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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tsuyoshi Ihara, Akira Onodera, Shinobu Nakayama, Ayako Fujitani, Yukijirô Hotaru
  • Directors: Shûsuke Kaneko
  • Writers: Matt Greenfield, James Shanks, Kazunori Itô
  • 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844JH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

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

The special effects were suprisingly good.
C. Serafini
With the help of the life-force of the girl, Gamera gathers up enough energy to defeat Gyaos, which takes them from the city to the ocean, and even into outer space.
Draconis Blackthorne
I highly prefer Godzilla over Gamera but this was a great film.
LegendDraco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Serafini on 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 By Douglas Kaiser on 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mojo Jojo on 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 By A Customer on May 12, 2004
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Camu Kramp on December 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Gamera:GOTU is wonderful, modern approach to the monster movie. By starting with the first discovery of the monster, it allows the world to be much closer to ours. There is no 50 year history to reinvent or rewrite. There are no Maser Beam Tanks to be destroyed. The movie is about what happens to people when monsters are discovered today.
This movie has a great attention to detail: all of the hardware used by Japan is accurate and modern, monsters showing up effecting commodities and stocks, background characters, the construction of the miniture buildings, etc.
The special effects are second to the story, and not the reverse. This is a great improvement over many modern Hollywood movies.
For those curious if Gamera or Godzilla is the better series, the answer is simple. Take a Saturday and rent this movie and Godzilla Vs. Destroyer or Godzilla Vs. MechaGodzilla. With this fine double feature, comparing the least of the modern Gameras movies vs the best of the modern Godzillas, a personal preference will develop. My money's on your money going to the turtle.
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