Gamera vs Gyaos (1967)
Aka: Return of the Giant Monsters
This is a nice clean print of the film that makes it enjoyable to watch. In Gamera vs Gyaos we have not much more than the set up for three FX heavy battles between the monsters. There’s some storyline to move the plot forward about highway construction through native people’s land which causes Gyaos to wake in a secret cave. The monster soon has a taste for blood and attacks the city. It shoots a laser beam from its mouth that makes precision cuts through everything it hits. I enjoyed watching a sequence of jets being cut to ribbons by the laser ray. It looks totally fake but I was amused. Gamera saves a young boy from Gyaos early in the film and brings him to an amusement park on his back where he can be taken down by the Ferris wheel. The boy becomes the main star of the film….advising the scientists and military of what actions they should take against the monsters.
When I had seen this in my youth, it was around the time that I noticed a difference in these monster films from the Toho films. Toho had a little bit more attention to detail for its sets and the monsters/costumes/designs were based more in reality (dinosaurs, insects, Dragons) than the Gamera films and the Ultraman series. The Gamera monsters took on a more fantasy look to them with sharp ridges and space-like angles. The light-up eyes and glowing head parts added to the fantasy element, not looking like anything in reality. However, for an eight or ten year old boy, they were no less exciting, filling lazy summer afternoons with monster action.
If you’re a fan of old style kaiju, nostalgic for these old films or just want to see what it was all about this is a good film to check out for its high quality.