The final, palatable Gamera movie of the original 60’s-70’s run (brace yourself as there’s two more to go) sees the child befriending mega turtle probably enjoy his best plot to date.
Explorers have uncovered a temple that comes complete with a tall statue that emits a loud piercing sound that awakens Jiger: think a triceratops with Marlon Brando’s jowels that can fire barbed arrows from it’s horns and a flesh melting heat ray… it IS a kids film after all…
After their first tussle leaves Gamera immobilized by the arrows impaled in his knees and elbows (did Mel Gibson direct this?) Jiger continues her stumbling rampage only for Gamera to catch up for an immediate rematch. However Jiger has one more weapon up her sleeve; a hidden spike in her tail which she proceeds to slide into Gamera’s ribs like Rambo assassinating a sleeping guard with an oversized Bowie knife. This causes the benevolent turtle to go all white and crusty and essentially die like E.T. while onlooking children unhelpfully scream “Gamera! Don’t die!” at him repeatedly like that’s actually going to do any good. After a long and very melodramatic death scene (for a turtle) the humans surmise that Jiger has injected him with a parasite that has paralysed the hapless Kaiju, so the kids naturally steal a miniature submarine and pilot it down Gamera’s esophagus in order to cure him of his ailments.
Can this Fantasic Voyage through the digestive tract of superpowered terrapin possibly hope to be successful or will Gamera finally be free of endless howling children in this peaceful state of living death?
To put things plainly, this is yet another silly Gamera movie thoroughly redeemed solely down to how utterly batshit crazy it is and is a fun, trashy experience for those of you who’s film tastes run a little – how shall I say – eccentric. There are sizable levels of fun in rolling around in the rubbery effects, odd dialogue and truly mental script like a pig in shit but the most noticeable thing for me, personally, is the legitimately alarming Passion Of The Christ levels of pain and mutilation that Gamera endures in this movie. When not absorbing sigmata style wounds from Jiger’s “horn quills” in his extremities, or getting stabbed by her baby making tail spike he alarmingly gets shot with arrows through the head and we get to watch him thrash and scream for what feels like an eternity. Still, at least Gamers gives as good as he gets by (SPOILER WARNING) grabbing the statue that’s been causing all the trouble and STABBING JIGER CLEAN THROUGH THE BRAIN WITH IT!!!
It’s a remarkably stunning reaction as Godzilla villians usually turn tail and run when the battle seems lost in order to return for a sequel and yet Gamera (a kid friendly character, remember) eradicates any and all threats without a second thought like a sabre-toothed Frank Castle in a giant green shell.
The aforementioned plot, however is one of Gamera’s best as it utilizes the child characters in a far savvier way than ever before. When kids have been actively involved in the stories (and not just yelling lookers on) it usually involves them wandering around an alien ship or city, thwarting alien invaders just by being there and acting horribly precocious but actively having them be the ones to deliberate save Gamera from the baby Jiger lurking in his lung actually makes a world of difference.
As crazy as Gamera gets, this is an entertaining oddity that demands drunken/stoned viewing with the rowdiest of mates simply for the well earned WTF factor.