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Film / Gamera vs. Gyaos

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"I named it Gyaos, because of the sound he makes!"

Produced in 1967, Gamera vs. Gyaos is one of the more popular entries in the Showa Gamera series, and it would introduce Gamera's most popular foe, Gyaos. The film was also the last entry to feature a music score by Tadashi Yamauchi, who also scored the first film as well. This film featured the return of Gamera's love of children, and it was the movie where Gamera became an outright hero - previously, he was the main antagonist of his debut film, and in Gamera vs. Barugon he was still portrayed as a threat to Japan. Like the first movie, and all succeeding it except Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera vs. Gyaos was directed by Noriaki Yuasa, who also helmed the special effects.

This film is often considered to be the best of the Showa Gamera series. Gamera's interest in protecting children means that this film is also a turning point for the franchise, as subsequent entries in the Showa era would become increasingly-oriented towards a younger audience, likely as a way for the series to take part in the 1970's Tokusatsu boom. Oddly enough, the films would still be very gory, with monsters bleeding and losing limbs like a carnival of delicious horrors.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, see here.

This movie contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Not all of them, but the vast majority, especially that reporter.
  • Asshole Victim: Okabe, who leaves Eiichi behind in a crumbling cave and gets eaten by Gyaos.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Interestingly, Gyaos can be viewed as this. While clearly a dangerous threat to everyone, Gyaos seemed more content with just being left alone in his cave and only eating either those that intrude his home or what he needs to survive. Notably, Gyaos only goes on a rampage after he is attacked by the military on his own turf. However, he does seem to enjoy the chaos he causes and on occasion does play with his food. So while Gyaos does display evil tendencies, he was also provoked a bunch of times by the humans and seemed like he was fine slumbering in his cave unless disturbed.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gyaos's forked throat allows him to produce sonic beams. However, he can't turn his head because of this, meaning that he can't attack foes coming at him from behind unless he's able to turn around in time.
  • Breakout Character: Gyaos. Similar to Godzilla and King Ghidorah, Gyaos would become Gamera's Arch-Enemy, having major roles as the villain in several films throughout the franchise and in the video game.
  • Breath Weapon: Gamera has his flame-thrower, and Gyaos has his sonic beam, which is due to him having a forked throat, causing him to be unable to turn his head.
  • Comedic Relief Characters: Occasionally the two workers who work alongside human lead Shiro Tsutsumi.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Gyaos nearly slices Gamera's right arm off in their first battle; both monsters, Gamera especially, bleed profusely in each encounter; Gyaos slices his own toe off in the second battle; Gyaos eats people on screen, and Eiichi throws his toys at some angry villagers.
  • Friend to All Children: Gamera, and here is where it became really pronounced.
  • Giant Flyer: Gamera and Gyaos.
  • Healing Factor: After chopping off his own toe to escape Gamera, Gyaos is seen recuperating in his cave and growing a new toe. Stupidly, he breaks off a stalactite with his beak and drops it on the still-sensitive toe.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Gyaos' name has changed over the years. When Daiei created the character in 1967, "Gaos" was the official English spelling. The new Daiei decided to change the name to "Gyaos", a spelling that matches the original Japanese katakana spelling, for the 1995 film and that seems to be the official English spelling ever since. But from 1967-1995, the name was officially "Gaos."
  • Our Vampires Are Different: For one, this vampire can shoot sonic beams out of his mouth, and he definitely does not sparkle in the light, although his head does glow red. And oh yes, he's a 200-foot-tall dark grey pterodactyl.
  • Red Herring: It would seem like Gyaos' inability to turn his head was implying that Gamera would slay him by breaking his neck. Even the sunlight weakness is another reverse Chekhov's Gun, since Gamera kills Gyaos by pulling him into the crater of Mount Fuji and holds him there until a combination of the lava and the rising sun does him in.
  • Super-Scream: Gyaos uses super-sonic beams produced by a special forked throat.
  • To Serve Man: Gyaos' primary food is PEOPLE!, although he also eats some cattle (off screen) as evidenced by one distraught farmer's grieving.
  • Weakened by the Light: Sunlight and ultraviolet light are harmful to Gyaos, and it causes his flesh to literally shrink.