312. Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)

The Burning Love of Gamera? “Just a hunk, a hunk of burning beast…” “AAAAAAH!!!” “Just a hunk, a hunk of burning beast…” “AAH! AAH! AAH!” Two boys stowaway on strange flying saucer. It suddenly leaves Earth and Gamera is in hot pursuit. Asteroids, Space Gaos, Guiron, DAIEI!!! has such sights to show us. Cannibals? Ninja Kaiju? A flying turtle doesn’t seem so odd. School Lunch, Racy Rorschachs, Collapsable Trashcan, “The Gamera Song”, Joel Cuts Crow In Half, Richard Burton, Michael Feinstein. “Guess who”, “Up from the ground came a movie that’s crude”, “MCMLXIX DAIEI makes the very best.” “Pizza’s done I think” or “Shouldn’t they turn it down to simmer?”

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The Gamera Song.

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Trading Lunches.

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Gamera Song in Japanese and Michael Feinstein.

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Richard Burton.

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312 Promo.

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Gamera vs. Guiron (1969) Trailer.

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Shaved Head.

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Goofiest Gamera episode? Goofiest Gamera episode.

Cornjob, weirdly accented aliens, Richard Burton, a walking steak knife brutally chopping up Gaos, flying saucers, Michael Feinstein! Gamera fans may faint like a wealthy dowager when I say this, but this might be my favorite of the Gameras.

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Best of Cornjob.

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Gamera vs. Guiron (1969) Clip. Showdown in HD.

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The Gamera franchise has finally gone all-in with the children’s entertainment niche. This new focus proves to be a mixed blessing. On one hand, the kaiju battles gain greater prominence and their staging and tactics become more creative. On the negative side, plot logic is thrown to the wayside. Even if it’s not really the case, there’s the sense that the scripts have gone from being written for children to being written by children, with elements like the protagonist going off with his best friend on a grand adventure while ditching his annoying sister in the process.

This is particularly apparent in the design of the heel kaiju Guiron. As well as a head shaped like a blade that performs in the manner of one of those infomercial knives, it also shoots out giant ninja throwing stars. Just try to convince me that wasn’t conceived by someone with a single digit age.

A host of other oddities abound. The most noticeable is the English dub. While the dubbing in the prior installments haven’t exactly been quality work, this one descends to a completely new level of incompetence. As well as the awkward grammatical structure, characters often pepper their speech with unnatural pauses. Another aspect that ended up driving Servo crazy was the sloppy translation of hoshi. Hoshi can be used to refer to a star or a planet, in the sense that they’re both lights in the night sky. However, the translators were lazy and always wrote it up as star even when the context made it obvious that it was meant to be planet. Tragically this specific translation snafu still happens. The most recent instance that comes to mind occurs in the 2014 science fantasy anime series Nobunaga the Fool, which involved one of those concepts (in this case, Oda Nobunaga teaming up with Joan of Arc and Leonardo da Vinci) that looks awesome on paper but falls flat in execution.

Finally, there’s Cornjob, who has the appearance of an Asiatic Milhouse Van Houten and the personality of a slightly less uptight Barney Fife. Of course, that’s not his real name. Joel and the Bots merely misheard him being called Kon-chan. Chan is one of those honorific suffixes, in this case a highly informal one typically used when addressing a best friend or a younger relative (in essence being that pet name you wish your mom wouldn’t use in front of your friends). Needless to say, a child addressing a police officer in such a fashion would be considered quite impertinent.

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“It just dawned on me how weird this film is…”

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The Goofiest Gamera encounter? It is the most assorted grab bag of randomness in one Gamera experiment. Gamera vs. Jiger (1970) is pretty close. The expo, the monster insemination, the statue stabbed right into Jiger’s head, The Yellow Submarine. Gamera vs. Guiron (1969) wins by adding another planet, space travel, cannibals, multiple kaiju, and a main Ginsu Knife baddie throwing ninja stars at our hero topped by Gamera’s gymnastic skills.

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@optiMSTie 312? The Paramount mountaintop of Gamera MSTs?

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All that Gamera Acrobatic Goodness.

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Gamera vs. Guiron (1969) aka Attack of the Monsters TV Ad.

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Best of the Gamera episodes, hands down. Friggin’ masterful episode all the way. THIS is the one you wanna show if you wanna show someone a Gamera episode.

This is the most exuberantly, wholeheartedly, utterly guano insane movie in the Gamera series, and having all that ridiculous stuff to bounce off works to writing team’s advantage.

For one thing, you have that sequence where Guiron emerges, and his design is… well, it’s terrible, to put it charitable, prompting an all-timer from Crow (“I know, they made me in a hurry!”), and then doing his best butcher impression as Guiron holds up a chunk of the Space Gaos he just chopped up (!!!).

In the middle of all that? Guiron decapitates Space Gaos, leading to Crow going “Quit while you’re ahead!”, which gets Joel in a de-limbing kinda mood!

AND THERE’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT

You have the weird alien twins, the tranquil Cornjob theme song getting new lyrics declaring that “we are filled with shame” and going to the extent of Servo’s dark lyrics about how “Cornjob will be blamed,” the gang flipping out over that one kid’s traffic accident obsession, all the weird stuff going on in the kaiju battle like the impromptu gymnastics routine and the throwing stars, the donuts and gray water, just… EVERYTHING.

But but but wait! We can’t let this go without mentioning the Gamera theme song! The pure energy that this draws from the riffers? It’s amazing. And that’s both in the theater and in the host segments! There’s something so gleefully enthusiastic about that song, and that gets something out of Joel and the Bots, pushing them to have as much fun with that as possible.

I’m not doing a good enough job of describing that energy escalation, but the overall effect of the song on these guys is something to marvel at. Heck, the whole episode is!

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Just because I’m curious. What would be your second place Gamera episode?

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I go:

-Gamera Vs. Guiron
-Gamera Vs. Zigra
-Gamera Vs. Gaos
-Gamera
-Gamera Vs. Barugon

I need to give a number of rewatches to Gamera Vs. Jiger to figure out where that lies in the scheme of things. I wouldn’t put that above Guiron, but I know it’d have to be above Gaos.

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