Greetings, Kaiju-fans. Today marks a unique anniversary for the original mutant turtle, Gamera. Back in 1968, Japanese audiences were introduced to the tentacled space villain Viras, in GAMERA TAI UCHU KAIJU BAIRASU (Gamera vs Space Monster Biras) which US TV audiences would see as DESTROY ALL PLANETS a few years later. That’s how I was introduced to it, s part of varied Monster Weeks on the New York tri-state area’s 4:30 Movie.
Twelve years later to the day, in 1980, Daei unleashed UCHU KAIJU GAMERA upon the world. It was the last of the Showa Era Gamera entries and not a great one to go out on. Known to US audiences as GAMERA, SUPER MONSTER, this one made the rounds on bad movie showcases, such as COMMANDER USA & ELVIRA in the 80s. It utilized stock footage (as most of the 70s films did), but it also showed Gamera flying in space, racing the animated Galaxy Express 999 at one point. Most fans I spoke to tend to IGNORE this one. Oh, the poster is a LOT better than the movie.