Gammera : The Invincible

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An atomic explosion awakens Gammera–a giant, fire-breathing turtle monster–from his millions of years of hibernation. Enraged at being roused from such a sound sleep, he takes it out on Tokyo.

ACTORS :  Albert Dekker, Brian Donlevy, Diane Findlay

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1966

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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Gammera : The Invincible  An atomic bomb blast is detonated as American and Soviet forces clash, awakening Gammera, an immense prehistoric turtle-like creature, from his eons of slumber. The enraged beast wanders the arctic wilderness annihilating all traces of humanity in his path. The horrible devastation incites an international panic and world leaders convene to devise a strategy to eliminate the beast. The most advanced and powerful weapons in mankind’s arsenal are useless against Gammera and merely provoke the awesome monster to greater acts of destruction. Faced with major cities in ruin and global carnage beyond imagination, the world’s top scientists combine forces to develop Plan Z-a final desperate chance for human survival. Originally released in Japan as Daikaiju Gamera, the film was the first of eight installments starring the mighty turtle.

Gammera’s explosive debut…

Gammera : The Invincible one of the most famous Japanese monsters to hit the big screen in the 1960s makes his debut in this zero-budget, politically charged monster thriller. It is interesting to consider the tensions that were taking place between certain nations at the time that the movie was made, especially between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. There is no effort made to disguise the animosity that existed between the two, more than likely since that bitterness was needed as a catalyst to bring Gammera back from 200 million years of hibernation. The U.S. shoots down a suspicious bomber, which turned out to be Russian, over the arctic region. As is to be expected from those sneaky Russians, the bomber was loaded with hydrogen bombs which, upon impact, explode with sufficient force to not only thaw but also infuriate the sleeping Gammera. Lots of havoc is wreaked upon poorly constructed models of cities and airplanes and landscapes and such, and there is some strange subplot about a little boy obsessed with turtles who wants to expose Gammera for the gentle creature that he really is. Inspiration for the Iron Giant, maybe? The special effects are astonishingly bad, but there was no budget and in the movie’s defense, I have to say that the people involved in making it knew that they had no budget but they took very seriously their task of doing as much as they could with as little as they had.

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