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Gezora, Ganime, Kamēba: Kessen! Nankai no Daikaijū

Entry updated 4 March 2024. Tagged: Film.

Japanese film (1970; vt Space Amoeba; vt Yog – Monster from Space). Toho. Directed by Ishirō Honda. Written by Ei Ogawa. Cast includes Akira Kubo, Kenji Sahara, Atsuko Takahashi and Yoshio Tsuchiya. 84 Minutes. Colour.

On its way to study Jupiter the unmanned Spaceship Helios 7 is hijacked by a blue cloud-like creature (see Aliens) which turns it around: it is observed arriving on Earth by photographer Taro Kudo (Kubo) during a trans-Pacific flight. Later, a job takes him to the isolated Selgio Island, where a tourism company wants to build an underwater hotel: he is part of a small team which includes Ayako Hoshino (Takahashi), an employee of the firm, and Dr Miya, a Scientist who believes there may be Monsters there. Kudo is keen to go as it is close to where he saw the Helios 7 fall. En route, the overly cheerful Makoto Obata (Sahara) invites himself onto the expedition: he says he is an Anthropologist but turns out to be a corporate spy.

Before they arrive a company engineer is dragged into the sea by a Kaiju known to the locals as Gezora. It is a giant squid, but with the ability to walk on land – as another employee discovers when it destroys his cabin and kills him, though it then seems disoriented by bats. The locals are not friendly, believing the company's staff have provoked Gezora: their shaman greets the new arrivals with, "Die, friends of the devil!". Next day Kudo and Dr Miya don scuba gear and explore offshore; they discover the Helios 7, only to be grabbed by Gezora, but for some reason – significantly there are many porpoises about – the monster does not hold on to them and they escape. Gezora now destroys the village but, noticing its aversion to fire, the team use gasoline to set it alight; it retreats into the sea to die and a blue cloud departs its corpse.

Ganimes, a giant crab, appears next: the locals mention a building containing military supplies left over from the Japanese occupation (see World War Two): the fuel stored there enables them to kill the crab with fire. Ganime's remains are poked by Obata, which proves unwise: the blue cloud crawls up the stick, possessing him (see Identity Transfer); it explains it is here to conquer Earth and will use him to assassinate anyone who might hinder this plan. Meanwhile Dr Miya has examined the crab: like the squid it is a familiar species, only grown to giant size: "I can think of only one possibility: space creatures." The earlier destruction of the cabin had injured a local, causing Amnesia: now recovered, he mentions the squid's problem with bats. Dr Miya remembers the porpoises and his underwater escape: the alien's weakness is ultrasound. So the team and villagers seek out bat caves to shelter in, only to find them full of burnt bat corpses. Fortunately when Kudo and Ayoko are chased by the third of the kaiju, Kamēba, a giant turtle, they discover a cave that still has live bats. As everyone settles in, Obata is seen pouring gasoline: they try to stop him but he proves to have superhuman strength (see Superpowers). The alien possessing him announces they are sending two monsters – the Kamēba and another Ganimes – to kill everyone, as they know its weakness. Ayako makes a plea to Obata's humanity and, after a mental struggle, he overcomes the alien's influence and allows the bats to escape – Dr Miya reflects, "man is more than a structure of cells. Every man has a soul. His soul is fighting the space creature." The bats circle above the monsters, driving them mad: they fight and drag each other into a conveniently erupting volcano. Obata appears and, after a moment's pause, throws himself into the lava.

The alien seems to be a Hive Mind, able to split and so possess several creatures (or machines) at once. This is a minor, reasonably diverting Tokusatsu movie; unfortunately the most enjoyable of the kaiju, the giant land-walking squid Gezora, is killed off halfway through. [SP]


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