Gammera the Invincible

December 3, 2015 at 3:16 am (4 Heads, Gammera the Invincible) (, , , , )

Gammera the Invincible – 1966 – Japan/United States

A Soviet plane carrying an atomic bomb “accidentally” flies over Alaska and is shot down by American jets. The resulting atomic blast terrifies some Eskimos and awakens Gamera. Gamera is a flying fire-breathing turtle born in the ancient time before Earth had oxygen, apparently. As a result, Gamera survives by eating fire, which makes no sense. His hunger forces him to devastate power plants across the globe. When atomic weapons and experimental freeze-bombs prove ineffective, the Japanese government lures Gamera into a rocket and launches him to Mars.

The above summary is for the American version of Gamera (known as Gammera the Invincible), which is edited from the Japanese original to include alternate scenes with American actors. Gamera was created to compete with Toho’s Godzilla films. Those familiar with Japanese kaiju flicks know what to expect. Gamera, a man in a rubber suit, crushes miniature model buildings and vehicles. Compared to Godzilla (1954), Gamera looks cheap, but a few scenes are impressive. In one, Gamera destroys a geothermal plant while being barraged by tanks. However, the film wastes too much time developing its boring characters. One primary character is a stupid moody kid who lives in a lighthouse and loves turtles. He never does anything important.

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. In my favorite scene, Gamera attacks a nightclub. The young people are dancing to a rock song about Gamera and refuse to leave. Presumably they are all killed.

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