Folks who know me know that I am a huge kaiju eiga fan, especially Godzilla, both old school and new school, but I’m also a fan of the Big G’s major competition over the years – Gamera. Throughout the sixties, seventies, and nineties, the giant flying turtle and friend to all children was Godzilla’s biggest rival, and now you can own (or give as a gift) almost all of the tough and titanic terrapin’s movies in one set. Check it out after the jump.
When Toho Studios’ Godzilla began the giant monster boom in Japan in the 1950s, everyone tried to get into the act, making their own monster movies. Chief among Toho’s competition was the Daiei Motion Picture Company and their giant turtle star called Gamera. Much like Godzilla, Gamera was a prehistoric creature reawakened by the atomic bomb. At first he was a threat to mankind, leveling cities with his rampages and fiery breath, but he quickly, like his rival, became a defender to the earth, battling bad monsters and alien invaders in a total of eleven classic but for the most part cheaply made films.
Made famous for new generations by “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and revived with a 1990s trilogy with startlingly good special effects, Gamera has become a kaiju eiga icon. Now, for the first time, you can get all the first eleven Gamera’s films in one special DVD set, some of them never officially released before, wallowing in public domain or bootleg formats. In this special set, the Gamera Legacy Collection, you get to see almost all of Gamera’s films, including his battles with other Daiei kaiju like Gyaos, Jiger, Barugon, Zigra, and the knife-headed monster Guiron, who had a monster designed after him recently in Pacific Rim. The only exclusion to the set is the most recent film, Gamera the Brave, but this is still an amazing bargain.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Gamera!