When Gamera Fights A Giant Swiss Army Knife It's Monster Mayhem!

Although the Gamera films aren't anywhere near as good as their rival "Godzilla" films, they are a lot of fun and an over-the-top camp fest.

(That may have been the worst sentence I've ever typed but I'm sticking with it.)

Kudos to Wade Wainio over at Fansided for taking on a movie that essentially pits a giant turtle against a giant pocket knife.

Key events of 1969: The Manson murders. Hippies flocked to the Woodstock music festival. A giant space turtle named Gamera fought Guiron, a monster with a giant blade on its head.

For those not yet born by 1969, it’s hard to imagine how things were. It was a different world, rife with social change, conflict, and giant monsters duking it out for unfathomable reasons on alien planets. Enter Gamera vs. Guiron, then ask yourself where such a movie comes from. Why have boys named Akio (Nobuhiro Kajima) and Tom (Christopher Murphy) encountered a UFO landing in a field? What does Gamera himself (or itself) represent? Is it mere childish nonsense? It’s an oddly thought-provoking topic.

One thing is clear: Gamera may have started as a Godzilla knockoff, but this movie’s central monster is markedly different from that one. Whereas Godzilla is more conventionally monstrous in appearance, Gamera looks more like a turtle (although real turtles don’t have teeth). He can also fly, travels through outer space freely and seems to have a strange affinity for children, saving their lives whenever called upon to do so. Quite simply, Gamera is its own thing, and so are the monsters it battles.

Gamera vs. Guiron also does not delve into simple moral lessons. While it could simply chide the two youngster’s and their need to investigate the alien craft, it’s also what leads them on a spectacular adventure that will mature their minds forever. Being threatened by two Japanese alien babes and a giant knife-head monster will do that to do — and so will bonding with a giant, flying space turtle!

I also wonder if the movie’s more influential than given credit for. For example, the alien women, Barbella (Hiroko Kai) and Florbella (Reiko Kasahara), are trying to eat Akio and Tom’s brains to gain their knowledge. Well, that’s exactly what Josh Brolin’s character threatens to do to his child in Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror! Also, the planet the aliens are from is called “Terra,” while the Rodriguez film has the word “Terror” in its title. Maybe it’s only a coincidence, but there’s a plausible influence.

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