Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)

gamera vs gyaos poster 1967 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Fun to see Godzilla's competition at its peak

Stories are more kid friendly than even Godzilla and simpler

Movie Info

Movie Name: Gamera vs. Gyaos

Studio:  Daiei Film

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

Release Date(s): March 15, 1967 (Japan)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

gamera vs gyaos kaiju

Taste my laser beam, Turtle!!!

Beneath caves around Mt. Futago, something is unearthed during earthquakes.  A creature called Gyaos has been released and threatens the area and all of Japan.  Japan’s only hope might be Gamera, but Gyaos is a formidable opponent.  With the ability to regenerate and a mist that can dowse fires, Gamera could be overpowered.  Fortunately for Gamera, a boy named Kanamura (Naoyuki Abe) believes in him and could have the keys to stopping Gyaos.

Directed by Noriaki Yuasa, Gamera vs. Gyaos (大怪獣空中戦 ガメラ対ギャオス or Daikaijū kūchūsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu aka Giant Monsters Midair Battle:  Gamera vs. Gyaos) is a Japanese kaiju monster movie.  The third entry in the Gamera series, the movie follows Gamera vs. Barugon from 1966.  It was released in 1967 in the United States as Return of the Giant Monsters and is also known as Gamera vs. GaosMystery Science Theater 3000 did two episodes of this film once when it was independent at KTMA-TV (MST3K #0-6) and once during the regular series (MST3K #3-8).

I bet Gamera gave all the kids salmonella because they didn’t wash after playing with him…

By 1967 the kaiju formula was already pretty set by Godzilla.  A new kaiju either comes to Earth, is created, or is released, and Godzilla fights it.  The creators of the Gamera films found nothing wrong with this format and used it for their own.  While Godzilla is still the “King of the Monsters”, Gamera still can be a fun substitute.

Gamera is often more kid oriented.  While Godzilla often has children as the protagonists in stories, Gamera almost always does since Gamera protects the children (for some unknown reason).  This means that a lot of the adults’ actions are dictated or guided by the children of the movies.  As a result Gamera feels even more kid oriented than Godzilla which could also bug fans of Godzilla.

This entry in the Gamera saga has a bit too much going on (which also isn’t uncommon).  Instead of simply Gyaos being unleashed by earthquakes, there is a side-story of the village who wants their freeway built.  Due to Gyaos, the freeway is threatened and the villagers want their money…blaming Eiichi’s grandfather.  It seems like a trivial side problem when there are giant monsters destroying chunks of the countryside possibly indefinitely.  It is these weird “side stories” that make you scratch your head in kaiju stories, but they also make them great.

gamera vs gyaos fight battle kaiju

Hey, what where you’re firing that thing!!!

I kind of like the design of the triangle headed Gyaos.  It is a pretty simple kaiju and it feels like more work has been put into other creatures, but the battle between Gamera and Gyaos works.  Gyaos feels pretty derivative of Toho’s other monster Rodan in many ways, but many of the kaiju creations in both series are not very inspired past the original Godzilla.

Gamera vs. Gyaos is what you’d expect from a knock-off Godzilla movie.  It isn’t the best movie, nor is it the worst movie.  Kids might enjoy it more than adults (though often the Gamera movies aren’t as frequently dubbed as Godzilla films), and Godzilla fans might like to sit down with a different kaiju rather than watching a favorite Godzilla again.  Gamera vs. Gyaos was followed by Gamera vs. Viras in 1968.

Preceded By:

Gamera vs. Barugon (1967)

Followed By:

Gamera vs. Viras (1968)

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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