Attack of the Monsters AKA: Gamera vs Guiron – movie review

This will be my last GAMERA film review for a while. I thought I could get them all in over the summer but there’s too many. I’m gonna take a break and start again next summer…

Gamera vs Guiron - pic 14

Attack of the Monsters AKA:  Gamera vs Guiron (1969)

Director: Noriaki Yuasa

Dinosaurs and Spaceships and Turtles, oh my! And, the original KNIFEHEAD

This is the 5th movie in the Gamera Franchise. Three children witness the landing of a flying saucer in a nearby park. In the morning they go into the park and find the flying saucer unattended. Gamera vs Guiron - aka Attack of the Monsters

Sooooo, the two boys take it for a ride. It goes off on its own. Just when it seems the ship and the boys will be ripped apart by a meteor, GAMERA arrives to deflect the meteor, saving the children. The spaceship loses Gamera and lands on a planet, Terra. It’s like Disneyland only violent; cannibal girls, monsters, lazer beams. The kids see Space Gyaos attacking a city and Guiron, the original Knife-head monster, defending it. In one particular bloody scene, Gyaos shoots his lazer beam at Guiron and he deflects it off of his ‘blade’ back at Gyaos cutting off the winged beasts leg just below the knee. Ultra violent but it’s okay because the blood is blue. It seems like if they use blue blood they can get away with anything including impaling Gamera through the body with kitchen knives.

The big fight between the monsters is like a slo-mo wrestling match with a lot of blue blood. Guiron has stars that flick off the side of his head. When Gamera gets his face all cut up he falls to the bottom of the sea and goes into shock.

Yo, these space girls are cute as hell but total beotches. They gonna do some brain salad surgery on the boys. Wait, not yet… “We’ll eat their brains after we fix the ship.” (Actual quote from the film.)

Anyways, Gamera gets rejuvenated, beats Guiron on the grid iron and flys the scouts back to earth as planet Terra explodes. GAMERA saves the day!


Dig the groovy 60’s space costumes!


Gamera, The Giant Monster (1965)

Gamera vs Buragon (1966)

Gamera vs Gyaos (1967)

Gamera vs Viras (1968)

Gamera vs Guiron (1969)

Parlor of Horror – Creature Feature reviews


Gamera vs Viras (1968) – movie review

gamera vs viras - pic 16

Gamera vs Viras (1968)

Aka: Destroy all Planets

Directed by Kenji Yuasa


This is some great kitsch 60s Sci-fi. We see an alien spaceship, a circle of connected honey-bee orbs enter earth’ s vicinity and a computer inside begins to speak. It lists similarities to their planet and the orders for immediate takeover of the Earth. Suddenly a giant flying turtle shows up smashing half the ship and sending the remaining piece back into space in flames. Gamera is protecting the earth from enemies.

This is the first Gamera film directly aimed/made for 6-10 year-old boys as we are immediately introduced to the stars of the film, two boy scouts Masao and Jim. There’s no semblance of any kind of adult sci-fi theme or storyline. We follow them as they commandeer a Yellow Submarine (60s coincidence? Think not) and the scientists and military follow their every whim, need and command.gamera_vs_viras_1968

The boys find Gamera underwater, trapped in a bubble. It seems the alien ship is back and are researching Gamera’ s past. We get recycled footage from all the first three Gamera films. We get the entire Gamera -Barugon battle followed by a good portion of the Gamera v Gyaos city battle and end battle. Over a half hour of reused battle footage is here folks! Did they make a new movie somewhere in here? The aliens take the boys hostage to control Gamera and make him protect the spaceship.

Gamera gets the command…GAMERA DESTROY TOKYO and he does with more reused footage in b&w no less… and with a color space ship following close behind. Gotta’ laugh.

Viras speaks and he sounds like a Spanish guy with a thick moustache in a Western Movie.  He decapitates all the alien people, Pretty brutal for a kids flick and they all turn to squid. Viras absorbs them until he’s giant and the final battle may begin….finally. Ooh, an underwater battle. Queue up some exciting action hero music. Damn, Viras knifed that turtle like a burger on a grill, blue blood everywhere! But in the end Gamera comes out on top and wins the day for the boys and saves earth once again.

Needless to say, if you’re not 6 – 10 years old (or had at least seen this film at that age and want some nostalgia), you’re probably not going to like this flick.

gamera vs viras - pic 6

Cool stuff: Blinky light alien eyes, cool. Love that films wanted to portray the depth of clouds around the earth. Love that the aliens are wearing Chinese laundry uniforms from the 60s. Love the retro-60’s space designs and colors. My mom had lamps and furniture that looked like these spaceships in our house when I was a kid.


Gamera vs Gyaos (1967) – movie review

Gamera vs Gyaos - pic 14

Gamera vs Gyaos (1967)

Daiei Studios

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 Gamera_vs_gyaos - posteramused. 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.



Gamera vs Gyaos - pic 12

Gamera vs Buragon (1966) – movie review

Gamera vs Barugon aka War of the Monsters - pic 12

Gamera vs Buragon (1966)

Daiei Studios – aka: War of the Monsters (1966)


In Gamera’ s second film we get a recap from the original up to when the scientists had sent the big angry turtle into space in a rocket. The space capsule is immediately hit by a meteor and Gamera returns to earth in color,  attacking Korobi hydro-electric dam. Then Gamera heads to a distant volcano and isn’t seen for another 40 minutes…really? Wtf?

We get a story about a band of reckless treasure hunters in the So. Pacific that invade a sacred cave, steal a sacred opal and bring a curse upon mankind. That curse is the dreadful monster Buragon. warofmonstersThe evil leader of these hunters will not listen to reason, he wants riches only. Only he can save the world from its terrible, awful fate and rigged system…(oops! sorry got carried away there). Oh, and that opal, it wasn’t a rock, it was a rock lobster! I mean it was the egg from which Barugon hatches. The little guy is a cute son-na-bitch.

The big drawback in suitmation FX is usually four-legged Kaiju, but they do a fairly good job here at this lizardry wizardry, even providing the creature with a long battering ram tongue. The monster’s huge phallic  tongue spews white frost on everything. Then the beast’s backbone horns light up and shoot an electric rainbow decimating all of Japan’s military missiles. They explode in premature evacuation, never leaving the launch pad. I know weird, right? Luckily Gamera sees the backside rainbow and rushes to the scene to defend mankind’s missiles.

We have a nice long tug-o-war battle between the monsters and the military’s scientific weapons until Barugon’s Rainbow is shot back up his own ass by a giant mirror, and he’s then killed by water…we must not be in Kansas anymore…Gamera wins the day by unfreezing, beating Buragon and dragging him into the bay. It’s a nice action-packed, old fashioned Kaiju battle at the end, the kind of scene I relished as a young lad.

Gamera vs Barugon aka War of the Monsters - pic 4

Gamera, The Giant Monster (1965) – movie review

gamera giant monster - 08

Gamera, The Giant Monster (1965)

Daiei Studios

A nuclear blast in the arctic wakes a mythological turtle from its frozen depths. It attacks power plants absorbing the energy released by their explosions. We follow a group of scientists as they try and devise ways to combat this ferocious enemy. We also follow the story of young Toshio, who  loves and collects turtles. He lets a turtle go back into the wild on the same night Gamera attacks the nearby lighthouse. When Toshio looses his grip on the upper landing of the building, Gamera seems to be somehow aware of his kind treatment to his brethren and saves him from falling to his gamera-the-giant-monster-shout-factorydeath. When Gamera attacks Tokyo, the boy tries to go talk to him but is stopped by workers at the fuel plant.

There is a great amount of destruction in this film as Gamera smashes buildings in Tokyo, power plants, and the airport. In the end Toshio is happy the scientists devise a plan that doesn’t destroy the creature, but instead sends it into outer space.

Shout Factory did a marvelous job with the DVD including a documentary interviews featurette in the special features and a great Gamera booklet in the case that features the story of Gamera and a detailed diagram of the beasts biology, showing the fuel sacs that enable it to fly, absorb and breath fire, and to turn raw energy into biological food. From the doc we learn that Gamera was filmed in B&W because of its budget restrictions. In order to build the massive sets to compete with Godzilla, the money had to be saved in other areas. Daiei Studios took a big chance filming without colour when it was by then the industry standard. The b&w works well for the film, masking some of the costume and set flaws as well as giving the feel of the original Japanese Kaiju.

Although this first feature is set up as a classic sci-fi film, the connection between Gamera and young Toshio garnered a loyal following from children throughout the world. Daiei Studios seized on this youth popularity aiming it’s future films more to children and having great success with it.

Gamera - the giant monster - pic 6

Gamera is the one of the oldest/longest running popular franchises only behind Godzilla, James Bond and the British “Carry-on” comedies.  The new planned film for 2016/17 would be the 14th film in the franchise. Daiei Motion Picture Company and now is currently owned by Kadokawa pictures.

Gamera - the giant monster - diagram

Creature Feature reviews on Parlor of Horror

Dinosaurs in movies overview and link list on Parlor of Horror (includes giant monsters)

Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967) – movie review

 monster from the prehistoric planet - Gappa pic 17

Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967)

Director: Haruyasu Noguchi
Produced by Nikkatsu Corporation

Tamio Kawaji
Yôko Yamamoto
Yuji Okada

Here’s a one up Kaiju monster film from the Nikkatsu Corp, their only foray into giant monster movies. A Japanese businessman is opening a resort in Japan that will make people feel like they are on a Pacific Island getaway. He sends a crew out to capture animals, birds and collect plant life for this holiday park. On a Pacific island the crew finds natives that worship Gappa, a mythological beast. A native boy takes the explorers and reporters to Gappa’s temple. There they discover an egg that hatches in front of them. They take the baby Gappa back to Japan. Much like Gorgo, the parent Gappa awakens and heads to Japan to find its baby. But wait, there’s two parents!

Gappa has reptile skin, a bird’s beak, wings and a long tail. The male is slightly bigger and botmonster from the prehistoric planet - Gappa DVDh male and female have a frill. Both have glowing eyes. Their feet are disproportionately big compared to the rest of the Gappa rubber suit. I don’t know how the actors didn’t trip over their own feet. The baby Gappa looks like an over-inflated Howard the Duck.

Their first landfall in Japan delivers quite a bit of destructive action. When the military is called in, the Gappa produce an electric (Godzilla-like) ray from their mouths, destroying many tank squadrons. They knock down Osaka Castle, securing their credibility in Kaiju history. They retreat into Lake Kawaguchi, near Mt Fuji, also a staple in Kaiju traditions. When the military hatches a plan to bring the Gappa out of the lake and bombard them with missiles, they just wind up with egg on their face. The Gappa go to the power plant, knock the city high tension wires monster from the prehistoric planet - Gappa pic 3down, and proceed to destroy everything at the plant in glorious fireballs and explosions. The businessman relents and they bring baby Gappa to the parents via helicopters and nets. The Gappa family flies off into the sunset.

The plot is simplistic and thin, and the dialog is basic. There’s not many spots where it becomes too corny, except maybe the overzealous businessman. For the most part it’s played straight and not much different than US sci-fi films of the 1950s. The scale buildings and sets are crafted with attention to detail, making them close to the bigger budgeted Toho Kaiju films. There’s a scene where the Gappa cause a Tsunami which looks eerily like the news footage from the Tsunami that hit Thailand a few years ago. The lack of plot twists make the film less engaging than most Toho Godzilla films. There’s not much intellectual stimulation to be found, and this film is near bottom of the barrel of Kaiju films, but if you want to see some beaked reptiles destroy some city scenes, you’ll get your fix for sure. You might want to just ‘skip to the good parts’ as I would say.

Aka: Gappa: The Triphibian Monsters

If anyone has any questions about any Kaiju Monsters be sure to check out the Wikia Godzilla site 


The X From Outer Space (1967) – movie review

the X from outer space - pic 4

The X From Outer Space (1967) (1968 – US)

Shochiku Studios

Aka: “The X from Planet X” – “Uchu Daikaju Girara”

The X From Outer Space concerns the voyage of a ship, the AAB Gamma. Somewhere between the space station on the moon and their journey to Mars, the crew encounters an orange glowing flying saucer. The ship picks up some magnetic material on its hull and two crew members go out on a spacewalk to get the material off. They save some samples, some white foamy substance and a glowing rock that is magnetic. The ship is damaged and a rescue ship is sent to tow it back to earth. Almost immediately the rock hatches a creature, unseen at the time, but proven by a claw-like foot print left in the lab. the X from outer space - poster 1Overnight the creature grows to giant Kaiju proportions and rises from its hiding spot underground.

Guilala is either the dumbest, silliest looking giant monster ever designed or a fantastic modern creation, I can’t decide which. It has a chicken beak, a flying saucer shaped head, big antenna with huge ball shapes on the end, puffy arms and legs, spikes along its back, and lizard-like feet. Glowing red eyes shoot laser rays, it spits flaming fire balls, it smashes city buildings and stomps on tanks. There’s some massive city destruction as a battle rages with the Japanese air force. Sure, you can see the wires but that doesn’t stop my enjoyment of the film. In fact, I consider this one of the top non-Toho Kaiju films (along with the original Gamera). Highlights of the film include the two female actresses taking a shower together and kicking soap suds at each other (they don’t show any nudity, just naked feet).

the X from outer space - pic 14The authorities know the monster is headed straight for Tokyo, (how they knew this? I don‘t have a clue) and claim they have no ideas on what to do about this monster…are you kidding? There’s a giant monster attack on Japan every week, they should be experts on what to do! The crew of AAB Gamma go to space for clues on how to destroy Guilala. The beast seems to absorb all energy that is around it. They discover the white foam is a spore that drains things of their energy. So they come up with a plan to shoot the white foam spores into Guilala which drains the beast of energy and shrinks him down to its original size as a glowing rock. They put the rock and spores into a rocket capsule and send it into deep space.

UFO’s, space stations, mismatched elevator music and the Giant Chicken Lizard Kaiju,  hacking up flaming spit balls, what more can you want?



There is a sequel made many years later, The Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit (2008), which is all camp comedy and political satire. Too much lame satire and not enough monster, it’s not nearly as good from a Kaiju fan perspective.

the X from outer space - 2008 Filme Title: Girara no gyakushu / Samitto kiki ippatsu! (Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit!)

The Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977) – Movie Review

legends of dinos pic 3

Rare and Obscure Dinosaur films

The Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (1977)

Directed by Junji Kurata

1977, in the shadow of Mount Fuji, lay the unspoiled land of lakes, mountains, and caves. Camps hold activities, people fish, people explore, and people get eaten by a giant Plesiosaur in the lake. Two marine biologists go out exploring on the river to investigate the legend of a sea serpent. There’s a violent attack as the monster grabs one woman out of the raft by her leg. She fights, screams, punches and kicks, hanging upside-down, her leg bleeding profusely. Meanwhile, two explorers at the base of a mountain explore some caves. They enter a big cavern and discover some giant eggs. The explorer says, “Hey look, a giant egg,” to which the egg replies, “Hey look, dinner.” Out comes this giant flying reptile which resembles a Rhamphorhynchus. legend(Fossils of the actual creature show it as the size of a small dog, but in this film it’s the size of a plane.) The flying reptile heads straight for the populated beach area to cause havoc and terror. Eventually the Plesiosaur and the Rhamphorhynchus fight, as a volcano erupts, an earthquake hits and the land reclaims the dinosaurs. All we’re missing is a tsunami.

The film was produced by Toei Productions (a Toho rival) that had sci-fi success earlier with The Green Slime. The two dinos in this are not men in suits but puppetronics. In the fight scene, they try to ramp up the action but the lack of control of these puppets becomes awkwardly noticeable. Some impressive scenes make up for the less aesthetic parts. The film has blood and angry gnashing of teeth, not recommended for young children. Rolling human heads, half bodies, bloody deaths, it’s a real dino-feast going on here! There are some incredibly hokey parts, too, including a Japanese country singer at a festival honoring the lake monster.

Many reviewers call this a rip-off of Jaws. I don’t agree. They may have glommed a couple of ideas from Jaws but it’s like saying any movie with a monster with teeth is a Jaws rip-off. I have an idea what the studio was aiming for. At the time, Godzilla went into the age 6-9 market catering to pre-teens (Godzilla‘s Revenge, Godzilla vs. Gigan). Gamera had already been in that market for years. So there was a void to fill – some adults may like monster movies, too. The whole film had that loose 70’s melting pot vibe exemplified by the soundtrack (jazz, disco, and country music). It was loaded with bad pseudo-science. There’s a decent enough story about a reporter and the biologists but this film would probably only be enjoyed by dinosaur enthusiasts. (Like me)

legend of dinos

Related articles:
Creature Features – Dinosaurs Invade

War of the Titans – Godzilla vs. Gamera

battle of the titans 8

War of the Titans – Godzilla vs. Gamera

The battle that giant monster fans fantasize about has begun!

Billiken – Godzilla 1962 (from King Kong vs Godzilla)

Billiken – Gamera – 1995

This is a kit I had started over the summer. However, I’ve been collecting pieces since the beginning of the year. I purchased the building models over time and built them just so I could start envisioning the layout. Some, I bought from a local Hobby Shop and others I purchased on Ebay. Then I got cars, buses, streetlights, traffic lights and a truck.
battle of the titans 2

I painted the monster kits with Folkart Acrylic paints and then sprayed them with a sealer. This is a switch from the usual oil-based model kit paint I had always painted with previously. I used gray and white for Godzilla with an undertone of blue. I used a mix of lime green and forest green for Gamera with white highlights. The acrylic paints gave me more control than the usual model kit paints. I now use stone clay for filling the seams on the kits and for additional molding. It dries overnight and it shrinks a bit, but not too much. I hate seams.
battle of the titans 3

I repositioned Gamera’s legs to get him standing more upright than the original kit design so it would look closer in scale to Godzilla. I also added length and size to his head and about a half inch to his tail for the same reason. I repositioned Godzilla’s left arm so it looks like he’s about to attack. Did quite a bit of sculpting and filling to accommodate the changes I made to the kits.
battle of the titans 10

I laid everything out on a Styrofoam board and used Scene-A-rama products for the grass, trees, and pavement. I still want to put a background – sky and clouds – but haven’t found the right pic to blow up and use as of yet. The streetlights and 2 buildings light up. There is also a fire that lights-up inside the big main building on Godzilla’s side.

I’m not quite sure which version of Gamera this is because I purchased it from Ebay without a box. I know it’s one of the later models because the tusks are facing forward, not straight up like the original Gamera.
Famous Monsters 262

I purchased this modern Famous Monsters Magazine that depicted the same battle on the cover.

Pacific Rim (2013) – movie review


Pacific Rim (2013)

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Pacific_Rim_FilmPoster_jpegAlthough this film falls into the trappings and pitfalls of a summer blockbuster style film, it is much better than most other US made giant monster films in recent years. Lots of action, lots of monster & robot brawls in the middle of the city – smashing things, breaking things – what more could you ask for? It was modeled after Kaiju films but was ultimately Americanized – perhaps a bit too much. Nevertheless, the action scenes are stunning. Rich colors and BIG scope make Pacific Rim a visually amazing film.

All the Top-Gun stuff has become standard in many of the later Godzilla movies and even that one female pilot on a personal vendetta because her parents/ brother/ grandparents were killed by Big-G has become a familiar storyline. The monster attacks at night were a homage to early Kaiju films. Godzilla only attacked at night and the same with Gamera. The rain masks some of the digital quality of the CG and I didn’t mind that. I did think the scientists were a bit much, I didn’t find their scenes all that amusing but many Kaiju films often have silly sub-characters. The pacific rim mako mori pic 2scientist’s scenes were hokey but kept to a minimum.

We watch giant monster movies mainly to see all-out monster brawls and monster destruction. I think further character depth would have just slowed down the action. If you want character depth watch a Scorsese film. You want Monster & Robot battles, watch Pacific Rim. The characters of Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) and Stacker (Idris Elba) were inspiring in a ‘Independence Day’ way. Every time a Jaeger beat a Kaiju, the audience in the theater cheered. What part of the action would you cut out to add more dialogue and character pacific rim stacker pic 2development? I’m glad Stacker’s big speech was short and I’m glad the film wasn’t three hours.

The scene of Mako as a child, running through the empty streets calling for her mom and dad, with the crab-clawed Kaiju hunting her down was awesome. It was the highlight of the non-battle parts of the film. The little girl basically stole the show.

One thought about the monsters and robots. You can either accept CGI as the modern special-fx method and embrace it with the knowledge that some directors and filmmakers are going to be better at delivering it than others – OR – you can dismiss it pacific rim raleighand not see any new movies. If you choose the later, you’ll be missing out on some fun monster films. The choice is yours. After seeing Jurassic Park, can we really go back to a guy-in-a-suit, stop-animation/claymation, or clunky puppetronics?

So, the big question is, do I like Pacific Rim enough to purchase the blu-ray or dvd. The answer is yes. I will most likely purchase it, but it will have to be on sale or at a discount price. I will put it in my newer giant monster film section which includes; Monsters, Tremors, Host, The Troll Hunter, Cloverfeild and Q-The Winged Serpent. I will watch it from time-to-time, but not as often as I would watch King Kong, Godzilla or Harryhausen films.  Of course, I am a monster film fan. Those of you that are lesser fans of monster-mania would probably be better off just waiting until this is shown on TV, cable or Netflix.

robots-pacific-rim pic 1

related articles:

Robots in Film – a complete pictorial history

My Top 10 Robots in film and TV