If you loved the first two Special Edition home entertainment releases of the original Gamera movies – Gamera, The Giant Monster and Gamera Vs. Barugon, prepare yourself for four times the fun! On September 21, 2010, Shout! Factory will further unleash four more Gamera movies (the original Japanese version) from the Showa series in two Double-Feature Collector’s Edition DVD sets: Gamera Vs. Gyaos/ Gamera Vs. Viras and Gamera Vs. Guiron/Gamera Vs. Jiger. Featuring all-new anamorphic widescreen transfers, each Double-Feature DVD set includes both the original Japanese and infamous English dubbed versions of each film along with publicity galleries. A must-have for film enthusiasts and collectors, aggregate your Gamera movie collection with these two Double-Feature Collector’s Edition DVD sets. Each DVD set is sold separately with $19.93 SRP.
GAMERA VS GYAOS / GAMERA VS VIRAS
As a competitor to Godzilla in the Sixties, Gamera developed a strong following in and out of Japan, and with Gamera Vs. Gyaos his most famous enemy emerged, one that would play a key role in the Gamera trilogy released in the ’90s. Like a giant bat fused with a shark’s head, the laser-spewing Gyaos is discovered in an ancient cave by a young boy named Eiichi and a reporter named Okabe, whose neglect of the child in crisis leads to his death. Once Gyaos is unleashed upon Japan, both Gamera and the country’s Self-Defense Forces try to bring down the flying terror. And that’s not going to be an easy feat!
While Gamera and Gamera Vs. Barugon established the colossal chelonian as both a force to be feared by mankind and a friend to children everywhere, the giant turtle began to live up to his potential as a kids hero in later movies, most notably in Gamera Vs. Viras, in which not only does the oversized turtle race Boy Scouts in the water, but he must save them from an alien menace that uses his compassion as a weakness and ultimately mentally manipulates him to destroy parts of Earth. Once the children free Gamera from his mental slavery, the aliens’ non-human form is revealed, they bond together to form the squid-like Viras. Then a climactic beachside rumble begins! (And Frankie and Annette aren’t sticking around for one.)
GAMERA VS. GUIRON / GAMERA VS. JIGER
Kids take an even more prominent role in Gamera Vs. Guiron as two star-gazing Japanese tykes get whisked away by a spaceship to a planet where two “groovy spacegirls” are the sole survivors of a once-superior civilization. But the seemingly hospitable women have sinister plans in store, and Gamera comes to save them and battle their rhino-like guardian Guiron, a formidable beast with a razor-sharp steel blade for a snout. This is one Gamera movie that needs to have the Japanese version seen as it features possibly the worst dubbing job in Japanese monster history. But it’s still a camp gem. Space Gyaos makes an appearance, too!
Our favorite flying turtle gets a female foe in Gamera Vs. Jiger, which is set around the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka. When scientists discover a mysterious statue called The Devil’s Whistle on a remote island, they steal it away to show at the Fair, which causes it to unleash a high-pitched sound that disturbs the Triceratops-like Jiger, who comes after them to stop the auditory pain she is in. And when she faces down Gamera, she proves to be a nasty foe, able to shoot quills from her head and a heat ray that can dissolve entire city blocks, plus she has a tail stinger that implants eggs into her victims. Gamera eventually has to cope with a baby Jiger growing inside of him. You’ve got to love the lovably twisted Japanese concept of family entertainment: No holds barred monster smackdowns!
Until the partnership of Shout! Factory and Kadokawa Pictures in May 2010, the original Gamera films were woefully underrepresented on DVD in the United States, especially in featuring the authentic original Japanese versions of the films. But that has changed with the recent releases of Gamera, The Giant Monster, Gamera vs. Barugon and now, the two double feature collections Gamera vs. Gyaos/Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Guiron/Gamera vs. Jiger. Upcoming highlights include Gamera Vs. Zigra and Gamera: The Super Monster.