Gammera The Invincible

Gammera The Invincible

Director: Noriyaki Yuasa

Cast: Albert Dekker, Brian Donlevy, Diane Findlay

     
 

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One of the most fearsome of the Japanese monsters to hit the screen in the early 60's makes his debut in sci-fi thriller. As tensions between America and the Soviet Union rise to a fever pitch, U.S. troops shoot down a Russian bomber which is flying low in an Arctoc region. The bomber crashes, and its payload of hydrogen bombs explode upon impact. The blast releases

Overview

One of the most fearsome of the Japanese monsters to hit the screen in the early 60's makes his debut in sci-fi thriller. As tensions between America and the Soviet Union rise to a fever pitch, U.S. troops shoot down a Russian bomber which is flying low in an Arctoc region. The bomber crashes, and its payload of hydrogen bombs explode upon impact. The blast releases and awakens Gamera, a gigantic fire-breathing turtle which had been frozen under the ice since prehistoric times. The newly revived monster makes his way to Tokyo, Japan, where he begins to lay waste to the city. As emminent scientist Dr. Hidaka (Eiji Funakoshi) searches for a way to defeat the monster, a young boy named Yoshiro (Yoshiro Unchida) develops an unlikely friendship with Gamera. For the film's American release, additional scenes were added featuring U.S. actors Brian Donlevy and Albert Dekker. The spelling of the monster's name was also changed; he's Gammera with two M's in this movie, but just Gamera in the sequels which followed.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The idea of a giant, fire-breathing flying turtle might sound silly - and even fans of the Japanese monster-movie genre tend to consider it so - but viewers might be surprised by how serious and occasionally intense the original version of the first entry in the Gamera series is. Gammera The Invincible, as it was known to American viewers, was watered down with new scenes featuring English-speaking actors and laughable dubbing for the Japanese parts. As such, it's a bit of a misfire. However, the original, unedited Japanese version plays like a fairly effective riff on the first Godzilla film, using moody black-and-white photography and presenting a scenario in which the world is terrorized by the mysterious giant monster of the title. The script is mostly standard stuff for the genre but spices things up a bit by having scientists be the heroes instead of villains or kooks. The actors mostly blend into the background but Eiji Funakoshi does solid work as the film's scientist hero and Yoshiro Uchida stands out for playing one of the most annoying and insane kiddie characters in monster movie history. However, the real attraction is the monster-suit carnage and director Noriaki Yuasa handles it well, delivering the many setpieces with enthusiasm and using the black-and-white photography to bring a spooky edge to the scenes of distruction. Some the effects really show their age (particularly the scenes with model planes on strings) but the majority of the effects showcases play nicely, boasting a gee-whiz sense of comic book excitement that will appeal to the viewer's inner kid. All in all, Gammera The Invincible is a solidly-crafted, engaging monster mash - just make sure you see the original Japanese version.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/18/2010
UPC:
0826663118766
Original Release:
1965
Rating:
NR
Source:
Shout Factory
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:18:00

Special Features

A Retrospective Look at the Gamera Franchise; ; Audio Commentary; Publicity Gallery

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Albert Dekker Secretary of Defense
Brian Donlevy Gen. Terry Arnold
Diane Findlay Sgt. Susan Embers
John Baragrey Capt. Lovell
Dick O'Neill Gen. O'Neill
Eiji Funakoshi Dr. Hidaka
Harumi Kiritachi Kyoke
Yoshiro Uchida Toshio
Michiko Sugata Nobuyo
Yoshiro Kitahara Sakurai
Jun Hamamura Dr. Murase
John McCurry Airman First Class Hopkins
Louis Zorich Russian Ambassador
Mort Marshall Jules Manning
Alan Oppenheimer Dr. Contrare
Junichiro Yamashita Aoyagi
Steffen Zacharias Senator Billings
Gene Bua Lt. Clark

Technical Credits
Noriyaki Yuasa Director
Hank Aldrich Art Director
Wes Farrell Songwriter
Richard Kraft Screenwriter
Nobuo Munekawa Cinematographer
Tatsuji Nakashizu Editor
Ross-Gaffney Editor
Yonejiro Saito Producer,Screenwriter
Fumi Takahashi Screenwriter
Julian C. Townsend Cinematographer
Yonesaburo Tsukiji Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gamera: The Giant Monster
1. Main Titles [7:09]
2. Interference [3:25]
3. Last Message [3:00]
4. Will-O'-The Wisp [6:16]
5. Run For It [8:07]
6. Heavy Artillery [7:38]
7. On The Move [6:47]
8. Unpredictable [7:12]
9. Z Plan [6:06]
10. Mass Destruction [7:13]
11. Take Her Away [6:58]
12. In Flames [8:31]

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