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Gamera made his first appearance in 1965's Gamera, which was also the only Gamera film to be in black-and-white. This was made primarily, to cash in on the success of Godzilla.The similarities are notable in the gritty black & white style and serious tone. They also had american actors added for U.S. audiences. In 1966, the movie was released inAmerica as Gammera the Invincible. Sadly, this was the only one of the Daiei Gamera films to play in U.S. theaters. Subsequent films, usually directed by Noriaki Yuasa and written by Nisan Takahashi, quickly became a big hit with children of all ages.
Who doesn't love watching Gamera fight monsters?! U.S. audiences discovered the Gamera movies on TV. He also enjoyed a resurgance in popularity due to MST3K! There are many reasons to enjoy these films (intentional ad unintentional). Gamera quickly turned from and underbitebadass to "the friend of all children". I'm not sure which one scares me more...
Gammera the Invincible still holds up. overall, the monster is nice and menacing. There are many cool destruction scenes featuring Gamera's atomic breath, and exploding oirefineries (a giant monster staple) to satisfy. The animation effects for his flying scenes are still awesome. It's nice to see Brian Donlevy and Albert Dekker in anything.
It still has one of the best endings (What better way to get rid of a giant monster) and still looks good to this fan's eyes.
My second favorite would have to be Attack Of The Monsters . Gamera has turned from intergalactic menace to babysitter. A precocious gang of kids get kidnapped by hot alien chicks. It seems these aliens love small children (especially their tasty brains!). For some reason, Gamera objects, and comes to the rescue.
Aside from the dark humor, and Hansel & Gretel quality of the film, there's the absurd monster. It looks like a hunting knife with legs. It also has throwing stars that shoot out to inflict extra damage.
These are just two reasons to invite Gamera into your living room. You'll have to discover the rest yourself!
Daiei Films went bankrupt and closed up shop in 1972. Leaving a proposed "Gamera vs. Garasharp" movie unfilmed.
Even though Daiei films may have bitten the dust, Gamera continues to be revived on the screen.
That's another story...