The Friend Of All Children Forgets That Moniker As He Takes On A Monster With The Most Random Powers I Have Ever Seen
Well, it has been a long time since we have looked at the crap that was Showa Era Gamera. Last time we did, we dealt with the initial Gamera film where Gamera was mostly a bad guy except when he saved a single kid and before that, we had Gamera take on an alien shark monster. This time we look at the first time Gamera fought a different monster, the direct sequel to the original film. But first we have a minor history on this film.
The original Gamera film in pre-production was not seen as what would be a major hit so when they filmed the movie, they made a guy who they did not have much hope for in directing, the director. However, when the film hit big………a sequel was required where Gamera would fight another monster since that was the formula at the time. However, instead of hiring the same director Noriaki Yuasa (which would normally be the idea), Daei (in their infinite wisdom) decided to demote him to special effects director so the actual director could be one of their more well known Shigeo Tanaka.
Tanaka decided very early on to eliminate that whole “Friend To All Children” crap because he wanted to make a usual monster movie with two monsters fighting. So instead of the child subplot that was in the original and in most of the sequels, this one had a heist plot. So yes, this is the only Showa movie in the Gamera franchise not for kids. Other than that, there isn’t much to say.
One last thing before I begin though, I am watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film, which is the Sandy Frank English Dubbed Version…..so to a lot of people, who have seen the original……..I am watching the inferior version and for that, I say………..I absolutely agree with them. I’m sorry for the usual counter-argument not existing, but as with a lot of the Japanese versions of monster movies……….I can’t argue as to why the version I am watching is better because in almost all cases, it isn’t. So for the real version of this film, I suggest you find track down the Shout Factory DVD of Gamera vs. Barugon which is the Japanese version with English subtitles.
But is the movie still a piece of crap even with the better version………….yes it is otherwise, why would I even induct this???
Oh before we begin........you might be asking me "Isn't Barugon also in Destroy All Monsters, Frankenstein Conquers The World, and Godzilla, Mothra, & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack?" Well, the answer is no as that monster is called Baragon, not Barugon (yes, in copyright laws.....one letter changes everything). Baragon is a property of Toho and Barugon is a property of Daei. So now that the confusion between Barugon and Baragon is out of the way, we can move on to this film.
We begin with…..
A Shot Of The Ocean For The Credits. Yeah, For Some Reason……….This Was Sandy Frank’s Default Screen For The Opening Credits.
Anyway, it isn’t long before we get our title screen.
We then get a montage of what happened in the first Gamera movie (which is basically ends up with Gamera getting trapped in a rocket and shot up into the moon).
And You Can Immediately Tell Which Was Filmed In The Last Movie & Which Was Filmed In This Movie As We Go From Black & White To Color In Just One Cut
Of course as you can tell from that last one, Gamera’s rocket collided with the convenient meteor. The rocket exploded and released Gamera.
Gamera basically returns to Japan and destroys a electric outlet near a dam so he can regain his energy by consuming the flames.
He Is Actually Sucking Up That Fire, Not Breathing It Out To Destroy Things.
Afterwards, Gamera decides to continue being a dick by destroying the dam and probably drowning all of the workers.
Which Makes You Wonder Why The Hell They Chose This Guy To Be The Hero
Elsewhere…….we meet Keisuke Hirata, a pilot who despite just getting his wings, is going to resign.
His trainer questions this seemingly dumb decision, but Keisuke says the fact that he got his wings is the reason why he is quitting. Now you all might want to remember that “getting your wings” for a pilot is a really good thing which means you are an official pilot. But don’t worry, he actually does have a reason for this and that will be explained later.
Meanwhile, in a house for Geishas….in the basement, there are a bunch of guys talking about a adventure they are going to do. Apparently, one of the guys (who is on crutches), Ichiro hid an opal in the cave of the island he was stationed at during the war before he was captured and taken away. The other two guys are his associates, Kawajiri and Onodera.
Because of Ichiro’s crutches, he cannot go on this trek to grab the opal. He instead has his brother go in his place. His brother is Keisuke and the reason he agreed to this trek is so he can get the money from his share of the money that the opal will get, to buy his own aircraft company. When asked if the opal could have been taken, he reveals that he was in New Guinea and he hid it in an area of New Guinea where even the natives don’t go to. They will go on a cargo boat that Kawajiri works on and they will have fake names. He also tells them that once in the cave, they need to be careful of the scorpions who have a very potent venom that one sting will kill you. Ichiro gives the three grenades and a gun just in case they run into any dangers in the jungle.
\On the cargo ship…..
Nice Stock Footage, Guys
We learn that Kawajiri got the other two jobs as part of the cleaning crew. When they get to the island, they try to ask for help from the natives.
Your Typical Natives
The natives then direct their attention to the only people in the village who can understand them, Dr. Matsushita and his assistant, Karen.
They try to ask to get a guide for their trek up to the cave, but the locals warn them that the area they are trying to go to is the cursed Rainbow Valley, which anyone who goes there does not come back (except for Ichiro and the people who captured him, but who is counting). Oh wait……..I AM!!!!! Seriously, huge plot hole there guys.
And I guess the three can sense a plot hole when they see one, they ignore the warning…although they use the excuse of the natives not wanting them to go there so there is hidden treasure. The natives don’t help their case by trying to stop them, but Onodera uses a gun to drive them off as they enter the area.
The three are easily able to get to the cave and in a few minutes, Kawajiri is able to find the opal, which has been wrapped in a red sheet.
Keisuke pats him on the back and Onodera goes to join, but he sees that a scorpion is on Kawajiri’s leg.
Onodera instead of warning his buddy just says nothing while Kawajiri talks about what he plans on doing with his share of the money that will come from selling the opal. Kawajiri dances and immediately feels a sharp pain as the scorpion stings him. Keisuke notices the scorpion and kills it while telling Onodera to get the medical kit. Onodera slowly gets it and allows Kawajiri to die from the poison.
Now I understand this is to show that Onodera is going to betray his comrades, but if you watched earlier, Ichiro specifically said that if the scorpion stings you, you are dead. So what would be the point of getting the medical kit anyways as he would die anyway?
Anyway, Onodera tries to console his surviving comrade and asks to hold the opal. Keisuke, sensing treachery, says he will give Onodera the opal if Onodera will give him the gun. Onodera thinks about it, but agrees in the end. While Keisuke still mourns Kawajiri, Onodera goes ahead………grabs the grenades they had and causes a cave-in as he escapes, believing that he has completed his betrayal by killing Keisuke.
However, Keisuke survives and wakes up in the bed of one of the natives. He is being treated by Dr. Matsushira and Karen, who tell him that what he brought out was not an opal and if they do not bring it back, thousands upon thousands of people will be killed. Despite his hesitation to send her, Keisuke and Karen are sent to make things right.
Back on the ship, Onodera has his foot (which has contracted athlete’s foot) put under infrared rays and told by a doctor to keep his foot there for several hours for it to heal. Another crew member comes in and notices a box that he has. Onodera explains that it is his friend’s bones who died. He is then told by the crew that they need another person for a poker game and he agrees to go. Unfortunately, he hides the “opal” under the bed and knocks the infrared ray machine so that it shines on the “opal”. We then find out that it is actually an egg as a creature hatches from it.
Back in the poker room, the crew member asks Onodera if he can go in and place a vase next to the bones because his father also died on that island and it is a fitting present. The ship then starts to shake as it catches on fire and sinks, with people somehow still surviving.
This is also to the horror of Ichiro and a potential buyer. One of the survivors is Onodera, who is first met by the fellow crew member who gives him the box that he thinks has Onodera’s friend’s bones in. Onodera then says he can keep it as only pig’s bones are in that box. He is then met by Ichiro and the buyer, asking about the opal. Onodera says that it has sunk with the ship and asks for a team of divers to go down and get it. The potential buyer leaves in disgust as Ichiro asks about his brother and Kawajiri. Onodera then makes up a story about how the two slipped and fell off a cliff, resulting in their deaths.
Suddenly Barugon rises from the sea.
Barugon then starts wrecking all havoc. When looking at a tower, Barugon then reveals one of his many abilities in he has a Gene Simmons tongue action as he can shoot out his tongue.
Back in a meeting between Ichiro and Onodera, Ichiro says that the search for the opal should be held off until Barugon is taken care of. Onodera disagrees, but he actually lets slip that he killed his partners. He tries to back off that statement, but Ichiro knows Onodera killed his brother. A short fight ensues and even Ichiro’s wife gets involved, but in the end….Onodera knocks them both out and leaves…….leaving the two to be killed by Barugon when he attacks.
Tanks try to take down Barugon, but of course, they fail. Barugon then reveals another attack he has in that his tongue can shoot smoke that freezes anything it touches.
Barugon uses his cold smoke to destroy more of Osaka. Planes try to attack Barugon, but they too fall to his cold smoke.
Even Monsters Need To Sleep
However, while they are quite a distance so Barugon can’t attack with his tongue, the monster has another attack…………..this one the most ludicrous attack I have ever seen and as many monster movies as I have seen, that is saying something.
That’s Right……………Barugon Shoots Rainbows Out Of His Back…….Rainbows OF DOOM!!!!!
If you are like me at this point, you have paused the movie for several minutes so you can go into another room and laugh your ass off while not miss anything.
Anyway…..Gamera is attracted by energy and he starts running into the rainbow, which pisses off Barugon.
So yes, the whole reason for this fight is a misunderstanding. Anyway, the two monsters then collide, but Barugon actually wins by using the smoke coming out of his tongue to freeze the turtle. Oh and by the way, I can’t show you this fight scene because this version I have SKIPPED IT!!!! So yes, I had to look at a different version of the film to find out why the hell Gamera is out for several parts of this movie after fighting Barugon.
Oh but they do mention Gamera gets frozen…
Keisuke and Karen arrive to see that Barugon is attacking. Karen then reveals that she does know away to get rid of Barugon and they head off to inform the military. But first, Keisuke has to confront Onodera on his betrayal. He reveals that the opal they had was actually an egg and Barugon hatched from it. Onodera does not believe him and even asks for Keisuke’s help with the opal, promising to split it 50-50. This attempt to bargain is put to a stop when Keisuke then mentions that his brother and his sister in law were killed in one of the buildings Barugon destroyed and Onodera was the last person seen out of that building. Onodera then completely doesn’t even try to say he didn’t do it by attacking Keisuke. The two punch each other for a while, but Karen intervenes by knocking out Onodera with a bottle over the head. The two bind Onodera’s hands to a post and leave him there.
The two then meet with the military leaders to reveal what is going on and how they think they can stop Barugon. Karen reveals that Barugon hates water and it causes him to bleed purple blood. Oh you will never see the purple blood because this version doesn’t show it, but more important than that is the fact that Barugon CAME OUT OF THE WATER!!!!!! So yeah, another plot point this film tries to bring in that can easily be destroyed in two seconds.
Back to the film, the military leaders wonder how Barugon can be lured into the water, Karen reveals a diamond.
A Huge Freaking Diamond.
She says that Barugon is attracted to the diamond and if they put it over water, he will go in no questions asked. She reveals this the last diamond they have because every 1,000 years one of these monsters comes to life and they have to sacrifice a diamond by dropping it into the lake. Back at the house, a geisha (who is Onodera’s girlfriend) frees Onodera from his binds. Over the radio, they reveal the whole plan to lure Barugon into the lake with the diamond (which is revealed to be 5,000 KARATS). Do you all see a problem with revealing this whole plan?? A 1-karat diamond can go from $500 dollars to $5,000. Now multiply that by 5,000 and add in that there are a bunch of greedy bastards out there, you catch my drift. Of course one of the people hearing this is Onodera who decides to scrap his plan to get back the opal and instead plans on stealing this diamond.
They attempt to get Barugon into the lake, but for some reason Barugon is not lured by the diamond at all. Back at the base, the two are scolded for their failed plan by one of the leaders. Suddenly a guy who was on the boat as Onodera, Dr. Sato, reveals that Barugon may be a mutant thanks to the infrared rays that he gave Onodera for his athlete’s foot.
*Onodera’s boat tries to get close to the vehicle.*
Military speaker: Hey you………….back off or we will shoot.
*Onodera gets closer*
Military speaker: This is your last chance. Back off or we will shoot.
*Onodera’s boat gets too close. The military fires on Onodera and our crook is killed*
Seriously, Onodera would not be able to get anywhere near that ship where he can throw a rope and get on before being killed. Even with a bullet proof boat, he would still have to get out and get the diamond and as soon as that happened, he would die. But back to the movie, Onodera tries to get away, but Barugon uses his tongue to grab Onodera along with the diamond and eat him.
The next day at the military base, a new plan is being formulated. Thanks to some thought, they decide that mirrors could be used to reflect Barugon’s rainbow beams back to him and that might kill him. This plan works for the most part with the beams actually effecting Barugon, but he is really hurt instead of dead.
This film did not do as well as the original Gamera movie and for that reason; they gave the director chair back to Noriaki Yuasa for the rest of the Gamera films in the Showa era. Some of Barugon’s effects were used in later films like the tongue of Zedus in Gamera The Brave was very similar to that of Barugon. Also in Gamera vs. Jiger, Jiger’s roar was actually Barugon’s roar……just slowed down.
This film………….is not as good as the first Gamera film, but it is better than Gamera vs. Zigra. It tries to bring up plot points, despite the fact that past actions in the film makes those plot points…..plot holes. The fact that they actually cut a freaking fight Gamera and Barugon and just barely explaining why Gamera isn’t attacking Barugon at several points after the initial meeting is really stupid. Hell, the whole fact that this whole brawl came from a mere misunderstanding, is lame. But perhaps the biggest crime to this film is that for a film called Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera is barely in this film. I mean, I can count the number of minutes Gamera was on the screen in one hand, which for even someone who isn’t the hugest fan of Gamera is ridiculous.
That’s it for this Gamera film so now let’s get to our next induction. Our next induction is an interesting one because let’s be honest…we haven’t been to outer space for an entire movie for a few years so guess what, we are going to do just that. But not just that, let’s find a horror villain who to put into outer space is extremely ludicrous. I mean, there are a lot of horror villains that putting them in outer space is ludicrous, but this guy………..wow, I can’t believe someone did this. So what legendary horror villain am I talking about?
Yes, The Vampiric One Himself………..Count Dracula