Gamera: The Giant Monster
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
During the height of the Cold War, East-West tensions lead to a nuclear disaster when a Soviet bomber is shot down over U.S. airspace in the Arctic! Massive radiation from the atomic explosion awakens an ancient, gargantuan creature, a long-forgotten legend of the lost continent of Atlantis: Gamera! Unleashed from its glacial tomb and proving impervious to all man-made weapons, the colossal chelonian smashes a cataclysmic swath across the globe! Can the scientists of the world, led by Dr. Hidaka (Eiji Funakoshi), find a way to stop this invincible supermonster . . . or is mankind doomed?
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa (who would oversee all eight of the original Gamera entries of the 1960s and 1970s) and created by the same studio that brought Zatoichi to the screen, Daieis titanic terrapin became the only true rival to Tohos King Of The Monsters. Gamera was able to hold its own at the box office and secured a place in the hearts of kaiju eiga (Japanese Monster Movie) fans around the world.
Now, for the first time on DVD, Shout! Factory presents the original Japanese version of Gamera with new English subtitles and anamorphic widescreen from an all-new HD master created from vault elements!
* A Retrospective Look at the Gamera Franchise
* Audio Commentary
* Publicity Gallery
Gamera, The Giant Monster is a lot of fun and its 16:9 widescreen transfer provides American viewers the first real opportunity to see the film on big, widescreen TVs in all its city-smashing glory. --DVD Talk
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First a little bit about Gamera:
Gamera came along in 1965 as either a ripoff of Godzilla or competition for him or both. The production company Daiei, wanted to compete with Toho. Daiei was in serious financial trouble and took a gamble that paid off. Gamera; The Giant Monster was a success. Seven sequels would follow.
Gamera is essentially a flying, fire-breathing giant turtle. He manages to fly but shooting flames out from his shell where his legs and arms should be and then spinning in a circle. How he takes off without any downward thrust is anybodies guess. Also, he often walks upright on his rear two legs. I'm not sure if that makes his front two legs, arms. He breaths fire from his mouth which is similar but not the same as Godzilla. Godzilla breathes radioctive whatever and his breath varies in color depending on the movie.
DVD: This version of the original Gamera is the Japanese version. There is an edited version called Gamera the Invincible which was for the American market. However, there is no dubbing and it is Japanese with English subtitles. If you don't like reading subtitles then this is not the version for you.
The picture is very good and is crisp and better than any previous releases.
EXTRA'S: There are quite a few extra's. Included is a booklet on the Gamera franchise. The casing of the DVD is clear plastic and on the inside you get a cutaway diagram of Gamera himself. You can see what makes him tick.
There is an informative audio commentary, a behind the scenes featurette and a trailer.
PLOT/SUMMARY: Dr. Hidaka is somewhere in the frozen north with his daughter Kyoko and a photographer Aoyagi. Shortly before, they departed their ship, 'Chidori Maru'. Apparently they are in the Arctic Circle and they encounter Eskimo's there. Aoyagi was one of eight photographers who was selected to continue the trip from the ship. Dr. Hidaka is there to search for ancient turtles. He is there on the premise that he is looking for Atlantis. He asks the Eskimo chieftain if he has seen any large turtles in the Arctic. The chieftain gives him an ancient stone that may depict one. At this time a low flying supersonic aircraft appears overhead. Dr. Hidaka alerts the American base nearby. They send out fighters to intercept the aircraft of unknown origin. The unknown aircraft are unresponsive to communication and fire on the American planes. The American planes shoot down the unknown aircraft. We then find out that it was carrying a nuclear bomb because that said bomb explodes. Shortly thereafter, Gamera appears. He's apparently not very happy to be woken up from his ages long sleep. Gamera sinks the Chidori Maru and disappears beneath the sea. Dr. Hidaka, his daughter and Aoyagi are the only survivors.
From here on out, there is no mention regarding the nuclear bomb. You might think that a bomber flying beneath radar cover with an armed nuclear device getting shot down and the bomb detonating might make some news....but it is not to be.
Next we meet....unfortunately!!!....Toshio. He is one of the most annoying kids in the history of movies. Toshio lives with his family at a lighthouse in Japan. He has an obsession with turtles. His parents are not happy about it and they tell him to get rid of his pet turtle. Gamera appears at the lighthouse and Toshio promptly takes off and heads to the lighthouse and climbs to the top. Gamera has decided to destroy the lighthouse. For whatever reason....Gamera decides to save Toshio's life. As the idiot kid is hanging from the railing, Gamera scoops him up and gently puts him down. Why... you ask?...it's anybodies guess since he spends the rest of the movie killing people and causing destruction.
Toshio then spends the rest of the movie popping up everywhere where he shouldn't be telling anybody and everybody that Gamera is really good!
He tries very hard to get himself killed but fails.
Gamera feeds on energy and spends most of the movie hunting for it...more specifically...oil.
Dr. Hidaka, and the Japanese military spend the rest of the movie plotting to stop Gamera. Every now and then Kyoko and Aoyagi pitch in some comments. Even Toshio at one point has a rational thing to say. Several plans are hatched to defeat Gamera. The military fails miserably like they do in every monster movie ever made except for perhaps the unfortunate 'Godzilla' (1998). Ultimately it will come down to Plan Z (don't ask). Somehow, in these movies, they always seem to get the monster to go walk to the exact spot they need him.
PRODUCTION: This is the only Gamera movie that was filmed in black and white. To me, black and white gives the movie a much more serious look to it. It was 1965 when this film was shot so it's unclear if this was done just to save money.
Early on in the movie, Eskimo's are encountered and they speak a foreign language and Japanese subtitles appear. The foreign language they are speaking is English with a Japanese accent!
The American actors hired for this movie were obviously had for not much money. They are terrible actors. Once again, that is part of the charm of these movies. It looks like their scenes were filmed in one take as you hear the actors stumble over their lines a few times.
Japanese actors were hired to be American pilots. I guess they thought they could hide that fact behind the helmet gear. Also, the extra American soldiers in the American headquarters are all Japanese.
COMMENTS: Although I am a 'Godzilla' fan in general, I also enjoy the 'Gamera' movies. After the first few movies, they turn into kids movies just like the 'Godzilla' franchise did in the late 60's to mid 70's.
I hated Toshio with a passion. If only Gamera could have done away with him early on.
Aoyagi and Kyoko's romance goes nowhere. I guess it was there just because these movies are supposed to have a romance.
Don't look for any logic in 'Gamera'. Like most 'kaiju' movies...there isn't any. 'Gamera' seems to go out of it's way in trying to be illogical. But that is what gives this movie a large part of it's entertainment value. It's quite amusing when completely idiotic statements are stated with such earnestness. We could definitely have done without Toshio but even he can't stop this movie from being a success with it's zany logic.
Recommended for all fans of 'kaiju' films any fan of giant monster movies in general. Keep in mind at the time of this review, in 2016, you can buy all of the Gamera movies on blu-ray in a very inexpensive set. You won't get all the extra's but if you don't care about that then that is definitely the way to go.
In this Japanese version, an A-bomb is “accidentally” exploded in the Arctic and wakes up a prehistoric chelonian monster they name Gamera (because Fred would have been awkward). Gamera is a bit testy from this rude awakening; he ruins an American jet then heads for Japan. On the way, he destroys Fujisawa then takes his frustrations out on a lighthouse. An obnoxious little boy was in the lighthouse at the time so Gamera saves him before moving on to the destruction of a research ship and all onboard. It’s now surmised that Gamera is in need of a snack and that he appears to like swallowing fire. While the military struggles to find a way to deal with or defeat Gamera, this same obnoxious little boy keeps getting in the way, convinced that Gamera is really his pet turtle Pee-wee, which he had to let go. This movie would have been flawless without the unwanted intrusion of this little boy.
Most recent customer reviews
The DVD arrived as pictured, it worked in our standard DVD player no problem.Read more