Gamera vs. Gyaos is a film about how land protests lead to monsters eating your friends. By the third movie, Gamera had started becoming a series about emulating the worst of Godzilla. The turtle monster travels around Japan and nowhere else. Then, he makes time to do right by the local kids. It’s cutesy and has absolutely no teeth for a Kaiju movie.
The third Gamera film presents us with Gyaos, the surprisingly vicious monster. While seemingly erupting out of nowhere, he’s later revealed to be a beast that is striking out due to his environment being destroyed. If you’re expecting more of a political message there, then keep looking. Gamera vs. Gyaos is the definition of a Saturday Morning movie.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just indicative of what was being released at the time.
What impresses me with Gamera vs. Gyaos is that this felt like a real attempt to keep up with TOHO’s maturing Godzilla brand. The color cinematography really pops and we see people actually fearing this new threat. TOHO knew what they had at the time, but it is thrilling to see Daiei Film really explore what the Gamera series can achieve.
Sure, there is a ceiling to story elements with Kaiju movies. Even with the areas to branch out the story, Godzilla had already been there several times. So, what is left for other Kaiju movies to knock down? It’s pretty constricting, but the limitations ended up hurting the later Gamera movies. Don’t believe me? Well, we’ll get there soon enough.
Arrow brings Gamera vs. Gyaos to the Gamera Collection with a stunning Blu-ray. Sure, it is part of the second disc with Gamera vs. Barugon. You get a commentary, alternate English credits, featurettes, trailers and more! The setup is familiar, but damn if it doesn’t impress.