Gamera Vs Jiger (1970)

Gamera Vs Jiger (1970)

An ancient statue is uncovered in Japan and taken away from the mountain to be displayed in a World Expo. This causes Jiger, a giant monster, to awaken and go hunting for the statue. It’s only a matter of time before Jiger starts destroying Japan and it’s up to Gamera to stop him. During a battle between the monsters, Gamera is injected with Jiger’s larva and a human-manned miniature submarine must go into Gamera’s body and kill the infant monster before it kills him from the inside.

 

Gamera was always a poor man’s Godzilla until the 90s came along with a kick ass reboot. Back in his heyday, Gamera starred in some of the single most appalling monster movies ever made. The Gamera films were always more child-orientated, with most of the films starring a couple of smarmy Japanese kids who would know everything and help Gamera beat whatever the monster of the moment was. Less serious, less plot-driven and more in line with a bigger budgeted kids TV show, Gamera battled some of the most ridiculously-conceived monsters ever to grace cinema in some of the most confusing, most immature and most delirious plots created. This sixth entry into the Gamera series must be about as far away from his original conception that anyone could imagine.

Gamera Vs Jiger surely has been made by some Japanese guys who were experimenting with illegal drugs at the time. There’s no other reason why the film is so weird. From the traditional city-stomping kaiju eiga antics, to colourful Jiger’s design, right down to the Fantastic Voyage-like sub plot about the mission to go inside Gamera and commit an abortion, the film continually bombards the viewer with the unexpected. There’s even a stop to the World’s Fair/Expo from 1970 complete with its unique visions of the future. Two kids form the basis of the human plot and the presence of this couple of annoying brats in the lead roles is like a kick to the nuts. These children are super-gifted and super-mature for their age.  It’s ironic that in these Gamera films, it’s not the scientists who come up with the better ideas and theories behind the evil monsters but the children. Quite why these two kids are present at ever major world meeting isn’t really important and even more so the reasoning behind two kids being entrusted with the mission to go inside Gamera and kill Jiger’s spawn.

Gamera looks the same as he did in the previous films which is to say, not very believable. The monster suit never really convinced anyone that this was a dangerous monster from the get-go and the silly sequels have done nothing to dispel that myth. It’s got a limited range of movement thanks to the physical limitations of turtles which means Gamera tends to do the same things over and over again. This means that the fight scenes are very repetitive and whilst there are some decent battles here, it’s literally the same sequence of combat. Jiger looks a lot like Barugon from the previous films only with a few more horns stuck in his head and a different colour of body paint. It has the ability to fire arrows from its head and has small rockets behind its ears which it uses to travel through the air. And yes, all of this does look as silly as it sounds. Jiger is a terrible monster but for a terrible film, what were you expecting? However Jiger’s violent demise is somewhat disturbing for such an innocent children’s movie and Gamera takes a massive beating leading to the loss of a lot of green blood.

 

Gamera Vs Jiger is yet another terrible entry into the Gamera series. I’m a fan of kaiju films but I was even struggling to get through these horrendous Gamera outings. Rightfully most of them have been shot-to-pieces on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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