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Gamera vs. Guillon (Region 2)
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Box Front Japanese Title: Gamera Tai Daiaiku Guiron (“Gamera vs. Giant Evil Beast Guillon”)
Original U.S. Release Title: Attack of the Monsters
Alternate Titles: Gamera vs. Guiron (Sandy Frank TV & video title), Gamera vs. Guiron, Giant Evil Monster (international title)
Director: Noriaki Yuasa
Original Release Year: 1969
Running Time: 82 minutes

DVD Released By: Toshiba / Daiei Video (Japan)
Video: Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: Japanese mono
Extras: Interview, filmographies, monster anatomy, trailer
Subtitles: English
Closed Captions: None
Region: 2
Format: NTSC
Chapters: 21
Packaging: Keepcase
MSRP: 4,700 yen
UPC #: 4988008040180
Catalog #: TKBU-5076
Status: Out of print.  (Was also available as part of the Gamera:  The Box 1969 - 1980 Box Set.)


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The Film: When two young boys, Tom and Akio, spot a UFO through their telescope, they investigate the landing site.  The boys board the empty spacecraft, which takes off for parts unknown!  Gamera attempts to follow them, but lags behind.  The ship is bound for Earth’s sister planet, Terra, on the far side of the sun.

The last inhabitants of Terra are two women, Barbella (“Sweet as a little bird”) and Flobella (“Pretty as a flower”).  They have abducted the boys from Earth with their remote-controlled flying saucer.  They have to leave Terra because not only is the planet freezing, it’s infested with monsters!  Swarms of Gyaos (the flying reptile from
the third Gamera movie) are ravaging the planet.  The Terrans’ watchdog monster is Guillon, whose head is shaped like a butcher knife and is twice as sharp.  This bizarre behemoth not only keeps the Gyaos at bay, he manages to knock out Gamera!  The boys need to stay ahead of the Terran women (who want to absorb their knowledge of Earth by eating their brains) long enough for Gamera to revive, defeat Guillon, and fly them back home.

The previous Gamera film,
Gamera vs. Viras, was a lackluster affair.  Gamera vs. Guillon (fifth in the series) is a marked improvement.  Since most of the action takes place on another planet, there is some nifty set design.  The monster action can only be described as bizarre.  Guillon utilizes his knife-like head, and some ninja stars, to bloody his foes, while Gamera does gymnastics on the alien architecture!  In order to appeal to wide domestic and international audiences, this film again pairs a Japanese and a Caucasian boy in the lead roles.  The kids are likeable and resourceful.  Guillon looks like a monster a young child would design, and Gamera vs. Guillon is perhaps the most child-oriented film in the series.

A major plus is that the version on this disc is
UNCUT.  Scenes of Guillon dismembering Gyaos, and the famous (or infamous) Gamera song, are intact.  The edited U.S. version (Attack of the Monsters) pales in comparison.  Grade:  B

Video: The anamorphic widescreen image is crisp and clear.  It has bright colors, is free of grain, and there is extremely little print damage.  Gamera vs. Guillon looks much better on this disc than the American version looks on either Retromedia’s Gamera Double Feature, or Alpha Video's "budget" releaseGrade:  A

Audio: Audio quality is good throughout.  Japanese mono is the sole option, and all of the dialogue, music, and sound effects are reproduced faithfully.  There is no noticeable hissing, popping, or background noise.  The actors’ natural voices are a big improvement over the Sandy Frank dub that was previously available in the U.S. on VHS and subsequently ridiculed by Mystery Science Theater 3000Grade:  A

Extras / Menus: This disc has fewer extras than most others in the series.  All of the extras are in Japanese, with no subtitles.  First up, there are seven screens of text that appear to be cast and crew filmographies.  I can’t read Japanese, so I can’t tell for sure.  They can be cycled through back-to-back, or selected individually from their own submenu.  Next is an anatomical detail of Guillon.  It includes a cut-away view of the monster, with nine text selections that highlight the corresponding organs in the picture.  There is some additional text on the screen which may be statistical data such as height / weight measurements.  The original Japanese theatrical trailer is included, in anamorphic widescreen.  Finally, there is a brief (2 ˝ minute) interview with director Noriaki Yuasa.  This appears to be part of a larger interview that is spread across all eight Showa Gamera DVDs.  All of the menus are still images with no music or sound.  Despite being entirely in Japanese, they are fairly easy to navigate.  Grade:  C (Higher if you can understand Japanese.)

Final Analysis: Excellent presentation of an odd, but enjoyable, Showa Gamera movie.  Recommended.  Final Grade:  A-
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