Monster of the Day #149

I believe this was Gamera’s first monster foe. And the least silly, rainbow ray aside.  He’s often mixed up in America with a Toho second stringer, because their Anglo monikers are the same save for one vowel in the middle of their names.

  • Ericb

    Slightly off-topic: Shout factory will be releasing a boxed set of 5 MST3K Gamera films sometime next year. I’ve never seen these and am quited excited.

  • The Rev.

    Ericb: The only episode I saw during the CC years run was Gamera vs. Guiron. I too am very excited, and hope it doesn’t fall through.

    Ken: You are correct, Barugon here was Gamera’s first monster opponent. I always thought the prehensile tendril/battering ram/freezing mist sprayer that was its tongue was a lot sillier than the rainbow beam. Plus, I liked the idea that something usually harmless (like a rainbow) was instead a horrifyingly destructive weapon.

    I still don’t know how it aimed the damn thing, especially at targets so far away.

    For my money, this is one of the best, if not the best, of the Showa series. Gamera was still a dangerous monster (witness his early destruction of a dam), and was more of an anti-hero than a straight up hero, much like Godzilla in some of the later movies, mostly in the Heisei series. Barugon here is a credible threat, destroying everything in its path, eating people, and just behaving like a bad monster should. Unlike the silly but effective sanguinary merry-go-round they’d later use on Gyaos, the humans’ countermeasure against Barugon is not only sensible and somewhat, if not entirely, effective, but surprisingly gruesome as well. The tone matches the fairly dark one of the first film, and it has one of the better storylines of the series. Just good, good stuff.

  • Gamera

    Thanks Eric, I’ve been watching the releases of the original films but have been waiting for the boxed set.

    Darned if I can remember which is Baragon and which is Barugon without looking it up. He was pretty cool but still not in the same league as Gyaos which I suppose is why Gyaos was the only Gamera foe to appear in many movies (other than stock footage of course).

  • Well, Gamera vs. Barugan was, I think, the most expensive of the original Gamera movies. Certainly it was the first in color. I just got all the new Gamera DVDs, and I know GvB got a single release as opposed to the rest of the movies, which are on double bills. GvB also has a commentary track, so that should fill in some of the production info.

  • fish eye no miko

    And the least silly

    I rather liked Gyaos, actually.

    And also, have you seen the more recent Gamera films? Guardian of the Universe, Attack of Legion, and Revenge of Iris?

  • The Rev.

    I own the the first two of the Kaneko trilogy, but have yet to see the last one, which is something I am highly ashamed of and really REALLY need to fix.

  • Rock Baker

    I’m back! Merry Christmas, everybody!

    Ah! Good old War of the Monsters! What was AIP-TV thinking by not releasing this one on big screens? Most of the old Gammera movies were suited to being TV releases, but this one really should’ve hit the theaters. Now I’m back to that old debate, dubbed-but-cropped vs scope-but-subtitled. At least I’ll always have Gammera the Invincible…

  • Greatest of the Old School Gameras, as well as one of the most depressing Giant Monster movies ever made. Love it to pieces.

  • @Ericb: ohmigodohmigodohmigod

    Seriously, the Japanese monster movies was what got me into MST3K in the first place … and I’m certain I’m not the only one that ties Gamera with MST3K indefinitely. God, I am seriously stoked about the Gamera pack.