Director: Yuasa Noriaki
Writer: Takahashi Niisan
Cast: Nobuhiro Kajima, Miyuki Akiyama, Chrystopher Murphy, Yuko Hamada, Eiji Funakoshi, Kon Omura, Hiroko Kai, Reiko Kasahara, Akira Natsuki, and Edith Hanson
Composer: Shunsuke Kikuchi
Release Date: 3/21/1969
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
After discovering a flying saucer, friends Tom (Chrystopher Murphy) and Akio (Nobuhiro Kajima) are transported to a planet where Guiron—a four-legged kaiju with a knife-like head—serves as a watch dog for two alien women who feast on brain matter. Only Gamera can defeat Guiron and rescue the children from peril.
Sci-fi/horror fans may enjoy Gamera vs. Guiron for its gory monster battles and alien invasion tropes. Casual viewers, however, should avoid this film for its campy atmosphere, derivative storyline, and absurd choreography during the climactic scene.
Gamera vs. Guiron should be noted for its graphic daikaiju fights, which will appeal to Japanese monster buffs with a taste for gore. On the alien planet, for example, Guiron attacks Gyaos and chops off his head, wings, and right leg before slicing his body into circular sections—a sequence that, though marred by unconvincing creature effects, establishes Guiron as the meanest, most evil antagonist ever confronted by Gamera at this point in the series.
Similar to Gamera vs. Viras, Gamera vs. Guiron spends an inordinate amount of time detailing the adventures of two young boys, one Japanese and the other American, while trapped aboard an alien spacecraft—a generic and uninteresting premise for a giant monster film, child-friendly or otherwise.
This feature may also evoke criticism for its low-budget special effects, which make the production values of Godzilla’s Revenge—an infamous kaiju offering released in the same year as Gamera vs. Guiron—appear masterful in comparison. Highlights include cheesy rubber suits, cardboard flying saucers, and building props that resemble plastic toys.
Gamera vs. Guiron deserves praise for its lack of pacing issues, much in contrast to Gamera vs. Viras. Kaiju eiga fans may nevertheless take issue with this film for its laughable alien costumes, illogical science fiction aspects (e.g. planetary forces that defy the laws of physics), and cartoonish encounters between Gamera and his new opponent.
Overall Quality: 3/10
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