Gamera, Super Monster (1980)

  • Year: 1980
  • Released: 07 May 1980
  • Country: Japan
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Japanese
  • MPA Rating: Not Rated
  • Genre: Action, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Runtime: 92 min
  • Writer: Niisan Takahashi
  • Director: Noriaki Yuasa, Shigeo Tanaka
  • Cast: Mach Fumiake, Yaeko Kojima, Yoko Komatsu
  • Keywords: monster, legend, superhero, giant monster, turtle, sequel,

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Gamera, Super Monster Movie Reviews

Game(ra) over!

Gamera: Super Monster, the last of the Showa-era Gamera movies, largely comprises of clips from the previous films (although there is also footage from a couple of unrelated animated films as well), with new scenes to tie all the battles together: three super space women, defenders of Earth, befriend a small boy and do battle with an evil woman from the Pirate Spaceship Zanon, who sends several monsters (Gyaos, Ziger, Vira, Jiger, Guiron and Barugon) to wreak havoc on Earth. Of course, giant spinning turtle Gamera is always on hand to give them a jolly good thrashing.

If you’ve already seen all of the previous Gamera movies, then Super Monster will be a crushing bore, Gamera defeating one monster after another ad nauseum before sacrificing his life by smashing into the Zanon spaceship (which looks suspiciously like a Star Destroyer from Star Wars). The nonsense in between the battles sees the three good space women, Kilara, Mitan and Marsha, beaming from one place to another and transforming from human to superhero by performing a stupid series of arm gestures; meanwhile, kid Keiichi releases his pet turtle into a river, plays his Yamaha organ (whilst singing the Gamera March), and is pursued by the evil woman, who hopes that the lad will lead her to his three female friends.

Produced by a struggling Daiei Studios as a last ditch effort to make enough cash to stay afloat, the film is so sloppy in all departments that it proved to be the final nail in the coffin instead.

I love this weirdness!

The first Gamera film in nine years – following Gamera vs. Zigra – this is somehow the strangest of all the movies. That’s an accomplishment.

This entire movie is made up of recycled footage from the entire Gamera film series, as well as Space Battleship Yamato and Galaxy Express 999. This was an attempt to help Daiei get out of financial trouble. Bad news: the film failed to succeed at the box office and Daiei still had to file for bankruptcy six months later.

So they did what the Japanese do best. They kill off Gamera at the end.

Yes, the alien Zanon has come to enslave Earth and even the three Spacewomen, Earth’s defenders, can’t stop him. You know who can? A little kid. As always.

By the way – Mach Fumiake, who portrays the Spacewoman Kilara, was a pro wrestler.

That kid has a connection to Gamera, so he takes us back in time through all the films, as Gamera battles Gyaos, Zigra, Viras, Jiger, Guiron and Barugon before sacrificing himself to save the Earth from Zanon.

Depressing? Yeah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a Japanese film that ends this way and I end up thinking about it for years.

There is a funny scene where Gamera smashes up a Godzilla billboard. But this is the end of the so-called Showa Gamera era and there would not be another film with the giant turtle for fourteen more years until Gamera: Guardian of the Universe was made.

It’s sad. There’s no Gamera theme song. Only two minutes of new Gamera footage. And yeah – Gamera dying. You don’t need to be depressed. But I still found the YouTube link for you.

My favorite movie of all time (Warning! Review may contain some minor Spoilers)

Many Kaiju fans hate this film for its constant use of stock footage. In fact, most of the special FX were stock footage and the few new ones were really cheap, but if you can see past these flaws, Super Monster becomes a very charming, appealing, and entertaining movie. The plot revolves around a young boy whose pet turtle turns into Gamera, the Super Monster of the title,(or something like that anyway) in order to rid the world of an army of monsters created by the pirate aliens of Zanon who want to take over the world. Gamera is assisted in his mission by his former boy master and a trio of Space Women. Out to stop the heros is an evil space woman named Giloki. Stock footage battle after stock footage battle then ensues.

Ironicly, though, the stock footage adds to the film rather that detracts from it. This is the last of the classic Gamera series and re-showing all of Gamera’s battles is like taking a fun little stroll down memory lane. It is a thrill to remember a great series greatest moments. It kind of plays like a “memories of” special of a famous television series. The few new special effects sequences that were in the film were very well done considering the budget. I personally think that when Gamera arrives for the first time in the movie by flying over the city is the high point of the entire series. The human elements of the story were also very well done and very appealing in a child-like sort of way.

So in conclusion, you will probably hate this movie the first time you see it but if you give it a chance you will learn to like it. I just learned to love it and know it is my favorite movie of all time.