GAPPA, THE TRIPHIBIAN MONSTER (1967)
(a.k.a. MONSTER FROM A PREHISTORIC PLANET/DAIKYOJU GAPPA)
Article #1163 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-21-2004
Posting Date: 10-18-2004
Directed by Haruyasa Noguchi
Featuring Tamio Kawaji, Yoko Yamamoto, Yuji Okada
When an expedition discovers a newly hatched monster on a tropical island, they bring it back to Japan with them, unaware that its parents will search for him.
It’s been a long time since I’ve covered some Kaiju for this series, and since I have an inordinate fondness for these movies, there’s a chance I may like this one a lot more than others do. On the other hand, most of the others have probably seen the dubbed version; I saw a few moments of that one and the dubbing is very substandard. I opted instead for the subtitled version, and it’s somewhat better. This was the only kaiju put out by Nikkatsu (whose logo is a little reminiscent of Toho’s); shortly after this movie was made, they turned to soft-core pornography. The plot is largely lifted from GORGO, with a little bit of KING KONG, RODAN and GODZILLA thrown in for good measure. The special effects are fun if highly variable, and for the most part this is strictly pretty standard kaiju. However, it does have a handful of interesting touches and moments. When the parent monsters first arrive in Japan, one of them carries a dead crustacean in its mouth, probably intent on feeding it to the child when they find it. Another curious moment has a man putting out a match in a pool of water; it’s shot in such a way as to indicate that the scene is very important, but unless it’s a metaphor for putting out his passion for a woman he loves (there’s your typical love triangle situation in the story), I have no idea what it means. The ending itself is also decent, and even brings a little tear to the eye.