GAMERA VS. BARUGON (1966)
(a.k.a. WAR OF THE MONSTERS)
Article #616 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-21-2002
Posting date: 4-16-2003
A priceless opal turns out to be the egg of a fierce monster that has the ability to freeze things with his tongue and shoot deadly rainbows from his back. Gamera comes to the rescue.
The best way to watch a foreign movie is in a subtitled version, but if dubbed versions are all that is available to you, you have two choices here; the version entitled WAR OF THE MONSTERS is an AIP version from the sixties, while GAMERA VS. BARUGON is the Sandy Frank version. The latter version is longer, but the dubbing is horribly substandard; the earlier AIP version actually shows a lot more care in that regard, and the main scenes that it seems to be missing are some meetings with military officials that are easily covered in short narration segments. Gamera movies (from the sixties) were low-rent versions of Godzilla movies, but there are points of interest in this one; for one thing, it was probably the most adult movie of the series, with a stronger dose of violence than the others (among the humans, that is). It’s still pretty silly, with Barugon a highly improbable creature, but the whole thing takes itself quite seriously indeed. And there’s not a single six-year-old in short pants to be found!
One side note: Gamera must have a really bad publicity agent in the states; not only did they misspell his name in the first American version (GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE), but in the WAR OF THE MONSTERS version, they mispronounce it, with the middle syllable accented (guh-MARE-uh) instead of rhyming with camera.