Gamera Vs. Viras (Japan 1968)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/7/99
Alternate Title: Destroy All Planets

This unremarkable Gamera entry is only memorable for its light-hearted corniness. Two boy scouts with a reputation as pranksters (an American boy and a Japanese boy) get captured by a group of aliens who have plans to colonize Earth. Since Gamera's greatest weakness is his incredible kindness towards children, he refuses to fight the aliens and eventually falls victim to their mind control device. The aliens order Gamera to destroy Tokyo and cause all sorts of havoc, threatening to kill the boys if he doesn't obey. The United Nations is also powerless, and decide to surrender the planet to the aliens rather than further risk the lives of the children. Wow. Fortunately for Earth, the kids don't give up that easily and singlehandedly manage to reverse the mind control device and escape the spaceship. This pisses off the aliens pretty bad, and the head squid monster kills all of his subordinates in order to become the gigantic tentacled Viras (I remember being particularly horrified as a youngster when the aliens were beheaded). Gamera and Viras battle it out on the beach while the kids cheer him on. Gamera takes an incredibly nasty chest impalement, but manages to drag Viras into the stratosphere where the giant squid freezes to death. The film is overall fairly enjoyable and the Japanese boy's older sister is a total babe, but the movie commits a cardinal sin by recounting Gamera's battles from the previous three movies in a thirty minute long montage of cut-and-paste battle footage. Be sure to have your thumb on the fast forward button for this mind-numbing portion of the film.