Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on January 19th, 2022 | Movie Review | Classic Horror, Sci-Fi, Creature

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It’s about everyone’s favorite gigantic turtle biped – in his third cinematic appearance.

Gamera vs. Gyaos (its alternative title was Giant Monster Dogfight: Gamera vs. Gyaos) was directed by Noriaki Yuasa (Gamera vs. Barugon and Gamera vs. Viras) and stars Kôjirô Hongô (Satan’s Sword), Kichijirô Ueda (Invisible Man Appears), and Reiko Kasahara (Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance).

Can our big turtle defeat an equally massive (and slightly batty) challenger?

Gamera vs Gyaos Review

The film opens to the satisfaction of ten-year-old boys everywhere with multiple volcano eruptions and stock footage of lava. A remote Japanese island is spewing pyroclastic flow. A lab-coated seismologist explains everything to a press corps. One journalist asks the scientist to confirm that Mount Fuji won’t erupt. Cut to Mount Fuji erupting.  

Immediately, Gamera arrives, flying in low with his spinning shell (why? because “Gamera loves lava”). A transport helicopter is dispatched to investigate the turtle’s entry. A mysterious green ray beams from the mountainside slices the aircraft in two. Researchers spill out, tragically.

Kaiju films always require a subplot. The main plot, and the primary reason we tune in, is typically contained in the title – it’s one giant monster versus another giant monster. Yet we also require a subplot that provides the human context for the monster conflict. The twin plot lines operate like the spectacle of the gods and the pettiness of the humans which occupy The Iliad.

In this film, the subplot involves the Chuo Expressway Corporation building a new highway and encountering active resistance from villagers who refuse to sell their land. The conflicted foreman is pressured by his supervisors to resolve the problem promptly. But nearby, a green glow emits – from the same source as the deadly green ray. It emits a tangible odor. Recalling that geological veins of gold also cause tangible olfactory sensations (we all knew that, right?), the construction team investigates.

If you already guessed that the source of the deadly, smelly, pea-green ray is none other than Gyaos, you’d be correct. Awoken by the volcanic activity, the bat-like nocturnal beast endangers Eiichi, a Japanese cub scout. Gamera to the rescue! It’s bat versus turtle time.

Without revealing any spoilers, be sure to view the film past the ending shot of Eiichi saving “sayonara” to his friend, Gamera, as he flies into the sunset. You’ll hear a real treat – “Gamera’s Song” performed by the Hibari Children’s Choir and once released as a single. In translation, the lyrics include: “Bring it on, let’s cut and poke! Okay, go-go-go, using spinning jets, he will win! You are strong, Gamera.”

Worth Watching?

Surely, yes, it’s worth watching. Especially if you’re team-Gamera.

Gamera vs Gyaos Review (1967) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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