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Film / Gamera vs. Zigra

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The seventh installment of the Showa-era Gamera films. Earth is invaded by inhabitants of the planet Zigra, a water breathing race that wants to use humankind as a food source. It’s up to Gamera and a handful of children in the thick of it to save the day. Daiei Studios filed for bankruptcy shortly after the release of this film, leading to a nine-year hiatus until the eighth and final Showa Gamera film was released.

This is one of nine films to be used twice on Mystery Science Theater 3000 – once on the local Minneapolis UHF station KTMA in 1988 during the local run of the show and later when running nationally on Comedy Central. For those versions please go to the episode recap page.

This film provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The film, while released in 1971, is set in 1985.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Zigra
  • Alien Invasion: The planet Zigra wants to take over Earth to use humans for food.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Gamera breathes fire underwater. While it's not impossible to create fire underwater, this is a bit much. Either that or Gamera's flames are just that hot.
  • Blatant Lies: Lora Lee chases the children with the clear intent to kill them, all the while shouting, "Come back! I won't hurt you!"
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Zigra's henchwoman Lora Lee, as it turns out.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Gamera plays his own theme music, using Zigra's fins as a xylophone.
  • Disney Death: Gamera gets one, naturally; but also the crew of the bathysphere.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Even Zigra's beached corpse
  • Flying Saucer
  • Humiliation Conga: In between being defeated and being roasted to death, Zigra gets played like a musical instrument.
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including reviving a giant turtle.
  • Missing Mom: Helen's mom is said to be in a New York hospital.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lora spends a few minutes in a skimpy two-piece bikini, and the rest of the movie in a T-shirt and very short miniskirt.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Lora uses her hypnosis abilities to steal a bikini from a trio of pearl divers, and later a more sensible outfit from a fleeing woman.
  • Parent Service: The Zigra minion Lora Lee is introduced wearing form fitting Space Clothes before switching to a bikini in an attempt to blend in with humans, finally settling on a mini skirt for the remainder of the film.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Lora Lee's eyes flash red when she uses her knockout attack.
  • Russian Reversal: Zigra: We live in the Sea and eat things living on land.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't pollute the oceans, or Space Sharks will come down and eat us all!
  • Tailfin Walking: Ambiguous: it's not clear if Zigra is able to grow legs or if he is just standing on his fins. The puppet Zigra with the tail and the costume Zigra with a human actor inside switch between shots so it's hard to tell.
  • Threatening Shark: The aquatic aliens from planet Zigra resemble goblin sharks.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Played with; Zigra is afraid of bright light, but unlike Gyaos it does not actually seem to harm him.
  • What Year Is This?: After Kenny and Helen are returned by Zigra to a deserted island, they ask the hermit they meet this question. He replies that they're in the present year, 1985.