Saturday, September 26, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)

Monster Crap Inductee: Gamera vs. Zigra
With Coke

Welcome again, Monster Crappers. Today, we get a look at another Japanese legend in Gamera. Now, I guess before we get into this induction, I should give you a little back-story on Gamera. Godzilla was the biggest thing to hit Japan since the Atomic Bomb hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Not Funny....

I guess that was an insensitive joke. Larry the Cable Guy, can you make it up for me.

Lord, I Apologize....

Anyway, Godzilla was a huge hit for Toho Productions and of course, one of their competitors, Daiei Movie Picture Company, decided to create a beast to rival the Big G. Of course, there have been many rip offs who became just that, rip offs. But Daiei had a different approach. Daiei was going to instead appeal to children instead of the adults that Godzilla appealed to. They make Gamera the friend to all children and he always has to be the good guy. And if you’ve seen one of the original Gamera movies, you can see why. Many of the Gamera movies are in fact bad movies to adults who are able to dissect a film, but to kids…..they enjoy the fights and don’t care about what it takes to be a good movie.

Anyway…..there have been plenty of bad Gamera movies. In fact, the original series is filled with them. However, there is one version that stands out from the rest as being worse than the others. And that, my friends, will be the movie we will be inducting today…Gamera vs. Zigra.

For those who want to know what Zigra is…..well, I honestly cant truly describe Zigra so if you want to know what he looks like, just look at the poster for Gamera vs. Zigra again and look at the thing that isn’t a flying turtle (the turtle is Gamera). Now, without further ado, let’s get down to business.

We begin this movie with a shot of the moon that looks like it was created by children and seems like a diorama of what a moon station would look like. Suddenly, a weird ship comes in and destroys the base. We then see what supposed to be a space rover, but it looks like it was created with kids and if you look close enough, you can actually still see the glue on it. It gets hit by a tracking beam, and due to the simple trick by the camera….it blurs before disappearing. Meanwhile, at the Ogawa Sea World (not a Sea World with Shamu), there are two average joes talking about their families that they left at home. One of the two men’s sister has become a baby sitter for the others kids. And with that, we head over to the sister who is trying to wake the two daughters, Helen and Margie, up for school. Next door to that house, we see the other guy’s family and he has a son named Kenichi or Kenny.

His son is very bad at brushing his teeth and his mother basically tells him that sea animals at Sea World do it a lot better than he does. Of course, we see that the animals are being forced to brush their teeth by their human trainers. Kenny is so bad at brushing his teeth that he doesn’t even bother to rinse and tries to leave with toothpaste still on his face. His mother then tells the boy that he needs to take good care of his teeth or the dolphins will laugh at him. I think the dolphins are already laughing at him. We move on to seeing some seals play basketball, dive, and compete in a swimming race. Sadly, all the Canadian seals would not be allowed to race since Ben Johnson supplied them all with steroids.

I Was Sabotaged!!!

Whatever you say, Ben. After that, we see a dead dolphin and the keepers of the place are trying to see what killed him. They want to dissect her so the other animals are safe. I think I have a solution and I know it might be a long shot, but how old was she? Back to the house, where we find that Helen and Kenny have run off. That short scene is followed by a scene where the two dads are at a beach that has been polluted and ridiculing mankind for doing this. A special news announcement comes from an unknown radio that says that an earthquake which hit the Indian Ocean with the magnitude of 16, killing 10,000 people and more people get injured. Wait a minute, how did people die in the ocean. Were there several cruise ships or were Ariel and her friends being counted as dead.

Now What Will I Be Able To Show My Daughter If I Ever Have One?

The two men are upset by the news, but they move onto snack time and become happy again. The skinnier of the two says his wife made her special lemonade while the husky one says the skinny one’s sister made him her special peanut butter sandwiches. They go to their boat and find that all their food was eaten. They then discover that Kenny and Helen have hitched a ride on the boat. The two brats obviously get sick from eating all of the sandwiches and lemonade. And the girl says and I quote….I want a coke, daddy. Oh this is only the beginning of this girl’s obsession with Coca-Cola. The fat guy tells Helen, who is his daughter, that when they get home, she will get a nice spanking. The two kids then notice the UFO that is going to land in the water. Well, the good people Daiei are once again to cheap to show it even land. The two fathers then decide to check out the flying saucer. While out on the small boat, Kenny sees Gamera and points him out. Gamera comes flying in and looks completely fake. Helen then says that she doesn’t like monsters and Kenny explains that Gamera is the friend of all children. The fact that Kenny has to explain this means only one thing. This dumb broad has no idea who Gamera was. He’s a flying turtle that has saved earth five times already. You would think a young kid would know who he is by now. But don’t blame her; she probably still has that Coke on her mind. The UFO then uses its tractor beam once again to pick up the gang.

Inside the UFO, a young lady tells a shark that is hanging on the ceiling that she has brought the earth creatures to him. The monster then talks back by complimenting her on her job well done. Zigra obviously has the generic Japanese villain voice which just says enough that the people at Daiei couldn’t go outside the box in thinking up villains. Zigra then tells her to awaken them. The four are awakened to find that they are somewhere else. The two kids grasp that they are obviously in a flying saucer and she is an alien. The adults don’t believe the kids, but the kids are proven correct. Stupid adults. She then welcomes the to the Zigra star spaceship. The adults ask the spacewoman what the purpose was for bringing them here. She says she comes from the planet Zigra and wants to show the humans their great achievements in science. The human guys want to see their achievements and she agrees to show them. She then hijacks every radio in Japan and announces that she will cause an earthquake at the magnitude of 18. She also mentions that Zigra also caused the earthquakes in Peru and the Indian Ocean. The two guys tell her that she is crazy. I say this because they use the focus lens on the camera to focus in on them when they switch cameras, but some dope forgot to switch the focus lens back when they went back to the space woman, so she looks like a blur. Bad move by both the cameraman for making such a stupid move and the editing team for not noticing it. Well, maybe they did and once again, money came into the factor so they couldn’t shoot it again. Kenny asks his dad what magnitude means and he explains it in a very complicated term…especially given that the kid is only 6 years old. The space woman shows the men and children inside the UFO on what they did. The space woman then declares that the earth creatures must surrender Earth to Zigra and become a colony.

She then explains that the planet Zigra is no longer inhabitable because land science polluted the waters that they live in. They have chosen our planet because 70% of the Earth is ocean water. She even ridicules the earthlings by saying that even your oceans are becoming polluted and saying that if the Zigrans left the planet to us, it would become a dead planet very soon. They do finally fix the focus on the space woman, but as we all know….its too late to save that flaw. The space woman tells the skinny dad to reason with the earthlings on surrendering. He tries, but old fatso next to him calls her crazy and she hypnotizes both parents and causes them to fall asleep. The children run around in circles with her chasing them until they hit a random button and freeze her. The children take both dads and escape from the UFO using another random button. Jeez….this UFO is so simple, even a child could work it. Once they are out of the UFO, Kenny then tries to turn on the motor boat, but anyone who has had to pull a string to turn something on knows how difficult it is even for an adult and this kid is too weak to even do that.

The Zigra monster above unfreezes the space woman and tells her to kill the children since they know too much. The space woman concurs with her master and says that she will also kill the entire population afterwards. The monster disagrees and tells her that they live in the sea and eat things on land, the complete opposite of what we do. Of course, earthlings eat just about anything that isn’t poisonous, but that’s just a minor setback. Also, I might want to add that the space woman should probably already know this if she really was one. Meanwhile back on the boat, the kids decide to set up a sail and hope the wind takes them away. Okay, I have two bits of problems with this. One, this is supposed to be a motor boat….how the hell did the sail fit into it. Two, how the hell are the kids able to lift that damn thing up yet they can’t start the engine. The two kids see a ship, but their relief is short-lived as the top fin from the Zigra UFO destroys it. The UFO tries to look like a shark, but sadly….it looks like something completely different. The fin then heads towards them, but for no particular reason, it turns around and turns back towards them again. But before the kids become fish food, Gamera saves the day by scooping up the boat and sending it to shore. Helen then proclaims that she loves Gamera and Kenny ridicules her by saying love is all girls think about. Anyways…… Vince McMahon is on the phone? I didn’t say anything this time. Time to deny his message. Damn these machines, how do I do that. Oh, I think this is it.

What's Wrong With Bestiality

Damn it Vince, leave my show alone. Hell, I’m not even going to give his the question the benefit of being answered. Gamera then lands, although he drops and in a normal case, that would be a bad landing, but in this movie….its seen as fine. They then find a guy in some bad clothes and assume that they traveled into the past. The old man laughs at that and explains everything in a way that I’m not going to bother to repeat. The kids soon are back at the Sea World and the two dads are still hypnotized. The army then tries to question the kids about what happened, of course they don’t answer the questions very well, being that they are children. But Helen says that the space people were bad and they wouldn’t give them anything to eat or drink, they wouldn’t even give her a coke. You know, I think something to eat or drink would be more important than a stupid coke. The kids say that their moms are a lot prettier than the space woman and they get into an argument over whose mom is prettier. Oh great, I bet that next, they get into an argument about whose dad can kick whose dad’s ass. Unfortunately, we get no more and since the dads are out….we learn nothing new. The kids cry over their fallen dads as the army receives the word to attack the Zigra spaceship.

They fail of course as Zigra kicks their asses. Now, we will never truly know how because they were too cheap to show us a fight scene. The space woman has now been teleported to land where she hypnotizes three young women in bikinis and makes them fall asleep. Now before anyone gets any weird ideas, let me say that there was no HLA. The spacewoman just steals one of the woman’s clothes and moves on to find the brats. Meanwhile, the Sea World’s keeper and a hotel manager argument over who gets the fish that were caught today. The Sea World keeper wins this argument and takes the fish. He picks up a hitchhiker who just so happens to be the spacewoman and takes her to the Sea World. He then tells her where the children are and she thanks him by not making him fall asleep. Now, he tells her where the kids are of course, because she says she needs to see them and fails to mention the part about killing them. She sees another woman and hypnotizes her to sleep so she can change clothes with her too. She goes inside and is caught by a guard, but she hypnotizes him so that she can escape. She overhears a conversation that basically says they failed to stop Zigra which makes her smile. They find the soldier who is hypnotized and don’t put 2 + 2 together in that the space woman might be in the building. She finds the two kids watching TV. When she is about the catch them, she accidentally knocks something over and the kids identify her. They run away as she chases them. This scene sadly makes me pine for them to play Benny Hill and have the Scooby Detective Agency around.

They are able to lose her when she is trapped in an elevator that is going to the top floor. Gamera shows up and goes into the water to attack the Zigra UFO. Gamera attacks with flames coming from his mouth. I might want to add that this is all going on in the water so the flames shouldn’t be coming out of his mouth, but they are. Suddenly and without warning, the UFO turns into a small shark. Of course once again, the good people at Daiei didn’t have the money to add a changing scene. The shark lands in front of Gamera and starts to grow big

Of course, his growing scene looks almost like they are just bringing the dummy of the creature in closer to the camera, but kids wont notice that, now will they. Gamera then grabs the monster Zigra and starts to fly with rockets. Once again, we still can see the flames shooting and they are underwater, which gives us more confusion. Gamera has now come out of the water and has taken Zigra with him. And for some unknown reason, Gamera falls. Back at the Sea World, the keeper of the place vows to the animals that he won’t leave them no matter what happens. He then sees the space woman chasing the two kids. The keeper then reveals to the army on how to wake the two guys up….using sound waves. Of course scratching a chalk board would have been easier or in my dad’s case, allowing this person to talk.

The trick works and the two men are awake. Well…it seems that the space woman has captured the two brats and is threatening to feed them to the dolphins. Of course another problem occurs when we see that the animals in the water are not dolphins, but instead killer whales. One of the dads uses the sonar thing on her and she falls. She then wakes up and wonders where she is. She reveals that she was an astronaut when the spaceship captured her and she was hypnotized. Back in the meeting room, the two dads decide to get Gamera. They find Gamera under the water and knocked out which allows the viewing audience to ask what happened. The two dads go into a small bathascope, and try to wake Gamera. With them of course, are Helen and Kenny who snuck on yet again. Zigra foils the plan to awaken Gamera and threatens to kill them if the Earth is not surrendered to him. The men originally think about surrendering, but the astronaut decides not to give in to Zigra’s ultimatum. They do reveal Zigra’s weakness which is light. But Zigra shoots at them with a beam that knocks them unconscious. Lightning comes and awakens Gamera to the final battle with Zigra. Gamera saves the bathascope and brings it back to land before attacking Zigra. Zigra is able to hit Gamera with several shots from his top fin….allowing Gamera to bleed…….laundry detergent. Once again, the people were too cheap to make fake blood. In the water, Zigra goes on two feet and attacks Gamera.
Gamera Proceeds To Humiliate Zigra Espesically When At One Point, He Plays The Gamera Theme Song Using Zigra's Back As Drums

Once he starts swimming yet again, he is caught by Gamera and taken onto the land. The shock therapy used to wake the kids, but Helen doesn’t miss a beat and asks for a coke once again. The fight continues on land where Zigra gets a rock stuck on his beak and falls. Afterwards Gamera just shoots his flames out and kills Zigra. Gamera leaves with the kids waving good bye and thanking him for his help.

I’m sure you are all asking about the people at Daiei being too cheap to do certain things and why I keep mentioning it. Well, due to bad money management by the people, cost them a lot of money, which was very short when making this film. After this film failed in making enough money, Daiei was forced to declare bankruptcy and the original Gamera films ended. Daiei was however purchased by Tokuma Shoten and Gamera was reborn. Even though they failed with Gamera: Super Monster (which was basically stock footage used with a different story; see Godzilla’s Revenge), they were able to resurrect Gamera for the new Heisei era and turn him into an anti-hero.

Now, I’m sure you as well as I, after watching this movie, were sick of hearing about that girl asking for a coke. So… shut her up….here is a picture of a coke.

Now leave me alone, Helen.

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