Showa Gamera Suits

Spinning flame-jetted turtles, space birds being chopped up like bologna, kids in shorts screaming for help...the original Gamera series was a strange mix of wacky fun!! The 90's Gamera films set a standard that other kaiju films are measured against! Discuss Gamera films here!!

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Showa Gamera Suits

Postby king_ghidorah » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:33 pm

Ok, so it seems simple enough....all the Showa Gamera suits looks relatively the same...but does anyone know of a place that would highlight any slight differences in them? It's maddening for me because I consider myself to be probably a Gamera fan first and foremost among kaiju and yet there is so little info out there...any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:25 pm

Ok, that went well.... :roll:

Someday there needs to be a full issue of G-Fan (deluxe perhaps) dedicated to nothing but Gamera or maybe an issue of Japanese Giants (if it hasn't stopped printing)..I can understand that a full book on Gamera wouldn't sell well over here but there is little to no info about these film over here and it gets a tad bit frustrating to say the least....

On another note...I really like the showa suits..infact..I've liked all the various Gamera suits almost equally...not a miss among them in my book (even though the Brave suit took some getting used to, but I do love the forearms spikes of the Advent Gamera at the begining as well as the collection of scars and the wounded eye! awesome stuff)
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Postby Mac » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:06 pm

The problem with Gamera is, outside of the trilogy, his filmography is superfluous and uninteresting. The Showa series is nothing but a cash-in to the Godzilla craze and Gamera The Brave is a small childrens film that bombed. There really isn't a market for the creature.
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Postby Legion » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:17 pm

Mac wrote:The problem with Gamera is, outside of the trilogy, his filmography is superfluous and uninteresting.


Sez you. I think the Showa Gamera series is hilariously entertaining and incredibly fun if you're in the right mood.
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Postby DannyBeane » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:26 pm

A giant turtle that spins around like a chinese firecracker... what could be more marketable than that?
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:32 pm

Mac wrote:The Showa series is nothing but a cash-in to the Godzilla craze


So was the Heisei series.
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Postby Mac » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:28 pm

MouthForWar wrote:
Mac wrote:The Showa series is nothing but a cash-in to the Godzilla craze


So was the Heisei series.


Yeah, but the Heisei series is actually inventive.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:48 pm

Yah, I like all of the movies because they are so crazy...Daei wanted to cash in on Godzilla but the creators actually tried to steer away from Godzilla out of respect to him and his creators (see, thats what a little bit of printed info can do...there's not much out there but I've skimmed over what I could find) Hence why they really strove in the first few films to put Gamera on all fours as much as possible and the more kid friendly approach as well as the enemy kaiju which are decidely not Toho like in anyway..Daei's kaju were all wierder and more insane and that's another part of the charm...

I can understand your opinion Mac..the first few times I watched a Gamera movie (showa) I was just put off...they were so cheesy and weak compared to Toho's work...but I gave them a few more shots as I got older and with age I've been able to relax alot more and appreciate things when they are not extremely dark, edgy or adult and thus I began to see the charm of the Showa series and now I'm a fan for life...to each his own though right. :wink:

At least we agree on the Hesei series...what did you think of Gamera the Brave btw?
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Postby August » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:49 pm

Mac wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:
Mac wrote:The Showa series is nothing but a cash-in to the Godzilla craze


So was the Heisei series.


Yeah, but the Heisei series is actually inventive.


LOL! :o

Saying "[Gamera's] filmography is superfluous and uninteresting" is a bit pedantic; there's a lot more to Showa Gamera series than meets the eye. First off, the films its monster characters are iconic, which is why the imagery is still being used today. Secondly, the films aren't bad as most people think they are, as was true with the Showa Godzillas, when allowed to see the original Japanese versions with proper widescreen presentation and English subtitles. Sure, the Gamera films were over-the-top, but not much more than the Godzilla films of the time.

GAMERA = MONSTER ZERO

GAMERA VS. BARUGON = GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER

GAMERA VS. GYAOS = SON OF GODZILLA

GAMERA VS. VIRAS = DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (no competition here.)

GAMERA VS. GUILLON = GODZILLA'S REVENGE

GAMERA VS. JIGER = SPACE AMOEBA

GAMERA VS. ZIGRA = GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH

All we are saying is give Gamera a chance! :D

Mac also said, "There really isn't a market for the creature."

A lot of factors contributed to GAMERA THE BRAVE underperforming at the box office. The first and foremost being, Giant Monster Movies aren't popular at the Japanese box office. Japanese kids are more into Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and Ultraman, and Godzilla and Gamera are passe. Unlike the US, the G&G's films did not air on television, so if you wanted to see the films, you had to go to a theater or rent them on home video. Meanwhile, the aforementioned superheroes come in your home for free on television.
Last edited by August on Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:59 pm

Hey August, you have any plans of ever delving into Daei's work for a potential book or heck, just a information filled blog post would tide me over

Guess a book wouldn't sell enough and there is like zero info on this side of the pacific on the showa non-Toho monsters and films...hopefully someday someone like Japanese Giants will do an issue devoted to non-Toho creations...till then...I'll continue to watch my subtitled copies which I agree makes a big difference in enjoyability
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Postby August » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:05 pm

The way that publishers and the general public see it, there's not much difference between Godzilla and Gamera - they are all Japanese monsters. So, I wouldn't dismiss Gamera in comparison to Godzilla -- only the fans are hardcore about the divisions. When I was a kid, I would devour any genre film from Japan... So, I ended up liking Gamera quite a bit as a result -- they are just more things to enjoy!
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Postby INVINCIBLE HASTUR » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:12 pm

When I'm not watching Godzilla, Gamera will do just fine.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:26 pm

August wrote:The way that publishers and the general public see it, there's not much difference between Godzilla and Gamera - they are all Japanese monsters. So, I wouldn't dismiss Gamera in comparison to Godzilla -- only the fans are hardcore about the divisions. When I was a kid, I would devour any genre film from Japan... So, I ended up liking Gamera quite a bit as a result -- they are just more things to enjoy!


Cool, I'll hold out hope for some good Blu Ray releases and maybe a book or magazine about the subject someday...

BTW August...just picked up your book not to long ago, flippin fantastic, hopefully you write more of them for many years to come! Keep up the good work!
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Postby August » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:08 pm

Cheers and thanks for kind words about the book -- it's greatly appreciated! :D
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Postby king_ghidorah » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:48 pm

http://www.historyvortex.org/GameraSaga.html

Actually a decent read....doesn't mention the suits at all but it does go a bit into the history of the Showa Gamera series
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Postby godziwolf » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:58 am

August wrote:Saying "[Gamera's] filmography is superfluous and uninteresting" is a bit pedantic; there's a lot more to Showa Gamera series than meets the eye. First off, the films its monster characters are iconic, which is why the imagery is still being used today. Secondly, the films aren't bad as most people think they are, as was true with the Showa Godzillas, when allowed to see the original Japanese versions with proper widescreen presentation and English subtitles. Sure, the Gamera films were over-the-top, but not much more than the Godzilla films of the time.


I don't know, August. The first movie is pretty rough.
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Postby godziwolf » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:00 am

King_Ghidorah wrote:Hey August, you have any plans of ever delving into Daei's work for a potential book or heck, just a information filled blog post would tide me over

Guess a book wouldn't sell enough and there is like zero info on this side of the pacific on the showa non-Toho monsters and films...hopefully someday someone like Japanese Giants will do an issue devoted to non-Toho creations...till then...I'll continue to watch my subtitled copies which I agree makes a big difference in enjoyability


Lourie (Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Giant Behemoth, Gorgo) has an autobiography that spends quite a bit of time on his SFX work. He did SFX work on a surprising amount of films.

There are a bunch of books on Harryhausen and Obie.
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Postby August » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:30 am

godziwolf wrote:I don't know, August. The first movie is pretty rough.


If you're going to make such a statement, you need to quantify it with a proper explanation.
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Postby godziwolf » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:07 pm

August wrote:
godziwolf wrote:I don't know, August. The first movie is pretty rough.


If you're going to make such a statement, you need to quantify it with a proper explanation.


The movie speaks for itself.

The first movie never really figures out what it wants to be. It careens around a bit as a cold war drama, as a a Godzillaesque horror film, and as a kiddie comedy.

The later movies all have a characteristic feel, but the first one stands a bit apart from the rest of them.
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Postby August » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:15 am

Respectfully, if you're going to dismiss the film, you've got to do better than that.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:39 am

King_Ghidorah wrote:At least we agree on the Hesei series...what did you think of Gamera the Brave btw?


He mostly hated it, if I am remembering correctly.
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Postby Mac » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:31 am

You remember incorrectly, I found it mediocre. It's in the same category as G2k for me. Kinda boring, but I might watch it every few years.
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Postby ultrasanto » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:19 pm

:)

We ve got to watch those films with the intentions to see a delightfull fantay movie...Kaiju films are unique in the world and most of them are very intertaining....And we should be thankfull that they intead of nitpicking at every corners.

Of course the first 3 are the best , and the Kaneno series is magnificient but I wouldnt consider the rest to be boring or ininteresting...

Even GAMERA THE BRAVE is a beautifull film , unfortunotly it seems that it was made to please a youger, nicer crowd like the Mothra series...almost like a anime for girls...
And totally missed the little boys sock`em and rock`em crowd it usually target.

But not a bad movie...Watch DEATH KAPPA or MONSTER X STRIKES BACK....you ll find GAMERA THE BRAVE to be a masterpiece.

I M VERY, VERY HAPPY with the dedicated work done by SHOUT on the Gamera serie...a BIG BRAVO to everybody involved.
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Postby Dagarah72 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:47 pm

The Showa Gamera series is very colorful, imaginative and outlandish, it's hard to imagine how any Japanese monster fan can't be charmed by it. A giant turtle that spins around like a firecracker, gets launched into space by a giant rocket, gets sliced, cut, stabbed, impaled, hypnotized, frozen, controlled, and still comes out on top in the end. A bird who shoots a lazer that slices things in half, a monster that has a ginsu knife for a face and shoots shiruken stars, a squid that can close it's 3-pronged head to form a dagger, a lizard that emits a rainbow from his back spikes that destroys whatever it touches, a monster that injects Gamera with it's offspring, and I always thought it was funny that everyone was ready to surrender to Zigra despite him not having his ship anymore and basically being defenseless. They should've let the damn kids die and blasted him to kingdom come. Afterwards, they could've thrown a huge party on the beach and served his remains as sushi and fried fish. I only wish the studio had not gone under long enough to make that film with him fighting Garasharp. I loved the Kaneko trilogy, and although I didn't care for Gamera The Brave, I have to admit that it was nicely shot and the enemy monster was pretty badass. I know everyone (including myself) wants Godzilla to return, but I would love to see Gamera return as well, in a new series.


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Postby Mac » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:14 pm

My combative opinion has changed quite a bit. There are a couple Showa Gamera films that I really enjoy, such as Barugon, Gyaos, and Jiger.
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