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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.

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. Not to be confused with War of the Monsters.

This film contains examples of the following:

  • 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.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Keisuke breaks one over Onodera in their first encounter.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It Only Works Once: Why the plan to reflect Barugon’s rainbow beam back at him ultimately failed. While it did injure him greatly, it didn’t kill him and it made him too wary to use the rainbow beam again.
  • 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.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The soldiers aboard the watercraft do absolutely nothing to stop Onodera from taking the diamond.
  • Neutral Female: Karen. She helps a little, but that's about it.
    • 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 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 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.
  • 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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