be honest with you up
front: I'm not a big fan of kaiju movies, which is what big
fans of kaiju movies call Japanese monster movies. In fact,
I'm really not much of a fan at all of them.
As I'm sure I've said before, don't get me wrong, if I'm flipping through the channels and I come across one, I'll probably watch it, but they're generally not the sort of things that I seek out. Of course, I don't generally seek much of any of these things out, I write these because I have Writer's Block. No, honestly, I do.
Anyway, to me, most Japanese monster movies are too much the same thing, time and time again. Some scientist warns about something, but some guys go ahead and do something they shouldn't, and a giant monster causes havoc. This involves scenes of a guy in a monster suit stomping around a miniature set and roaring and crushing things. Occasionally, animated atomic breath or other particle-beam weapons are brought to bear, either by the monster or by those trying to defeat it. In the end, some weird kind of technology (“I call it the Toothache Amplifier”) defeats the monster, until the sequel. That's your basic model, taken from the original “Godzilla.”
In the many cases where there are two or more monsters, usually these monsters end up fighting each other. In these cases, the roaring and stomping is interspersed with the monsters throwing each other around and stomping on each other, and more roaring while tiny humans watch with mouths agape. Finally, the good monster defeats the bad monster, and as some kind of bonus, the aliens who were controlling the bad monster are also defeated by the good monster.
Perhaps I've seen more of these things than I should have. The one I do like is “The Mysterians,” which doesn't really have a giant monster except a robot that doesn't seem to be tied to the plot at all. No one claims the poor guy, and he dies when a bridge collapses pretty early in the movie. The film has one of my favorite (dubbed) lines, when the Chief Scientist, questioning some troops about said fifty-foot robot (which burst through the side of a mountain) remarks, “I understand even a PISTOL had no effect!” Well, maybe the robot was on PCP, probably went right through him and he wouldn't even know til morning....
Ahem. Anyway, what we have here is a Gamera film. Gamera was the flying space turtle who could shoot fire from his shell (and thus fly). He was usually a good guy (in fact, I think he was always a good guy). If memory serves (and I'm sure it doesn't) Gamera films were also notorious for introducing the “Kenny,” a Japanese boy in short pants who was a friend to the big amphibian and could summon him and count on his aid (and Gamera could count on Kenny defending him and his actions to the authorities). That is yet another model of the Japanese monster movie: the one where the focus is on a child's viewpoint, and the monster is around mostly to emphasize a few things and nudge the action a bit.
Okay, maybe I haven't seen too many of these things.
Well, gosh, half a page in and we haven't even started! Let's do that, then.
Over some pretty astronomic photos, a narrator tells us, “There are 100 billion fixed stars in galactic space,” and tells us that there are lots of nebulae, too, and “each one is as big as galactic space.” We get some more astronomy facts, and he asks “What secrets are hidden in these countless stars?”
A flashing pinpoint of light is in one photo. “A star is in trouble!” the narrator tells us. And we get the titles over boiling lava. The music is very sixties, with some brass, a bass guitar and drums, electric guitar, organ, and some Theremin effects. Unlike the two “Prehistoric Planet” movies reviewed here and here, this one doesn't try to tell us that the actors are crew are, oh, I dunno, “John Dawson” and “Mary Blake” or whatever. Just regular Japanese names, except for “Chrystopher Murphy.”
And enough of that lava, I guess, for we see an observatory. “All astronomical observatories catch waves,” says the narrator. Cowabunga, dude! He goes on to point out that he means waves from space, not surfin' waves. Ooo, sorry.
And we cut to a bunch of scientists all listening to a tape of weird electronic noise. This meeting has full press coverage, with TV cameras and everything. The Chief Scientist points out that the waves have stopped, and no one knows what they are. He asks for questions, and a reporter obliges by asking, “The same electric waves were picked up in England, were they the same impulses, do you think, in your opinion?” Er, are the same waves the same waves...what are you asking?
Chief responds that those waves are different, they came from outside the galaxy (old and busted) and these waves originate much closer (new hotness).
“Could these be humans, do you suppose, now living on this planet?” asks another reporter. Um, what planet? Who mentioned a planet? Or does “this planet” mean “Earth”? If so, hey, yes, there are humans living on this planet. (Whew, an easy one!)
“It's too early to really be certain,” Chief sidesteps. “Will you start this?” he asks someone off-screen, and starts talking about how conditions on the Moon make life there impossible (“as you know it,” he cleverly adds).
Okay, who was asking about life on the Moon? Are these dubbing people just making this stuff up as they go along? I bet that's what they're doing, they're having a drunk party and making up words at random and, get this, they're laughing at us!
He points out the impossibility of life (“as you know it”) on Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. “The conclusion: no advanced vertibrates exist there.” Well, thanks for dashing everyone's dreams, Chief!
“If that's so,” says another reporter, “what is the meaning of the waves, would you say?”
Not really answering the question, Chief says that, supposing the waves came from Proxima Centauri, the Apollo spacecraft would take one million years to get there. This really causes some mild consternation among the reporters. (You might think, parenthetically, that reporters assigned to the science beat would know a few basic science facts, but there you go thinking again.)
“So, you see what it means,” Chief says. “Yes, even though we received an invitation from spacemen, unless...unless they pay us a visit, I'm afraid we'll never be able to get together.”
Well, the reporters may not know science but they know jokes, and they take this for one. They all bust up laughing.
We cut to a pic of the Chief in a newspaper, on the wall of the bedroom of a couple of little kids. “Are there men in space, truly?” asks the little Japanese girl.
“Sure there are, or otherwise those waves from space wouldn't have come,” answers the little Western boy, using the same grasp of Aristotilian logic displayed at the Chief's conference.
We're given a name for the boy, as another (off screen) child calls for “Tom” to come and look, as the unseen child sees something “funny.”
Tom and the little Japanese girl (let's call her DiDi) go out onto the porch to meet the unseen child (let's call him Dexter) who is looking at something using his telescope. It appears to be a flying saucer. Boy, I bet the Chief'll see red when he hears that these kids discovered a flying saucer with their backyard scope, and his million dollar observatory just picks up Morton Subotnick recordings!
Sure enough, the kids deduce it to be a spaceship (and they won't let DiDi look) and they say it landed just outside of town, in Grover's Mill, New Jersey! Well, technically, it's just outside the woods, but it might as well be in Grover's Mill, as we can be sure no good is going to come from this. (Hint: it's a movie called “Attack of the Monsters,” not “Swell Peace-Loving Aliens Land in Japan”)
Tom, Dexter and DiDi all decide to run out to the woods, unaware that they were soon to encounter an incredible alien civilization. If that last bit of phrasing sounded like the Lost in Space narrator, you'll love the spaceship: it looks just like the Jupiter II, with some wings and rotating antennae added. It lands (to music very Lost in Space-ish) and, uh, starts glowing. In, er, in case no one saw it land. I guess.
The three tots are quickly dressing, when either Dexter or Didi's mom (or the mom of both) calmly calls out. Dexter and Didi are calmly reminded that they're not supposed to go out after dark. Mom enters, calmly notes that the trio was supposed to be studying but she calmly suspects they were stargazing. Dexter says they saw a spaceship.
“You must have imagined it. It isn't good for children to stay up late.” Unless they're studying, I guess. Mom calmly points out that even Tom's mom (the decadent Westerner!) would agree with that.
Tom starts to chime in with the reason they study the stars, but Mom calmly knows it all, and calmly says it's because they want to discover new stars, “isn't that it?” She calmly notes that the kids would love to have stars named after them. Hmm....”Captain's log, Stardate 454454. We are orbiting the fifth planet in the Tom system, in response to--” No, that just wouldn't work, Tom.
Dexter points out to Mom about the constant barrage of noisy tapes that the space people are sending us, almost daily, and that proves there are space people, because they send us noisy tapes. “It could be they are quite intelligent, just think no more wars on their planet and no more traffic accidents,” he blurts out.
“Just some more of your imagination,” Mom calmly says, with the look and the tone of someone whom the kids should smack a good one. Man, did I really write that? Good thing no one reads these reviews. Honestly, though, the condescention in her tone and manner would be classed as child abuse in a just world. Oh, and the repeated use of “calmly” indicates this actress' entire emotional range.
Well, anyway. She tells them to behave or she'll take away the telescope. And then she leaves.
“Gee,” Dexter notes. “Grown-ups spoil a dream.”
Tom agrees. Hey, kids, not all grown-ups. Some of us know the value of a dream.
Just sayin'. (Though not the value of a star called “Tom.”)
But, back to our feature presentation. Mom locks the place up good and tight and tells the assembled tots to hie off to bed. They agree, but as she leaves again, Dexter says sotto voce to Tom, “At dawn?” and Tom agrees.
And we cut to this promised dawn, this new beginning, and some bicycle wheels in close up. And a soundtrack that sounds kind of like the Lovin' Spoonful on an off day (and no singing). Sure enough, it's Tom and Dexter off to find the spaceship. Some nice crane shots and such. As they stop in front of a house (weird grunting on the soundtrack) we can see that DiDi is along as well, on Dexter's bike.
“Is it a spaceman?” asks DiDi, re: the grunting noises.
“It's worse that a spaceman,” Dexter avers, and we cut to...some kind of dorky-looking guy, practicing sword moves. He's the one doing the grunting.
“I'll attend to it,” says Tom, and he rides past the house, shoots some kind of weapon at the guy's towell, which shoots across the yard and pins itself to the wall (what the hell are you packing, Tom?). Dorky Samurai (Dorkurai?) finishes up another round, but, comedy ahoy, he can't find his sweat towell! After a bit of bad comedy, he sees it stuck to the wall and goes to retrieve it, and Tom signals his co-conspirators that the coast is clear.
Dorkurai goes and gets his towell, and unwraps it to reveal...one of those suction-tip darts about three inches long. Mind you (and I'm sure I don't have to point this out) this very same dart not only picked up and carried a towell several feet, its sheer suction power was enough to allow it to cling to a wooden wall through a couple of layers of towell fabric.
That's not only impressive, it's pretty damned impressive.
Anyway, Dorkurai now sees the speeding kids and calls after them to stop and such, but he's a dork and such, and thus...well, I was thinking they'd ignore him, but they don't. They all wheel their bikes around so he can talk to them. (Great plan, Tom. What is it you were hoping to accomplish?) I sure hope this guy figures later in the movie as I, personally, have spent a lot of time detailing his scenes.
DiDi tells him “Good day, Condo,” and Dexter upbraids her, saying she should call him “officer.”
Dorkurai notes that his name is Condo, but he notes that two should not be riding on one bike, and speculates that this means the trio are up to mischief.
DiDi assures him that they are simply looking for a spaceship. He poo-poos this notion, but Tom and Dexter insist.
Dorkurai reacts in what I imagine is a very comical way, though I confess myself unmoved by his antics. He says that if Tom and Dexter continue their mischief, he will shave their heads.
He then sticks Tom's suction dart to Tom's head, and allows the trio to pass, but insists that they not “ride there” (you know, two on a bike and all). They reluctantly agree.
Okay, what the hell was the point of that whole sequence? If it was to showcase Dorkurai's comedy stylings, well...it didn't. If it was to show Tom's cleverness, it...didn't. If it was to eat up running time, it...did. Ah ha, methinks.
So, past that formidable obstacle, the trio continues on (two on a bike, still...sigh) and then park, and scramble up a hill. They go through some brush, and are stopped when the brush in front of them begins...wiggling. All by itself! Are there Invisible Invaders present?
No, it's a bunny. Sorry everyone! Sorry. We'll allow a short break for you to change your underwear. The management cannot accept responsibilty!
Back? Good. Well, DiDi decides she wants to catch the bunny, and Dexter and Tom continue on the original mission. Didi runs along a bit, then looks up at something unseen, calls for her brother, and says, “Rapper!”
Wow, the Japanese really are advanced. It was at least the 1990's before America put rappers in movies, and here Japan was doing it in the sixties!
Anyway, Didi's cry brings up the other two short, and they rush back to her aid. When they arrive, and ask what's the problem, she points...right at the spaceship, which is basically out in the open. (No rappers that I can see.)
Well, the other two are pretty happy to see that. They all scramble down some very...convenient steps that are right there in the hillside. They pause in front of a big mural with a painted or projected spaceship right there on it. Of course, they dare not move another inch or they'll shatter our illusions. Both of them.
Tom and Dexter want to waltz right in, but Didi is scared. One of the boys points out that “if they flew here, they're civilized,” and then says that Didi is “dumb” for being so scared and all. Now, now, boys! Let's play nicely.
Tom and Dexter go into the spaceship. “Yo, anyone there?” calls Dexter.
Didi points out that it's rather unrealistic to expect spacemen to understand English. (She doesn't watch enough movies.)
Dexter says “they'll understand.” And like Goldilocks, he and Tom find the place deserted. No porridge or beds, though. Dexter talks about how great it would be to be onboard and travelling with the crew, and he starts saying Picard-type talk (giving various orders and such), and Tom says “Okay,” and hits the button in front of him. And the hatchway door closes.
Tom, you...idiot. Dexter was only pretending! (At least, I think he was.) Didi gasps as the antennae on the top start to rotate.
Not seeming to notice what's going on, Tom says he's waiting for countdown, and Dexter starts counting down. Proving himself to be the equal of Tom, Dexter pushes another button on reaching zero, and the ship takes off.
Outside, Didi calls out to her brother and, remarkably, isn't vaporized when the ship's engines start up and it begins to rise into the air.
Let me point out that there are windows where in front of where these kids are sitting, and they're pushing buttons, and the ship is rising. I'm sure I don't need to point out further that these kids are idiots of the first order.
Anyway, the ship takes off and Dexter thinks to, you know, look up at the window right in front of him, and he notes that the ship is moving. So he starts pushing more buttons. Good move, Dexter. Back on the ground, Didi shouts that Dexter should “get out of there” or else he'll get “a scolding.” But no matter, the ship hoves through the atmosphere. Didi notes that the scolding will be a “good” one, and that Dexter shouldn't count on getting any dinner.
Onboard, Dexter accuses Tom of operating the controls, and Tom admits this but points out, “Don't forget, you ordered me to!” Once in space, they note the lack of weightlessness, but Dexter excuses this by saying, “This ship is out of the ordinary, isn't it?” Tom agrees that this is so. That must explain it.
But then there's the inevitable meteor storm. These are slow moving ones, they almost look like bugs or something. But as in all space movies, meteors are attracted to spaceships and these decide to pile on. The kids are surely doomed! Only a flying reptile could possibly save them! But what are the odds on something like that happening?
Well, as it turns out, quite good, as Gamera shows up. The kids note him the same way the might note the appearance of a television personality, which, come to think of it, Gamera pretty much is, isn't he? He just needs his own talk show to be complete.
Anyway, Gamera smashes the meteors (with his head) and the kids shout out their thanks, noting that Gamera has always been “the children's friend.” I think I hear his theme song on the soundtrack as well. Gamera decides to race the spaceship to whatever destination it has chosen, and the kids look upon all this as a fun lark.
Well maybe, Dexter, but remember you're going to be punished by your parents, not to mention whatever aliens you stranded on Earth when you stole their saucer. Unless it was unmanned, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Yet. There'll be plenty of time for bad guesses later.
There's a not-bad process shot of the saucer with the kids framed in the window. But I have to say, Gamera himself looks a bit silly with jets of flame shooting out where his hind legs should be. I'm sure he's multi-functional and all, it still looks a bit ridiculous.
Suddenly, Gamera does a 180 and heads right back for the ship. He, er, apparently catches it in his mouth (but his mouth can still move) and the kids theorize that Gamera's trying to stop their journey. Of course, these kids are stupid. But the ship executes some maneauver on its own and bypasses Gamera's wily trap. The kids point to the “speedometer,” note that the lights are moving faster, and conclude that they themselves are moving faster as well.
Gamera falls behind, then starts spouting flame from all four limb-holes in his shell and begins spinning. This is apparently how he “parks” himself. Uh...okay.
The kids shout at him some more, asking, “Can't you hear us?” ignorning the fact that they're in a sealed ship in the vacuum of space so, no, Gamera can't hear them. I told you, they're stupid.
Back on Earth, Didi runs back to Mom and spills what's what, but Mom tells her that she is “just as silly as they are.” There are a couple of go-rounds of the same information and the same denial, whereupon Didi bursts out: “Don't you believe in spaceships, or in-space creatures at all?”
“No, I don't.”
Didi persists, noting that people in the newspapers believe in them, and Mom starts to lose her patience. (She's busy sweeping, after all.) “Now I want you to be good and study, or you won't get into a good school.” (The shame here is that since Mom is wrong about “in-space creatures,” many children probably assumed she was wrong about the studying part as well. The tragedy of a generation has its roots deeply planted!)
The music turns wistful as Didi goes to the porch outside her room. “I'm in trouble,” she says, “how can I make her understand?” and I swear, the music is just the sort of thing you hear before someone bursts into song. But instead, wondering where the boys might be now, she dashes to the telescope.
And we cut to some very futuristic miniatures, I mean, buildings, right on the surface of some planet that has too much of an atmosphere to be the Moon. (I hope this isn't the view that Didi is seeing through the little telescope; if it is, the folks at Mount Palomar, et al should be able to read the alien's credit card numbers and thus fund lots of space-type things.)
Anyway. Futuristic buildings, in a windswept, desolate, rocky landscape with a blue sky. And we finally pan over to the spaceship the boys stole, lying a bit akimbo. Inside...well, the boys are unconscious, but Dexter has his hand right on Tom's thigh. Eurgh. The boys awaken, and Dexter notes that “the hatch has cleared,” but fortunately “the air here is like ours, so we don't need any spacesuits.” Good thing, eh? Well, had the kids perished in a noxious atmosphere, sure, it'd be sad, but we'd be done with the movie. So, every cloud and all.
They dash out of the spaceship onto a rear-projected landscape. They discuss where they might be, dismissing Venus and Mars because “they don't have any air,” and thus coming to the conclusion that they've landed “on a distant star.” They note their luck that the air is breathable, and also note that because they were brought here by “remote control” (actually, it was you two idiots fooling with regular controls) that they should be careful. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it.
Just then, something vaguely in the background blows up, and they scurry for cover, just as...one of the other Toho monsters flies overhead. I'm sure I've seen him before, but I don't remember his name. He looks like a pterydactyl. Say, I wonder if Complains, Resigned and the Leader will be by! They can save the boys!
Hey, one of the kids names the creature as “Guirus.” But the other one objects that Guirus is a “different color.” “An outer-galaxy Guirus,” offers the first. I'm sure these two cleaned up all the prizes when they were members of the Debate Club.
Well, Guirus lands, waves his arm-wings around a bit, then shoots a laser from his mouth and makes some sparks appear. Those monsters, huh? Always blasting something.
The kids wonder how to escape from this creature that, so far as we know, hasn't even seen them. They note a nearby stream (which magically reverses when the footage runs out). The kids note this, but then we're all shown how silly we were to think this was just badly used footage, when the water leaves completely and the river bed opens up! Out of this opening lumbers another monster, who has a knife-blade for a head.
Guirus roars at this new poacher on his domain. The new monster roars back. Repeat.
Finally, Guirus shoots a beam at the new guy, who turns a bit and the beam is reflected back at Guirus, who (in a rather gory moment) looses his leg to his own beam. How ironic, etc. Guirus hops away, defeated. Knife-head then seems to note the two boys, who turn and run into a transparent triangular structure right behind them, as if they couldn't see it there (see earlier, how stupid they are), which kind of transports them to a similar pyramid right in front of Knife-head. Oops!
“Hurry, the Opposite Switch!” yells Dexter, and Tom oblidges.
Wow. What wouldn't I give to have my own Opposite Switch! Can you imagine? I'd spend $5000 on something, then hit the Opposite Switch, and get all that money back (and probably get to keep whatever I spent it on).
The boys appear in a pyramid next to an open door. They watch as Knife-head goes back into the river-bed. Since they point out that the water returns too, I will as well.
The boys go inside the doorway. Some kind of weird noises appear, the boys call out in response, but reason that language differences keep the unseen people from appearing. So Tom steps on a moving sidewalk and shoots further inside the structure. “[Dexter, Dexter], this is scary,” he notes.
Dexter tells him to jump off, which he does, and the platform stops. They decide to get back on. A camera observes them as they move through the hall.
On a screen, we see the camera view, and then we see some people with antennae and eyes that are lit up One of them grabs a gun, the other seems to object to this, but since they both speak in highly sped-up dialogue (like the Chipmunks) we only get the bare gist of the argument. I imagine it is something like, “Hey, let's shoot the intruders!” “No, let's not.”
Elsewhere, the boys come to the end of their journey, inside some kind of huge control center with transparent globes and cables snaking everywhere. In another pyramid thing, two Space Babes appear. They have the antenna of those previously glimpsed aliens, and also little capes. They go to some control console, completely ignoring the two boys. They try to make contact, but the Babes continue to work their controls, until finally a screen comes to life.
“Greetings, we waited for you,” says a female voice over a loudspeaker.
Well, the boys are glad to have someone to talk to. In response to the boys' queries, one Babe notes that the planet they're on is called “Terra” (hey, that's our planet!) and it has the same atmosphere as Earth. Well, we knew that already, but thanks for confirming our theories.
“Our star is situated exactly on the other side of the Sun from your Earth,” she goes on, illustrating that whoever dubs these things has no idea what a “star” is.
Dexter shows his knowledge of our Solar System by naming the planets in order: the Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Pluto and Neptune. Oh, [sic], I should add.
Remember what I said about them being stupid kids? Of course, all the time he's naming planets, Babe nods over and over like, “Uh huh, yup, uh huh, yes, that's right, good, uh huh, good.”
But Guiros (not the same one, apparently) interrupts this Festival of Stupidity (the first Interplanetary one, I guess) by roaring, and a Babe orders that “the pit” be opened. The two Babes tell their names to the boys, which mean things like “Sweet as a flower” and “Pretty as a picture” or “Cool like Elvis” or something. It's irrelevant, though.
Sure enough, the water parts to let out Knife-head.
Dexter goes into this sycophantic rant about how he searched the heavens for a planet which had no wars or accidents, and here it is. Then he asks why they have a monster (Quiron, I think the Babes named him) when they're “so advanced and all.”
Babe goes into an explanation about how their electronic coolness allowed them to control everything, like the weather and rivers and such, but a “mixed up computer” made it possible to create uncontrollable monsters as well. (They probably installed XP Service Pack 2.) Well, you can't make an omelet and all that, although they assure all of us that they can control Quiron.
Remember those radio signals everyone was all excited about at the beginning of the film? Well, I know you won't believe this—I have trouble believing it myself!--but the aliens on Terra sent those signals. Since no one answered, everyone but the Space Babes got on a big ship to escape, “but it fell.” Huh? “Fell”...in love?
So, now it's only the Space Babes left on their planet, and they sent out the saucer, unmanned, to see if there was anyone who could help them with their giant monster problem. That's how the boys got here. Okay, I have to ask why they didn't put themselves on that very same ship and arrive at a nice pleasant Earth? Because I bet they've got something evil up their collective sleeves, that's why. I'm just sure of it.
Space Babe points out to the two boys how they're all gonna be engulfed by glaciers in just five hours. She then mouths something surreptitious to the other Babe, who goes and throws a few switches. Ha ha, remember how I said? You know that's not a good sign.
Babe shows some footage of Guiros flying over an area, and notes that it was once a great city, but it's now the home of monsters. Dexter says Gosh too bad, and says that if they all went to Earth, the Space Babes would be welcomed there. Space Babe says thanks, they're having the saucer checked right now. Then, right in front of Tom and Dexter, Babe tugs on other Babe's shoulder and they start whispering to each other. Fortunately for them, Tom and Dexter are too engrossed in Giant Monster Action to pay attention. Oh, and “study hard so you'll get into a good school” is bad advice. I see, I see, I get the picture.
The boys, meanwhile, note the Giant Monster Action (of which there is none, other than Guiros flying a bit) and tell each other not to worry, as Gamera is probably looking for them.
Space Babe gets a worried look. “Gamera?” she says, and we fade to space and Gamera's theme song. And yeah, there's the big guy himself cruising around, keeping an open eye. And he spots the flashing star from the pre-credit sequence. Rear-limbs jetting, he heads off in that direction.
Back on Terra, a Space Babe is watching a screen which shows the other Space Babe escorting the two boys to the lounge, where they can rest until the saucer is repaired. I should note that the transporter scenes are pretty well done; the pyramid fills with an animated fire-type thing, which then fades to the floor. Not bad at all.
Space Babe transports back from the lounge to where Space Babe is. We get a bit of a-break-in-the-film-type confusion, as arriving Space Babe says that (I'm going to guess) the spaceship only holds two, so what are they going to do? The watching Space Babe says she realizes that, but “there's time to make adjustments.” She's going to run tests to see if the boys are “poisonous.” If they aren't, “the boys will become our rations.” Well, exclamation point!
Cut to the boys in the lounge, wondering if they'll ever get home. Dexter says that the Space Babes promised, so no worries.
“Yeah, and just think how excited they'll get on Earth--how groovy the girls are. They'll be a big hit down there!” Yeah, well, leave it to Japan to discover a new kind of porn....
Tom goes up to share his porn ideas with Dexter, but Dexter is in some kind of trance. “That's strange,” notes Tom. And we see Dexter's face on a huge monitor, being looked at by a Space Babe. She's interrogating him telepathically! Oh, will these fiends stop at nothing!
She asks him what he most wants right now, admonishes him to concentrate, and he thinks of an image of a padded bra. Honestly, that's what it looks like. Oh, wait, it's...something else, something to eat, I guess. English muffins on a double plate, whatever. She continues to feed cards into the computer, then asks if Dexter will answer questions until “the food” is ready. Dexter agrees, and she asks him if he is in pain. “No, it feels nice.”
...you know, this is supposed to be some simple monster movie, what is up with all this...stuff! I know Japan has this reputation and all, but this movie was made in the 60's or something, was it always like this in the Land of the Rising Sun?
Well, we cut to Tom shaking Dexter, trying to get him out of his trance. In the uncut version, I'm sure Dexter slaps Tom and says, “Fool, I wasn't finished yet!” Here, though, Tom makes little headway. The Space Babe notes that Tom is a “nuisance” (don't forget “stupid”) and freezes the frame. I guess this freezes Tom as well, since Space Babe continues her questioning.
“Are there many monsters on Earth?”
“Not now, Gamera got them all.”
“Gamera, is that a creature? This creature's looking for you, you said?”
“Gamera is the friend of children,” Dexter says.
“The friend of children?” asks Space Babe, who is starting to give the boys a run in the Stupid contest. We see some blue-tinted footage of a kid on a balcony, with Gamera right next.
“Yes,” Dexter confirms, “he appears when we need him. He saved a child in Hokaido once.” We see Gamera knock over a lighthouse, and the kid dangles from the destroyed lighthouse balcony railing; Gamera grabs him and moves him to safety. Of course, whether the kid would have been in danger without Gamera is a question kaiju fans don't want asked. [Note: this footage is from “Gamera the Invincible”, the first Gamera film.]
Then, Guiros pokes his head out of somewhere (this appears to be in the same tinted flashback, though it is now tinted brown). Dexter notes that Gamera “knocked Guiros out when Guiros tried to eat the child.” We get some more gory footage of Guiros beaming Gamera in the leg, which bleeds profusely. But since Gamera is obviously okay now, let's not see any tears for this flashback. You there! Straighten up! Stop shedding those tears! Now!
Sure enough, Gamera saves the child and...well, I guess we're supposed to assume he beat the Dickens out of Guiros. Because we next flash to Gamera defeating the force field from that other movie, where he beat up the giant squid creature. [“Destroy All Planets.”] We don't see any squid creature but I remember seeing that one, honestly, and he did. But he also found a way around the force field, which is what we get here.
Well, apparently, these flashbacks were either all the evidence the Space Babes need, or their emotional charge was too much for Dexter and Tom, because we cut to them being released from their immobility spell. They speak a bit about how Tom was SURE that Dexter stopped moving, and Dexter was SURE he ate a lot of “mother's donuts.” (That is what I erroneously reported as a “padded bra” and “English muffins” earlier. What? “Mother's donuts” might be some other euphemism? Oh goodness I sure as HELL hope not. Japan, you need to stop doing that!)
“Your mother sure makes donuts real great,” says Tom, and I...I really am starting to feel a party to something that I oughtn't be. “I'm starving, just the thought of it!”
“I'm not hungry, just thirsty,” notes Dexter, and we cut to a Space Babe riding an elevator into the main control room. She notes to the other Space Babe that the ship is ready for take off, and other Space Babe basically says, this is cool, so now we can eat the two boy's brains. Yes, you read that right.
Space Babe notes that this is the way to assimilate knowledge “that has been handed down, and is stored in their complicated brain cells. And so, if we eat their brains, that knowledge will help us to adapt. We can accomplish it, just as our bacteria do here. Become higher animals!” Er, what? What is that you're talking about?
“I understand!” says other Space Babe, which, I admit, puts you one ahead of me, Space Babe. I mean, I understand eating brains to prove one's evil intentions (or to soothe certain pains) but to put a detailed purpose behind it seems rather baroque. Besides, how can you become smarter by eating either of these kids' brains? It would make you more stupid.
Well, at this point, naturally, we cut to some blonde chick in a big white car, coming to a stop, and saying, “Hello dear. I just came for my son.”
Well, Mom pops out, calls “Elsa!” and...well, leaves us to think that this is Tom's mom, and to wonder who “Elsa” was calling “Dear” a moment ago. Oh, the perils of dubbing!
Anyway, while Elsa and Mom talk about how Tom's not there, Didi pops up in the background. While Elsa wonders if questioning Didi will yield anything concrete, Mom assures her that Didi has probably been instructed not to reveal anything relevant, because it's Boy's Secret Stuff and you might get a novel out of it the way Sam Clemens did. Mom does note that, according to Didi, the two boys are purported to be “in space.” While the ladies chuckle over that, Mom posits that Tom ran away, because he doesn't want to leave Japan just yet (I'm sure he's found the Fetish section in the downtown bookstore) and she assures Elsa that Tom can stay a few more days. Elsa notes that this is very kind of Mom. Mom asks if Elsa can stay for tea, but Elsa's burning the midnight oil and says she's gotta be movin' on. (One thus wonders a) if Elsa would really have been that thrilled to have Tom plopped into the car, and then, b) what the heck level of concern would really rock these moms into a higher level of activity on behalf of their offspring.)
Well, her scene duly done and paid for, Elsa drives off (there's a highball with her name on it!). But it turns out that Didi has stowed away in Elsa's car! Now, you may ask yourself, where does that highway go to? And you may ask yourself, how could these women have not noticed a little girl getting into a car that is right front and center where they are standing? I'd answer that these women seem to be able to not notice children so well, it's almost a Mutant Power.
Anyway, believe it or not, Didi tells Elsa about Dexter and Tom's space adventure, and she (Elsa) wants to go and see! Now, Elsa, you're not going to get into a good school with an attitude like that! But she and Didi go and get that guard guy, (Dorkurai) from several million years ago in the film, and hornswaggle him into accompanying them into the valley of peril! When they get to the parking spot, he leaps out of the car and identifies the two bikes there as those belonging to the boys.
We then get a weird shot (yes, in a Japanese movie of all things) of Didi running around a big flat area, tracing a line in the dirt, as Elsa and Dorkurai watch on helplessly and completely bewildered. (Like me, I'll admit).
“Here!” shouts Didi. “This is where the spaceship was!”
Elsa and Dorkurai shrug at each other, then they walk down those very precise steps that someone cut into the dirt. Didi, she says, “the other day there was an announcement by the aerospace bereau, and I'm going to repeat exactly what they said. The flying saucer scare, was simply an illusion or made-up story.”
Well, Didi protests this voice of officialdom (which after all, wants her to do nothing but study), and Elsa says that “the Apollo crew said that there are no living things out there at all. That our Earth is the only oasis there is. There are no living things elsewhere.” And, to her credit, Didi looks like someone has told her there is no Santa Claus.
Didi appeals to Dorkurai for help, and he says that she never lies, and that she's a little lady, and he believes her, but he...he's Dorkurai. At best, Elsa will ignore him, tell him he is feeding the child irrational thoughts, at worst she will humiliate him utterly. On the other hand, this is Japan, I may have those reversed.
Well, it doesn't matter as Didi is truly, deeply happy now. She suggests the Observatory for gathering evidence, and Dorkurai is all over that. Didi runs off, and Elsa is like, I need a drink you fool but Dorkurai is on his mission. Elsa insists that Dorkurai is a fool, that the boys are around somewhere, and he should find them now-like, “because psychologists insist, that if you believe everything a child says, it's educationally and psychologically wrong.” What the hell?
“It's easy to say,” Dorkurai objects, and points out that Didi “doesn't lie.”
“You mustn't listen,” Elsa insists, thinking about that highball. Didi calls to Dexter and Tom that Dorkurai is going to find them, “so don't give up!”
Well, Elsa and Dorkurai look a bit abashed at this out-of-the-mouth-of-babes (not Space Babes, note) stuff.
“Please, dear God, look after the boys and save them,” Didi says.
Speaking of the boys, well, here we are back on the space ship, and Dexter and Tom are being presented with some kind of food (it's too quick a shot to evaluate it—sandwiches of some kind). “Well, isn't this appealing, yes, you are hungry aren't you,” says Space Babe.
Apparently, these are more of “Mom's donuts” (don't ask) and the boys remark about how great they are. Space Babe insists they eat, and then leaves. Dexter has a suspicion, though, and says he thought he heard Gamera coming.
Well, we cut to the depths of space, and yes, Gamera is duly approaching the blinking star, but either Dexter has the world's greatest hearing, or he's really good at wishful thinking. Either way doesn't look very accurate for him, and Tom chimes in that he didn't hear anything at all.
Dexter says he must have imagined it, and the two boys sit down to eat Mom's donuts.
...you know, I'm sure Japan is a great place to visit, and all, but...I'm a bit scared.
The boys share the meal, and Gamera approaches more. Suddenly, the boys fall asleep, and the Space Babes appear in the transporter. We pan to a corner of the room where nothing is happening, and hear the Babes in voiceover say, “The sleeping powder took effect. Go on, hurry!” “Right.” In this same corner, we hear some weird noises, then we cut to Dexter...uh...falling INTO a Space Babe chamber. I'm sure the footage is just reversed, but then, this ship is completely out of the ordinary, right? The chamber in question, by the way, is a smallish pod that has a hole in the lid for the top of Dexter's head to poke out of.
In rather graphic close-up, Space Babe starts shaving Dexter's head. (Notice how I didn't say anything about fetishes just then? Oh...damn. Sorry.) Anyway, while Tom lolls around unconscious, Dexter now has the Look of the Hood. But just before Space Babe can start drilling, an alarm goes off. I'm going to bet it's the Gamera Alarm. Who's with me on this one? Hello? Anyone?
Well, at the sound of the alarm, the two Space Babes crowd tightly together in the transporter pyramid, which soon fills with a soothing orange light...er, I mean, transporter energy. And they re-emerged in the control room, where they open the window to see Gamera descend upon their land of happiness and brain-eating. They decide that Quiron is the ideal mate, er, creature to deal with Gamera. Then they break out the massage oils.
...just kidding. Although, I'd swear that one Space Babe says “I'll try the nipple first!” Well, you go girl! And all that.
Oh, oh, sorry, she said “missle” and not “nipple!” Gosh, am I...well, not really embarassed at all, to be honest. We see some footage of this nipple...I mean, missle, emerging from its launching pad, and then...opening its jaws like...uh. Never mind.
Well, those open jaws turned out to have another missle inside them! Which blew up some rocks on the landscape--hey, way to go, Space Babes! Gamera probably wanted those rocks. But then, we see the four tell-tale jets of flame that mean Gamera in rotate-mode, so maybe those Space Babes aimed better than I gave them credit for. Go, Space Babes!
“It didn't do any good,” notes Space Babe. “Let Quiron out!”
And we cut to footage of Gamera landing, and Quiron suddenly kind of there already, and whacking on Gamera with his blade-head. Every time he whacks Gamera's shell, Gamera's head pops out, so it almost looks like an arcade game (Gamera even almost “dings” when it happens).
But then Quiron hits paydirt, his whacking on Gamera's shell draws blood (great gouts of it). And then Gamera reaches out and grabs Quiron's wrist, and bites it, and...
Well, here we go. Quiron twirls Gamera around, like he's gonna toss him, but Gamera's tail hooks into something, and Quiron himself goes off into some (offscreen) trouble. We cut to see that his blade has cut some mountain up bad, and Gamera uses his flame breath to cook up some Quiron steaks for that dinner he has planned later. Of course, this doesn't bother Quiron, he just blinks a lot (we get the close up eye footage for proof), and we see that he has Japanese throwing stars above his eye sockets. Well...who would have thought that? No, no, just shush up you Japanese fetish fans, we don't want to know what you thought!
Sure enough, those throwing stars shoot off Quiron's head and embed themselves below Gamera's eyes; the wounds shoot out more blood, but Gamera's sight remains undimmed, and the throwing stars politely return to Quiron's head. Still, Gamera dances around like Ooo, that smarts, and Quiron...he, uh, rests and, uh, collects his strength.
Gamera grabs some snow and uses it to soothe his wounded face. Quiron takes the opportunity to launch more throwing stars, but Gamera uses a chunk of ice to shoot them back at Quiron, and they imbed themselves in his shoulders. He doesn't like this much, and moves away from the combat area. Gamera trundles toward one of the alien domes. Somehow, he falls backwards into a lake, where he settles on the bottom, with his back to the lake bed. (I'm not making any of this up.) So, he kind of went from “Winner” up there to “Loser” in mere seconds. Is that a Guiness record?
The Space Babes watch this on screen, and say “He's dead. Serves him right!” and then they laugh evilly.
So, we cut to Tom sloughing off the effects of Mom's Donuts, and then going to his shaven-head pal Dexter and trying to rouse him. And not having a lot of success. So, he calls out, “Oh lady!” and dashes into a transporter pyramid and sends himself to the main control room.
Not yet noticed, the first thing Tom overhears is, “We must cook them, or--” “Wait a minute, there's no response. That's strange.”
At this point, hiding appears to Tom as a good idea. Astonishingly, he actually follows this good idea, instead of doing the first idiot thing that's bright and shiny. So he ducks marginally out of sight.
“Gamera must have put it out of order,” a Space Babe says.
“It's the only one left. If it's no good, then--”
“You're right. Well eat their brains after we've fixed the ship. Let's attend to it.” And they run off. Good thing aliens have no idea how we humans can assimilate exposition, eh Tom? Tom?
Oh...Tom? Wow, are we doomed.
Tom takes the opportunity to transport back to Dexter, telling him at first that “It's awful,” and then trying to wake his friend. You got the process backwards, Tom. Rubbing Dexter's head doesn't seem to stir him, so Tom smacks him a good one right on the forehead.
Dexter wakens, opens the little pod bay door, Hal, notes that his head hurts and then discovers he has a severe buzz-cut.
Tom tells him he has no time to worry about that, he has discovered that the Space Babes are cannibals and they want to consume everyone on Earth. “Let's run!” he suggests.
“But my head--!” Dexter objects, rubbing his Curly 'do.
Tom thoughtfully gives Dexter his baseball cap, and this makes everything all right. The boys run off. They transport back to the main lounge, then jump on the moving platform and scoot toward the surface. You'd think the aliens would have fitted the place with transporter pyramids and a track would be unnecessary, but perhaps they were aware they needed to provide some visual coolness other than their Babalicious selves.
Speaking of the Babes, they're all fixing some electronic stuff in the main control room. Luckily for them, but not so luckily for the boys, it turns out they have a TV camera aimed right at the entrance to the space base, and Dexter yells out, “Tom, wait up!” just as they emerge. The Babes realize they've been caught with their plans drawn, but they determine to put a stop to the boys' shenanigans.
The boys jump into the nearest transporter pyramid and flash out of there, just as the Babes show up. Proving that stupidity is infectious, the Babes look gawkingly over the landscape, never even considering the transporter. Until they see another one flash in the distance, then they hit the “Opposite Switch” and the boys are back in their clutches! But the Space Babes forget that the transporter has a back door, and the boys scoot out as fast as they can. Rather than go around, the Space Babes go through the pyramid after them (trust me, it would have been faster to go around), but that wiley Dexter hits the Opposite Switch again, and the Babes vanish!
The boys point to some distance flashing thing and state that this proves the “cannibals are gone.” They determine to smash the controls on the pyramid, so the Babes can't use that to return. Large rocks are just the tools in order. However, the Babes show up anyway, informing the kids that yes, the kids broke the control, but the Babes set the system for “a round trip.” Boy this sure eats up running time.
Anyway, the kids are captured again. The Babes put them in a space cage and return to their repair work.
Back on Earth, Elsa, Mom and Didi are worried. A whole bunch of reporters show up, wanting to question Didi about the spaceship that “was seen in these parts.” Suddenly Mom and Elsa are like, wow, guess we should have believed Didi. The power of the press! The press tells the moms some stuff we already know about, and then they just swarm around Didi, peppering her with questions. Mom and Elsa look worried as the Dickens.
Back on the ship, Tom and Dexter agree that excaping from the space cage is probably a good idea. They decided calling Gamera will do the trick. So they start yelling their heads off, and back on the lake bottom, Gamera starts stirring like a parent who had a good Friday night and is being awakened by cartoon noises.
In the cage, Dexter suggests that Tom use his dart pistol (surely you remember that) to hit a switch. Guys, with your luck with switches, that's probably the death gas release. Tom dutifully aims, and hits a switch...and releases Quiron.
He shoots another dart, and Quiron's rock hatchway closes. The boys seem to think this is some kind of triumph for them. Oooookay.
In the engine room, the Space Babes have just finished the repairs, when they notice the growling noises coming from outside. Quiron is approaching the ship, they note that they cannot control him from where they are. “Let's escape to Earth!” is the plan they decide on. “What about the two boys?” one asks, and the other says to “leave them, plenty more on Earth.” The ship starts glowing, and takes off, and seems on the verge of escaping--
--when Quiron hunches down, and leaps intoo the air, right at the saucer, striking it dead center and shearing it in two! Now, that was a damn fine spectacle, and my applause here is genuine. Hear, hear! Bravo!
Inside, the hapless Babes tumble around a lot, and their chairs fall on them. “We'll never be able to get to Earth,” one notes sadly. Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the earth you are no doubt rushing toward, but then I'm not a Space Babe. Or am I?
Anyway, the ship apparently crashes relatively gently. Inside, while one Babe bemoans how the whole Earth trip is off, the other moans because her chair is still on her. She pleads for help, but the one Babe pulls a gun on her. “You know the rules of our planet, those who are useless have to go, it's the only solution!” And she phasers the other one out of existence. Wow, that's harsh.
Back on the planet, the boys note that Quiron is getting closer to the prison building, and speculate that this is probably bad all around for them. Quiron begins whacking the domes with his knife-head. The boys call out for someone to help them. Just then, a screen lights up and shows Gamera lying on the lake bottom, looking, well, pretty damn dead. The boys call out to him anyway, making encouraging remarks and generally stirring him to action. All the while, the walls are crumbling pretty badly.
The boys continue yelling at Gamera. For some time. Rather a long time. (Gamera, this illustrates the advantage of Caller ID.) At one point, giant rocks fall on the boys, and part of the prison complex explodes. Quiron takes this as a sign of a job well done, and moves off to the side. The conical prison cell the boys are in starts tumbling over.
Quiron moves over to the lake, and starts whacking on the mountains surrounding the shore. He makes a big boulder fall off, right on Gamera's head! Now Quiron, that is just being mean, and you need to stop that.
Though--his action does more than all the boy's yelling to rouse Gamera. He flips over onto his stomach and generally looks fairly peeved. He launches himself out of the lake and shoots through the air, looking for a fight with Quiron. The boys crawl out of the rubble and note Gamera's presence. This cheers them.
On the land, Quiron is all bring-it-on-turtle-boy and Gamera is you-are-hell-of-in-trouble-knife-head. It's time for the Kaiju Big Battle.
Gamera's crafty plan is to land right in front of Quiron, so Quiron can slam his knife-blade right into Gamera's back. I mean, I assume it has to be a crafty plan, otherwise it's damned stupid and foolhardy. The boys cheer him on anyway. Gamera flames Quiron, then jumps up in the air and tries to crush Quiron using his butt. Several times. Quiron kicks him away, though. Gamera flies off and grabs a pole at the top of two buildings, and swings around it like a gymnast. First one way, then the other. I'm uh sure this is more of the Crafty Plan. (“I'll show him my smooth dance moves and he'll have to acknowledge my mastery!”)
In fact, he flies off the bar and lands on his feet, and thrusts his hands into the air, roaring. I'd swear he's saying, “I'm great!” or “Top that, Ginsu!” Quiron, who moments before had no throwing stars, suddenly has them now, and throws them at Gamera. They hit the big guy in a couple of places, and Gamera reacts in pain. It kind of looks like he's dancing, and Tom says, “A go-go dancer! Gamera is doing a dance!”
“No he's not doing a dance, he's trying to get those metal things out,” corrects Dexter. He points out that Gamera can't contract his legs with the stars embedded in them. I point out that these kids are stupid.
Quiron charges at Gamera, who leaps over him and back into the lake. Noting that Quiron is now heading for them, the boys decide to throw every switch they can find on Quiron's remote control panel.
Sure enough, Quiron's hatch open, and he falls backwards into it, looking pretty much like he's dead. And the hatch closes.
...and that's it? That's the end of Quiron? Some random button pushing? Gamera, you may be a friend to children (and you may have smooth dance moves) but you are otherwise useless.
The boys decide what they need is a weapon, so they start poking through the rubble. A weaon against what? Stupidity? Too bad, you both already succumbed.
And we cut to Space Babe, walking along the landscape. “I don't understand...Gamera isn't dead,” she says, before proceding on the treadway. I don't understand how you're not dead, lady. Anyway, she gets to the main lobby, but everything is dead and the place is dark. Throwing a bunch of switches doesn't help. (Does it ever?) She then says that something “is a last resort...but I'll get him!” Here's my guess: self-destruct. Hard to do that with no power, but you know, those aliens have things that are completely out of the ordinary from what we've got.
Back on the lake bed, Gamera is trying to get the throwing stars out of his limbs. He acts like this is a pretty painful thing. But he finally gets them out.
Back with the boys, the base starts shaking again, and guess who's back? Hint: he has a big, big knife. Yep, turns out old Quiron is not dead after all, and he just rips up his whole underground lair. Now Quiron, you're going to have to clean up after yourself when you're done with all your mayhem!
The boys open another viewscreen, and they see...something rising out of the ground. It looks like a big missle. It's hard to see because this film is crap, I mean, cropped at the side where the thing is emerging. Probably hearing me, the telecine operator duly adjusts the picture, and we see that it is a cone, which then opens up, like a giant alligator clip, like that previous one the Babes used. “I wonder if it could be the weapon I wanted,” says one of the boys. Deciding that it's a missle, the boys look for the launch switch. Good thing for them that it is a missle, and not, say, a giant alligator clip (remember, completely out of the ordinary).
Meanwhile, Quiron is lumbering along. He hears Gamera squealing under the lake, and he dives in to deliver some more whomping. Actually, he kind of sinks, with style. He heads right for Gamera and strikes him on the shell, then when Gamera turns in the water, he strikes the shell again. Not exactly a vulnerable spot, but you get your shots where you get 'em, I guess.
Speaking of which, after the second strike, Gamera grabs Quiron's feet and starts his jets, shoving Quiron through the water ahead of him like a water-ski. He shoots out of the lake and goes way into the air, then comes straight down. He imbeds Quiron's head right into the ground, just like in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon.
The boys then launch the missle, which shoots across the landscape (narrowly missing Quiron) and blasts another building...which Space Babe just happened to be in! Talk about your luck. Space Babe buys it. Just like on that old show, The Invaders, Space Babe glows red, then vanishes.
Gamera is shown holding another missle (like a cigar), so I guess the boys launched two and budget cuts nixed that exciting scene. Quiron launches more stars, but Gamera just turns aside and they...miss. Good thinking! He then throws the missle so that it lodges in the hole in Quiron's blade which holds the stars. Quiron's expression is priceless. Oh...crap seems pretty accurate.
Gamera then flames Quiron (using flame, not e-mail) and the missle explodes. There's a shot of what I think is Quiron's lower torso hurling into the air, then the head falls and grumbles a lot. (The hole where the missle was is just burnt a lot—what a weird blast radius that missle had. But remember, completely out of the ordinary.) Then his eyes close, and everyone yells in triumph, and Gamera does his “Yes!” thing with his arms. He then takes the two halves of the spaceship and welds them together with his flame-breath. The boys climb onto Gamera's hand (the boys note how big it is for the visually impared who can't, you know, actually see this. Boy must this movie suck for them), and he brings them to the ship, and they clamber aboard.
Now, I don't want you to get the impressing that Gamera's repair skills made the ship operational; no, he just carries it in his mouth as he jets away from the planet. The boys celebrate their good fortune, and the Gamera theme plays, and so on and so on. Rather a lot of so on, in fact.
Back on Earth, Didi spots the returners with her telescope, and runs off to organize the welcoming committee. Dorkurai calls the scientist guy from way at he beginning of this whole thing to report a Gamera sighting. “I don't believe it. It's utterly ridiculous!” the Science Guy says in disgust, and hangs up the phone. But just then, an assistant confirms Gamera, and Science Guy I bet is all humbled by this, and he probably commits ritual suicide.
At the landing site, there are tons and tons of people there, including Didi, Mom and Elsa and the reporters and some other people we've never seen before.
The reporters basically laugh and say, I hope you're not lying little girl. She takes this rather badly, but Dorkurai reminds them all that Gamera is a friend to children. They all agree that this is so.
The scientists show up, can we get this party started now? It's getting late!
The Science Guy runs up to Elsa and Mom. “Are you their mothers?”
“Yes,” says Elsa.
“And I also,” Mom adds, clarifying everything.
He says “I am very surprised,” and notes the bit about Gamera heading Earthward with a spaceship in his mouth. And he was singing, “Oh, I'm Gam'ra heading Earthward with a spaceship in my mouth,” to the tune of Oh, Susanna. Oh, no, he wasn't, I made that up. Yes, I did. I...was mesmerized.
“Look, there's Gamera!” Didi shouts, and everyone acts stunned when they look up, because after all who could possibly notice a giant turtle flying through the air? Didi runs to meet the ship as Gamera lands, making the second time she's been in a hazadous place.
“We should have believed her,” Mom says. “There are times, I guess, when our children are telling the truth.” Sheesh, don't go overboard on the praise, there, Mom. As an aside, what kind of a lesson are kids supposed to take from this?
Didi and Tom and Dexter have a nice little reunion. Dorkurai's glasses slip over his nose, which he says happens when he gets excited. Then the three kids wave goodbye to Gamera, who nods at them.
Mom says she's glad Dexter is home, “Still and all you made everybody worry over you.” Good lord, Mom, you are going to really screw these kids up.
Dexter agrees that was bad of him, and doffs his hat. Dorkurai wonders if his shaved head is a sign of his punishment, but Tom says the Space Babes did it.
Dorkurai is unconvinced, but Didi whispers to him that there are space creatures like him, too. (Apparently no one can give a straight answer in this film.) Dorkurai looks worried about possible space versions of him, no doubt Meccha ones as well. I look worried about this.
The two boys basically go through some of the plot again, note that they found this new star where they hoped things would be better, but Dexter says they learned that they should work to make Earth better and not long for “some other star,” and he says that the goal would be to “stop wars, and no more accidents, I guess that's all I can ask.”
Science Guy basically says, woah, out of the mouths of babes, etc. Gamera nods his agreement, then he takes off and the three kids run after him, yelling their thanks and their goodbyes. The Gamera theme hurls onto the soundtrack, too. All this goodbye stuff goes on for rather a long time. Finally, we see the big turtle shell spinning around, and we get the words The End.
What is there to say about a movie like this? I suppose if you like camp, it's probably a great example, and fun for all. But I've never liked camp, I've never seen the point to it, and so this movie just tries my patience. Many, many times. If you like giant monsters, and there are many who do, these seem kind of lame ones. Gamera would rather just rest at the bottom of a lake, and Quiron only shows up and lumbers around when called, for the most part. The most interesting part is Quiron's design: with that giant knife-blade head, he's really startling-looking, more so than your garden-variety Japanese lizard monsters. Even here, though, the monsters aren't on screen all that often, so if you're looking for them, there are probably better examples to slake your hunger out there.
I think I'm simply not equipped to properly enjoy things like this, so I'm probably not the best judge of whether or not you should seek this out. I enjoyed making fun of everyone, but how many people have that kind of attitude? You might enjoy this. There is a bit of spectacle here and there, the Space Babes are pretty cute, and some of the effects (the transporter) and designs (the alien city) are pretty good and worth seeing. And I must admit, Quiron's shearing of the saucer in two was very impressive looking, probably one of the best shots I've seen in one of these giant monster movies.
Speaking of giant monsters, there's something they have to do to be interesting: menace mankind and every creature on Earth. Here, Quiron never comes close—he's more of a menace to his keepers than he is to anyone else, a fact the Space Babes note when he gets loose and starts tearing the place up. But Earth is never threatened at all, except in the form of a couple of pretty stupid kids. Since this is a kids' film, we're pretty sure they're never in danger (though that head shaving is pretty startling, and I have to give kudos to the child actor who went through that). Though, it's sure tempting to think that if these kids were to, well, perish, it would actually be doing the world a favor. After all, these kids are going to grow up and reproduce, and that can't be good for anyone.
Well, let's sum up. I can't tell you yes or no about this movie, because it's an alien experience for me (no pun intended). It's like handing me a novel written in Japanese and asking me if it's any good or not. I'm afraid I wouldn't have any idea. If two guys in monster suits showing up occasionally wrassling and boasting sounds appealing, or if you're into Space Babes, or if you'd love to know all about “mom's donuts,” then plunge on in. Otherwise, get some fresh air or read a book or something. Or watch something else. Which I think I'll do....
--January 4, 2005 – February 1, 22005