to create it, or it does not. It's a boolean thing. Having said that, the Japanese effects >tradition< of using minitures and costumes is as equally unconvincing as CGI - however, the live action style is more vivid, and interesting. I prefer the elaborate minitures, costumes, and physical effects and find them far, far, more entertaining than something produced on a laptop with a 3D software package.
Secondly, realize that most Japanese kaiju flicks are done on a 10 million dollar budget. It was amazing in the 60's as it is now that an effects film can be realized at all with such a paltry budget. The shooting schedule of this films is also break-neck.
The reason this Gamera film is important is that it re-defined a genre. Many films and filmmakers try, few succeed. It's "The Unforgiven" (western) or The Excorsist (horror) of kaiju.
Most negative reviews of this film cite effects techniques and dubbing (it's nearly impossible to accurately dub english/japanese it's a different language, of course the lips won't synch...) These reviewer are xenophobic.
In summary, Gamera is an IMPORTANT film as it redifined an entire genre. Critics who point to effects technics and dubbing are xenophobic. Long live minitures and rubber suits! The Japanese (not the US) make the best anime and big bug, saturday matinee sci fi from the 50's to today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it!! i got it in great condition!! love the movie too!!
Published 1 month ago by Tina L. Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars A trilogy that topples Godzilla off of his "king of the monsters"...
Thank goodness for ADV films putting out some great Kaiju action on DVD. The DVD quality is pretty good and there are special features on each of the three Gamera movie discs. Read more
Published 1 month ago by THowerton
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too much money.
I would like to know why they're charging almost $100 for it brand new? Sounds like highway robbery to me. 5 stars for the movie, 0 stars for the price.
Published 1 month ago by Todd A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
everything was good
Published 3 months ago by leon b lafleur
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my personal favorite Japanese monster movies of ALL time!!!!!
This movie is a must-have in dvd collections of monster movie fans It has special features that rocked my mind like a hurricane

*Spoiler Alert* Watch the trailers... Read more
Published on April 7, 2012 by Jacob Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Gamera 95 still going..........
One of the best 90's Gamera film. Gamera is link thru a little girl. Gayos returns with a atitude. Great fight scenes, and not so boring. Like Gamera 2&3. Read more
Published on October 27, 2008 by George Carabetsos
4.0 out of 5 stars This movie has EVERYTHING!
The flying turtle! The battle with Gayos! Giant bird poo! Stomping on buildings! And never ride the train in Tokyo because.. the train always gets destroyed! Read more
Published on July 24, 2007 by SCV
4.0 out of 5 stars Return of The Kaiju
Mega-turtle Gamera sleeps in the deep and is summoned forth by a girl who retains a sympathetic connection through a comma-shaped rock pendant, to do battle with an old enemy in... Read more
Published on September 16, 2006 by Draconis Blackthorne
5.0 out of 5 stars a new turtle
After years of not being on Shuesko kaneko decided to direct a brand new gamera series(Yeah!)In the beggining a giant rock is in the middle of the ocean. Read more
Published on December 27, 2005 by creature king
5.0 out of 5 stars The More Mature Gamera
This first in the trilogy pits Gamera against his long time and fan favorite foe Gyaos. The Gamera series takes a more mature tone and drops the childish themes the series was... Read more
Published on December 7, 2005 by GameraRocks
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