Returned from his exile into space, Gamera is the last survivor of a species of colossal chelonians, rumored to have originated 8,000 years ago from the lost continent of Atlantis. This titanic terrapin is feared by adults and loved by children.
Until quite recently, every giant monster movies I have seen, be it Godzilla or Gamera had been on a re-run on a local TV station or as fodder on MST3K. They were always grainy in quality and horribly dubbed. Needless to say it was hard to take them seriously since they already strain for credibility to begin with. So a few years ago I started trying to see these film in their original format un-dubbed with subtitles (for some reason I can’t speak Japanese). The results were a much deeper appreciation of the films.
Now ever since MST3K started skewering him, I have been a sucker for a certain giant turtle. Combine that with the quality release of Gamera: The Giant Monster by Shout! Factory and picking up Gamera vs. Barugon was a no-brainer. So, when it came out the other day, I got myself a copy. First of all the picture is the best I have seen for this film and the Japanese audio is sweet relief after the stilted dubbing I had grown used to. There is not option to turn on English dub, which might be off-putting for some. So keep that in mind if you pick up the title. The plot is crazy, but all that matters is that at some point in the film, 2 giants monsters will fight one another and some beautiful miniatures are gonna get smashed, but good.
The DVD has some extra, Publicity stills and an audio commentary track. I tried to sit through the commentary and while it seemed informational it didn’t jump out at me. They seem to talk more about the people involved with the movie and I want more Gamera lore.
This release of Gamera Vs. Barugon is the nicest version of it I have ever seen. If you are a fan, I think you will be amazed at the detail you can work out and if you are new to the character and genre, you will not be as distracted by the poor quality that has in the past plagued these staples of late night television. So what’s the hold up? Check out Gamera Vs. Barugon on DVD today.