FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
After a treacherous expedition to retrieve a giant opal, disaster strikes as the opal reveals itself to be an egg which spawns Barugon, demon dog from Hell! Armed with a deadly tongue and cold beams, Barugon wreaks havoc on Japan. Gamera comes to save the day. Written by
Jonah Falcon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An out of left field surprise that hits all the marks
Gamera tai Barugon was the first in a long line of often Horrendous sequels, a film which in my view is a lost and well forgotten gem. The sequel to the first Gamera film, "Gammera The Invincible" a black and white cheap but fun knock off of the very successful and prestigious (at the time especially since it was the year of Godzilla vs Monster Zero, the pinnacle high water mark in terms of production values and casting), the first film was such a hit Daiei went on to make the Daimajin films and this Gamera sequel.
Now apparently I own the Sandy Frank version, seeing as how this film is only available on extremely low budget DVD packs, mine came with an especially grainy blurred and discolored version of the film with terrible audio quality. However despite this almost terminal flaw to the watch-ability of a film, I not only sat through it, but hugely enjoyed it.
I wasn't just impressed that a knock off series could have a quality story to tell, but its production values were pretty decent and the characters actually involving. The film begins with 3 men out to find an enormous opal, one of the three men is the brother of the man who left the opal there (we are told during the Second World War). The men travel to the cave and find it. The story afterword is filled with betrayal, lies and greed, the three characters are distinct and we sympathize with at least two of them, making the following events all the more shocking. The opal we find out in a far fetched scene involving an X ray machine is actually an egg, containing Barugon, he dashes to the sea with the boat in flames. Our surviving original member asks their financier to pony up for a diving team to find the opal, but reveals too much and another dramatic scene ensues. The Gamera fight scenes were also very interesting and fun, full of bizarre ideas like a giant diamond and rainbow beams. Usually such contrasting events would ruin the other, but here they work in this cartoonish film, we see the drama and care for it, and we at times forget were watching a picture about a giant turtle and long tongued lizard. It is always rare to see a kaiju films that not just exceeds your expectations but breaks precedent, which very surprisingly, this film did.
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