The giant flying turtle is back for this 1995 Japanese feature where once again Gamera's intentions are misinterpreted by the military. All Gamera wants to do is take on his old enemy, Gyaos, the giant prehistoric bird who has nested atop Tokyo Tower. Written by
I was never a fan of the original Gamera series - most of it was slow, cheap, and made for kids. In fact, it took me quite a while to get around to the new trilogy because I thought, 'heck, why would anyone want to resurrect that turkey?' well, I guess they wanted to because they saw the full potential of the big turtle that the original Gamera team somehow missed. The big turtle is interesting at all because he is not anywhere near as fearsome as his older rival Godzilla, yet he can never be anthropomorphized the way Godzilla was in the sillier early Toho films. He is always a little strange and unexpected. His very existence is an absurdity, yet in the right situation, he's exactly the kind of turtle you want fighting on your side.
If that makes sense at all, then the Gamera revival trilogy is for you. This first film is big daffy fun, filled with big explosions, moments of horror, and annoying human beings who need the Tokyo Tower to be twisted into a huge vulture's nest before they get the sense of the real danger they face. And of course there's our much misunderstood turtle hero, bravely fending off a flock of giant vampire bats with over-developed tonsils. Add to this just a bit of late-20th century pop mysticism, and you have the perfect party treat.
Of course they wouldn't have gotten away with it if they hadn't decided to use state-of-the-art special effects - the film looks good, and moves along quite well. As professional as the worst entries of the original series were amateurish.
So if you like big daffy sci-fi monster fun, forget whatever you thought of the old Gamera, take a good look at the new, and have a good time.
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