Friday, March 25, 2022

Gamera Vs. Jiger

May be speaking too soon, but this is the best one so far with the kids.

Again, pretty damn shocked how good this was. Thankfully it takes a departure from aliens and sci-fi and gets back down to Earth, as we meet another japanese-american double act of kids where they learn about the really real 1970 Expo where a relic is uncovered and in classic horror fashion a monster is awakened after the relic is taken, leading to destruction as Gamera gains another adversary. Quite a few good things to say again so let's talk production. Apparently each subsequent Gamera movie had less and less of a budget but this movie looks gooood, it actually seemed to have money behind it from the sets, monster effects, the film stock looks better, it looks like a true competitor to the Godzilla movies that were kind of winding down by this decade. But I was very impressed with the visuals and like we get a lot more focus on the monsters throughout. It's like if they took elements from Barugon and Gyaos and mixed it with the kid centric light entertainment of the past two movies, leading to a very entertaining and balanced story. I know not everyone is a fan of children being the main story aspect of the Gamera series, but even I must admit I have seen more competent and good child actors from Japan more than here in the States before the new millenium. Plus it was just interesting seeing this Expo showcased as this brand new event which was true at the time in 1970, and I'd honestly go to one today if I had the opportunity. Now for the kaiju, I feel as if the Gamera suit got updated and beautifully so, and also they got a new suit actor which might explain why it looks different. Jiger is more on the normal side, or as normal as Gamera villains get with a brown reptilian design complete with Spinosaurus fins on the back, and the abilities he has are both new and old. Able to fire needles from it's horns, it has Barugon's death beam sans the magnificent colors, I think it flat out has telekenisis and can fly, so it's a formidable opponent. Needless to say I appreciate going back to the kaiju having a strong stance throughout, even if they aren't on screen they still have bearing and weight on the plot just like in Gyaos. And just to throw it out there, outstanding work on the set design when we see Gamera's internal systems, just the fact we see the walls pulse and move in his lungs like he was breathing was proper good set design. Top notch work found here man. It breaks from the overly goofy and weird stuff for the most part and gets grounded again which helped my enjoyment a great deal, and I actually hold it high up on the ranks like Barugon and Gyaos. So I give it 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, could we end on a high note as we cap off the original series? I hope so at least.

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