Director: Noriaki Yuasa
Writer: Niisan Takahashi
Cast: Kojiro Hongo, Kichijiro Ueda, Reiko Kasahara, Naoyuki Abe, Taro Marui, Yukitaro Hotaru, Yoshiro Kitahara, Akira Natsuki, Kenji Oyama, Fujio Murakami, Koichi Ito, Teppei Endo, Shin Minatsu, Teruo Aragaki, Hiroko Nishi, and Mitsuko Takesato
Composer: Tadashi Yamauchi
Release Date: 3/15/1967
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Awakened by volcanic activity, Gyaos—a bat kaiju with an aversion to sunlight—wreaks havoc on the city of Nagoya. Fortunately for Japan, Gamera—aided by world scientists and a young boy named Eiichi Kanamura (Naoyuke Abe)—arrives in time to save the day.
Gamera vs. Gyaos should be commended for its gritty atmosphere and gory monster battles. Nevertheless, this film is marred by the antics of Eiichi Kanamura—a bratty, insufferable child whose emotional bond with Gamera borders on the ridiculous.
Combining the tropes of vampire fiction with a giant monster premise, Gamera vs. Gyaos may captivate the interest of gothic horror fans and kaiju eiga buffs alike. Specifically worth praising are the ominous and terrifying characteristics of Gyaos—a cave-dwelling, blood-drinking bat creature who, by spitting beams of energy from his fanged mouth, presents a fierce and formidable challenge to both Gamera and the people of Japan.
The child protagonist of Gamera vs. Gyaos may induce cringing from the audience—much in contrast to the character of Toshio, who, by conducting himself in a well-behaved manner throughout the first Gamera film, compels the viewer to sympathize with his innocent and youthful perspective on the eponymous turtle.
Most absurd, however, is the fact that both renowned scientists and military leaders rely on Eiichi, an ignorant and juvenile boy, for assistance in defeating Gyaos—an obvious and contrived appeal to young children.
Gamera vs. Gyaos may evoke criticism for failing to connect the greedy, destructive actions of a highway development company with the emergence of Gyaos—a missed opportunity to comment on the effects of eminent domain and unbridled corporate expansion.
Japanese monster enthusiasts may take issue with this offering, which suffers from goofy special effects, unsympathetic characters, and a lack of human involvement in the Gamera/Gyaos conflict. That being said, Gamera vs. Gyaos deserves recognition for its unique and menacing kaiju antagonist.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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