Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Gamera vs Jiger (1970)
This is one of the better entries in the original series of Gamera films, but that's honestly more down to how bad some of the others are than how good this one is.
World Expo 1970 was held in Osaka, and this film makes use of that fact in its story, with much of the action being set there. Most importantly for the film's purposes however, the Gamera-verse Expo will feature a mini-sub (which looks suspiciously similar to the one in last week's review) and also a strange, ancient statue from tiny "Wester Island".
When a team of archaeologists begins their plan to airlift the status off the island, Gamera turns up and attempts to stop them. Apparently these guys have somehow managed to not hear about any of the big turtle's previous adventures, because they treat him as a dangerous monster and open fire with rifles. This can't really hurt Gamera of course, but it does distract him enough that the helicopter with the statue is able to leave.
Surprise surprise, a giant monster subsequently emerges on Wester Island. This is Jiger, a bulky reptilian quadruped with a truly odd assortment of powers: it can jump great distances by expelling steam from its body, shoot quills from its head, emit an arc of high frequency sound, and inject eggs into other giant monsters via an ovipositor-like barb in its tail.
It'll use all of these abilities in its subsequent tussles with Gamera, of course, with the ovipositor having the largest story role. Injected with a larva, the big turtle falls into a coma, and the inevitable group of precocious kids must pilot the minisub inside him and perform a Kaiju-sized abortion.
If you're a guys-in-rubber-suits-fanatic, you'll probably get some value out of this, but everyone else can safely skip it.