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
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. Before 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.
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.
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.
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 prevent the majority of viewers, even those with environmentalist leanings, from appreciating the central theme of this film.
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
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.