Gamera vs. Barugon (1966) – Shigeo Tanaka

The kaiju battles continue as I delve deeper into the chapter on dragons and dinosaurs in DK Canada’s fabulous Monsters in the Movies.

With some fun modelwork, and man in a monster suit action this one is fairly predictable, and the human story gets too much in the way of the monster action, but it’s still fun to watch ‘giant’ monsters trash cities and each other.

What a group of men, intent on getting their hands on an over-sized opal that one of them hid during the war, and getting reach off it don’t realise, until it’s far too later, is that the opal isn’t a gem. It’s an egg.

Within lies Barugon, a rainbow ray firing, ice-breathing monster that will destroy Japan. Something that no one wants, especially as the film opens with them dispatching a giant, fire-breathing, flying turtle, Gamera, into space.


Unfortunately for Japan, but fortunately for viewers, Gamera doesn’t get very far on his space journey when a meteor sends him rocketing back to Earth to cause problems for a while before drifting off for a nap.

Only to be summoned by Barugon’s rainbow ray! Apparently it gives off a lot of heat, something the monster enjoys. The two fight, because they have to, it’s that kind of movie, but what will the result be, who will survive?

It’s no surprise that Barugon will be vanquished before the end of the film, my only problem with that is what about Gamera? Japan was so intent on getting rid of the flying monstrosity at the beginning of the film, but now that he’s helped save the country, he’s allowed to roam free and wreak destruction?

I don’t get it.

And while it doesn’t feel like it’s got the same mythology that Godzilla has built in over the years, it’s always fun to see grown men in monster suits knocking each other silly for ‘art.’

Unfortunately with all the human ‘drama’ and betrayals that fill the film, instead of kaiju fighting, this one won’t hold many youngsters attention, and the older crowd who know what they are getting into will still just want to get to the big fights.

Still, this was a fun bit of escape as I explore the nooks and crannies that dinosaurs and dragons fill in cinema as I continue to explore DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies.

Why not pick up a copy for yourself and find something monstrous new or old to watch tonight?


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