5.0 out of 5 stars Best Gamera movie!
It is great to see these old Gamera movies on dvd! This one has always been my favorite of the series, and is an excellent film for kids. If you can find the retromedia double feature disc, which includes ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS as well, I recommend that one instead. The picture is much better, not as blurry and faded, and the menu is not just a still picture like this...
Published on Mar 13 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Turtle Meets Squidly Diddly...
Yep, aliens are trying to invade japan again! It's up to Gamera and his two young helpers to defeat them. Striped, egg-shaped ships are whirling about, causing havoc! The sinister aliens have even taken control of big-Gs tiny, turtle brain! Can he break free of their power? Will he be able to do battle with / defeat their bird-beaked, octopoid critter from beyond the...
Published on Feb 23 2004 by Bindy Sue Fr°nkŘnschtein
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4.0 out of 5 stars Let the Battle Begin,
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)First off for 6-8 dollars for this dvd the really is nothing to complain cus your getting an gamera vs viras which is kinda rare due it never been release before.GAMERA is back again when he runs into you can say a ALien ship which they want to invade earth to steal its resources and claim it as there own.Gamera destroys the first ship but they sent another ship to complete the mission but when it comes down to it the leader has to take care of the situation itself and fights gamera to the end.Basically the showa series showed more action and not a lot of kid action as in some other gamera flicks.The monster action was very great and showed good special effect even they look cheesy you have to remind yourself that this was made a long time ago.The showa gamera series mark it self as entertaining the kids rather then a mature older audience thats why you see alot of kids acting a big part in every gamera series.This was indeed one of the best Gamera series to get so I would highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Gamera movie!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)It is great to see these old Gamera movies on dvd! This one has always been my favorite of the series, and is an excellent film for kids. If you can find the retromedia double feature disc, which includes ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS as well, I recommend that one instead. The picture is much better, not as blurry and faded, and the menu is not just a still picture like this one. But this edition is ok for the price!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Gamera Film, Here's Why:,
By A Customer
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)Gamera vs Viras is generally regarded as an average - if not subpar, entry in the 60's showa era of Gamera films. I disagree, I consider it tied for 1st with Gamera vs Monster X, which contains an excellent "Fantastic Voyage" inspired fantasy sequence. After Gamera vs Baragon, the showa series directed its efforts toward making science fantasy for children. Yuasa blazed a trail in developing this unique genre and in this film he hits his stride. Measured against this objective, Gamera vs Viras is both unique and effective. Watch it with an 8 year old and you'll see what I mean, the sense of wonder when viewed by its intended audience has not diminished over time.
The film is probably 80% special effects, and the action starts in the first frame. The non-effects sequences are not over-long and do not tax the attention span of a child like many Toho efforts of the era. The children are not annoying and are resourceful and mischievious, children still relate to these characters. Don't laugh - Speilberg, I think, might have been influenced by many of the elements in films like this. Like Speilberg, Yuasa was one of the originators of shooting his films from the POV of a child. It's brilliant, effective, and he blazed the trail that other filmmakers followed. There's a reason why these films are still remembered fondly and are still effective with kids 40 years later, and their crude effects and low budget do not diminish their effectiveness. Do you think the filmmakers of today didn't run home to watch Gamera flicks as kids and weren't influenced by the techniques created by Yuasa? I do.
However, what sets this film apart are the sequences aboard the alien ship. I find these sequences imaginative and display the bargain basement resoucefullness of Yuasa. These scenes, and the film as a whole, has a surreal dream-like quality that I believe Yuasa intended. It's like stepping into a child's giant monster fantasy, and succeeds in this regard far more than Honda's attempt in Godzilla's Revenge.
Although a great deal of the film is padded with stock footage - particularly the scenes where Gamera's memory is scanned by the aliens to determine his weakness - and the complete battles with Baragon and Gayos are shown, it's a good way to see these other films if you don't want to purchase the collection. The incorporation of these flashback elements are done sensibley within the context of the plot.
The effects are a mixed bag in terms of realism, as always. But - also, as always, are vivid and entertaining. There's some nice traveling matte work as Viras is shown growing form human size to a giant, and a particularly nice minature work of Gamera's destruction of a dam is included. It's nice to see Gamera destroying some cities while under alien control. And the film has a surprising number of reasonably effective composite shots.
As typical in a Gamera film, Viras is an unusual, imaginative Kaiju - a cross between a space squid and a banana. The final battle between Gamera and Viras is one of the more epic Kaiju fights. The impalement sequence - which Gamera somehow survives, pushes the envelope in terms of intensity (and surrealism) for kids. The "water skiing" scene is a classic of kaiju silliness.
Anyway - great underappreciated 60's kaiju flick. Well worth the bargain price of 8 bucks for the DVD.
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Turtle Meets Squidly Diddly...,
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)Yep, aliens are trying to invade japan again! It's up to Gamera and his two young helpers to defeat them. Striped, egg-shaped ships are whirling about, causing havoc! The sinister aliens have even taken control of big-Gs tiny, turtle brain! Can he break free of their power? Will he be able to do battle with / defeat their bird-beaked, octopoid critter from beyond the stars? Can we possibly survive the aliens' use of seemingly endless flashbacks of other Gamera movies? Let us hope. My 8yo absolutely loves this movie! That's all that really matters anyway...
4.0 out of 5 stars weee... its sunday afternoon in the 1970's. ..errr.. oops,
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)Wow, this one took me back. That was great. I remember this one from a sunday afternoon one summer in the 1970's. KSTW 11's Sci-Fi Theater. Hahahaha. Anyways...
The picture quality on this DVD was better then I expected it to be after viewing the crappy print used on the War of the Monsters DVD from the same company. This one is much better.
The colors are pretty good considering the print used. I also picked up Gamera: Attack of the Monsters, which looks pretty good also...considering the budget release it is.
Unfortunatly, its full screen, instead of the original widescreen aspect ratio, which IS available on VHS! (that sucks weiners IMHO, why are we taking backwards steps here people?!? heheh)
So, if you like sci-fi flicks that remind you of weekend afternoon tv when you were a kid, or latenight tv when you were in college, or if you're just a fan of rubber monster movies, then grab this DVD while its out.
And... keep those fingers crossed for some widescreen attention to be paid to gamera!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent creature double feature!!!,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Retromedia scores again!,
By A Customer
Like Godzilla, Gamera was a friend to children, and by the third film, he was a good monster as imposed to an evil, city-stomping one. The Gamera films usually had kids as the main characters in the plots (even more so than with Godzilla), but the monster battles were surprisingly more violent, with the massive turtle's thick green blood flowing freely. And although the Gamera films were shown primarily on television in the States, this "man in a rubber suit" figure has still had a major impact on monster fans who grew up in the 60s and 70s watching them on Saturday afternoon, and if you live in New York, "The 4:30 Movie."
Retromedia has released two of the more well-known Gamera films on DVD as a double feature, complete with their original "AIP" logos. The first film on this set is 1968's DESTROY ALL PLANETS, which involves two Boy Scouts (one Japanese and one American) abducted by a Ping Pong ball spaceship. In it, they find some gloomy aliens that look like Japanese surgeons, and are held prisoners.
Most of the film is padded with footage from the previous three Gamera movies. Scenes from the original black and white film represent the point where the aliens control Gamera's mind and turn him on Japan, and most of the his nighttime clash with Gaos from RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS is also present. The later half concentrates on new footage with Viras, a disturbing squid creature who is actually the leader of the aliens. Viras grows huge by chopping off the heads of his surgeon henchman and manifesting their bodies to be able to fight Gamera. A bloody battle ensues with Gamera being impaled by Viras' head, but he regains his strength and continues to fight in order to save the boys.
The other title on this DVD set is the following year's ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS. The plot has two star-gazing boys (again, one Japanese and one American) discovering an abandoned flying saucer in the woods. They are able to pilot the ship to a planet where a knife-headed monster called Guiron slices up a silver-tinged Gaos, and later does extensive fighting with Gamera (watch as the giant flying turtle does gymnastics!). Guiron is unique in that he shoots deadly Ninja stars from his head, making for some tough competition for Gamera. Meanwhile, the boys discovery that the unique-looking planet is inhabited by two alien women. They seem real friendly at first, but the jelly donuts and milk they are treated to is actually a scheme to drug them and eat their brains! Don't worry, even though one of the boys has his head shaved, no brains are actually eaten.
The DVD release of these two films marks a nice return to the AIP versions we're all used to. In the 80s, Sandy Franks issued re-dubbed versions of the Gamera films, but they lacked the charm and personality of what we originally saw in this country. Retromedia's release of both are of course the panned & scanned full frame editions, since the original 2:35.1 ratios were never seen here in English. DESTROY ALL PLANETS is passable: some of the colors are faded and the image is a bit soft. ATTACK OF THE MONSTERS on the other hand has very vibrant colors and is taken from a nice clean print source. The image is very sharp despite some grain caused by the p/s zooming. Audio on both titles is fine.
Extras on the disc include two really nice still/poster galleries, and there are liner notes by Christopher William Koenig.
3.0 out of 5 stars Gamera (and two boy scouts) vs. Viras (and stock footage),
This review is from: Destroy All Planets [Import] (DVD)The fifth entry in the showa (1960s - 1980s gamera films) Gamera series, Gamera vs. Viras (Destroy all Planets as it was released in the US) is a most enjoyable, although juvenille film.
In the movie, two prank-loving boy scouts are kidnapped by aliens looking to take over the world. Gamera attempts a rescue, only to be put under the Virian's (the aliens) control and forced to attack Japan. The two boys find a way to put an end to the Virian's mind control and escape. The Virans, in a last-ditch effort, fuse together into a gigantic, silver squid monster. Can Gamera defeat Viras and save the earth? (well, i can't give away the ending, now can I?)
The quality of the print used is subpar, presenting a slightly faded picture and several scratches. However, the film is still completely enjoyable in this form and could be a lot worse . . . trust me. The audio is generally clear and crisp, showing little problems.
The DVD itself has little to show. The menus are still images, with no music. There is however a picture gallery and a chapter index.
As a hardcore kaiju (japanese monster movies) fan, I strongly recommend this DVD, even though its not in the best possible quality.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Too Bad - DVD Menu Not The Best,
The first movie is Attack of the Monsters (aka Gamera vs. Guillon or Gamera vs. Guiron - depending on your source. Neptune Video used the first spelling, a reference book used the second). A boy and his friend see a UFO through his telescope and think they know where it landed. The boy's sister finds the flying saucer, and the two boys get inside just as it takes off on autopilot. The flying saucer looks alot like the Jupiter 2 with fins and a spinning thing on top. No one will listen to the girl's story about what happened except for one police officer. Meanwhile, the two boys are stuck on a planet with two female aliens who want to eat their brains. The monster Guillon is under the aliens' control. This print is censored with Guillon's fight with Space Gyaos being cut short.
The second movie is Destroy All Planets (aka Gamera vs. Viras). This is the first time for me to ever see this so I can't comment on what might be censored. Two boys in an experimental submarine are captured by an alien ship and become prisoners. However, the aliens are really after Gamera since he is their main obstacle to conquering Earth. The aliens capture Gamera long enough to attach a mind control device. Later, Viras is released to fight Gamera. (I can't explain why without giving a spoiler.) This movie uses many scenes from previous movies as the aliens try to find a way to defeat Gamera. Even some of the "new" scenes appear to use old footage even from the original black and white Gamera movie - tinted red here.
These movies are presented as you might have seen them broadcast on TV - before cable TV came along. The voice acting is OK. Both movies have a copyright of 1969. The original edition of Destroy All Planets was release one year earlier in Japan.
I could do without the Dragnet-style music during the FBI warning. The face of the DVD looks like a video capture.
I don't like the menus on this DVD. I normally assume that the brightest item is the selected one. With only two menu items (the title of each movie), it's not easy to tell at first that the item highlighted with green and somewhat dimmed is the selected movie. Plus, the menu comes up with the second (bottom) movie highlighted. The submenus for each movie are easier to navigate.
Each movie menu includes a photo collection. Under Attack of the Monsters, the images include movie posters and artwork for the VHS cases, LaserDisc slipcase, and DVD inserts. This includes material for all of the old movies plus the 1995 one. There are even illustrations of the monsters' anatmony (the same ones that are on the official Japanese web site). Under Destroy All Planets, the images are mainly production photos. These pictures are not still frames. They are presentations set to music with each image appearing for approximately 7 seconds.
Personally, I'd prefer to see the edition that Neptune Video had released on tape. I only got their subtitled letterboxed tapes so I don't know what their dubbed tapes were like except for the original 1965 movie. I don't know if their dubbed tape was like the AIP edition or not. I would like to see all of these older Gamera movies on DVD - released in both subtitled and dubbed as well as letterboxed.
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly cheesy Roger Corman films....,
By A Customer
Ignore this mess.
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Destroy All Planets [Import] by Noriaki Yuasa (DVD - 2003)
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