Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gamera: Attack of Legion (1996)

Picking up a few years after the Gyaos devastated Tokyo, GAMERA 2 finds a new foe in the form of a space-born parasite that lands on Earth and begins multiplying. These creatures, known cumulatively as The Legion, are insectoid killers that begin destroying all of Japan.. That is, until Gamera returns from the depths of the sea to save the universe once more! This straight sequel is a near-remake of the previous installment, following the same basic structure and human involvement on the sidelines. There is a great deal of character development and dialogue between the humans, so much so that one longs for the days when the films could simply be an all out monster brawl when the characters do little to progress the plot (considering their fates will ultimately be decided by the beasts in the end anyways). As is usually the case, the miniature work and costume designs take center-stage, bending reality with the superb models and awe-inspiring creatures. GAMERA 2 is a fitting sequel for the Heisei series, and though it doesn't stray far from the formula, it delivers everything giant monster fans want in high doses.

Rating: 7/10.
Number of views: 1.

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  1. You just have to rub it in that you've seen it, don't you? Some of us just aren't that lucky.

    Seriously though, the movie sounds good. It is odd that they did not carry on the narrative though, given that the third film follows up- in a way- on events from the first film. Still sounds good bastard.

  2. It brings back the girl who's lifeforce is tied to Gamera's, and honestly the reporter and military characters might have been the same but I cant remember from the original. The problem is it IS the first one, with very few differences. They continued a formula that worked, but it didnt differentiate itself enough like the third one had.

  3. This one does carry on from the original 1995 film. The scared helicopter pilot from the first is here and he plays the security guard who is in the beer warehouse. I have the Japanese version of the film and they reference the first movie from 1995. I don't recall what is said in the dubbed version. I couldn't watch it. It was horrible.

    Also, sadly, the original Japanese title card and credits are replaced with very lame video generated ones. The Japanese were awesome at making kick ass title cards that made you wanna tune in. The one for GAMERA 2 has the Gamera Kanji coming out of the screen and exploding in a ball of fire with the title (including an English font) coming together.

    This came out in Summer of 1996 in Japan and I presume they were hoping it would get a US release of some kind. The Japanese trailer had English narration on it. I remember being very excited to see this one since the one from the year before was so damn good. Back then the only way to see these movies here was to buy fan subbed editions on VHS (and later on DVD) as the Japanese version had no English options whatsoever. It's a shame, too, as about all the original G films have commentary tracks on them by those that worked on the films. No fansubs for those, sadly.

    It's odd they waited three years for the third movie in 1999. Kaneko was approached to do another, but he stated he only envisioned a trilogy that would end that way. The third film is also known as GAMERA 3: INCOMPLETE STRUGGLE. Why they would want it to end in this fashion is beyond me.

    I'm glad you finally got to see this one, Carl. This was my favorite of the trilogy. Ayako Fujitani is Steven Seagal's Japanese daughter, by the way.

    Tim, I can send you a message where you can get this unaltered if you wanna see it.

  4. I just have not seen it at all, let alone unaltered. Netflix had the first and third one available (I love the third one), but not the 2nd one.

    It's the opposite of 'Carnosaur,' whose second film is the only one able to be rented. One and three are out-of-print.

    I could buy used or new copies of the films online, but they are very expensive for single-disc films that aren't that old.

    It sounds like it would be worth checking out, Venom. Hook me up.

  5. Here is my friends site. He doesn't have them listed any longer since they came out here some years ago. Just shoot him an email inquiring about them. If you want, tell him I referred you.

  6. Hopefully the rerelease of the series will be the subbed originals so we can see the difference, but I am now a die hard fan of the third film just as I am of Giant Monsters All Out Attack. The Legion just wasnt as interesting to me for some reason?

  7. I think there MAJIN set has the same problem. They did re-release the first two some time after. I never bought the single editions so I can't comment if they left the titles alone there.

    GAMERA 2 is the fave for me. It's got all the action the third one lacks. It's the monster movie the third one should have been. Far too much supernatural mumbo jumbo and not enough monster shenanigans.

    I do wish the makers would have continued from the ending. That would have been awesome to see Gamera take on an swarm of Gyaos creatures.

  8. 100% agree there, Gamera is just such an ultimate badass in the Heisei films, one of my most memorable Kaiju moments is when he touches down for the first time after destroying the fuck out of that Gyaos in the third film. My heart raced more than in any other moment in the series, probably more so than any of the Godzilla films outside of the original

  9. If you ever get the time, Carl, you might be interested in checking out some of Japan's non Kaiju sci fi flicks like GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL, THE HUMAN VAPOR, BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, THE LAST WAR, GORATH (this end of the world film does feature a brief sequence with a giant walrus), ATRAGON (Giant snake Manda makes its first appearance) and MATANGO (do giant mushrooms count?) to name a few.

    The giant monster flick, X FROM OUTER SPACE is also lots of fun, too. But stay the hell away from LEGEND OF DINOSAURS & MONSTER BIRDS. The original poster art is so fucking cool, though. Too bad it's covering for a cinematic turd of titanic proportions.

  10. Im definitely grabbing Matango, the screenshots looked amazing, but I will add all of the others to my que! I meant to ask V, is Manda in any of the G films before DESTROY ALL MONSTERS? Since I watched the series out of sequence, I wasnt sure if I missed him, but SON OF is the only Showa era film I missed (I think)

  11. Yeah the one I mentioned to you called ATRAGON from 1963. It's about a super submarine armed with weapons. The story is quite fabulous as is the score. The Atragon was also featured in the awful FINAL BORES...I mean WARS. Hey, Tim! Just pickin'.

  12. K thats what I thought, for a while I thought I was crazy lol..

  13. Oh! And THE MYSTERIANS, Carl. You gotta check out THE MYSTERIANS! I think MB released this in a set along with MATANGO and VARAN, THE UNBELIEVABLE, a sort of disappointing Toho Kaiju flick. Varan made a fleeting appearance in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS.

  14. I wasnt sure if it would be better to buy Matango in the set or individually so that seals it!

  15. Dude, go for the set. If you haven't seen the others, it's worth it. I've not seen VARAN in years, but I was never a huge fan of it. The other two are worth it. I've seen the set in best buy for $20.


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