GAMERA VS. ZIGRA
(Gamera Tai Shinkai Kaiju Jigura)
Gamera vs. Zigra was the last of the classic Gamera films before Daieis financial collapse in the mid-1970s. It is also one of the worst of the Gamera films. By this point, the series had become entirely focused on children. The two kids are wound in at every opportunity stowing away in dinghies and bathyscaphes with their parents. The film even features a song about Gamera sung by a childrens chorus. It is hard to tell whether it is the dubbing or the way the original script was written but the writing is infantile lines like Zigra will prove to all the planets of the world that Zigra is all-powerful or the bizarre means of dealing with the alien menace by at one point reasoning that Zigra uses sonar therefore radio can be used to undo the hypnotic conditioning of the fathers. It is also never made clear as to whether Zigra is the name of the invading alien or its homeworld, as the film seems to use both interchangeably.
The special effects are also incredibly shabby the Gamera model is almost entirely immobile, there are some incredibly poor models of the moonbase, while the mass destruction caused by Zigra is something that is only described but never depicted. There is also a ludicrous lack of conviction to the monsters the Zigra spaceship looks like a metal vegetable colander filled with coloured gumballs, while the monster version is like a mechanised shark with glowing red eyes. The fight scenes become completely ridiculous at one point, Gamera throws a rock and impales it on Zigras nose and in another scene uses a rock to play the xylophone along Zigras fins. If Gamera vs. Zigra has an equivalent among the Godzilla films, then it feels like one of director Jun Fukudas entries of the 1970s Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1971), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) and Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster (1974) which were the Godzilla series nadir, the point where the effects and stories were at their most childish and Fukuda had stopped treating the films with the remotest shred of seriousness.
The other Gamera films are: Gammera the Invincible (1965), War of the Monsters/Gamera vs Baragon (1966), Return of the Giant Monsters/Gamera vs Gyaos (1967), Destroy All Planets (1968), Attack of the Monsters/Gamera vs Guiron (1969), Gamera vs Jiger/Gamera vs Monster X/Monsters Invade Expo 70 (1970) and Gamera: Super Monster (1980). The series was revived in the 1990s with Gamera, The Guardian of the Universe (1995), Gamera 2: Assault of Legion (1996), Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999) and Gamera the Brave (2006).
Trailer here (Japanese language no subs):-