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Gamera (1965)

(aka: Gamera, the Invincible)



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After the success of Toho's Godzilla, clones came from all quarters. Among the most successful was Gamera, produced by the studio Daiei. It couldn't be more of a clone if it tried. The plot never deviates from the formula: a giant monster is born from radioactivity (in this case, a giant flying turtle) and threatens to stomp all over Tokyo unless boring human characters can figure out a way to stop it. The most memorable in the human cast is a little boy with an unhealthy obsession with turtles. He insists that Gamera is good, because the monster once saved him. Good or not, Gamera certainly leaves quite the wake of destruction behind him.

Gamera is a terrible movie, illogical and superficial. It is laden with corny dialogue and nonsensical plotting. (I liked how the kid walks into high-level government and military conferences without anybody thinking anything of it.) But, of course, people watch a monster movie to see a destructive movie, not a good one. There is plenty of destruction in Gamera, and he's a fairly interesting monster as guys in rubber suits go. If you've got a predisposition for the genre, it might be worth checking out. Even so, there are better ones, including some of the sequels.

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