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GAMERA - 2 Slimes
Rated G
Copyright 1965 Daiei
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Gamera - A really fig bucking turtle which is annoyed after a nuclear blast wakes him up.
  • Toschio - Complete brat kid who loves turtles, if he was my kid I'd drown him in a well. (Named Kenny in the American version.)
  • Dr. Hidaka - Turtle researcher who gets in the limelight real quick when Gamera shows up.
  • Miss Sakurai - Hidaka's daughter, just here to give Aoyagi a girl to drool about. (Named Catherine in the American version.)
  • Aoyagi - Reporter who is smitten with Sakurai, he's also a pyromaniac. His day pretty much goes like this: take pictures, burn something, dream about Sakurai, drool, take pictures... (Named Alex in the American version.)
  • Professor Murase - Paleontologist and an expert on giant fire eating turtle legends.
  • Kyoke - Toschio's sister? Mother? I dunno. (Named Nora in the American version.)

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Godzilla's success spawned a horde of copycat monsters, but Gamera is a special case. He was just minding his own business, hibernating under the arctic ice sheet when some idiot drops an atom bomb on him. So he wakes up, looks around, and sees a Japanese research ship, at this point the grumpy terrapin conveys his displeasure by smashing the model boat.

Then Gamera goes looking for chow, he's a little hungry after sleeping for the last few millennium. So what does a fire breathing turtle eat? Fire... ...this is pretty much equivalent to you or me munching Chee-tos then projectile vomiting yellow mulch at people. It is unfortunate that Toschio does not have the stomach contents of a sixty meter turtle emptied on him, I HATE THIS KID. He spends the entire movie talking about loving turtles and Gamera especially, even climbs aboard a train to visit the monster. (Officials are feeding it tank cars full of oil.) For some unknown reason everybody in the film just thinks he's cute for doing all this, I'd be smacking the brat around. The amazing thing is that I'm certain we are supposed to feel for Toschio, he's the "cute little kid" we're all going to love. He's an annoying putz who probably gets beat up in school for the same (good) reason, thank you very much.

The film was shot in black and white, probably to save costs, but the format makes the arctic scenes look very cool and detached. I found myself wishing for a narrator to describe the ecosystem of the frozen land, plus his reaction at a huge turtle would have been priceless. "The seals move from breathing hole to breathing hole, hoping that a hungry polar bear is not... ...WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?"

Gamera as a monster is okay, what sort of entertainment value do you want out of a huge, flying, fire breathing, and fire eating turtle? You're watching for all the neat reactions from the actors of course. Case in point of the American actors, my high school drama teacher wouldn't have let them in the school play. It's hard to believe English was their first language, it's one thing to have some problems speaking a foreign language, but quite another to stutter in the same tongue you use every day. Plus the "General" who was obviously reading his lines directly off the "radio dispatch" he was just handed. (Watch the eyes move left to right as he says his lines. Oh the horror, the horror.)

Special Note: Unable to destroy Gamera Earth's scientists implement the "Z" Plan and launch him into orbit around Mars (or at Mars, needless to say the red planet is getting one unhappy camper) on a huge rocket. I was mildly amused by the idea that some alien civilization might someday be following the instructions of Voyager to contact us and find Gamera first. I am pretty sure they'd be less than amused with that Easter Egg.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Jet aircraft have a mute button to run silent and carry rear firing missiles.
  • Nuclear blasts don't melt ice.
  • Actors that can't make it in America go over to Japan. (Where they still probably starve or work at McDonalds.)
  • Prehistoric turtles were tough hombres.
  • Large buildings are built using chicken wire and plaster.
  • Gamera loves to go sightseeing.
  • A single sixty meter turtle (about two thirds of a football field mind you) can change the tides.
  • It is possible to lay a perfectly straight oil slick across miles of open ocean.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - I know this is just the opening credits, but I'm getting seasick.
  • 5 mins - Is English your second language? No wonder you couldn't get a job in Hollywood! Go flip burgers, you freak.
  • 13 mins - You just read your lines off that sheet of paper didn't you? My God, you suck.
  • 17 mins - AWFUL DUBBING.
  • 37 mins - No, I think that he means it can just about freeze anything... (Go watch the scene.)
  • 42 mins - You must be kidding me, he shoots flames out of his shell and flies?
  • 54 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN AIRPORT!
  • 58 mins - Hey brat, he's stomping a serious hole in Tokyo, what exactly is your definition of being bad?
  • 79 mins - That is one big rocket, if Gamera is sixty meters tall, it's about...six hundred meters, I guess.

Quotes: 

  • Aoyagi: "The Third World War might begin any minute and we'll all be killed, why should we bother about giant turtles?"
    Dr. Hidaka: "Yes, maybe you're right."
  • Policeman: "You hear that, it's Gamera! Hurry, hurry, everybody run! Don't you want to live, get moving!"
    Teenager: "Ah cool it will yah, Gamera doesn't scare us."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note gamera1.wav American General: "Have you spotted anything on your radar screen?"
American Radar Guy: "No sir, it must be coated with anti-electric wavepaint sir."
American General: "Okay."
Green Music Note gamera2.wav Professor Murase: "Our ancient legends did mention fire eating turtles..."
Green Music Note gamera3.wav Toschio: "Sir thanks a lot, Gamera saved my life for me once, Gamera's really a nice turtle."
Green Music Note gamera4.wav Gamera roaring.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgamera1.mpg - 2.2m
Gamera wades through the city, dispensing painful death to anyone unlucky enough to be in his path. People being burned are surprisingly orderly about it, they just lay down en masse.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Gamera
Reply #1. Posted on March 13, 2000, 07:09:40 PM by Splinter
Why do I keep expecting "Kenny" to get killed by Gamera and see two friends yelling "Oh my god!  They killed Kenny!" followed by the required "You bastard!"

---Splinter
Gamera
Reply #2. Posted on January 15, 2003, 07:43:45 PM by Tyler M.
Chris p.is right!I have the origeonal theatrical version of  GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE!Released by Neptune media,this is so much better then the sandy frank version!And best of all,NO DRUNKEN ACTORS!!!!!!!Neptune media also has GAMERA V.S. GUIRON and GAMERA V.S. ZIGRA in the origenal AIP-TV version!In eather japanese with subtitle,or in dubbed version!if the person who runs the site is reading this,go to NEPTUNE MEDIA.COM to buy!
Gamera
Reply #3. Posted on June 03, 2000, 11:15:21 AM by Chris K.
This website has the wrong film. DAIKJUI GAMERA was filmed in 1965 and recieved U.S. release as GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE in 1966. The Americanized version contained American actors Brian Donlevy, Albert Dekker, Diane Findaly, and others and American scriptwriter Richard Kraft changed some parts of the storyline. GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE fell into obscuity in 1970 and was shown on syndicated television until it dissapeared. In 1985 Sandy Frank (who is a a***ole in my opinion)released the original Japanese version, changed the title to GAMERA, and added new (but poorly done) English language dubbing. Sadly Franks version was not well recieved. Soon bad TV panned and scanned prints of GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE tutrned up. In 1998, Neptune Media Video finaly had the courage to release GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE on home video in it's original 2.31:1 Widescreen aspect ration complete with Japanese and American theatrical trailer. As fro Franks version, it has dissapeared and thenk God for that. But stick to the original American version and you will expect more from that.
Gamera
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Howie
"Calling fighter planes, calling fighter planes..." -- the American General really looks and sounds like a drunk.  I saw the dubbed, panned & scanned American release on AMC last October ('99) and thank G-d I got it on videotape.  VERY funny.  The English dubbing is incredibly bad and makes a silly film worse but also more fun to watch.  It's also obvious that the TV-formatted version does a real disservice to the cinematography, as the turtle could only be seen in full in widescreen format.  
Gamera
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Cham
Good giant Japanese monster flick. Meant to cash in on the GOdzilla series, it isnt as good as any of the Big G's films, but pretty good. A giant turtle. His roar is damn annoying though. ANd that little boy saying lines like "Gamera loves all children!" I give it a 3.5/5

Cham
Gamera
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Gojira
"Gojira", Japan's first monster movie, made 5000 yen, a record setting amount in the 1950's.  "Gamera" tried to(and failed miserably) to ape it's sucess.  To be honest, Daiei, Gamera's company, had no originality inn this film.  Everything is a clone of the 1954 "Gojira" hit, but more childish.  So, it came as quite a shock that when Gamera got a reboot in 1995, he managed to do something right.  The 3 "new age" Gamera films, "Gamera:Guardian of the Universe", "Gamera 2:Advent of Legion", and "Gamera 3:Incomplete Struggle" all managed to boost Gamera as one of the most popular kaiju of all time, second only to Godzilla himself.
So, after watching these films, it would come as a surprise that the giant turtle started here.
Gamera
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by George
Ha,where to begin,Gamera,or Gammera,both spelling are correct,now then a little postscript to the original,at first,the idea for a new rival to Godzilla was an interesting prospect,but who,& more important what do we name him?,well producers & directors at Daiei weren't sure & then it hit home,Japans pet turtle craze in the mid 60s gave them the idea,but what to name the giant turtle,well someone mispronunced the word camera,with a g,so problem solved,the truth known even Daiei pictures were very pleased with the american version Gammera the Invincible starring Brian Donlevy & Albert Dekker from World Entertainment Corp.,Gamera went on to star in 5 more movies from American International Pictures,as well as Gamera vs.Zigra & Gamera-Super Monster,before this latest crop of new Gamera movies,& I don't like what I'm hearing about them,another thing I didn't care much for was the Sandy Frank dialogue versions,but I did hear a rumor that the original A.I.P. versions were coming back,let's hope so,& please no letterbox.
Gamera
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Bob
Though it is a little weak, The Japanese version of this and any other Kaiju film are much better than the hacked and cut American or western releases ( mostly American).
The new Gamera series that started in 1995 which consists of 3 movies to date, are very good, nothing like this one, and the Last one Gamera 3 Incomplete Struggle is a far superior film than Tri Stars Godzilla "98".
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