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Film / Gamera vs. Guiron

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"I'll bet it's a world without wars or traffic accidents!"
—Tom and Akio at various points in the film.

The fifth installment of the Showa-era Gamera films, released in 1969. Following in the footsteps of Gamera vs. Gyaos and especially Gamera vs. Viras, Guiron turns the kid-friendly elements up to eleven; in this film, for instance, the actual protagonists are children, as in the preceding Viras. The official American release of the film, from American International Pictures, retitles the film Attack of the Monsters; a different dub later used by US TV Producer Sandy Frank re-instated the "Gamera Vs X" title.

Akio, his little sister Tomoko, and their American friend Tom spy a spaceship landing in a nearby field. Akio and Tom are investigating the ship when it suddenly launches, taking them with it and leaving Tomoko behind. As they leave the Earth's atmosphere, the children spot Gamera apparently coming to try to rescue them; however, the ship is too fast, and Gamera is quickly left behind (he does manage to protect them from an Asteroid Thicket, though).

The spaceship takes them to a planet called "Terra", on the opposite side of the sun from Earth. Upon arrival, the boys are menaced by a silver replica of Gamera's old foe Gyaos; but the monster's attention is soon attracted by another monster — a dog-lizard whose forehead is one giant, protruding knife blade. The Gyaos is defeated by being chopped up into pieces, and the boys take shelter inside an underground complex. They meet two women, Barbella and Florbella, the only surviving members of their race, who explain to them that Tera has been all but wiped out by the "Space" Gyaos and that "Guiron" (the knife-headed dog lizard) is their only defense.

Although they seem nice, the alien girls are actually plotting to put the boys into comas in order to eat their brains. However, probing Akio's mind, they learn about Gamera — who soon arrives. The aliens release Guiron, who manages to stun Gamera and trap him at the bottom of a lake. Meanwhile, the boys wake up, realize the aliens' evil intentions, and try to flee — only to accidentally release Guiron in the process. Now completely out of control, Guiron attacks the spaceship as the aliens try to fly away, then begins coming after the children. However, Gamera returns and fights Guiron to a standstill; the boys pitch in, somehow managing to fire a missile into Guiron's head, which Gamera ignites with his flame breath, destroying the monster. Gamera uses his fire breath to repair the spaceship and carries the boys home in it, where their families and friends (and lots of military and scientists) are waiting for them (Tomoko's character arc for the entire film is trying to convince the adults of what happened to the boys).

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, click here.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Kondo's glasses sliding down his nose.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Guiron's forehead can even pierce Gamera's Nigh-Invulnerable shell (though it does take several hits to do so).
  • Adults Are Useless: When Tomoko tries to tell everyone that the boys have been abducted by a Flying Saucer, no one believes her — which is understandable, but then they actually scold her for lying. Only Kondo seems to take the girl seriously (and gets scolded himself for it). Even if he's only humoring her to spare her feelingsnote , it still makes Kondo the most sympathetic adult character in the entire film.
  • Alien Abduction: A passive example, in that the boys entered the spaceship of their own free will and it just took off with them still inside. Of course, this may have been the aliens' plan in the first place.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Gyaos chops off his own leg via Guiron's Attack Reflector.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The cop from the early part of the movie doesn't believe in flying saucers. Despite Japan having been menaced by daikaiju at least a few times already.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Akio has an apparent aversion to "wars and traffic accidents". Despite the "Blind Idiot" Translation (see below), this was actually in the original Japanese script.
  • Attack Reflector: Guiron's blade-face can reflect Gyaos' sonic spit-beam.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gamera. As in most Gamera films, the first one is subverted, but later he gets another shot.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Italian, of all things. For instance, "Tera" means literally "land" or "earth" and Florbella's name is almost identical to "flora bella" which does indeed mean "beautiful flower" (or "pretty as a flower" as she says in the movie). Clearly the more sinister and malevolent of the two, Barbella's name looks suspiciously lie "bara bella" which means "beautiful coffin." This latter may be a coincidence (she says the name means "pretty little bird"). One assumes the Japanese chose Italian, of all languages, for the simple reason that there are very few Italian-speaking people (or even people with a basic vocabulary in the language) in Japan. In the US, however, it isn't hard at all to find one.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Barbella and Florbella.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Sandy Frank/Pedro dub is considered hands down one of the worst dubs ever made. The script is a word-for-word literal translation of the Japanese dialog, right down to calling planets "stars"; they also did a piss-poor job matching the syllable count and spoken-word pacing, resulting in lots of unintended pregnant pauses and leading to such bizarre scenes as the infamous "Hello!" "Thank You!" exchange. Yes, even the "dancing go-go" line was in the Japanese script. For whatever reason, urban chaos translated as "traffic accidents". On top of that, it was clear that they hadn't really hired actors so much as handed scripts to a bunch of people on the day of recording and used their first takes.
  • Bowdlerized: Space Gyaos' Rasputinian Death was edited out of the American International TV version.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Tomoko. More in Akio's mind than in actual practice, though.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tomoko immediately tells her mother about the boys vanishing on a UFO, but her mother assumes she's pretending and even scolds her for sticking to the story. She's later vindicated when the press gets ahold of it.
  • Counter-Earth: Tera has the same orbit as Earth, but is just on the opposite side of the Sun.
  • Covers Always Lie: The posters for the Italian release calls the movie King Kong vs. Godzilla and, while they do feature Gamera and one of them feature Guiron, both posters most prominently advertise a Utam from The Mighty Peking Man, and one of them also has King Ghidorah.
  • Evil Laugh: Guiron gets off a good one, which seems to indicate slicing Gyaos like bread was For the Evulz.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Kid-friendly or not, this film features Guiron defeating a Gyaos by chopping off its head then slicing the body up like a Thanksgiving turkey. And this is shown on-camera. Sure, Gyaos' innards look like nothing more than blackberry jam, but still...
    Tom: What a monster!
  • Flying Saucer: How Akio and Tom reach Tera, and how the Terans plan to reach Earth.
  • Gratuitous English: Tom, following the precedent set by Jim in Gamera vs. Viras, occasionally lets slip an English word or two.
  • Hong Kong Dub: As detailed above, the Pedro dub goes to a further extreme by not even bothering to match the syllable count. A shining example.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Tom's pretty good with that dart gun. He only misses for purposes of dramatic tension.
  • Improv Fu: At one point, Gamera swings on a huge horizontal pipe like it's a gymnast's horizontal bar.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kondo is quite stern with the children; however, see Adults Are Useless above.
  • Last Of Their Kind: The Terans, Barbella and Florbella.
  • Made of Bologna: Guiron kills and dismembers the monster Gyaos, then starts chopping the body into sections. Gyaos is apparently composed of solid tissue without bones. Then again, this is a children's film, so strawberry jam was the most gore one could expect from the movie.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Guiron makes his debut by killing "Space Gyaos", a silver-colored version of the antagonist from a previous film. Ironically, this wasn't intentional on the filmmakers' part. Originally they wanted a new kaiju named Monga for that role, but they lacked the funds to create it. So they just painted Gyaos silver and substituted it.
  • Market-Based Title: Attack of the Monsters
  • Meaningful Name: "Guiron" is a mistranslation of "Guillon", which is itself a play on the French word "guillotine". An appropriate name for a monster with a blade for a head. (Though it's not terribly relevant to the creature's shuriken snorting power...)
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Elza's rather emphatic finger-wagging as she scolds Kondo for humoring Tomoko's story.
  • Mind Probe: The aliens use this to learn about Gamera. They also use it to see what kind of food they need to placate/drug the children.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Kondo, ostensibly.
  • Space "X": Space Gyaos.
  • Stock Footage: Akio's information about Gamera in the mind probe is all represented with footage from the previous films. Still not nearly as bad as in Viras.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Sandy Frank's dub invokes it almost word for word.
  • Token White: Tom, and later his mother.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tom and Akio may count, what with entering a vessel from space and screwing around with the controls without a second thought.
  • To Serve Man: Terans love a boy with brains.
  • Translator Microbes: The aliens wear neck-mounted microphones which feed their voices through a translation computer; without this, they sound like a Chipmunks record on 1078 RPM.
  • Trash the Set: What Guiron does when unleashed for the final time.
  • The Worf Effect: Guiron is established as a powerful villain when he chops up a Gyaos and eats it for lunch.

Alternative Title(s): Attack Of The Monsters