Gamera, Super Monster (1980)

gamera super mosnter poster 1980 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Spacewomen and their power-up move

Rehash of old Gamera movies

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Gamera, Super Monster

Studio:  Daiei Studios

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 20, 1980 (Japan)/May 7, 1980 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

gamera super monster keiichi koichi maeda mach fumiake turtles

Not a real Gamera movie…so no real Gamera here

The Earth has been threatened by attackers for space who can harness the powers of giant monsters to strike anywhere and everywhere.  The trio of superhuman aliens could be Earth’s only hope but Kilara (Mach Fumiake), Marsha (Yaeko Kojima), and Mitan (Yoko Komatsu) find themselves targeted.  When a boy named Keiichi (Koichi Maeda) reveals he has a secret connection to a giant turtle named Gamera, the power to save the Earth could be in Keiichi’s hands.

Directed by Noriaki Yuasa, Gamera, Super Monster (宇宙怪獣ガメラ or Uchū Kaijū Gamera aka Space Monster Gamera) is a sci-fi-fantasy action-adventure movie.  Following Gamera vs. Zigra in 1971, the film was the last film of New Daiei period was largely panned.

gamera super monster keiko kudo giruge

Bow to my badness!

Gamera was always what you default to if you didn’t have a Godzilla movie to watch.  While not entirely different, Gamera was always second rank.  Gamera, Super Monster is a second tier of a second rank Godzilla.

Despite not even being top tier Gamera, the movie has some moments simply because it is a rehash film.  The core plot involves the Superwomen battling the Zanon, and Gamera fighting the kaiju that they bring to attack Earth.  The movie’s plot is lined up how it is because the studio was trying to save money…it allowed them to reuse old footage to maximize their profit.

The film mostly circles around the humans (or superwomen).  Mach Fumiake plays the head of the Spacewomen and does a decent job as the leader.  They are faced with a rival “Spacewoman” Giruge played by Keiko Kudo who is working for the Zanon.  Like many of the kaiju movies (particularly Gamera), there is a kid actor playing a friend of Gamera.  Here the task falls on Koichi Maeda…who is as you’d expect in one of these movies.

gamera super monster spacewomen mach fumiake yaeko kojima yoko komatsu

Do your Spacewoman cheer!

The movie is primarily old Gamera footage.  It allows there to be a lot of kaiju, but it is all footage you’ve seen before if you’ve watched Gamera movies (including the fun gymnast Gamera from Gamera vs. Guiron).  This sometimes makes sense, but other times (like Gamera vs. Guiron which was set on an alien planet), it doesn’t make much sense.  The movie also combines animated sequences from Space Battleship Yamato and Galaxy Express 999.  I also particularly like the ships of the Zanon which have a striking resemblance to the Star Wars Star Destroyers.

You could argue that Gamera, Super Monster is a bad Gamera movie or you could argue it is a good Gamera movie simply because it isn’t like the other Gamera movies.  It will have you doing the Spacewomen “power-up” move which they do every few minutes.  The Spacewomen might be the real heroes, but Gamera will save the day!  Gamera, Super Monster was followed by Gamera:  Guardian of the Universe in 1995.

Preceded By:

Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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