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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: GAPPA (1967)

The next film on our big list of kaiju movies (see it HERE) ... Gappa (1967), also known as Gappa: The Triphibian Monster and Monster from a Prehistoric Planet.

My ten-year-old son, James, goes first:
Well, it's about surviving dinosaurs (i think) finding their baby, and there are some island natives, a boy who travels places in seconds, lizard flying classes, and more! But I didn't like it much because everything is cheesy! costumes, scenes, everything!!! 
So, rating wise, i'll say 2.005 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!!!
My turn:
Not from one of the usual movie studios, Gappa is a Japanese kaiju film that follows many of the tropes of the genre to this point.  
A greedy publisher/industrialist, brave and eager scientists, natives on an island ...  Natives on an island.  My son and I tried to remember all the kaiju films so far in which this particular trait appeared.  We came up with seven.  I think we can blame the 1933 classic King Kong for this. 
A baby bird-lizard hatches from an egg and the scientists take it home.  Like the Brit kaiju film Gorgo, the parents come a'lookin'.  They stomp about for a while until the military and scientists get the baby away from the greedy industrialist guy so the parents can take it away. 
As for the monsters, they look like featherless birds.  They fly without really flapping their wings.  They have some sort of heat blast breath.  They're fairly unremarkable, except that they have expressive faces, particularly the child. 
The humans are generally as bland as wallpaper paste.  The greedy guy is the usual caricature, making inexplicable choices.  There's some gender talk about one of the female scientists quitting to do the dishes ... which may lead into something I discovered after the film was over. 
Gappa was, apparently, intended as a parody of the genre.  Well, that would explain the use of so many tropes ... but it wasn't very funny.  At all.  Maybe the humor was lost in translation.  I did notice that the mother had an octopus in her mouth when they started to rampage.  Maybe she was bringing the baby some food?  
Gappa ... It exists.  2.5 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's the end of the film along with the amusing "Gappa the Colossal Beast" song:

And here's the trailer:

Next up, the hard-to-find X from Outer Space.

James: ...With a U.F.C!!!  (unidentified flying cookie!)

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