GAMERA VS. GUIRON
a.k.a. ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS
* * * * (1969, 80 minutes, Unrated)
Gamera is really neat! / He is full of turtle meat!
Gamera vs. Guiron was one of those movie's I'd often catch as a kid on the local channel Saturday
afternoons, and while Gamera was no Godzilla, I was always happy to watch. It also just so
happened that Gamera vs. Guiron was also the featured film in the first episode of "Mystery
Science Theater 3000" I ever saw. I was hooked.
The film opens with lots of talk about the billeyons and billeyons of stars there are in the universe,
and how all the astronomers are busy cataloging sound waves from outer space. Man, you gotta
love an era where droves of reporters show up to hear scientists give an elementary lesson on the
planets in our solar system.
One night, young buds Akio and Tom just happen to see a flying saucer land in a nearby rock
quarry. The next morning, the two and Akio's kid sister pedal off to investigate. When Lil Sis balks
at boarding the UFO, Akio berates her: "Scaredy cat. The spacemen won't hurt you. They flew here
-- they're civilized. You're dumb." No debating that logic.
Akio and Tom start playing around in the UFO and are shocked -- shocked! -- when the ship takes
off. Lil Sis has no recourse but to shout, "Akio! You get out of there, or you'll get a good scolding!"
The UFO flies into space and towards a speeding meteor. It looks bad for our lads... when
Gamera appears! Huzzah! And yes, this is exactly the kind of movie where the kids can talk to a
giant monster from within a space ship in outer space without the use of a PA system and the
monster understands perfectly.
|Not even going to touch the physics of this.
That danger out of the way, they race.
Watching the speeding Gamera, the
kids have this conversation:
"He's really speeding up. Mach 3, I
"No, it's kinda deceptive out there.
See Gamera's great jets? Mach 33
is what I would say."
"Really? I didn't realize."
The UFO lands on a miniature model of an alien planet, and after the customary discoveries of
how the air and climate is so similar to Earth, we get our first monster fight. Flat-headed giant bat
Gaos chirps a bunch, calling Guiron out of his secret underwater lair. It should be noted that
Guiron is essentially a four-legged Ginsu knife.
|...And he can still slice through a
tomato with the greatest of ease!
The lads eventually meet up with a couple of sexy
alien ladies who, believe it or not, aren't quite what
they seem. When they ask the boys about Gamera,
we get the equivalent of a clip show.
Gamera hasn't forgotten about the boys, and
eventually shows up on Planet Paper Mache.
Unfortunately, Gamera is often cast as the
underdog. Guiron emerges from his secret
underwater lair to greet Gamera with a beat-down.
It's a surprisingly bloody sequence, with Gamera
spurting pea soup green early and often. Also, it
turns out that Guiron can shoot throwing stars out of
his nose, which just seems a bit extraneous to me.
Gamera comes back with a vengeance in their
rematch, which includes some snazzy gymnastics
work. Yes, really.
The exciting conclusion takes some major liberties with coherence, such as allowing Gamera to
use his fire breath to weld the UFO back together. And when Lil Sis is proven right about the
whereabouts of the lads, we get this reassuring exchange:
"We should have believed her."
"There are times, I guess, when our children are telling the truth, aren't there?"