|GAMERA VS. GAOS
|Copyright 1967 Daiei Motion Picture Company Ltd.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 9 February 2002
- Names incorrect? Blame the credits, or lack thereof.
- Gamera - A rare, gargantuan, saber-toothed turtle.
- Gaos - Giant vampire bird/bat that was named according to its unearthly roar. Honestly, I am to believe that they used onomatopoeia to christen something with a two hundred foot wingspan?
- Eechi - The requisite annoying kid (and this one excels in the role) who is a pyromaniac.
- Dr. Aoki - If he sold chicken, I would buy it.
- Eechi's Sister - Just here to turn oxygen into carbon dioxide. The character is just that useless.
- Eechi's Grandfather - One moment the writers seemed to want us to hate him for being so greedy, but the next he is portrayed as just looking out for the welfare of his people.
- The Road Construction Foreman - Uh yeah, we need this guy to keep the story moving along.
- Hachi - Construction worker whose robe displays a number of cereal box puzzles.
|I've come to a realization about the Japanese: their life cycle must resemble that of the inhabitants of Ork. In these movies it seems like there is always some tubby kid with more wisdom and knowledge than the entire scientific community. My only conclusion can be that the Japanese begin life as old men and steadily get younger. This also explains why the "youngsters" get away with such freaky behavior. In the old dementia is considered eccentric and amusing, but if a child talks to his teddy bear he is "one messed up little camper."
A consortium has financed the building of a new highway through the mountains when volcanic eruptions stall the project. Actually, the construction was already stalled by a group of greedy farmers. Intent on raping the developers for more money, the half-wits are refusing to sell. What are a gaggle of backwoods farmers going to do with a horde of cash anyway? Besides get an education and buy a dental plan.
The farmers, acting on grandpa Eechi's command, stage a raid one night and wreck the construction site. Okay, you are in tense negotiations with a group of inbred fools who are effectively blackmailing your company and forget to mount sentries? Post a guard, stupid! It does not matter, though; the earthquakes opened a huge crevasse. From the fissure issues Gaos.
If you thought a mated pair of endangered owls was bad news for land developers... ...a kaiju is much worse. Besides stomping around and emitting a sonic ray, the monster loves the taste of human blood. People are like Little Debbie snack cakes! Too bad that just before Eechi gets munched the giant turtle, friend of all children (especially annoying ones), arrives to save the day.
Following the first battle, scientists gather to discuss the new monster (Gamera is old news). Their hypothesis of how Gaos can shoot deadly sonic rays from its mouth is especially interesting. The creature has two throats, just like Linda Lovelace! Anyway, Eechi is also present at this and following meetings. He proves a better naturalist than any adult.
While the determined highway construction crew camps out on Gaos' doorstep, the military tries to destroy the monster. A more accurate description would be saying they annoyed it, but I am certain b-movie fans understand. Thoroughly perturbed, Gaos flies to Osaka and starts wreaking havoc. Matters are not helped that the man-eater figures out subway trains are just like sardine cans - pull the top off and then eat the delectable snacks inside. Eventually Gamera arrives and bites off part of the renegade bird's foot, despite being on the receiving end of repeated blasts from the deadly sonic ray.
People tend to put the giant turtle down, but you have to say this about Gamera: he has heart. Every time the two opponents face off he suffers at least one grievous injury from Gaos' ray. Once his arm is nearly sliced off, while another encounter saw a fountain of blue/gray blood spraying from the turtle's lacerated noggin. Gamera just keeps coming back for more! Granted, unlike Rocky, he has the ability to pull his head and legs in when things get rough.
Gaos regrows the amputated toes, just like a pesky troll will unless you burn it with a torch. However, the chunk of rotting flesh left behind is of supreme importance to the scientists. They begin a battery of tests to find the monster's weakness. In total disregard of scientific method (or common sense), the researches use the entire sample for each experiment.
The work pays off when it is discovered sunlight destroys the creature's cells. Now the problem is preventing Gaos from returning to his cave at sunrise. The nation's greatest minds put their heads together and come up with an idea: make the monster dizzy, so dizzy that escape is impossible. I am entirely serious; stop looking at me like that. A huge fountain (filled with artificial blood) is mounted on top of a revolving building. Lured from his den, Gaos lands on the turnstile, starts drinking, then someone flips the switch and the whole shebang begins moving. For some reason centrifugal force or vertigo prevents Gaos from escaping, but the machinery is not up to the task of spinning a twenty-five ton bird. Stuff explodes and a rather irate kaiju is set loose to smash up more model buildings.
Another discovery by this point is that Gaos hates fire. He even has three orifices which spray a flame retardant mist. Since Gamera loves fire, Eechi suggests setting the forest ablaze to both inconvenience Gaos and aid super turtle. Everyone agrees to this plan (and a child shall lead them); soon the movie set looks like southern California. The evil monster is vanquished and Gamera flies off into the sunrise.
The film is pretty enjoyable with the right training in belief suspension, part of which is the ability of a fifty ton turtle to defy gravity. On second thought, ask an F-4 Phantom pilot. They will tell you that anything can fly - you just need enough thrust.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Volcanoes and giant monsters are no reason to stop public highway projects.
- Abandoning a child under dangerous circumstances is suicide.
- Turtles are filled with pressurized propane.
- Japan has a problem with insurgents.
- No matter what, all giant monsters will find a way to visit Osaka Castle.
- Head wounds always bleed profusely, even on turtles.
- Colonel Sanders has a Japanese cousin.
- The sun rises faster in Japan, probably because it is closer to the east.
- 9 mins - Why didn't each section of the helicopter start spinning?
- 14 mins - If it were gold then they would be miners, not farmers.
- 17 mins - There is probably a save point and summon materia in that cave.
- 29 mins - You have the gall to ask why? In a giant monster movie?
- 32 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A MOUNTAIN!
- 48 mins - Gaos is worse than Sean Penn if you take his picture without asking.
- 68 mins - Who forgot to oil the bearings?
- 77 mins - Smokey can rest easy tonight.
- 82 mins - This scene reminds me of "Deliverance" in a sick way.
- Radio Newscaster: "There seems to be no way to destroy this monstrous and dangerous beast. The efforts of scientists have failed and people's hopes are fading."
- Reporter: "Would you say it's a bird or is it a reptile?"
Dr. Aoki: "I wouldn't like to say. There isn't any recorded history of it. Let's just call it a monster."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Suit: "I don't care about the volcano or about the monster. Just make sure the farmers get off the land and please don't bother me with any more of these stupid reasons for stopping work!"
||Eechi: "Gaos is very bad; he can shoot out a ray. Yesterday he hurt Gamera's leg with the ray. It cut it very deep, just like a big knife!"
||Officer: "Wouldn't it be possible to build an extra large ultraviolet ray projector and attack it with that?" |
Dr. Aoki: "No, it's impossible."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Here the giant turtle tries to rescue Eechi (unfortunately, he is successful) without getting sliced to ribbons by Gaos' sonic ray.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |