Hot on the heels of YESTERDAY’S double anniversary for Gamera movies, comes TODAY’S double anniversary. I guess Daiei had a thing about release dates.
At any rate, today marks the 43rd anniversary of GAMERA TAI DAI KAIJU GIRON (1969) (Gamera vs. Guiron) being released to Japanese theatres. It would be shown on US television a few years later from AIP under the name ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS. It featured stock footage of past battles, so the aliens could gain intel on Gamera. Considering they were only coming out a year apart, how bad did Daiei think their audiences’ memories were? I mean, REALLY! This featured a silver-colored Gyaos as well as the main opponent for Gamera, the ginsu-nosed Guiron. Like the others in the series, this was released by AIP for TV in the 70s, and then the infamous Sandy Frank (what you get when you drop your hot dog at the beach) released a newly edited & dubbed version in the 80s. This version (like most of the remainder of Frank’s Gamera series) ended up on MST3K. The one plus the Frank version had over the AIP was keeping the scene of Guiron CHOPPING UP Gyaos like a salami on a cutting board! This is also the entry with the infamous ‘Brain-eating hot alien chicks’. Enjoy!
The next film, GAMERA TAI DAI KAIJU JAIGA (1970), debuted exactly one year later i Japan. This was released to American TV as GAMERA VS MONSTER X. Unlike the previous three entries, there’s NO stock footage here, as it’s pretty much a monster slug fest. This never aired in my area as part of the 4:30 Movie’s varied ‘Monster Weeks’, so I always counted myself lucky to catch it when it aired. This one was also NOT picked up by Sandy Frank, thus it avoided the MST3K treatment as well. In case you need reminding, this one has the Monster injecting a larval monster into Gamera’s shoulder, thus making him, er… preggers. A kid-manned mini-sub ride later and he was good to go. This was one of the best of the series, IMHO, and the Showa Era series went downhill from here, with the two remaining entries, GAMERA VS ZIGRA (1971) and GAMERA, SUPER MONSTER (1980) (Covered yesterday) still to come.