Mini Film Review – Gamera: The Giant Monster

Yesterday I watched Gamera: The Giant Monster; and it was pretty good! Directed by Noriaki Yuasa, and starring Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, and Yoshiro Uchida; Gamera: The Giant Monster is a giant monster movie, and the first film in the Gamera film series. After a nuclear explosion in the arctic wakes up a giant title, the authorities scramble to stop the rampaging creature that can both breathe, and absorb fire, as well as fly! This was the first time I have seen this film, although it’s not the first time I have seen a Gamera film, as I have watched both the incredible Heisei Trilogy, as well as Gamera The Brave. Made in response to the success of the Godzilla series, this film comes from another Japanese studio in Daiei; and whilst the Godzilla series by this point were now using colour in their films, this entry is in black and white. But this choice of format does help considerably, as it hides the horrors of the films lack of quality in it’s special effects. The miniatures aren’t bad, they are actually pretty cool, but the monster suit, is quite obviously a man in a suit, and looks very rigid as if it was made out of cardboard. The film though is rather enjoyable, and does feature many of the standards of movie films from the same time. It is however rather short in length; as the film decides not to tease the idea of a giant monster like the original Godzilla; choosing rather to introduce Gamera in a few short minutes. The plot does feature some moments where there is no real commitment to explanation, deciding to move from frame to frame in an instant; and the ending just seems a bit ridiculous, as if the producers were just trying to end it as quickly as possible. It’s quite an innovative idea, but it’s just over very quickly, and somewhat embarrassingly. It’s sort of a conflicting movie experience on the whole, as it does have it’s moments, but as it chooses a route of no continued surprises, as well as some more annoying characters than interesting ones; it was a film I was beginning to nod off to. But it does have it’s moments, and while it’s easily not the best Gamera film to date; without it, we wouldn’t have the best one!

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