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Category:    Home > Reviews > Giant Monster Cycle > Japan > Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966/aka Gamera Strikes Again/Shout! Factory DVD)

Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966/aka Gamera Strikes Again/Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C     Film: C



The second Gamera film is the first in color, but Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966) is a poor follow-up and it is supposed to be one of the better sequels.  The destructive Barugon surfaces and Gamera returns after his banishment in the debut film to battle him.  The script is boring with zero character development, no humor, limited energy and that leaves the film so dependent on their battles that its 100 minutes seem longer than that.


It has the same writer as the first film, Nisan Takahashi, but there is not much to see or remember here and if the studio was coasting on the film being in color, this was a mistake.  However, it was a hit and the series continued.  I do like the model work, the amusing nature of the battles and the color has its advantages, but the color in this copy is limited (see below) and it turns out there is a link with this film and Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965) as Barugon is a take-off of Baragon (note the two ‘a’s) from that infamously bad film.  This is better, but only so much.


This follow-up is also politically incorrect and the script was originally written for an older audience, but the studio made changes to widen its appeal and age-group base, but you can see there are parts they left untouched and that results in more violence and rough scenes than you would expect from such a film.  In all this, it is also a very uneven offering, but it was issued in the midst of the original Japanese Giant Monster Cycle and it was able to get away with its flaws.  We’ll see how the follow-up films did when Shout! releases a pair of double feature DVDs next.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot in Daieiscope by Director of Photography Michio Takahashi (of Resnais’ classic Hiroshima Mon Amour, reviewed elsewhere on this site) in 35mm in color, though some black and white clips from the previous film show up.  Sadly, what was likely wide-ranging color looks limited, mute and even flat despite the restoration.  Is this a Fuji film shoot?  It should not look like this.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fares worse with harmonic distortion that shows the films age and then some.  This is flat and you may have to turn up the volume to hear it, so be careful of volume switching.  Extras include Publicity Galleries, the Original Movie Program (both on the DVD), a booklet on the film inside the DVD case and feature-length audio commentary by August Ragone and Jason Varney.



For more on the original film, try this link:






-   Nicholas Sheffo


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