I mentioned on Twitter today that my favorite Japanese monster was Gamera, the giant turtle with inexplicable rocket engines for flying.
Unable to remember the story of Gamera, I went online to refresh my memory.
I wish I hadn’t.
I cannot remember reading a more idiotic plotline in all my life.
It’s a sad reminder of how easily an adolescent boy can be entertained by an ill-conceived monster, a few well timed explosions and the destruction of a city.
The film opens with Gamera’s awakening from the accidental detonation of an atomic bomb as a result of an aerial assault by American fighters on Soviet bombers caught crossing into North American airspace. Gamera wastes no time in causing a rampage of destruction, first destroying a Japanese research ship, then making its way to Japan to wreak havoc.
In an attempt to stop the giant turtle, Gamera is sedated with a freezing agent on a precipice, and powerful explosives are placed at the base. The explosion knocks the monster on its back, and while it seems as though mankind has scored a victory, this is not the case: Gamera reveals its ability to fly. The monster arrives in Haneda airport and destroys most of Tokyo.
The military attempts to lure it to an island with fire, which it eats, and kill it, but the creature is distracted when a volcano erupts. Gamera goes to eat the lava instead. A new strategy, Plan Z, is devised to stop the monster, this time by baiting it into a space rocket bound for Mars. The plan is successful and the Earth is safe from Gamera.