"Why? Why must men be so greedy?
—Keisuke, reflecting on his part in Barugon's rampage.
The second movie in the original Gamera
series, and easily the most adult, Gamera vs. Barugon
was created as an A-list picture by Daei studios after the success of Giant Monster Gamera
. It was released in 1966. It stars Kojiro Hongo in his first Gamera film, and it has a music score by Chuji Kinoshita. Originally envisioned as a movie where a race of aliens with freezing technology take over the Earth before Gamera escapes the rocket and returns, the freezing powers were eventually given to the monster Barugon after some rewrites. This film is the most comparable to the Godzilla series, as it is the only film in the Showa era which lacks a child among the cast. It (arguably) also has two of the most realistic human brawls ever seen in a movie. Also unlike the other films in the series, Gamera vs. Barugon
was directed by Shigeo Tanaka, with Noriaki Yuasa helming only the special effects.
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
episode see here
This film contains examples of the following:
- Anti-Hero: Gamera.
- Beam-O-War: During their first fight, we get one between Gamera's fire breath and Barugon's freezing spray.
- Big Budget Beef-Up: This film was produced as an A-List picture, with a big budget and everything, and it shows.
- Breath Weapon: Barugon has the freezing mist from his tongue, and Gamera has the traditional fire.
- Chairman of the Brawl: Keisuke breaks one over Onodera in their first encounter.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Onodera. It's almost as if he enjoys throwing a wrench into a plan at the most inopportune moment.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the previous film and the other showa films that came after it, Gamera vs. Barugon is easily the most mature of the showa Gamera films.
- Demoted to Extra: Gamera only appears in three scenes throughout the film, and does little to advance the plot until he kills Barugon at the end.
- Death by Materialism: Onodera, courtesy of Barugon's tongue.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The scene where Karen licks the blood off Keisuke's arm after a fist fight with Onodera. From the camera angling some see it as her pleasuring him orally. And possibly another scene later where she's upset, and sitting, and turns to Keisuke, who is standing up. Cue her head being in another suggestive spot.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Barugon's rainbow beam.
- Giant Equals Invincible: Played with. Barugon and Gamera are both immune to the military's weapons, but the former is vulnerable to water and his own defense mechanism, while the latter is susceptible to cold.
- Gold Fever: Onodera has this so bad, he gets murderous if he has to wait a second to obtain anything valuable, and is oblivious about Barugon up until he gets eaten by it.
- Karmic Death: Onodera. Unfortunately, he also takes the heroes' best means of killing Barugon with him.
- Kill It with Water: Barugon, although he has to be completely submerged for the effect.
- Smug Snake: Onodera.
- Stab the Scorpion: Averted in the cave where Barugon's egg is found.
- Super Drowning Skills: Barugon, according to Karen. Of course, Gamera stabbing his neck with his tusks and holding him under may have played a part as well.
- Too Dumb to Live: What's a better plan, Onodera - wait until the diamond is used to drown Barugon and steal it later through bribing certain people, or take a boat up near Barugon and take the diamond and hope the monster won't go after you?
- Villainous Rescue: In a manner of speaking. At this point in the series, Gamera was still considered a dangerous monster, so when he shows up at the end to kill Barugon and save the humans, it's only out of revenge. Even in the next film, Gamera vs. Gyaos, Gamera is still regarded as dangerous in the first part of the film.