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Daikyojû Gappa (1967)

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An expedition in the South Pacific lands on a tropical island where the natives worship the mysterious deity Gappa. An earthquake opens up an underground cavern and a baby reptile is ... See full summary »


Hiroshi Noguchi


Ryûzô Nakanishi, William Ross (english dialogue) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamio Kawaji Tamio Kawaji ... Hiroshi Kurosaki (as Tamio Kawachi)
Yôko Yamamoto Yôko Yamamoto ... Itoko Koyanagi
Yuji Kodaka Yuji Kodaka ... Daize Tonooka
Kôji Wada Kôji Wada ... Mashida
Tatsuya Fuji ... George Inoue
Keisuke Inoue Keisuke Inoue ... President Funazu
Zenji Yamada Zenji Yamada ... Captain of the Kamome-maru
Bumon Koto Bumon Koto ... Chieftain
Kôtarô Sugie Kôtarô Sugie ... Reporter #1
Saburô Hiromatsu Saburô Hiromatsu ... Hosoda
Binnosuke Nagao Binnosuke Nagao ... Cmdr. Riku
Masaru Kamiyama Masaru Kamiyama ... The Professor
Kokan Katsura Kokan Katsura ... Saburo Hayashi
Shirô Oshimi Shirô Oshimi ... Oyama
Yoko Oyagi Yoko Oyagi ... Aihara


An expedition in the South Pacific lands on a tropical island where the natives worship the mysterious deity Gappa. An earthquake opens up an underground cavern and a baby reptile is discovered inside. The natives warn the foreigners to leave the hatching alone, but they don't listen and take it back to a zoo in Japan. Soon after, moma and papa Gappa start smashing Tokyo looking for their kidnapped child. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Even mightier than 'King Kong'!


Unrated | See all certifications »



USA | Japan



Release Date:

April 1967 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Gappa the Triphibian Monsters See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Manson Corporation,Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the only monster movie (kaijû eiga) released by Nikkatsu. Unfortunately, after this film was released, the company nearly went out of business. See more »


President Funazu: Like it? I call it Playmate Land.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In all English versions of the film, the rock & roll "Great Giant Beast Gappa" theme (heard in the opening credits and ending of the original Japanese version) is replaced by standard orchestral music. Also, the Japanese version features a song called "Keep Trying, Baby Gappa!" (in the scene where the Gappas are reunited with their offspring). In all English versions, the song's vocals are omitted, and is thus instrumental. See more »


Ganbare Ko Gappa
("Keep Trying, Baby Gappa!")
Music by Seitarô Ômori
Arrangement by Iwao Shigematsu
Lyrics by Ryô Nagahara
Performed by Danny Iida & Paradise King
See more »

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User Reviews

Satire, you say?

Move over Dr Strangelove; "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet" is the new satire in town. Okay, maybe my sarcasm is unjustified, Japanese satire is either too high brow for me or gets completely lost in translation. And its perfectly easy to loose anything in the atrocious dubbing kaiju films get plastered with.

If I'm kind I have to call it a parody of King Kong; as the film deals with an expedition force, who are trying to find exotic animals for a new theme park, stumbling across a mysterious island where the indigenous tribe (who look strangely similar to Japanese with coal on their faces) worship a god called Gappa. The expedition take a baby Gappa back to Japan, with the parents in hot pursuit. Cue the miniatures.

With the hideously handled love side story and the hilariously sentimental finale, I can only assume that this film was intended as tongue in cheek fare, and the satire label certainly confirms this. This aside however, the film is terrific by the standards of the time, with incredible amounts of destruction and very little time to breathe in between. Whether I'm missing the supposed hard-hitting social satire I don't really care; "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet" is a wonderfully extravagant example of monster films done properly, with a plot that doesn't dither amount and action that moves back to Japan pretty swiftly and doesn't let up from then on. The clichés are all over the place but this is hardly an issue, intentional or otherwise. Certainly, a kaiju film trying its hand at satire would be expected to be about as subtle as a ton of bricks, and with this in mind the film could have turned out a hell of a lot worse.

(To the elite, "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet" has a special appeal. The Gappas are the very same monsters that menaced Kryten and Rimmer on wax world in series 4 of Red Dwarf; and as Kryten observed, you've probably seen more convincing dinosaurs in a packet of "wheatie flakes")

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