Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
Gamera vs. Gyaos (大怪獣空中戦 ガメラ対ギャオス is a Daikaijū Kūchūsen Gamera tai Gyaosu, lit. Giant Monster Dogfight: Gamera vs. Gyaos)1967 tokusatsu kaiju film directed by Noriaki Yuasa and written by Nisan Takahashi, with special effects by Yuasa. Produced by Daiei, it is the third entry in the Gamera series as well as the Showa series. It stars Kojiro Hongo, Reiko Kasahara, Taro Marui, Yoshio Kitahara, Sho Natsuki, Kichijiro Ueda, and Naoyuki Abe. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Daiei on March 15, 1967 as a double feature with Little Fugitive. American International Television released an edited English-dubbed version of the film titled Return of the Giant Monsters to television in the United States in 1968.
Following a chain of volcanic eruptions that spreads all the way to Mount Fuji, Gamera returns to Japan to feed on the molten magma. In addition, the eruptions awaken the monstrous winged Gyaos from its sleep under Mount Futago. The beast terrorizes the nearby village before moving on to Nagoya, with Gamera in pursuit. With humanity powerless to stop Gyaos, it is up to Gamera to defeat the man-eating terror. Gamera vs. Gyaos introduced the titular Gyaos, who would go on to become Gamera's arch-enemy. It was followed by Gamera vs. Viras in 1968.
Plot[edit | edit source]
A chain of earthquakes and seismic activity across Japan causes Mount Fuji to erupt. The eruption lures Gamera, who lands in the mouth of the volcano and consumes the molten lava. A team of United Nations scientists travel to Shizuoka Prefecture in the vicinity of Mount Fuji to investigate the strange phenomenon by helicopter, and notice a bizarre green glow emanating from a cavern in the mountains. Suddenly, a yellow laser shoots out of the cavern and slices the helicopter in half, killing everyone aboard. Experts cannot determine what destroyed the chopper, but believe it had nothing to do with Gamera or the eruption of Mt. Fuji. Amidst this confusion, foreman Shiro Tsutsumi is ordered by his superiors at Express Engineering Corp. to resume construction of a highway in the area. Unfortunately, local villagers are obstructing and sabotaging the efforts of Tsutsumi's crew, believing they can receive a greater selling price for their land by doing so. During a standoff between Tsutsumi's crew and several villagers, a reporter named Okabe sneaks into the village to get a glimpse of the mysterious green glow. He is caught snooping about by Eiichi Kanamura, the grandson of Tatsuemon Kanamura, the village elder. Okabe convinces Eiichi to guide him into the cavern so he can get a scoop on the green glow. When they reach the cave, the ground begins to shake and the cave's ceiling begins to collapse. Okabe ditches Eiichi and runs out of the cave, but is caught in the grasp of a huge bat-like creature, which promptly eats him whole. The creature turns its attention to Eiichi and grabs him, but Gamera arrives and attacks the monster. The monster spits a laser from its mouth, which cuts through Gamera's flesh and nearly slices his arm off. Gamera recedes into his shell and rolls down a hill, slamming into his enemy and causing it to drop Eiichi, who Gamera catches in his hand. Gamera places Eiichi onto his back and flies to the village, where he releases Eiichi safe and sound before flying away.
The JSDF meets to discuss countermeasures against the new monster, which Eiichi names "Gyaos," but the creature easily shoots down a squadron of fighter jets when they fly over his lair using its laser, which scientists determine to be an incredibly high-frequency sonic beam. The JSDF calls of the attack, but that night Gyaos emerges and feeds on local livestock. After learning that Gyaos is a nocturnal creature, the JSDF sets up bright lights all around the village, while Tsutsumi keeps watch from the construction crew's base of operations. When Gyaos still comes out of its lair that night, Tsutsumi fires a flare to warn the village. The JSDF attacks Gyaos, but their forces are decimated and the beast takes flight and heads for Nagoya. Gyaos terrorizes the city, destroying a train and eating the helpless passengers. As Gyaos flies over the city, Gamera appears in the sky, having healed from his previous encounter with the fiendish beast. Gamera tries to ram into Gyaos in the air, but Gyaos emits a yellow powder that extinguishes Gamera's flame and causes him to fall into the ocean. Gyaos flies over the ocean, but Gamera erupts from the water and bites down on Gyaos' foot. As the sun begins to rise, Gyaos desperately severs his own foot so he can escape before the sun rises completely. The next morning, Gyaos' severed foot is discovered and brought into a laboratory for study. Scientists learn that sunlight eats away at Gyaos' flesh and is lethal to the creature. The JSDF formulates a new anti-Gyaos plan: because Gyaos feeds on human blood, they will fill a giant bowl with artificial blood and place it above a giant turntable located on top of a hotel in the village near Gyaos' lair. When Gyaos lands on the turntable to feed, it will begin to spin rapidly and hopefully render Gyaos so dizzy he cannot fly away when the sun rises. While the plan is put into action, Gyaos regenerates its severed foot while resting in its cave.
Once the trap is set just an hour before sunrise, Gyaos emerges from his cave and lands on the turntable to drink the artificial blood. The device begins spinning rapidly, rendering Gyaos dizzy and unable to move. Just as the sun is rising, the turntable's motor gives out and explodes, triggering a fire at the nearby substation and causing the device to shut down. Gyaos regains his balance and extinguishes the fire with his vapor, then destroys the hotel in retaliation before returning to his lair. The next day, Express Engineering decides it is done dealing with Gyaos and the villagers and decides to reroute the highway. When the villagers learn about this, they are enraged and confront Kanamura at his home. Eiichi throws his toys at the mob of villagers and tells them to leave his grandfather alone and stop being greedy, then runs away crying. Eiichi's older sister Sumiko comforts him, and he tells her that all of this trouble would be over if Gamera returned to kill Gyaos once and for all. He says that since Gamera is drawn to fire and Gyaos hates it, a huge forest fire could bring Gamera there and lead to Gyaos' defeat. Kanamura overhears Eiichi and decides to propose his plan to the JSDF. Tsutsumi tells Kanamura and the JSDF that he will help put the plan into action, and will reroute the highway back through the village once this is all over. Trees in the forest around the village are chopped down and covered in gasoline, then ignited once Gyaos comes out of its cave. Gyaos tries to extinguish the flames, but Gamera sees them and lands for a final confrontation with his foe. Gyaos fires its sonic beam at Gamera, but he retracts into his shell, which protects him from the beam. Gyaos grabs Gamera while he is in his shell and continually carries him into the sky and throws him to the ground. After he becomes lodged in the side of a hill, Gamera grabs hold of a boulder and throws it into Gyaos' mouth, preventing him from using his sonic beam. Gamera grabs Gyaos and takes flight, carrying him to the summit of the active Mt. Fuji. Gamera bites down on Gyaos' neck and drags them both into the volcano's crater. Gyaos fires one last sonic beam into the air, then succumbs to the molten lava and burns to death. Gamera flies out of the crater and into the horizon, while Eiichi waves and calls after him.
Staff[edit | edit source]
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Noriaki Yuasa
- Written by Nisan Takahashi
- Executive producer Hidemasa Nagata
- Music by Tadashi Yamauchi
- Cinematography by Akira Uehara
- Edited by Tatsuji Nakashizu
- Director of special effects Noriaki Yuasa (uncredited)
Cast[edit | edit source]
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Kojiro Hongo as Foreman Shiro Tsutsumi
- Reiko Kasahara as Sumiko Kanemaru
- Taro Marui as Maito-no-Kuma
- Yoshio Kitahara as Dr. Aoki
- Sho Natsuki as Self-Defense Force General
- Kichjiro Ueda as Tatsuemon Kanemaru
- Jutaro Hojo as Rancher
- Takashi Nakamura as Chunichi News reporter
- Yukitaro Hotaru as Hachi
- Naoyuki Abe as Eiichi Kanemaru
- Kenji Oyama as Prefectural Police chief
- Koichi Ito as Highway Development Corporation director
- Shin Minatsu as Cameraman
- Yuji Moriya as Announcer
- Osamu Maruyama as Earthquake Research Institute Director
- Shun Tsuda as Reporter
- Kisao Tobita as Policeman
- Teppei Endo as Highway Development Corporation local section manager
- Joe O'Hara as Highland Hotel manager
- Gai Harada as Forestry engineer
- Fujio Murakami as Dr. Murakami
- Teruo Aragaki as Gamera
International English dub[edit | edit source]
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Michael Kaye as Maito-no-Kuma / Dr. Aoki / reporter
- Barry Haigh as Self-Defense Force General
- Ted Thomas as Tatsuemon Kanemaru / announcer
- Warren Rooke as Rancher / Highway Development Corporation director / Prefectural Police chief
- Nick Kendall as Hachi
AITV English dub[edit | edit source]
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Ted Rusoff as Shiro Tsutsumi
- Anthony La Penna as Announcer
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Monsters[edit | edit source]
Weapons, vehicles, and races[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gamera vs. Gyaos/Gallery.
Soundtrack[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gamera vs. Gyaos (Soundtrack).
Alternate titles[edit | edit source]
- Giant Monster Dogfight: Gamera vs. Gyaos (literal Japanese title)
- Gamera vs. Gaos: Boy Eiichi and the Super Monsters (English Japanese DVD title)
- Return of the Giant Monsters (United States)
- Gamera vs. Gaos (U.S. home video title and alternate English Japanese title)
- Gamera Against Gaos - Frankenstein's Fight of the Monsters (Gamera gegen Gaos - Frankensteins Kampf Der Ungeheuer; West Germany)
- Gamera Against the Monster Gaos (Gamera Contro Il Mostro Gaos; Italy)
- Boyichi and the Supermonster (the Philippines)
- The Return of the Giant Monsters (A Volta dos Monstros Gigantes; Brazil)
Theatrical releases[edit | edit source]
- Japan - March 15, 1967
- Italy - 1969
- Czechoslovakia - 1971
- West Germany - 1971
U.S. release[edit | edit source]
Like Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera vs. Gyaos was not released to American theaters, but instead offered in television syndication by American International Television in 1968 under the title Return of the Giant Monsters. Starting in 1987, the film began airing on television and was released to VHS as Gamera vs. Gaos. The international dub of Gamera vs. Gyaos, as released by Sandy Frank Film Syndication and under the title "Gamera vs. Gaos," was featured on Season 3 of the movie-mocking television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was also riffed on the show during its original broadcast on the Minneapolis-area station KTMA. Shout! Factory and Mill Creek Entertainment have both released the uncut Japanese version of the film, now under the title Gamera vs. Gyaos, on DVD with English subtitles.
Video releases[edit | edit source]
Shout! Factory DVD (2010)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono), English (1.0 Mono, international and AITV dubs)
- Special features: Gallery of publicity materials
- Notes: All versions of the film use the same Japanese video track. Packaged with Gamera vs. Viras.
Mill Creek DVD (2014) [Gamera: The Legacy Collection]
- Region: 1
- Discs: 4
- Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono)
- Special features: None
- Notes: Packaged with Gamera the Giant Monster, Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera vs. Viras, Gamera vs. Guiron, Gamera vs. Jiger, Gamera vs. Zigra, Gamera Super Monster, Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris.
Mill Creek Blu-ray (2014) [Gamera: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1]
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Special features: None
- Notes: Packaged with Gamera the Giant Monster, Gamera vs. Barugon, and Gamera vs. Viras.
Arrow Video Blu-ray (2020/2021) [Gamera: The Complete Collection and Gamera: The Showa Era]
- Region: A and B
- Discs: 8 (The Complete Collection] or 4 (The Showa Era)
- Audio: Japanese and both English dubs (DTS-HD Master Audio Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: Audio commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, introduction by August Ragone (9 minutes), Japanese and German theatrical trailers, American TV spot and video promo, opening and end credits from the AITV and Sandy Frank versions of the film (6 minutes), inserts exclusive to the AITV version (1 minute), and an image gallery. Gamera: The Complete Collection includes 12 art cards by Matt Frank, a map of Gamera's appearances throughout the world, and two books; the first collects A History of Gamera by Patrick Macias, a 1996 Noriaki Yuasa interview by David Milner, kaiju x-ray illustrations by Jolyan Yates, three Fangoria articles on the Heisei Gamera trilogy by Norman England, a guide to the English dubs of the Gamera series by James Flower, and information on the transfers presented in the set, while the second reprints the comics Gamera and The Last Hope.
- Notes: Gamera: The Complete Collection is out of print. Packaged with the other 11 Gamera films in The Complete Collection and the other seven Showa Gamera films in The Showa Era. Due to the large number of special features in these sets, only the supplements pertinent to Gamera vs. Gyaos are described above.
Videos[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Gamera vs. Gyaos was released on a double feature with the re-release of the 1966 Japanese-Soviet collaborative film Little Fugitive (小さい逃亡者. Chīsai Tōbōsha)
- This film marks the introduction of Gyaos, who would go on to appear in several more Gamera films (the only enemy monster in the series to do so) and become Gamera's archenemy.
- In the Gamera vs. Gyaos Asahi Sonorama tie-in book, it is shown that insects that resemble the Meganulon live and breed deep in Gyaos' cave.
- The 1995 reboot to the Gamera series, Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, contains many references to this film. Its Japanese title, Gamera Daikaiju Kūchū Kessen, is similar to this film's Japanese title, Daikaiju Kūchūsen Gamera tai Gyaosu. The theatrical poster for Gamera the Guardian of the Universe is also designed to resemble this film's poster. Gamera's final battle with Super Gyaos in Gamera the Guardian of the Universe also shares many similarities with scenes from Gamera vs. Gyaos, notably the scene when Super Gyaos severs its own foot with its sonic beam to escape Gamera.
- Gamera vs. Gyaos was one of four Gamera films to be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2015 to celebrate Gamera's 50th anniversary.
- This film was released in 1967, a year where four of Japan's major studios released at least one giant monster film: Daiei released this film, Nikkatsu released Gappa, Shochiku released The X from Outer Space, and Toho released both King Kong Escapes and Son of Godzilla.
- A newspaper reporting on Gamera's rescue of Eiichi is dated March 1, 1967, just two weeks before the film's release.
- As a publicity stunt, a press conference for the film was hosted by Gyaos to promote his co-starring role in the film. Reportedly, the car that gets split in two by Gyaos was also shown off at the event. The event itself also apparently angered journalists that showed up to the conference.
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References[edit | edit source]
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