Monday, 11 May 2015
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)
This is the third and final Gamera film to be made in the 1990s, and the last Gamera review you'll see from me for a while. Although the boxed set has all eight of his movies from the 60s and 70s, I'm not in any real hurry to watch them. I have, after all, seen Attack of the Monsters. So I know what they're like.
The 90s reboot is a very different beast from those earlier films. He's a much more rough and bestial looking monster --
-- and for all that he's basically benevolent in intent he's also a fifty foot turtle monster thing with flaming breath. Having your city protected by Gamera tends to leave entire city blocks levelled. It's be kind of like treating an infected wound in your arm by amputating the whole limb. It might be better than the alternative, but it's not exactly without its drawbacks.
And indeed, this film concerns itself with a young woman whose parents were (inadvertently, though she doesn't know that) killed by Gamera during his first 1990s appearance. She understandably doesn't like the big tusked turtle very much, and when she hears of another monster - an enemy of Gamera's - that is imprisoned in a cave, she resolves to free it so they can get their revenge together.
If you immediately suspect that this new creature is going to turn out to be much worse than Gamera is, well ... yeah, of course. "I summoned a new monster and it's even more friendly than Gamera" wouldn't be much of a conflict now would it?
The film doesn't really get down to the rock 'em sock 'em kaiju action until after the hour mark, but it does a good job of spoon feeding short but still fairly intense battle scenes through the first sixty minutes, and it has a better than average human storyline that keeps things humming up until the climax as well.
If you're not at all a kaiju fan this movie isn't going to change your opinion, but if you are interested in such fare, it's an excellent example of the genre.