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Giant Monster Gamera(1965); aka "Gammera The Invincible"
Topic Started: Jul 24 2009, 06:44 AM (2,319 Views)
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Giant Monster Gamera(1965)

Summary:

Director: Noriaki Yuasa
Run time: 80 minutes
Original aspect ratio: 2:35.1 widescreen
Audio: mono
Producers: Hidemasa Nagata, Yonejiro Saito, Masaichi Nagata
Production company: Daiei
U.S. theatrical distribution: World Entertainment Corporation, Harris Associates, Inc
Theatrical release date in Japan: 11/26/1965
Theatrical release date in U.S.: 12/15/1966
Filmed in black and white


While Godzilla justifiably dominates many discussions of giant monsters on internet message boards there is another monster from the Orient that has also enjoyed quite a big screen career as well: Gamera. This monster made its debut in 1965 in a black and white, letterboxed film released theatrically by Daiei Studios, the movie called Giant Monster Gamera.

Like any "origin story" film this movie goes about introducing Gamera to those watching the film. The storyline: a mysterious country(presumably the U.S.S.R.) drops an atomic bomb at the Arctic(near the North Pole) which causes a huge fissure to open in the ice. Awakened by the atomic blast a 150 foot tall turtle erupts out of the ice from a long slumber. The giant turtle immediately destroys an icebreaker/research vessel, then flies south, where it stops long enough to befriend a boy with a pet turtle and then engage the local military tasked with stopping it. Scientists discover that Gamera "feeds" on energy, especially fire, which makes attacking the monster with conventional weapons ineffective. To that end scientists and the military forum and come up with the "Z Plan", by which to lure the giant monster into the enormous, and opened, nose of a rocket, then close the rocket's nose and send the giant fire breathing turtle into outer space, never to menace mankind again.

To save budget this movie was shot in black and white. The aspect ratio of the movie is 2:35.1 widescreen. Giant Monster Gamera was directed by (the late) Noriaki Yuasa. Yuasa has done, IMO, a marvelous job of creating an entertaining kaiju film, in light of the time and budget constraints he always worked under while in Daiei's employment. Yuasa was also greatly fond of children and this no doubt factored into the inclusion of a child(the little boy) into the movie's storyline.
Admittedly I found the little boy an annoyance and distraction more than anything but this movie is just serious enough in tone otherwise to keep my attention.

Giant Monster Gamera(1965) was re-released in an "Americanized" version in the U.S.(in 1966) with the title Gammera The Invincible, and with the inclusion of American actors Brian Donlevy and Albert Dekker. Both of these films were released on VHS by Neptune Media back in the late 1990's, these VHS releases stellar, both versions presented uncut, in the original aspect ratio(2:35.1 letterbox), the prints very clean and looking quite good.

There has been no official region 1 DVD release of the original Daiei classic Giant Monster Gamera(1965). There are a lot of cheapie DVDs of the American version(Alpha Video comes to mind) but these do the movie no favor: they're usually grainy looking and have been cropped to a pan and scan format(shaped to fit a standard TV screen). These versions can also be seen on "Mystery Science Theater" re-runs as well.

Giant Monster Gamera(1965) is on Region 2 DVD but this disc is getting harder to find. The entire 60's Gamera films are sold at Amazon Japan as a Region 2 DVD box set which is, not surprisingly, very expensive.

Hopefully this film will be released to quality Region 1 DVD soon.

Anyone here would like to see this film in 2:35.1 widescreen and in English subtitles can PM me for info on an internet vendor I know who sells copies of the R2 discs with "burned" English subtitles, and at $15 plus shipping.

This topic thread is for the discussion of Giant Monster Gamera(1965), its American version and anything else related to these two films. All replies welcome.

The trailer for Gammera The Invincible(1966):


Here's Gamera: The Ultimate Collection, a basic three movie Region 1 DVD set which includes three Americanized versions(in pan and scan) of Giant Monster Gamera(1965), Gamera Vs Barugon(1966), and Gamera Vs Viras(1968). The American titles are called,respectively, "Gammera The Invincible", "War Of The Monsters", and "Destroy All Planets": http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id...&ci_sku=7215088

Here's Giant Monster Gamera(1965), the Neptune Video VHS tape, on sale at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Monster-Gamera...i/dp/630527827X
(not how expensive the lone new copy available is)

"The Shrine Of Gamera" is mostly an archival(no longer updated) website but still has loads of great info on Gamera. Here's a brief recap og Giant Monster Gamera at this website: http://www.shrineofgamera.com/gamera.html

A review of the Region 2 DVD of Giant Monster Gamera(1965): http://www.digitalmonsterisland.com/gamera.html

A review of the Alpha Video R1 DVD of Gammera The Invincible(1966): http://www.digitalmonsterisland.com/gammera_invincible.html



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http://journalismg2km.blogspot.com/2009/12/shoutfactory-buys-showa-gamera-rights.html

Any fanboys syced?
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G2Kmaster
Dec 19 2009, 02:40 PM
heyo

http://robojapan.blogspot.com/2009/12/showa-gamera-movies-to-be-released-by.html

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This is great news! thumbz up



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Damn, I need to check RoboJapan more. F***.
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dph
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This is also great news for the the Misties who have been waiting for the Gamera episodes to be released. This may not be a definite but it is hope that Kadokawa and Shout Factory can cooperate.
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dph
Dec 19 2009, 03:56 PM
This is also great news for the the Misties who have been waiting for the Gamera episodes to be released
By "Misties" are you referring to MST3K fans? heyo



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packmule
Dec 19 2009, 08:35 PM
dph
Dec 19 2009, 03:56 PM
This is also great news for the the Misties who have been waiting for the Gamera episodes to be released
By "Misties" are you referring to MST3K fans? heyo
Yes. Shout Factory has the rights to MST3K now since Rhino lost them at the 20th Anniversary. Shout has been trying hard to get episodes released that fans have been screaming for and succeeding where Rhino failed (Godzilla vs. Megalon is a great example) Now that Shout has acquired the Gamera Showa movies, I think it is one step closer for the Misties to get the Gamera episodes on DVD which we have all been clamoring for.
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Russzilla
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packmule
Dec 19 2009, 03:18 PM
And even better news about this? The movies are gonna be HD transfers. big grin

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G2Kmaster
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And now Amazon has the first Gamera film on for sale May 18.
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G2Kmaster
Feb 4 2010, 10:24 AM
And now Amazon has the first Gamera film on for sale May 18.
heyo

Can you post a link to this? Thanks pal!



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Guardian7
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Is it widescreen?
Manda morphed onto actually Ogasawara Island photo
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Well, here is my write up for the blog:

"Well, after searching through the forums, it seems that there is finaly a release date for the Shout!Factory Showa Gamera releases. The first film, being released on May 18th according to Amazon, is said by August Ragone – who provided some liner notes for the Retromedia LD release of yesteryear – to feature “assorted special feature materials, including an 8-page booklet”. On other notes, the hope for a blu-ray release seems slim. August claimed Shout!Factory “wanted to include GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE as an extra, but regrettably, UCLA made it too difficult to use the Interpositive in their library.” More titles are on the way, but it seems like the early anticipation for the US versions may never come to light with UCLA being pains due to the prices of the film prints (which Kadokawa should own anyway)."

And here is a link if you want to pre-order your copy: http://www.amazon.com/Gamera-Giant-Monster-Eiji-Funakoshi/dp/B0035CVB30/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1265332153&sr=1-33

Though it is likely SciFiJapan may have beaten me to the punch, I have taken the liberty of contacting Shout!Factory as to try to get a scoop on this, weather it be an interview with the guy in charge of these disc's production to just getting cover art and full spects.
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Guardian7
Feb 4 2010, 08:03 PM
Is it widescreen?
Assuming Shout! Factory is planning to present these films on DVD in their original aspect ratio, then the answer would be yes. From the Amazon link:

Quote:
 
Product Details

* Actors: Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, JunichirĂ´ Yamashiko, Yoshiro Uchida
* Directors: Noriaki Yuasa
* Format: Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
* Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
* Number of discs: 1
* Studio: Shout! Factory
* DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
* Run Time: 78 minutes


The aspect ratio of these Showa Gamera films was 2:35.1, sometimes referred to as "letterbox" format.



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http://robojapan.blogspot.com/2010/02/shout-factory-to-release-gamera-dvd-set.html

thumbz up

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Sci-Fi Japan has posted an outstanding article and coverage of Shout! Factory's Region 1 DVD release of "Gamera The Giant Monster" which includes an interview with Cliff MacMillan of Shout! Factory! To read this article click the link: http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2010/02/13/showa-gamera-films-coming-to-dvd-from-shout-factory/




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I like the cover art, especialy the color scheme. Not to mention the useage of the Japanese translation for "daikaiju gamera" in the same font as the Japanese 1 sheet. Very awesome. Maybe I made the right choice to not watch the Showa Gamera films till this came out.
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Feb 13 2010, 10:33 AM
Maybe I made the right choice to not watch the Showa Gamera films till this came out
And after finally watching the DVD of this film from Shout!Factory(or subsequent DVD releases), and you decide you DID NOT make the "right choice", what then?




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Now available for preorder.
http://www.amazon.com/Gamera-Giant-Monster-Eiji-Funakoshi/dp/B0035CVB30/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1269705656&sr=8-1
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AVERY GUERRA
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The full details from "Fangoria":

http://fangoria.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=402:gamera-dvdetails-fox-genre-discs-on-demand&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=167
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AVERY GUERRA
Mar 30 2010, 04:12 PM
Very cool.
Please check out my Deviantart page.
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Hmmm... I wonder if that "Look Back" documentry is the same thing from the R2 disc or rather something which goes over all the Gamera films... Thanks for the heads up Avery...
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Review of the new DVD found.
http://wtf-film.com/site/2010/04/05/game....t-factory-2010/
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August
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Read the early reviews, here:
http://augustragone.blogspot.com/2010/04/gamera-is-bowling-over-critics.html
August Ragone
Author EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS
Blog THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND GODZILLA
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August
Apr 18 2010, 02:11 PM
It's great to see all these positive reviews, August! thumbz up

I'll be picking up every one of these Shout! Factory DVD releases of the classic Gamera films.



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Feb 13 2010, 11:27 AM
G2Kmaster
Feb 13 2010, 10:33 AM
Maybe I made the right choice to not watch the Showa Gamera films till this came out
And after finally watching the DVD of this film from Shout!Factory(or subsequent DVD releases), and you decide you DID NOT make the "right choice", what then?
[/center]
Nothing since I have deemed I have indeed made the right choice.

http://journalismg2km.blogspot.com/2010/05/review-gamera-giant-monster.html

Review of the DVD and review of the film (more like a critical analysis).
Edited by G2Kmaster, May 21 2010, 03:05 PM.
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Well, I finally got around to watching Gamera The Giant Monster accompanied by audio commentary by August Ragone. The commentary was marvelous. Well done, August! thumbz up



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http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2010/07/28/dvd-review-gamera-the-giant-monster/

thumbz up



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My Shout! Factory DVD for this film has been shipped, I'm expecting it either Tuesday or Wednesday, can't wait to watch it since the DVD for Gamera vs Barugon was great. topper dancing admin
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One thing I find interesting about this film is that they keep going back to the fact that Gamera saves Toshio's life (even through out the Showa Series) but yet Gamera was the one who put him in danger. It's like stabbing someone and giving them first aid immediately after.
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Dec 5 2010, 11:45 AM
One thing I find interesting about this film is that they keep going back to the fact that Gamera saves Toshio's life (even through out the Showa Series) but yet Gamera was the one who put him in danger
It could be that the writers for this film could think of no other means by which to establish that Gamera liked children. To this day I wish the whole "children" angle had been left out of these films and I say that with no disrespect to the late Noriaki Yuasa.



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