Gammera The Invincible (1966)

TOMATOMETER

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Movie Info

One of the most fearsome of the Japanese monsters to hit the screen in the early 60's makes his debut in sci-fi thriller. As tensions between America and the Soviet Union rise to a fever pitch, U.S. troops shoot down a Russian bomber which is flying low in an Arctoc region. The bomber crashes, and its payload of hydrogen bombs explode upon impact. The blast releases and awakens Gamera, a gigantic fire-breathing turtle which had been frozen under the ice since prehistoric times. The newly revived monster makes his way to Tokyo, Japan, where he begins to lay waste to the city. As emminent scientist Dr. Hidaka (Eiji Funakoshi) searches for a way to defeat the monster, a young boy named Yoshiro (Yoshiro Unchida) develops an unlikely friendship with Gamera. For the film's American release, additional scenes were added featuring U.S. actors Brian Donlevy and Albert Dekker. The spelling of the monster's name was also changed; he's Gammera with two M's in this movie, but just Gamera in the sequels which followed.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
American Pop Classics

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Cast

Albert Dekker
as Secretary of Defense
Brian Donlevy
as Gen. Terry Arnold
Eiji Funakoshi
as Dr. Hidaka
Dick O'Neill
as Gen. O'Neill
Alan Oppenheimer
as Dr. Contrare
Steffen Zacharias
as Senator Billings
Louis Zorich
as Russian Ambassador
John Baragrey
as Capt. Lovell
Jun Hamamura
as Dr. Murase
Mort Marshall
as Jules Manning
John McCurry
as Airman First Class Hopkins
Diane Findlay
as Sgt. Susan Embers
Robin Craven
as English Ambassador
Gene Bua
as Lt. Clark
Bob Carraway
as Lt. Simpson
Arnold Walter
as American Ambassador
George Hirose
as Japanese Ambassador
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Critic Reviews for Gammera The Invincible

All Critics (0)

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Full Review… | April 15, 2012
Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review Database

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Full Review… | March 3, 2011
Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review Database

Audience Reviews for Gammera The Invincible

Gammera, 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. 3 stars 8-21-08

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

½

The first Gamera movie is essentially a Godzilla ripoff, with atomic testing uncovering an ancient reptilian monster that proceeds to destroy large parts of Japan. Like Godzilla, its in Black & White, and also like Godzilla, the American version edited in American actors. Unlike the first Godzilla movie, the first Gamera film throws in a kid protagonist, which would become a hallmark of the series. Here, it doesn't mesh very well, since the kid is an antisocial outsider with an obsession with turtles and the annoying ability to sneak into high-security areas and plead with authorities that Gamera is a friendly turtle while Gamera behaves otherwise as they speak. As far as providing a "giant monster destroys prop buildings" sort of movie, it does a serviceable job. The American dub is awful, and later Gamera movies ramp up the craziness and amusement factor.

Kestutis Kalvaitis
Kestutis Kalvaitis

Close enough to the original Japanese version with a few new, but very boring scenes added. The film can drag on a bit and Gamera's name is misspelled in the title for some reason, but it's still the same old classic tale about our favorite giant turtle.

Wes Shad
Wes Shad

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