|Gamera vs. Jiger (Region 2)|
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|Japanese Title: Gamera Tai Daimaju Jaiga (“Gamera vs. Giant Demon Beast Jiger”)
Original U.S. Release Title: Gamera vs. Monster X
Alternate Titles: Gamera vs. Jiger: Monster Invade Expo 70 (international title)
Director: Noriaki Yuasa
Original Release Year: 1970
Running Time: 83 minutes
Official Website: www.gamera.jp
DVD Released By: Toshiba / Daiei (Japan)
Video: Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: Japanese mono
Extras: Cast / crew filmographies (?), anatomy of Jiger, theatrical trailer, interview with director Noriaki Yuasa
Closed Captions: None
MSRP: 4,700 yen
UPC #: 4988008040289
Catalog #: TKBU-5077
Status: Available (individually, or as part of the Gamera: The Box 1969 - 1980 Box Set).
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About The Site
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|Reviewed by: Zillamon51|
|The Film: Construction and planning for the 1970 World’s Fair Expo in Osaka are underway. Hiroshi, a Japanese boy, and his friend Tom are eagerly awaiting the event. Both of their families are involved in the Expo. Hiroshi’s father is building small submarines for children to ride in, and Tom’s father is an archeologist. Tom and his younger sister Susan are with their dad on Wester Island in the South Pacific. There, an excavation team is working to remove a 30-foot tall statue, the Devil’s Whistle, and bring it back to Japan to display at Expo ’70.
Despite warnings of a curse, and interference by Gamera, the statue is shipped to Japan. Jiger, a quadrupedal monster resembling a horned dinosaur, emerges from underground. After incapacitating Gamera, it rockets off towards Japan after the Devil’s Whistle. When the two monsters again clash in Osaka, a worse fate befalls Gamera: Via a stinger in her tail, Jiger impregnates the giant turtle with a parasitic larva! Gamera collapses in the ocean, and Jiger’s destruction continues unabated. In order to save the “friend to children,” and Expo ’70, Hiroshi and Tom commandeer one of the small subs. They take it on a Fantastic Voyage-like journey inside Gamera’s body. If they can cure and revive Gamera, then the Expo may yet be saved!
Gamera vs. Jiger is one of the stranger films in the series, and that’s saying something. Jiger has the most bizarre arsenal of any of Gamera’s opponents. In addition to her stinger tail, she has rocket boosters, an ultra-high frequency ray, spears shot from her horns, and the ability to grab objects via suction. Wow!
The film has high production values. There is a good amount of urban destruction, and no stock footage. Once again, the adult characters are dumbfounded by the events and it’s up to the children to take the initiative and save the day. (Hiroshi’s father is the one adult who does not dismiss the youngster’s ideas. He has as much faith in Gamera as the kids do!) This strange movie is enjoyable enough to be considered the last really good film in the original series. Grade: B
Video: The anamorphic widescreen image is crisp and clear. It has bright colors, and there is extremely little print damage. There is some grain in the opening credit sequence (which features the Gamera song playing over scenes from previous movies), but not very much throughout the rest of the feature. A few scenes look a little soft. A few brief FX shots (people in the foreground watching rear-projected monster action) are faded and blurry, but this doesn’t appear to be a fault of the transfer. These are all very minor problems. Grade: B+
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 Gamera song returns, with different lyrics. Grade: A
Extras / Menus: This disk 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 Jiger. It includes a cut-away view of the monster, with seven 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 (not quite 2 minute) interview with director Noriaki Yuasa. This appears to be part of a larger interview that is spread across all eight Showa Gamera DVD’s. 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 a unique and enjoyable Gamera movie. Highly recommended. Final Grade: A
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