Gamera: The Giant Monster kicked off the Gamera franchise all the way back in 1965. Daiei Studios wanted to compete in the Showa era with Godzilla. Shooting in Black & White to keep costs down, Daiei makes a film that would have felt fresh a decade prior. Now, what can they do to compete in a Godzilla filled Kaiju world.
Kaiju movies in the 1960s were a fun romp removed from the serious nature of the early Godzilla movies. While Gamera: The Giant Monster was the only original Gamera movie to get a theatrical release in the United States, it didn’t matter. This was Japanese cinema having fun and taking down adult cinema fare for kids.
Some might find it hokey, but the little monster movie fans grow up to impact the genre in ways unimagined.
Arrow has done amazing work with The Gamera Collection. Kicking off the first disc with Gamera: The Giant Monster is a stunning way to show off to the 2020 stay-at-home media world. You get the American version of the film and a ton of featurettes. Honestly, it feels like a set model for the special features to come. I dig the hell out of it and recommend it to all.