Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters (1967) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters (1967) Review

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

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It’s about a native monster disturbed by the organizers of a cultural appropriation scheme.

Gappa the Triphibian Monsters was directed by Haruyasu Hoguchi (Cat Girl Gamblers, Cat Girl Gamblers: Abandoned Fangs of Triumph, and Cat Girl Gamblers: Naked Flesh Paid into the Pot) and stars Tamio Kawaji (Woman from the Sea and The Warped Ones), Yoko Yammamoto (Escape in the Fog and Duel in the Storm), and Yuji Okada (Cruel Gun Story and Thirst for Love).

Can a baby monster be kidnapped and imprisoned without consequences?

Gappa the Triphibian Monsters Review

Gappa the Triphibian Monsters (Gappa is the same word, whether singular or plural, like “moose”) benefits from engaged actors, crisp editing, great sets, and more than adequate special effects. The plot involves a Jurassic-Park-like mogul creating an island resort in Japan which resembles a South Seas island – complete with Polynesian flora, Polynesian fauna, and Polynesians. The mogul sends a ship of reporters and scientists to the remote island of Obelisk (topped by a very active volcano) to gather specimens and return them to the Japanese mainland.

Despite the fairly flat cast of characters, the film successfully hooks the viewer. The indigenous population repeatedly warns the Japanese visitors to stay away from their island’s guardian – Gappa – a sort of featherless-chicken, which is apparently able to summon earthquakes at will.

Brushing aside their concerns, the Japanese team topples an idol, discovers a lake inside a large cavern, and breaks open a large egg. A baby Gappa emerges. They snatch it, cage it, and return to Japan. Despite the telegram pre-announcing their discovery, the mogul is convinced they’re only brining him a “burn lizard” and he’s “seen burnt lizards before” – whatever that means.

When the ship arrives in the Japanese harbor, the mogul is pleasantly surprised when a genuine lizard of the non-burnt variety is revealed. He calmly asserts that any animal can be tamed (really?) and instructs the scientists to teach it some tricks so he can exhibit it for profit.

The sins of corporate greed coupled with cultural insensitivity will be corrected when the baby sprouts at an accelerated rate and its parents fly to Japan to rescue their tot. The destruction and mayhem which result are well-deserved. It’s impossible not to root for the sympathetic monsters.

Avoid the poorly dubbed version of this film on account of its muddy dialogue, but also because the dubbed version omits the opening/ending song “Great Giant Beast Gappa” as well as the catchy “Keep Trying, Baby Gappa!” tune which plays during the scene in which the parental Gappa are finally reunited with their beloved offspring Gappa.

Worth Watching?

Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters is a too-little-seen kaiju gem which well worth a watch. 

Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters Review (1967) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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