DVD review from The Movie Snob.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXI. This is collection of five episodes rather than the usual four, and it has a clear theme: every episode is a terrible Japanese monster movie starring the giant, fire-breathing turtle named Gamera. And every episode features guys in rubber monster suits, duking it out over models of Tokyo or wherever.
Gamera (B-). Our story begins with Gamera, which introduces our protagonist as a prehistoric leftover who emerges from the Arctic ice after being awakened by some Cold War foolishness. Unfortunately, Japan pays the price for the superpowers’ misdeeds, as Gamera goes on a traditional rampage of destruction. (Yet, for some reason he saves the life of a chubby, annoying, turtle-loving little kid named Kenny.) It’s a pretty decent episode.
Gamera v. Barugon (B) marks Gamera’s switch from villain to hero. Criminal treasure hunters bring a mysterious egg back to Japan from a tropical island, and when it hatches a giant, frost-spewing lizard, only Gamera can save the day. I think this is the only Gamera movie that didn’t prominently feature an annoying child telling the military how to handle the crisis.
Gamera v. Gaos (B-) pits Gamera against a humanoid pterodactyl sort of beast that can shoot lasers out of its mouth. The child-hero is called Itchy, and he’s even more annoying than Kenny was in the first Gamera movie.
Gamera v. Guiron (A-) is the masterpiece of the Gamera series. The dubbing into English is particularly bad, and the monster is a hilarious-looking beast with a big knife blade coming out of his head. The two villains are a pair of Japanese women whose dubbed voices are hilariously broad and Midwestern sounding.
Gamera v. Zigra (B+) is almost as good as Guiron, with a fish-alien named Zigra who comes to menace Earth because we humans are polluting it so badly. Even better, Zigra has a minion, an attractive Japanese woman who accompanies him to Earth and quickly swaps her spacesuit for a bikini in an attempt to fit in with the natives. As always, it’s up to Gamera to save the day.