Gamera vs Zigra (1971)

GAMERA VS ZIGRA (1971)
aka Gamera tai Shinkai kaiju Jigura
Article 3219 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-11-2010
Posting Date: 6-7-2010
Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
Featuring Koji Fujiyama, Daigo Inoue, Reiko Kasahara
Country: Japan
What it is: Giant Japanese monster mayhem

An invader from the planet Zigra threatens to destroy the Earth with earthquakes of unimaginable magnitude. The invader has also enslaved an Earth woman and sent her on a mission to kill two children. Will Gamera be able to save the children and the world?

Save for the concocted-from-previous-movies-hodgepodge of GAMERA – SUPER MONSTER, this is the last movie of the original Gamera series. As the series progressed, it directed itself to younger and younger audiences; here it seems positively infantile, what with its bratty children who seem to always know the correct thing to do and its condescending attitude (when told that Zigra comes from a planet 40 light years away, someone comments that “even if you went at the speed of light, it would take you 40 years to get here”). Plot errors and contradictions abound; for one, is the woman who was kidnapped an actress or a geologist? Older audiences will most likely prefer to ogle Eiko Yanami (if I have the correct name) as she parades around in alien garb, a bikini, or a miniskirt. Zigra isn’t near as much fun as Gaos or Guiron, and the plot is often slow and cumbersome. To its credit, at least it doesn’t pad itself out with footage from previous Gamera movies, but this is still the weakest of the series. Most memorable moment: Gamera plays Zigra like a xylophone.

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