Well, tonight's feature is called "Destroy All Planets" and guess what! No, no, no, you're wrong! No, no, stop making bad guesses because it's funny! See, the real answer is this: It's a Gamera film! Since the two Gamera films I've seen while plowing through this DVD set were pretty terrible, I'm going into this one with the notion that it, too, will be terrible. However, it has one advantage: it's the last film in the DVD set, so after this, I'll be free! Ha ha ha ha!
Well, who wants to live forever, so let's get started. And the movie feels the same way, as we don't waste any time with logos or nothin' and just goes straight to a buzzing space ship spinning through space. The spaceship looks like the abdomens of five bees, all arranged in a ring with the stingers outward. And inside, it's delicious! Actually no, there's a model of a molecule over an arrangement of triangles, and a weary voice says, "Attention all space ship crew members." Which would be, I guess, everyone, but just saying "Attention" wouldn't get the same kind of, um, attention. Anyway, Mr. Tired says that they're at the end of the journey, and the "radar screen" has picked up the target. He then asks for the "radar screen" to be activated and, why, hey, that's Earth! Actually, it looks more like a really old head of lettuce but Mr. Tired helpfully identifies it for us. He then goes on to say it's just like the planet they've all come from, so it seems perfect. He then lists its nice qualities: Atmosphere with "21 percent oxygen, and 78 percent nitrogen. Among its other properties are argon and carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is vital to us." So, then, to defeat these mean men all we have to do is get rid of all the nitrogen! Whew! Can we go home now?
I guess not, as he says that their objective is to capture the Earth and colonize it with their own ilk. "Prepare the ship for an attack!" he says, which sounds wrong. Unless he's already spotted Gamera on the way, and then we can go home.
Suddenly, he says, "What is wrong? Reactivate the radar screen!" And you know, it looks like the crew (at least those assembled here on the bridge) consists of nothing more than arrangements of triangle-shaped lights, which flash on and off in various patterns. Anyway, the radar screen comes on again, and there goes Gamera! Spitting flame from the openings of his shell and spinning through space. "What is that creature? Is it of the Earth? The enemy! It is our enemy! Attack it at once!" says Mr. Tired.
Well, they shoot some lightning rays at Gamera, but he takes no note of this attack, other than to turn and fly at the alien ship and, um, land on it roughly. "Put out its jet flames!" orders Mr. Tired. The ship opens up so all the stingers are pointing in the middle, and Gamera, the big dope, flies right in the middle of them. They shoot out some kind of gas which puts out two of the jets, and Gamera just stays in there, again like a big dope. Finally figuring this can't be good, he flies off under the power of his two remaining jets.
But not for long. He extends his front legs, turns and grabs the ship and breaks a hole in one of the modules. He sticks his face in and starts spraying flame everywhere. Mr. Tired, declaring this an "emergency," asks that the damaged module be jettisoned. This is done and it flies off with Gamera on it, before he decides this isn't any fun any more without the others. Speaking of the others, the four remaining bees are flying off, smoking and not looking very healthy, really.
Inside, Mr. Tired is making what sounds like his final report. "To our mother star, Viras. Our mission has failed. We are in retreat. Send spaceship number two immediately!" Outside, Gamera is flame-broiling the remaining balls. "We found a deadly creature protecting the Earth!" Mr. Tired says. "It's name is--"
But the ship blows up before Mr. Tired can give the name...which, fairness notes, he couldn't have known anyway. So maybe he was just bluffing. At any rate, we get our titles, "Destroy All Planets," which isn't the name of anyone, or anything, other than this film.
And over the credits, we get the instrumental version of the Gamera song. I'll skip most of the credits, except to note that "Kurl Crane" is one of our stars. As Gamera spins back and forth while the credits roll, we should note that all four of his jets are working now, so that dousing bit was just temporary (in case any of you were worried).
And our credits over, we cut to the beach, where some boats are. Some kind of big Cadillac or other huge spiffy car drives over the sand to where a bunch of Boy Scouts are camping on the beach. Some big business guy gets out and meets the Scout Master, who thanks BBG for the use of the site. SM asks some other guy to call everyone to attention.
The scouts (including some girls, hey!) are too busy playing folk songs and eating to pay attention, but only at first! Then they hear the whistle and scamper off to be counted. One of the scout ladies is looking for one or two errant scouts, the one or two of which I suspect will be our heroes. The reason is because these movies stink. I mean, are for kids anyway.
The Assistant Scout Master reels off some figures, but not about oxygen and argon. Instead, he says there are "One hundred and fifteen members in all; one hundred and thirteen are accounted for. Two, uh, went some place."
"Two boys are missing?" deduces the Scout Master, quick as a limpet where subjects like math and missing boys are concerned. It is further determined that one of the missing tots is the brother of one of the Scout Ladies. "Jim and Massal" are apparently their names.
We cut from this scene of familiar shame to the stairway of what looks like a motel. Bobbing along just beneath the railway are two hats, belonging to none other than...wait for it...Jim and Massal! Oh come on, you so did NOT guess that already. Anyway, they're watching some scientists poking around on the beach while rigging up some sort of one-man submersible-type vehicle. Quite.
Having finished their work on the one-man...or two-boy...submersible, the two scientists decide enough's enough and they walk off to some well deserved beers. No sooner do they depart, but the two boys poke around at the submersible and get themselves inside, and manage to launch themselves into the sea. This takes more screen time than what I've indicated and, I must confess, I'm guessing at the "launching" business. So far they're just planning mischief, as in "reversing the controls." But this is a Gamera film, come on. Be fair.
Back at the Scout Beach, the Scout Master tells the two Scout Ladies, "These two start trouble all the time. Now go get them." If only it were that simple. In fact, it is even simpler! One Scout Lady, who is not the sister of the trouble maker, says that the other Scout Lady, who is, can "contact them" at any time. Because...she has a compass on her wrist. "Yes, it's simple, sir," Sister says. When the compass is opened up, it points at the...big hotel place where the two hooligans were last seen! It's just a bit further up the beach. Wow, small world. I guess the compass must be set on "troublesome brother" or something. Can I buy one of those?
Speaking of the hooligans, just as they finish re-wiring the controls, Massal's, um...wrist-compass...er, beeps at him. He, um, answers it. Hearing his sister on the other end, he says, "Darn, it's her!" Okay, sure, who the heck else did you expect it to be? She rebukes the two of them, tells them there shall be trouble, and that they need to report back posthaste. Scout Master speaks into the (sigh) wrist-mounted compass, "No supper tonight!" and the two boys scramble out of the submersible.
Okay, okay, okay. So they didn't get launched. Shoot me. It's gonna happen. Anyway, as they leave, Massal's hat blows off his head and onto the sub's mast. Jim uses a lasso to bring it down which will probably be useful later. Right? The two miscreants arrive back at the scout camp just as Scout Master announces the Rich Guy is the head of the "institute" and he's going to let everyone ride in the "pocket submarine." Admittedly that sounds like a euphemism but we just saw the submarine so it's okay. Except for Jim and Massal who screwed with the controls, of course. Hey, they've just doomed some of their fellow scouts! Let's hear it for pointless vandalism, eh?
Mr. Rich Guy and Scout Master are going to be the first. Massal and Jim worry incredibly briefly if they should admit anything, but a stern look from Sister Scout compels them to keep mum. The sub is duly launched and...really silly model is seen underwater. Then the hijinks start, with the sub going backwards and forwards to comedy music! Ha ha ha, industrial sabotage is just the most hilarious of all. Especially when people might get killed! Ha ha ha! Sigh. Rich Guy crosses himself as they go through more hijinks. Finally they surface, and cancel rides for everyone else.
At this point, Massal and Jim show up to announce that Rich Guy just couldn't drive it properly, but they sure could if given a chance. Okay. Here it is. I officially hate these two. Jim and Massal--eternal death for the both of you.
Anyway, they are denied their chance, until Sister Scout pops up and announces that Massal is a genius, and shows the wrist...compass as proof. Apparently Massal designed it (probably with the death of several factory workers but what the heck, right? He's just a kid!). She admits he has a genius for "practical jokes" as well, so maybe she isn't quite as stupid as we all think. As the two demons are granted permission, everyone thinks they'll learn a valuable lesson. Sigh. Of course, they drive into the sea and do everything perfectly. I sure hope those two never decide to run for elective office; they'll reprogram the voting machines so...oh. Um, never mind!
Mostly, the two criminals in training just moon around under the sea, rather than do anything interesting like, say, offering a running commentary so we's could smarten up. "Hey, Jim, it's a huge school of bull limpets, wafting through the underwater reaches of Groucho Marx's tomb!" followed, naturally, by some stock footage of that very thing. Nope, they just continue to moon.
Well, we cut from the vermins' hijinks to space, where another bee-ship is floating through space...cleverly using the same footage, too! Aboard, the main computer doesn't sound as tired as Mr. Tired. He sounds fatter, though. So he's Mr. Fat. He says that their mission is to make up for the mission that the previous ship couldn't do, because they failed in their mission. So spaceship number two is NOT going to fail in this new mission. Got that?
Mr. Fat notes that their new improved mission first has to eliminate Gamera. So they need to look for Gamera, and find him, and then destroy him. So they set the Stock-Footage-O-Matic to look for Gamera, which they do by randomly looking at stock footage until we cut back to the two jerk offs in the sub. Jim wants to head back, but Massal says Jim is thus a baby for wanting this. Jim notes something approaching, but when the "something" appears, it's just Gamera and Massal tells Jim not to worry, as Gamera is the friend of everyone. Jim, being an idiot, has never heard of Gamera so must have all this explained to him.
Jim takes some Polaroids while Massal tells Sister Scout that they're now with Gamera, so...er, cool, I guess. The next shot shows that Gamera could swallow the mini-sub with a bite and a half, which would be cool and I would approve, but based on the testimony of a criminal like Massal they're okay. Well, good then. I guess Gamera, commonly called a "friend to children" is especially a friend if those children are naughty. Way to set a good example there, Gamera. Why don't you eat the sub to atone?
On the shore, Scout Master, unimpressed by these reports of hijinks, promises even less supper, but Massal promises proof that they're with Gamera, and he and Jim swim underneath Gamera for some footage of...well, Gamera's underside. What could unit a disbelieving world more, I ask you? Other than pix of boobs, I mean.
As the little sub pokes and prods, Gamera gives us plenty of eye-rolls and other indications that he, well, hates this, but the mini-sub keeps flying around and I guess it's contractual: he has to take it.
Fortunately, the alien ship appears in our atmosphere. C'mon and start blasting, Mr. Fat! In fact, having located Gamera, that's what they do, activating the "super catch ray" which is yellow (if anyone asks). The ray beams through the sea and encases Gamera in an impenetrable bubble. He strikes it with his nose (making sparks) while I think the two crooks are also caught within, as they can no longer contact the shore. The dim-bulbs notice that everything around them is now yellow, and figure out that things aren't so good. They plead with Gamera to help them, as their oxygen is almost gone. Gamera...lifts the bottom of the bubble, and the two kids escape to the strains of some nursery rhyme music (seriously). Gamera himself remains trapped.
The kids thank Gamera and head for the surface. The spaceship circles, wondering what to do with Gamera now that they have him. The decide to find some way to make him their slave. In order to find this, they look at previous Gamera movies...I mean, they "activate the videotron" to explore Gamera's memories. Yeah, that's it. So, they'll see "how he was born, and the extent of his power" after which they'll find some "weak points."
So, we see footage of Gamera born in the ice flows. Next, according to Mr. Fat, "in 1967, Gamera fought Baragon, the quick-freeze monster." Baragon is a giant alligator, or maybe a chameleon (he has a horn on his nose and a long tongue). We see him stomp around and roar, then watched bemusedly as Gamera flies overhead and crashes into a building which isn't really near Baragon. That'll fix 'im! Baragon totally has this "dude, did you mean to do that?" look on his face. Baragon has spines on his back that light up, like Christmas lights. The two monsters glare at each other for a long time. Baragon takes his own uncoordinated leap at Gamera and crashes into another building.
This whole bit goes on for rather a long time. Let's assume that Gamera wins since, you know, we've got this new movie and all. I assume if I really want to know what's what, I can rent whatever this is and see the whole thing. Though I have this horrid feeling they're going to show us the whole thing right now. I sure hope the two films were never a double feature at some matinee, or some kids are going to feel they got gypped pretty badly. Of course, they're at a Gamera double feature. What the hell can they expect?
Baragon has the weirdest sort of floating-leap thing that he does. It's almost like flying, except it's too slow and awkward. We don't really see Gamera win, but I'll take it as given.
Finally, we...oh, crap, it's another flashback. "In 1968, Gamera encountered Gaos, the super-sonic monster." This is a sort of bat-pterodactyl thing. He's very triangular. The fight goes very much like the previous one, which, admittedly, I didn't describe in any detail. It goes on and on, neither side really getting much headway. Gaos does seem to be able to set Gamera's shell on fire with his mouth-rays, though not for long. He also, um, sprays yellow mist from his armpits. Okay. Gamera pushes Gaos from the back onto some rocks. I guess. He rips out a bit of Gaos' wing with his teeth. Gaos picks up Gamera's shell and throws it at an observatory.
Finally (I hope) Gamera throws a rock which pops right into Gaos' mouth. Gaos eventually pops it out again, but then Gamera jumps on Gaos and bites his neck until he bleeds. There have been two significant shots of the rising sun throughout this, so I'm guessing Gaos has some weakness regarding sunlight? Gaos then picks up a kid and flies into the sky. Gaos shoots lasers at Gamera's arm, nearly severing it, while Gamera sits there like an idiot without moving out of the line of fire. Gamera rescues the kid, and uses his flame-thrower breath on Gaos and, while this didn't work well before, apparently Gaos is just as tired of all this as the rest of us and he decides he's defeated now.
Well, the aliens have decided they've seen enough, and they've discovered Gamera's weakness! Can you guess what it is? No, no, no, it's not being boring. It's his "unusual and overpowering kindness to children"! As they decide this is the avenue to take, their force bubble fades away. Rather than just, say, use another one, they decide to "attack Gamera, at once!"
But we don't want to see anything exciting like that, do we? No, we go to shore, where Jim and Massal tell the Scout Master that they (the kids) simply must be believed. They produce a Polaroid of their encounter with Gamera, but the "camera needed more light out there. I forgot all about it. It spoiled the film!" Jim blurts.
"Jim," Scout Master says, taking Jim roughly, "is this the proof you offer?"
"You boys have had a lot of fun, making up this story," says Rich Man. "Now isn't that the truth?" However, before the kindercrooks can convince anyone, the familiar alien spaceship noise is heard and everyone looks up at the rotating bee-ship. They run along the beach to get a closer look. Then they look toward the sea, which is suddenly full of rising Gamera. While the Scout Master responsibly orders everyone to safety, our two idiotic leads run along the beach, yelling "Gamera! Gamera! Gamera! Gamera!" They run right toward the alien ship, which puts them in a force bubble. On board, Mr. Fat orders the "control device" to be readied! Ooo, isn't this exciting! Yes, yes, I know, but you can pretend, can't you?
Mr. Fat sends a message. "To Gamera. To Gamera. We have little boys in our power. If you attack our spaceship, they will die." Gamera dutifully flies over the ship without attacking. On the beach, Scout Master and Sister Scout are searching for the miniature idiots who started all this and made it worse. Just as they find the force bubble, it is beamed aboard the bee-ship. "To Gamera. To Gamera. The two boys are now inside our spaceship. Obey us, or they will die." Gamera flies around but looks like he has little choice.
On the shore, Sister Scout is shouting, "Massal! Massal!" Scout Master says, "It's too dangerous. Get to the laboratory, hurry!" So they hie themselves there.
"Gamera, land," says Mr. Fat. "If you don't, we'll kill them! Land, Gamera!" Gamera flies around. Yay Gamera! Keep flying!
Back at the observatory, promises are made to bring the two miscreants back to Earth. I'd like to note that the observatory has a dinosaur skeleton in it, because...well, so that...um, in case...say, what time is it, anyway? Hey, Scout Master gets an urgent call! Let's pay attention to that! Gamera flies right at the observatory (still not landing, good boy!) and everyone ducks as he goes overhead, then the spaceship flies right at the observatory and everyone ducks as it goes overhead. "They'll be killed!" Sister Scout says of the two mini-jerks on board, "You've got to rescue them!" Bah. Bah!
Gamera lands and turns to face the landing bee-ship, which I have to admit is a pretty cool miniature effect. On board, the two jerks awaken. They see a corridor and run down it, and hide next to something that looks a lot like a boulder but never mind that, we get to see some aliens! And--
Well, they're French. They wear dark smocks and have red berets. All they need are moustaches and a loaf of bread! French aliens! I didn't sign up for this! They walk to the opposite end of the room and dive into another doorway.
"Did you see that, he flew?" says Jim. "We've gotta get out of here!" obviouses Missal. They decide, "Go!" but where isn't specified and they run right into a Frenchman! Uh oh! They walk right up to him. "You're an Earthman! A prisoner like us, aren't you? Let's all escape together!"
Obviously the idea of spending any time with these tiny creeps is too much for this Frenchman, as, without a word, he turns and goes to the leaping door and leaps.
"Hey, that looks like fun!" states Jim, while Missal adds, "Let's try it!" So they leap through the leaping door. But they fall on their faces. Ha ha ha! Permit me to laugh a bit at their haplessness. Ha ha ha!
"It doesn't work. That's because we're kids!" says Jim.
"Why do you suppose they save the good things just for the grown-ups," grouses Missal.
"I don't know," Jim admits. They proceed down the corridor on foot. But then they hear a noise and figure they're trapped in the corridor, but because there's an "automated door" they're fine and can get out at any time. They continue to walk until they hear Mr. Fat's voice. "We'll attack Gamera now," he says. "The target is in sight. Prepare the brain control device for firing." And we see a group of zombie Frenchmen going about and preparing stuff for firing.
As an aside, it looks like the leaping corridor leaps saved these guys a whole five seconds getting from the control room to here. Anyway, "Activate the radar screen," says Mr. Fat, and a little cupboard opens up and a tiny replica of a bee-abdomen is taken out by a French slave. He carries it delicately toward the firing thing. Another guy picks it up and carries it further.
A French guy steps back from the radar screen (showing a peeved Gamera) and says, "Get ready to activate laser," in Mr. Fat's voice! An gun barrel extends from the ship, and Mr. Fat orders it to be fired.
Well, Gamera doesn't like this laser thing, not even a tiny, tiny bit. They keep firing the laser, and then they order the brain wave device fired, and it shoots out and sticks to Gamera's neck. It also grows a few feet in diameter, but I'm not quite sure I care at this point.
"We did it! Perfect hit!" says Mr. Fat.
"So Gamera is in our power, he'll be under our control all the time." states an underling.
"He must now obey every one of our commands, and reject his own desires," says someone offscreen.
"Yet, we must be sure," says Mr. Fat. "Activate the brain control device," he orders. The radar screen turns to the typical kaleidoscope patterns and Mr. Fat says, "Gamera, obey! Take off!" Yeah, ya hoser! "Fly, fly!"
Gamera, of course, does so, and the bee ship lifts off as well in a pretty impressive little model shot. Mr. Fat then orders Gamera to "fly around this spaceship." And he does.
The two miscreants, observing, note that "He's in their control! Gamera will do only as they say!" they note, while wondering just who these deadly French are. They decide to find these things out, by looking around. So they sneak off--in plain sight of the aliens, who look after the running tots as if this were a daily sight. Hey, maybe on this ship, it is.
So, the kids snoop. They find a room full of control devices, declaring that "there's nothing in here." Then they discuss how hungry they are. They mention being hungry enough for an entire cow, but opine that orange juice would be enough. A triangular door opens in the wall and two glasses of orange juice slide out. The boys are excited about this. Hey guys, how about wishing for a "Gamera brain control neutralizer"?
They drink the juice. Unfortunately, it is juice, and not deadly poison. They then wish for sandwiches and get sandwiches. The kids deduce that the ship works on thought control. They wish for a parachute and a pistol, but instead of getting them, an alarm-noise sounds. A whole bunch of deadly French show up and...stand there. Their eyes flash, which is a pretty cool effect. "Children, you are right," says Mr. Fat. "Our ship is controlled with telepathy, it's protected with a safety system."
"When you have a thought, or say anything, that is dangerous to the spaceship, it will not be carried out in any way," says a flunky.
"We need you both to keep Gamera under control if the brain machine fails," says Mr. Fat. "You will have the complete freedom of our ship, and may move where you wish. As long as you do not try to escape or harm us." Long pause. "Understand?"
The deadly French then turn away without waiting for an answer. Jim runs up with his camera and wants to take pix, and as the French turn back, we see they're holding weapons--rifles of some kind. As Jim snaps away, someone says, "It's no use, you're wasting time!" I hope he's not talking to me.
Jim starts blurting out this list of questions. "Who are you? You're not from Earth, are you from another planet like ours, why have you come? You can tell us?" Apparently they can't, as they turn without a word and leave the scouts behind. Finally the alarm stops. The kids note how they should stop these aliens from destroying the Earth, "and us too" and decide they can use the telepathy bit somehow. They ask for apples and pears, unpeeled, reasoning that the machine will also provide them with knives. Alas, the apples and pears are neatly peeled and sliced. The kids eat them anyway.
An alarm sounds again, so the kids decide to leave this room, but they spot something so they duck down behind an obelisk. A deadly French leaps in, takes a canister out of the triangle wall, and deposits on the floor of another, darker chamber. It floats upward. The kids follow along, though they lose the guy, they manage to find the same dark room. As they wander around, attempting to discern the purpose of the room through sheer, random guesswork, a tentacle appears from a caged area off screen and swipes unnoted at Massal. It steals his hat. He turns and spots it and they happily run to retrieve the cap.
As they bend down to get it, and wonder about how the hat could have come off without a breeze, a cage lowers behind them with another tentacle looking ready for...something. These scouts are pretty damned unobservant, aren't they? I mean, it's not like the room is that dark. They do note a fishy odor, and as a tentacle practically taps Jim on the shoulder, they run for cover and turn to see...a squid-like thing in a cage. It has two glaring eyes and grey mottled skin. It's holding the canister from the previous scene and tosses it away.
"A space monster," Jim decides.
"Sure. A catch of theirs."
"From another world," Jim adds. Really? You think it might be?
Massal: "They locked him in there, cause he's too dangerous to leave free, like us." Pause. "Maybe they're taking it to a circus."
Jim: "I hope they aren't. You don't think they'll hurt him, do you?"
Massal: "Who knows? They could be taking it to a laboratory, to study it and operate on it."
Jim: "It wants to get out of here. Let's free it!"
Massal: "Come on. It isn't that simple. I mean, suppose you come across a lion which somebody has caught. Would you let it out?" Pause. "Would you?"
"It might be a wild animal. Anyway, the ship is locked up. How can we ever get out?"
"You mean we're caught too? They're going to take us along when they go?"
The creature taps its cage, and when they look at it, it nods sagely at them.
"Massal, look!" Jim points rudely. "It nodded it's head!"
"Then it's all right," Massal concludes. "It means that the monster knows everything we're saying!" Everyone smiles. "And it also means, that he might try to help us get out!"
"Sure, let's go!" Jim agrees. They rush off to free the squid creature. Which, to tell the truth, I think is pretty cool because I like squids. I think they're awesome animals.
Anyway, the kids note the lack of any kind of lock on the creature's cage, reasoning that perhaps it opens by telepathy. "You know, it's funny, here we are doing something that might harm the ship," one of them says, "and the alarm doesn't sound."
"Maybe it's a gentle monster."
"Maybe, but it's still funny, isn't it?"
Apparently, something does alarm the kids, though, as they decide to flee. "We'll come back and free you if we get the chance!" promises Massal. The creature blinks. Several times.
In another room, the kids hide as a deadly French leaps through a corridor. Massal tells Jim to get his "lasso" ready. Jim then ropes the Frenchman's hand, and the two boys drag the alien over to where they are. The Frenchman tells them to stop, but they say, "You're not taking us to a circus or a laboratory, we're getting out." They pull so hard that the guy's arm shoots out of its socket, and pins the two kids to the wall! The Frenchman laughs evilly at this. Then his arm flies back and he pushes it back into place. "No dangerous actions are allowed," he says. "For what you have done, you are no longer permitted to move freely." Restraint straps appear over the boys and they are pinned like butterflies.
The Frenchman laughs evilly again and leaves. "You...!" Massal futilely mutters.
Back with the main group of deadly French, Gamera (remember him?) is ordered to destroy a dam! Damn! Gamera flies over to the dam and plows into the control center. He starts crushing various structures, and flames spring up as the hapless human try to contain the damage. A jeep full of guys almost runs into some other guys just standing in its path, until some quick thinking leads someone to yell, "Get out of the way, get out of the way!" Gamera uses his flame breath to flame things. Then he takes off and starts spinning. He flies near the wall and weakens it enough so that it collapses. Are we now to get a spinning montage of newspaper headlines about how Gamera is no longer the friend of children? Or at least doesn't like dams much?
The aliens next order Gamera to destroy...Tokyo! Uh oh. On board the alien ship, the scouts try to free themselves. They can't, but Massal gets a call on his two-way wrist TV. After the usual pleasantries, Massal tells the folks back home that Gamera is under alien control. He says that since he and Jim are pinned, there's not much they can do. Sister Scout tells him that he and Jim "can do it, show the same nerve you used playing your jokes."
"You're right! Thanks, [Sister Scout]!" Jim says.
...what? Really? What?
They both decide to ixnay on the alkingtay as another deadly Frenchman carries a container across the room. He puts it in the wall door and glares at the scouts before he leaves. The scouts decide that the container must have food in it, and they both wish they had some food of their own, and wish that they hadn't wished that because it makes them hungrier.
Outside, Gamera attacks an airport. I think. Whatever it was, it's pretty well destroyed. He also stomps on some roads and crushes some buildings. "Gamera, tear it down!" orders a deadly French. "Tear it all down to the ground!" Sounds like he's writing B-52's songs, but you know, wherever you get your money...
Soon, he goes toward the Tokyo Tower. "Destroy all of Tokyo," is the order. "Go on, you mustn't stop!" Man, this sounds more and more like the B-52s. Sure enough, down comes the Tokyo Tower. And the rest of the neighborhood is in flames, too. Looks pretty bad for the human race, or at least those of them that are in Tokyo.
On the ship, Massal instructs Jim to get his rope up to his shoulder. Jim protests, briefly, but does so.
"To the people of Earth, to the people of Earth!" yells Mr. Fat. "Know that Gamera is under our control, and listen well! [We will] order him to continue his attacks, until you decide to surrender!" We see Gamera and the bee-ship spinning over some city. "It's your choice. If you've had enough of this useless destruction, forget all about resistance and surrender your planet!" As we see stock footage of Japanese folks contemplating this, Mr. Fat goes on. "If you do not, we cannot guarantee the lives of the two boys held prisoner on our spaceship." Hm, let's see--the entire human race, versus two young criminals. I know the choice I'd make, and it would decrease the population of idiotic unhelpful practical jokers, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.
In the barracks, some General guy is discussing options. Gamera is destroying more and more stuff. They can't destroy Gamera, because their weapons aren't powerful enough. But they can destroy the alien spacecraft, "we know that is vulnerable. The problem, however...is those two boys. They're still being held on board that ship." Hey, I can solve that problem for you! General, do the math. Two boys against billions. Hello? Give them a medal...posthumously.
Suddenly, the parents of the two creeps arrive. "General, you must find a way to rescue our children!" "Yes, please, try everything!"
"I know how you must feel," says the General, "we're doing our best. But at the present time, there's no way we can get them safely returned. There's one of two choices we must make. One, is to accept their demands that we surrender the Earth to their power. The only other way is to sacrifice your two boys and attack the spaceship. We haven't much time left."
"General," says Massal's dad, "which of the two choices have you taken?"
"All mankind is concerned in this decision. We've put the problem up to the United Nations and they've called an emergency meeting." Ooo, maybe they'll draft a strongly-worded letter! That'll work. "Whatever they decide, that's what we'll do. They'll phone us at any minute now." And everyone looks at the red phone.
Well, you know, sorry and all, but I hate those two kids so I vote for destroying the spaceship and saving the rest of humanity. Even if it means saving the United Nations, well, that's a price that's not too onerous to bear. Bye kids! Have fun on your flaming ride to DEATH and HELL!
In the meanwhile, they're trying to increase Sister Scout's wrist radio to see if they can talk to the kids some more. Why, I dunno. But that's what they're concentrating on as they wait for the UN to call.
On the ship, Jim, um, is somehow being hoisted up above the restraining bars by Massal tugging on the rope. Not sure how this would work, but these are clever kids, remember. We've been told so. They both manage to wriggle free. Just then, the wrist radio goes off. "Massal, listen, there is something you have to know before we can go on," says Sister Scout. "It seems the Earth has to decide whether to surrender, or to attack the aliens."
The boys absorb this info, and to their credit, they insist that the spaceship be destroyed with them on board. See? Give them that posthumous medal, now. They insist so hard that Jim's mother says, "Oh, Jim, oh Jim, oh Jim, oh Jim," like some Lou Reed song. Jim cowboys up and says "All that matters is recuing the Earth." Just then the UN phone rings! The music is all somber and stuff, and sure enough, the General confirms the decision: "We can't sacrifice the boys to them. We've been ordered to surrender." Oh man.
The news is passed on to the boys, who again insist that they get blown up, but the General is under UN orders so enough of that talk. Then Scout Master says they've noticed the damage the boys did to the min-sub. Maybe they can do that to the alien spaceship? Specifically, to the brain-control thing that has Gamera under the aliens' thrall. Heck, it's worth a shot, right? The kids say they'll get right on that. "Good boys," Scout Master proclaims.
After a bit of stock-footage destruction, we're back on the alien craft. "The Earth shall soon surrender," Mr. Fat says, as the scouts sneak in through the back door.. "We've learned how easy it is for us to defeat them. We are now ready to complete their annihilation, without any resistance. There is no need to keep such useless creatures. We Virians are the best species found in the universe."
Outside, we see Gamera flying, and Mr. Fat gives the order: "Gamera. Destroy all the Earth people. Annihilate them forever."
This pretty much infuriates the scouts, to the point where they snarl out some dialogue I can't quite decipher. Sounds like, "I'll kill 'em!" and perhaps it is.
The kids run up to the deadly French. "Help, help! The monster's loose!" And the deadly French run off. Jim and Massal look at each other like they can't believe their luck. They approach the brain controller and, as sheer luck would have it, the control panel opens right up for them. They switch two modules, the screen starts moving in reverse, and they run off.
In the monster room, the deadly French see that the monster is still caged
up. "It's all right," Mr. Fat says, with an unconcerned
monotone. "Why did the boys lie," he wonders. Elsewhere,
the scouts find the
super catch ray" and switch modules on that one as well. They run to the center of the floor and manage to beam themselves back to the shore. They spend a minute or two explaining to each other exactly what they did and how it all worked and stuff, then they spot the ship and run off.
In the control room, the deadly French return. "Look! What are they doing there!" yells Mr. Fat as they watch the boys on the shore. My guess would be "escaping from you" but then I'm a silly useless Earth creature so it's probably not a good enough guess for you. "They've escaped!" someone notes, and Mr. Fat says, "Order Gamera to kill them!"
The ship lands on the shore and Gamera lands nearby. Mr. Fat orders Gamera to kill the kids, and Gamera takes off, but the music goes all triumphant so we know where this is going, right?
Sure enough, he flies over their heads and smashes into the ship, breaking the wall in (just like before). "Gamera! Can't you hear us? No! No, the boys!" yells Mr. Fat. Gamera shoots some flame in there, causing one deadly French to note, "We will be killed! Go!" And they run away.
They run to the creature's chamber, and start calling the creature "Master." Ah ha! The plot thickens. "Master! Gamera's gone crazy! You must save us!" "Please, Master!" "He'll kill us!" They note that this is the only room left, Gamera has destroyed the others. "Tell us what to do!" The squid creature moves a tentacle, and the whole cage flies open. Once we see it in full, I'd like to note that it has a multi-bladed head. It somehow "asks" for the "transmitter" which Mr. Fat duly hands to it.
Just as an aside, I wonder if you recall that the creature seemed to be a prisoner, and seemed to be sympathetic to the boys, who also seemed to be sympathetic to it? You do? Good. So perhaps you'll agree with me that it turning out to be the evil mastermind of all this just seems a tad...well, it's a bit too much of a plot twist. But never mind that.
The creature speaks, and it sounds a lot like Mr. Tired from the earlier part of the film. "To our mother star Viras from spaceship number two. We cannot capture the Earth until we kill Gamera first. We are now changing to emergency flight."
Outside, Gamera is still punching holes in things. However, before he can punch a hole in the last bee abdomen, it shoots off and flies into the air!
"Gamera, don't let it go!" yells Massal. Gamera picks up another of the bee abdomens and throws it at the hovering kind-of-escaping one, and it bashes it and it falls down onto the ground. Then some rocks fall on it. The brain control thing on Gamera's neck then blows up, but he shrugs this off.
The scouts declare the danger over, and decide to look in the spaceship. They watch as the squid thing says, "We are down to our last resort. I shall kill Gamera, no matter what happens now." He looks over the deadly French. "To do this, I must have all of your lives!"
"No, Master, no!" says a deadly Frenchman. However, the Squid neatly decapitates all of them! From their severed necks grow--squid heads! Well, specifically, the petal-blade type heads the Mr. Squid has, but you know what I mean. Massal explains to Jim that the deadly French were actually humans, killed and then worn by the squid-things like suits. An incredibly bad animation thing shows all the squid-things merging with the main squid guy, as he grows to be as big as Gamera. Soon, Squidward is so big he bursts out of the wrecked ship. The two kids decide to run away at this point, and Gamera takes note of his new foe.
Well, the two monsters slug it out for a while, then Gamera wins. I actually wrote that before any of it started, but I'm betting that's what will happen. Squidward throws the bits of his spaceship at Gamera, but Gamera blows them up with his flame breath. Then, at the boys' urging he moves closer and flames Squidward. Squidward leaps up and jumps into the ocean. Then he anchors himself to the ocean floor, throws a tentacle around Gamera's neck and attempts to pull him under. This doesn't work, as Gamera tosses Squidward onto the land pretty easily.
They growl at each other for a moment or two, then the petal-blades on Squidward all close up together into...a knife! He scrapes Gamera's back, having no effect, then Gamera grabs him and slams him onto the ground over and over. Squidward manages to trip Gamera, then throws him around a bit. "Gamera! Gamera! Gamera! Gamera!" shout Massal and Jim, not sounding at all like a Lou Reed song.
Squidward throws Gamera again as the two boys keep yelling his name like nincompoops. Squidward blades up again, but Gamera throws a boulder which traps the blade, making Squidward fall head down onto the sand. Gamera then throws another rock which knocks Squidward into the ocean again. Gamera follows after.
Underwater, Gamera tries to grab Squidward, but can't quite. Then the rock gets broken off Squidward's knife-head, and Gamera grabs him, and to his triumphal theme song, Gamera flies Squidward out of the ocean depths and uses him....well, like a surfboard. The two scouts shout encouragement. But then, Squidward jams his head into the sea bed and Gamera is flipped off and lands on his back.
Despite the fact that he can, well, fly, Gamera flounders pretty helplessly while Squidward bobs a couple of times. Then Squidward shoots straight into the air, and jabs his knife-head right into Gamera! Ouch, right in the soft parts! Looks pretty...well, pretty fatal if you ask me. Squidward then enjoys crashing the skewered Gamera into some convenient rocks. Squidward then stabs Gamera over and over, in some fairly gruesome footage. This was echoed in the earlier fights, when Gamera sustained some pretty wicked injuries to his arm in his fight with Gaos, but that was an arm; this is right in the center of his gut.
"Gamera, don't let him beat you, Gamera!" "Gamera, fight, fight!" shout the two boys. Gamera withdraws into his shell and flies off. He still has Squidward stuck in his midsection, though, and as they rise...Squidward starts spitting white foam. Gross. Gross! Then he either turns all frozen or rots or something. I'm sure the boys will explain it at length.
As Gamera rises, Squidward gets more and more covered with ice (though it doesn't look like he's that far into space, really). Finally, Gamera flips over so Squidward is pointing downward, then he starts spinning faster and faster, until Squidward is jarred loose and falls into the sea. Which seems like it will just revive him. Damn it, will this film just get to "The End" please?
The two scouts run up to look at the sea, which is bubbling and stuff. "Goodbye forever!" shouts Massal. "The Master's beaten at last!" Jim concurs. As they shake hands, the entire crowd of scouts, parents, sisters and etc run up along the beach to the strains of the Gamera song.
"Yeah, you are!" says Scout Master, obviously in on some bit of conversation denied us. "And you owe that to one of your jokes!"
"Yes! And as your penalty, no supper at all tonight!" adds Sister Scout. She and Scout Master start to laugh as Massal scratches his head. Jim, not yet informed of the supperless night to come, comes in all enthusiastic and everyone jumps and jumps and gyrates and seems to be in good spirits.
Overhead, Gamera, seeming none the worse for wear, flies off to the effusive thanks of the entire crowd. Good thing they don't hold that whole, "destroying dams and all of Tokyo" against him, but since he was under the control of aliens I guess that's fair. I'm going to use that excuse next time I get a traffic ticket. Let's see how well that works!
So, there we are. Another Gamera film. Another pretty much waste of time and celluloid, though there were some squids here and some guys who could leap to get from place to place in their own spaceship. And some destructive irresponsible kids who do things and then other stuff happens. Including the typical Gamera fight scenes that go on forever and forever. Plus a generous helping of footage from previous Gamera films. My goodness, I can't tell you the last time I was so filled with thrills! Though it was probably the last time I watched a Gamera film.
Because Gamera films are all very predictable (because they're all the same), I would, upon occasion, while watching this film make guesses as to what might happen next. Unbelievably, some of these guesses were wrong. Below are two phrases which were to lead to cinematic insights worthy of the pantheon of great critics, except I was wrong about them both and they were overwritten with other, more accurate things. I have no idea what they mean, because I just shunted them to the bottom of the review and kept typing. But here they are anyway. They may be your salvation at your next trivia party. Or not. Just like Gamera.
"Earth--the very Earth he wished to conquer!--and"
"and that the military should shoot the control mechanism on the back of Gamera's neck. You can't miss it, it looks like a bee abdomen only , much, much larger."
Well, who would have thought those phrases would never be used! Not me, because I just used them, even though it's kind of cheating or something.
Good night, folks. That concludes the "50 Sci Fi Classics" box set. As I've said on many occasions, only the "50" part isn't a lie. Will I write more reviews? Depends. Who's buying the beer?