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Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: GAMERA VS. VIRAS (1968)

Ah, Gamera.  He's really neat.  He's filled with turtle meat.  We all love you, Gamera.

But not this movie.  Gamera vs. Viras (1968), next on our big list of movies (HERE).

My son James goes first:
Well, I thought this one was plain stupid, with the power squids, and the boy scout submarines thing, all stupid!!! They even "wasted" 18 minutes of flashback, like, why?!! Even the kids are stronger and smarter than Gamera and the Aliens!!!! 
so, rating wise, i'll say 1.67 (Yes, it's that stupid....)
My turn:
I'm pretty much with my kid on this one.   
Very standard '60s monster movie stuff and aimed directly at the children.  I tried for a time to watch the movie with that mindset ... I just couldn't do it.  My son, as you can tell from his review, couldn't get into it that way, either. 
The children in this film are smarter than anyone in the world, apparently.  They reprogrammed an experimental submarine and then were allowed by scientists to pilot it on a joy ride.  The whole scene is ridiculous. 
Then the flashbacks.  The aliens probe Gamera's memory and we get to watch about twelve or thirteen minutes of fights from the previous films.  (This movie was never used by MST3K, but this would have been prime stuff to snip out for time constraints.) 
The aliens take the two boys and they outsmart them on their own ship, but not before they attach a control device on Gamera.  Then the intruders dispatch the giant turtle to attack Earth.  This is how we're treated to a further five or so minutes of footage from previous films ... attacks on cities from the first film (even though the footage is black-and-white), an attack on a dam from the second film ...  It's tedious. 
The height of stupidity comes near the end when the world decides to surrender because the aliens captured the boys and threaten them.  Sacrificing billions for two ... ? 
Then the squids merge like Voltron or something and become a giant squid alien.  The fight is brief and not terribly satisfying, as the thing gets carried into high altitude, freezes and then gets dropped in the ocean.   
What's good?  Well, the film breaks with the formula of having Gamera fight the monster, getting injured, waiting and then fighting again at the end.  Unfortunately, it gets around this with old footage.  Also, we get the jaunty Gamera theme for the first time.  That's nice.
Gamera vs. Viras ... I'm beginning to hate kids.  1 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's the trailer:

Up next ... ugh.  More kids.  Godzilla's Revenge.

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