Sep 10, 2012

Asian Monster Flick Week - Gamera: Guardian of the Universe



Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko
1995
Action/Fantasy

An atoll is discovered in a place where there shouldn’t be one. Further more, it moves. Scientists are astonished by the discovery but can’t really figure it out. At the same time gigantic birds with wingspreads of 10 meter or more are discovered. No one knows where they came from or why they have appeared now but they seem to be man made. No creature has such a prefect DNA strain! Finally a prophecy is discovered on the floating island along with some strange metal, unknown to man. The prophecy speaks about the birds called Gyaos and the protector – Gamera. Soon they realize that the floating island really hides the giant turtle Gamera. But can he save mankind from the birds or is he seen as an equal threat?

First of all, I have not seen any of the old movies about Gamera but I don’t think that’s necessary to appreciate this one. Its great fun and I think it’s about that. If you’re looking for a fright fest with horrifying monster you should look elsewhere. But these rubber monsters are quite charming and the script is kind of cartoonish. Nothing wrong with that since it’s obviously intended to be so.

The effects might not be top notch of what can be done but there’s no CGI and I like these old school effects. The also bring charm to the movie. I would have liked to get some more background information, there’s an explanation of where Gamera and the Gyaos are coming from but it could be les vague and more exposed in my opinion. As usual the government representatives are quite stupid. They treat Gamera as the fiercest enemy and try to capture one of the birds alive, just for studying. Even if this might be the esthetical way it’s very VERY stupid in a monster flick. You see how it went in Alien didn’t you?

There are no surprises throughout the film. Everything happens according to the rules for this kind of movie. And again, if you’re after suspense and tension you need to look elsewhere. I liked it quite a bit since it doesn’t claim to be anything more than it is. It’s a fun and entertaining movie, nothing more and nothing less. You could say it has the entertainment values of a real turkey but I don’t care. This is entertainment!

7/10