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Film / Gamera vs. Barugon

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"Why? Why must men be so greedy?"
Keisuke, reflecting on his part in Barugon's rampage.
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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 kaiju 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.

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For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here. Not to be confused with War of the Monsters.


This film contains examples of the following:

  • Alien Blood: Barugon has purple blood.
  • An Aesop: Greed drives people to do terrible things, and can easily lead to unintended consequences.
  • Anti-Hero: Gamera is still as destructive and hostile to adult humans as he was in the first movie, but ends up helping the humans this time by fighting Barugon.
  • Asshole Victim: Onodera, who among other things lets Kawajiri die and attempts to leave Keisuke to die as well.
  • 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.
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  • 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-era Gamera films.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though he's the main star, Gamera's presence in the film is overshadowed quite a bit by Barugon, who holds most of the monster screentime until the final battle.
  • 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.
  • Dub Name Change: In what certainly constitutes one of the oddest examples of name changes in the entire genre, the German dub decided to rename Gamera to Barugon, while Barugon became Godzilla (pronounced as "Got-schilla"). Certain home video releases would at least reinstate Gamera's name into the title, though the three monster names would be juggled around rather carelessly between the releases — among other alternate German titles, the film would be marketed as "Gamera vs. Barugon", "Godzilla, the Dragon from the Jungle" and even "Gamera vs. Godzilla".
  • 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 him.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Karen smashes a bottle over Onodera’s head when he attempts to strangle Keisuke after Keisuke reveals that he knew Onodera left his brother to burn to death during Barugon’s raid on Osaka.
  • Implausible Deniability: Onodera tells ridiculous lies about not having anything to do with the deaths of those he murders. He gets caught almost instantly every time.
  • It Only Works Once: Why the plan to reflect Barugon’s Rainbow Death Ray back at him ultimately failed. Though the reflector inflicted an incredible amount of damage, Barugon then knew that the humans had a way to kill him, and chose not to use his Rainbow Death Ray again.
  • Karmic Death: Onodera. Unfortunately, he also took the heroes' best means of killing Barugon with him.
  • Kill It with Water: Barugon, although he has to be completely submerged for the effect.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After letting Kawajiri die from a scorpion sting, trying to trap Keisuke in the Valley of Rainbows and intentionally leaving Hirata and his wife to die in a fire he set in Osaka, Onodera finally meets his end when he tries to steal the diamond being used to lure Barugon into Lake Biwa; Barugon promptly eats both him and the diamond in one motion.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The soldiers aboard the watercraft do absolutely nothing to stop Onodera from taking the diamond.
  • My Car Hates Me: While attempting to lure Barugon into the lake, the engine of the car that's being used as bait randomly stalls. The protagonists have to turn off the infrared emitter to avoid being crushed by Barugon before they get to the lake.
  • Neutral Female: Hirata's wife cries and acts upset while Onodera and her husband have a fistfight but doesn't get involved.
  • Oddball in the Series: It’s the only Gamera film from the Showa era to not have a child protagonist, and it delves into darker themes.
  • Personal Effects Reveal: Kawajiri has a Fatal Family Photo in his pocket.
  • Smug Snake: Onodera.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Averted in the cave where Barugon's egg is found. Kawajiri dies from the sting as a result.
  • 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 to get near to Barugon, 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.
  • You Are Not Alone: The final line of the film, spoken by Karen to Keisuke, after reflecting his role and regrets in the story's events.

Alternative Title(s): War Of The Monsters

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