Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gamera vs Zigra (1971)

growing up I wanted to see this movie so much.
wow, be careful what you wish for, huh.  there are some really cool things to like about the movie, and that's what I will be concentrating on.  here we have the opening sequence, which is a several cool miniatures on a moon set.  explosions, animated rays, it's got everything! 

I have said this before, had AIP had this movie dubbed by Titra it would be much more tolerable.  I can't imagine why it wasn't, since it was released the same time Smog Monster was, but perhaps they just passed on it.  it really has one of the worst dubs that has ever been done. 
it was finally released over here by good ol' Sandy Frank, in it's fullscreen version.  I owned a tape,  but I think I have actually watched the movie once or twice.  I bought the Neptune Media version as well, but only watched it once or twice.  I didn't even remember much of the plot, which is not a bad thing.
Gamera gets knocked out by Zigra twice, which is nothing unusual for him in his movies.  here he gets revived by lightning, which is a cool shot.  and it must be a deep bay, as they are not far from the shore and he's neck deep.
does fried outer space shark taste good?   this suit allows Gamera to actually breathe fire while walking, which is pretty darn cool as well.  the sets are all really nice, it's just the people are... well, just dull.
and Zigra looks cool. he's also annoyed that humankind is ruining our planet.  a widescreen presentation makes this movie look really cool.


C. Elam said...

I don't have any expert knowledge, but I wonder if Daiei's bankruptcy impacted their ability to market Zigra. Of course, there's also the fact that it is pretty obviously the weakest Gamera movie. I don't know if that would have mattered to the TV division, but maybe?

Also, while AIP did release Smog Monster, wasn't that the last Japanese sci-fi they picked up until Gamera - Super Monster in the Filmways days? They didn't go for any subsequent Godzilla movies or Submersion of Japan. Perhaps they had some internal reason.

I am fairly certain that Zigra and the dub of the first Gamera (sans the American footage) were done in the 1980s, probably in the U.S. Barugon and Gaos were done in Hong Kong, also probably in the 1980s but theirs always sound the same! And gut tells me that was done in Japan by non-professionals. I don't think any of them existed prior to their being sold in the 80s.

Xenorama said...

that seems to be the general consensus, about those three movies. I swear it sounds like the late Phil Hartman dubs a voice in Zigra. makes me wonder where Viras was, or Jiger. those should have another dub, right?

AIP was in financial trouble by 72 or so, I think. we've discussed YOG being released, but it could be they just didn't want to bother with Zigra either.

C. Elam said...

It very well could be Hartman, though I doubt we'll ever know for sure. And in theory, there should be alternate dubs, and yet, we've never heard a word about them. It appears Gamera, Barugon, Gaos, and Zigra were all part of one package, and then Guiron was done separately after the fact. Where that leaves the hypothetical Viras and Jiger movies, I have no idea.

Well, Yog originally came out in 1971 here, right? I seem to remember it played on a double bill with Smog Monster on occasion in 1972, but it came out first. I thought AIP's difficulties came later, when they tried to break out with "real" movies, but I'd imagine you know more about them than I do.

It could just boil down to them not wanting it. Forry Ackerman, as I recall, made mention in FM of Gigan being released by AIP. That obviously never happened.

Xenorama said...

it's too bad Gigan and the rest were never released dubbed by Titra over here, I think we all can agree on that!

and I think it boils down to AIP just not wanting it. seems like their imports really slowed down when the 70s hit and I now that I've looked it up, AIP was defunct in 1979 (bought by Filmways, go figure).