An mysterious alien craft pulls a Compton drive-by on a human research base on the surface of the moon (because we have those now), and a family who live at a Japanese SeaWorld resort (because… *shrugs*) witness the multicolored craft travel to earth and settle in the ocean. The two kids and their fathers head out into the open ocean to check it out and are zapped aboard the gaudy craft. It is piloted by a lone female alien (budget cuts, I guess) who calls herself a Zigrarian and claims to be here for conquest but apparently has dressed for panto. She outlines to her terrified captors that she intends to claim back the oceans for her race and hypnotises the two dads but then is instantly thwarted when the kids immediately grasp alien technology and teleport themselves back outside. Gamera arrives via his patented jet propulsion (pretty much the only thing in this movie that HAS propulsion as the script insists on doggy paddling in a circle) and rescues them and thus is set in motion a tiresome and endless procession of cat and mouse bollocks in which the alien woman proves to be as proficient in her mission as a wet flannel (seriously, at one point the kids slow her down by throwing teddy bears at her) and finally we get a showdown between the heroic turtle and Zigra’s true form, that of a baritoned voiced, pointy space-shark whose abilities include boring earthlings with it’s endless, self-obsessed bullshit.
Where the last couple of Gamera movies were fascinating in their complete inability to not be anything but unpredictable insanity, Gamera Vs. Zigra keeps the crazy but foolishly ditches anything approaching fun or excitement and therefore is an excruciating bore to muscle through. The also film raises endless questions that it seems to think it doesn’t have to answer: like how exactly can Gamera blow fire underwater, why would blandly going “Ahh.” into a walkie-talkie counteract alien hypnosis and did they really think people were going to watch this pile of festering turtle puke. Not even the ghoulish sight of Gamera bonking a defeated Zigra with a rock to make xylophone sounds and then doing a little dance before roasting his enemy alive with his fire breath can save the day and to make things worse because it’s set around a SeaWorld centre (and to pad out the running time), we’re also “treated” to unending footage of aquatic mammals performing for slack jawed tourists. Gamera may be a friend to children but he seems to have little to no interest in the rights of abused sea creatures… maybe someone should show him Blackfish?
This was the beginning of the end for the “Showa” series of Gamera movies (oh don’t worry, unbelievably there’s still worse to come) and the combination of uninspiring Kaiju non-action and a flat-lining plot that JUST WON’T SEEM TO END is just too much to bear, even to an old school monster movie fan like me and this whole tedious exercise is recommended for hard-core Gamera enthusiasts only.
A literal turtle-head.