Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)

General Information

Director: Noriaki Yuasa

Writer: Niisan Takahashi

Cast: Koji Fujiyama, Daigo Inoue, Reiko Kasahara, Daihachi Kita, Goro Kumon, Shin Minatsu, Akira Natsuki, Keiichi Noda, Isamu Saeki, Yasushi Sakagami, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Eiko Yanami, Yoshio Yoshida, Arlene Zoellner, and Gloria Zoellner

Composer: Shunsuke Kikuchi

Release Date: 7/17/1971

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

 

Overview

Led by an aquatic kaiju with a powerful laser beam, Zigrans—a group of aliens from another galaxy—begin implementing plans to enslave the human race. Gamera vs. ZigraBefore long, however, Gamera attempts to thwart Zigra—now assuming the form of a giant swordfish—in a thrilling underwater climax.

Gamera vs. Zigra deserves its reputation as the worst entry in Daiei’s original Showa series. Specifically, this film may evoke criticism for its annoying child characters, unconvincing miniature props, and recycled alien invasion tropes—explored previously in Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Guiron.

 

Pros

None.

 

Cons

Though intended to be ominous, the concept of a talking alien swordfish with megalomaniacal tendencies may border on the absurd—even by the standards of a Z-grade kaiju offering.

Gamera vs. Zigra(Spoilers beyond this point)

Upon emerging victorious, Gamera picks up a giant rock and bangs on the dorsal fins of Zigra, producing the musical effect of a xylophone. Thereafter, Gamera does a victory dance to the sound of his own theme song—arguably the most ridiculous, juvenile display ever featured in a Japanese monster movie.

 

Analysis

In contrast to Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Gamera vs. Zigra fails to convey its anti-pollution message with a much-needed air of subtlety—a shortcoming that may Gamera vs. Zigraprevent the majority of viewers, even those with environmentalist leanings, from appreciating the central theme of this film.

 

Concluding Comments

Despite benefiting from a campy, lighthearted atmosphere, this installment is an abysmal effort from Daiei Studios. Especially awful is Gamera vs. Zigra’s heavy emphasis on child characters, who once again prove more intelligent and insightful than every adult in the room.

 

Overall Quality: 1/10

 

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