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Uchu Kaiju Gamera

Super Monster Gamera
Space Monster Gamera / Gamera: Super Monster / Gameka et les 3 Super Women / Phoenix Dominator

Japan 1980
produced by
Hirozaki Ohba, Shigeru Shinohara, Masaya Tokuyama, Masaichi Nagata (executive), Yasuyoshi Tokuma (executive) for Daiei
directed by Noriaki Yuasa
starring Mach Fumiake, Yaeko Kojima, Yoko Komatsu, Keiko Kudo, Koichi Maeda, Toshie Takada, Hiroji Hayshi, Makoto Ikeda, Kisao Tobita, Yuzo Hayakawa
written by Nisan Takahashi, music by Shunsuke Kikuchi

Gamera

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Aliens from spaceship Zanon want to destroy the world. Giruge (Keiko Kudo), one of the aliens, is their field agent, mingling with the humans in the disguise of a businesswoman. Her mission is to destroy the Space Women (Mach Fumiake, Yaeko Kuchima, Yoko Komatsu), three superheroines from outer space who have sworn to protect the world without the use of weapons. Also, to get the destruction of earth ahead, Giruge activates giant monster after giant monster to wreak havoc.

However, the one factor standing between Giruge and success is a little boy (Koichi Maeda) who believes his pet turtle, which he has released into a nearby river, will become giant sabre-toothed turtle Gamera and defend the earth. And after he plays the themesong he has composed for Gamera on the Space Women's organ, Gamera actually shows up and beats the living daylights out of each of Giruge's monsters.

Eventually, Giruge catches up witht he Space Women and tries to kill them, but they turn the tables, but then refrain from killing her, and after taking care of her after she had an accident, Giruge switches sides, lets herself be killed by spaceship Zanon in the Space Women's stead - and this way gives Gamera a good idea about the location of Zanon. So Gamera flies to outer space to destroy this threat of mankind once and for all ...

 

In a way, this film is an attempt to revive the Gamera-series that has been lying dormant for 9 years and bring it more in tune with then current box office successes, namely Star Wars and Superman. Now this sounds reasonable enough, and some special effects in Super Monster Gamera really show that the film's makers were up to it, technically speaking. But obviously they were not as up to it on the budget side, so all of Gamera's battles were lifted from the turtle's old movies, which makes the film incredibly choppy, because the battlescenes are not set up narrationwise and the changes in Gamera's costume from one scene to the next are a bit too obvious. Furthermore, with this endless barrage of monster fights - all of which were rather shoddily rescored - the film lacks a real climax, also maybe because the framing story is episodic, slightly silly, and lacks any real tension.

That all said, if you want to see a few vintage monster battles and Japanese girls in funny superhero outfits (and who doesn't), you might still want to watch this, it's still mindless fun - jujst don't expect anything even remotely good!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD