In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

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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In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Oct 24, 2015 7:20 pm

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, August Ragone hosted The Kaiju Movie Marathon: Gamera's Revenge, presented by Shout! Factory TV and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

For this all-day event, Shout! Factory TV streamed the English-subtitled Japanese versions of the first eleven Gamera films on their YouTube channel with a live chatbox embedded next to the video. Each movie was preceded by a different interstitial video of August expounding behind-the-scenes information and historical context for the flick that was about to play. With English-language resources on Gamera's history being relatively scarce in the West compared to Godzilla, these videos provide a lot of eye-opening insight into the making of each film.


Edit 05-28-2017
The individual videos are no longer publically viewable on the Shout! Factory TV YouTube channel, but they have been compiled into one long video that is viewable on their website:

http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/backlot/g ... 0805364a00


Original video links (now private):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fey0u_HRTMg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRa_oULagpU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaYRfdBbo5E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwgrxD0Nblc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkAbVV0d4l0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHXO98lYJQQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZFZQgFRMK8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTMXozkViHU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1yxTJFoGyk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho_PJ8h3cFY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b4qB3X2qlo
Last edited by Benjamin Haines on Sun May 28, 2017 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Legion » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:42 am

My favorite thing about this is how the earlier films sometimes have intros of up to 9-10 minutes, while only one of the intros for the three Kaneko films break the four minute mark.

:lol:
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby DannyBeane » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:22 pm

Legion wrote:My favorite thing about this is how the earlier films sometimes have intros of up to 9-10 minutes, while only one of the intros for the three Kaneko films break the four minute mark.

:lol:
Yeah, I always thought it was hilarious how if you watch one film, you've pretty much watched the best parts of the previous films. It starts getting tedious by Super Monster. It also explains why I can marathon almost any Godzilla film, but struggle with marathoning the Showa Gamera films.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:48 pm

Legion wrote:My favorite thing about this is how the earlier films sometimes have intros of up to 9-10 minutes, while only one of the intros for the three Kaneko films break the four minute mark.

:lol:


By intention? We had internet and magazines and whatnot in the era those films were made, so information is more generally known, but these intros for the Showa films have a ton of stuff I've never heard before.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:13 am

lhb412 wrote:
Legion wrote:My favorite thing about this is how the earlier films sometimes have intros of up to 9-10 minutes, while only one of the intros for the three Kaneko films break the four minute mark.

:lol:


By intention? We had internet and magazines and whatnot in the era those films were made, so information is more generally known, but these intros for the Showa films have a ton of stuff I've never heard before.


I was thinking the same thing. August's segments for the Heisei films are still very informative and there's plenty of other material available out there for those who want to dig deeper into the making of that trilogy, like all of the bonus features from ADV's DVDs and Mill Creek's blurays. The histories of the Showa films have been obscure for so long that they really needed the extra attention.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:29 pm

So much makes sense now: the extended flashback in Viras, the insane padding of Zigra which frequently made me wonder 'why is this being filmed?', and the marketing tie-in stuff of Super Monster.

I'd like to know more about the resurgence in popularity of kaiju around '80, which was big enough to warrant attention, but not strong enough to revive the genre. They re-released some early Toho films, right?
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:04 am

It's interesting to know that Daiei had no intention of making Gamera vs. Viras until AIP approached them. It makes sense that the end credits of Gyaos play over a montage of scenes from the first three movies, similar to what Toho would eventually do for Godzilla vs. Destroyer. When Yuasa and the Daiei crew made Gyaos, they didn't think they would get to make another one after it so that ending montage really was meant as a capper on the saga of Gamera.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Rodanex » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:12 pm

Anyone else hear those weird sounds in the background of these videos?
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby DannyBeane » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:42 pm

Rodanex wrote:Anyone else hear those weird sounds in the background of these videos?

Yes, it was driving me nuts.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:39 pm

As others have said, the newer films have been covered pretty extensively via western fanzines and commentaries so I am glad August focused on the Showa era stuff for this stuff primarily.

Good, stuff though. As a pretty big Gamera fan, this type of behind the scenes coverage in English is the type of new information that I have been salivating for.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby O.Supreme » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:44 pm

Benjamin Haines wrote:It makes sense that the end credits of Gyaos play over a montage of scenes from the first three movies, similar to what Toho would eventually do for Godzilla vs. Destroyer. When Yuasa and the Daiei crew made Gyaos, they didn't think they would get to make another one after it so that ending montage really was meant as a capper on the saga of Gamera.


I always figured it was just a part of the Gamera movie seeing as how every film in the showa series makes use of stock footage from previous films (except the original and oddly enough, Zigra)
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:14 pm

O.Supreme wrote:
Benjamin Haines wrote:It makes sense that the end credits of Gyaos play over a montage of scenes from the first three movies, similar to what Toho would eventually do for Godzilla vs. Destroyer. When Yuasa and the Daiei crew made Gyaos, they didn't think they would get to make another one after it so that ending montage really was meant as a capper on the saga of Gamera.


I always figured it was just a part of the Gamera movie seeing as how every film in the showa series makes use of stock footage from previous films (except the original and oddly enough, Zigra)


Stock footage is definitely a hallmark of the Showa Gamera films. Barugon opens with a recap of the first film which segues right into Gamera's return to Earth. Guiron does it as a "get to know Gamera" segment midway through the film, while Jiger does the same thing but at the beginning.

The usage of stock footage in Gyaos always seemed peculiar to me. Once the movie is over, the end credits roll over monster action from Gamera, then Barugon, and then Gyaos, which is the movie that just finished. No other Gamera movie flashes back to itself like that.

Knowing now that Daiei didn't plan to do anything more with Gamera beyond the three movies until AIP approached them, I think it makes sense that they would put that kind of retrospective montage at the very end of Gyaos.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Specium Ray » Fri May 26, 2017 10:07 pm

Aaauuugh why didn't I save these when I had the chance!?
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Fri May 26, 2017 10:32 pm

It's all compiled here as an episode of 'Backlot' on ShoutFactoryTV!


http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/backlot/g ... 0805364a00
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Specium Ray » Sat May 27, 2017 12:49 pm

lhb412 wrote:It's all compiled here as an episode of 'Backlot' on ShoutFactoryTV!


http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/backlot/g ... 0805364a00


Thank you!
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Sat May 27, 2017 4:56 pm

I went through the same deal a couple of months ago when I realized the clips had vanished from YouTube!
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sun May 28, 2017 10:07 am

Shout! Factory confirmed back in 2015 that their home video rights to the Gamera films have lapsed, which is why all of their Gamera DVDs are out of print, including the MST3K set.

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The streaming rights to the Gamera films must have been separate from the home video rights since Shout! Factory did this whole Gamera marathon with August Ragone in October 2015. Plus, they were able to stream the Heisei trilogy even though they never had the home video rights for those films. I wonder why S!F removed the individual August host segments from their YouTube channel. I would have thought it was because their streaming rights to the Gamera films have lapsed as well and those segments are full of Gamera clips, yet they still have that compilation of all of August's videos hosted on their own website. That's odd. I do have all of the individual host videos saved as 720p MP4 files since I figured S!F would remove them eventually, so they'll never be lost to time!
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Sun May 28, 2017 7:37 pm

^Seems Mill Creek's license was similarly short: their Blu-Rays (at least for the trilogy, their first license) seems to have gone out of print, though because they flooded the market with 'em it's still easy to come by.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Alpha OTS » Sun May 28, 2017 10:07 pm

Specium Ray wrote:
lhb412 wrote:It's all compiled here as an episode of 'Backlot' on ShoutFactoryTV!


http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/backlot/g ... 0805364a00


Thank you!

That x2. I somehow missed this when it was first available and appreciate finding it now.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Specium Ray » Mon May 29, 2017 3:18 pm

When I have time, I'm going to transcribe these. There's very little info on Gamera in English, and this series is full of gems.
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby GFan » Tue May 30, 2017 9:34 am

I learned a lot from these, great stuff! That Godzilla vs. Gamera show must have been SO cool to see!
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby lhb412 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Dunno if there'd be a market for it, but I'd love for a Gamera book to compliment the half dozen decent Godzilla books published in North America in the past two decades or so.

Preferably if August did it and could format it in a similar style as his Tsuburaya book (which had so many photos it was just as much an art book).
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Re: In-depth Gamera history by August Ragone (video series)

Postby Russzilla » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:22 pm

Different monster, but I noticed that the Godzilla movies that were on Shout Factory TV are no longer available, but the Showa Gameras still are.
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