via press release
marathon features 11 Gamera films and is hosted by Kaiju expert August Ragone. The monster mayhem will stream live for 16 hours from 8am ET to midnight ET. The marathon marks the 50th anniversary of the first Gamera movie release in Japan.
The event will be streaming at www.shoutfactorytv.com. For mobile, tablet and connected TV devices the marathon is accessible via the Pluto TV app. The marathon is also available via Pluto TV (CH 427), in the living room (Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Apple Airplay), on the go (apps for iOS, Android and Amazon) and at your fingertips on PCs, Macs or on the web.
27 Gamera Facts to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary
- Contrary to popular belief, Gamera as fought Godzilla. Just not in a actual movie, but to promote this film. Daiei teamed up with Toho Studios for a “Kaiju Show” starring the rival studio’s top mon-stars in a one-act “Godzilla vs. Gamera” event, performed at the Expo’s “Festival Plaza” venue. Comedian Kon Omura, Cornjob himself, was the MC. Godzilla’s original suit actor, the legendary Haruo Nakajima, was booked for three performances per day, over ten days, but on account of the complexity of a live “suitmation” event, was complex and fraught with problems. Eventually, for the remainder of the gig, the show times were scaled back to once a night. So, for ten days in March 1970, Godzilla clashed with Gamera!
- Gamera VS. Barugon: Originally, the early development of this film began as “Gamera vs. the Ice Giant”; featuring strange, humanoid invaders plunge the world into a global winter, until Gamera returns to challenge them with his eternal fire. Takahashi’s inspiration for these ice colossi was seemingly drawn from the Jötnar (Yot-nar) of Nordic myth and the Giant of the Snows from Georges Méliès’ 1912 film, THE CONQUEST OF THE POLE.
- Gamera VS. Gyaos: This is the first film to feature a vocal tune, “The Song of Gamera”, at the end of the Japanese version, and issued as a single by Daiei Records. Its creation may have been influenced by the instrumental released for the US version of first Gamera film. This isn’t the more familiar “Gamera March”, parodied by Mystery Science Theater 3000, which makes his debut on the soundtrack of the following entry in the series, Gamera VS. Viras.
- The first-wave of Gamera films included children, whom would be featured prominently in all seven of the first series entries, eventually becoming the main human characters.
- Director Noriaki Yuasa was given the job of Gamera because none of the other directors at the production studio would touch such a film with a three-meter pole. They felt that it was below them and would be the kiss of death for their careers.
- Gamera, was originally billed as “Super Monster.”
- Director Yuasa felt that one of the most frustrating aspects of producing the first Gamera film, was keeping someone inside the claustrophobic, suffocating and heavy monster suits. They almost went through one man per day, because they were untrained and couldn’t take it.
- Director Yuasa’s father has a cameo role as the Captain of the Awaji Maru in Gamera VS. Barugon.
- While waiting for clearance to use the monster name Gyaos, the title of Gamera VS Gyaos was Gamera VS. Vampire.
- Gyaos was imagined as Kaiju version of Dracula.
- Gamera VS. Viras was the series’ first encounter with aliens.
- The mini-submarine seen in the Gamera VS Viras, according to Yuasa, was of German origin, kept in dry-dock at the Hayama Yacht Harbor, and was made by the same manufacturer as the infamous U-Boats of World War 2.
- The monster Viras’s name was decided upon in a public naming contest run in the pages of the weekly periodicals, Bokura and Shonen Magazine.
- Monster-maker Masao Yagi recalled that Viras was the most impressive of the creatures he created for the Gamera series, because of the experience he gained, and the hurtles he cleared, in bringing Viras to life.
- Gamera VS Viras, was thought to be the last Gamera film but it became a certified box office hit, creating a sensation with children across Japan which resulted in renewed interest for more films.
- Shunsuke Kikuchi scored Gamera VS. Guiron. He has also for the last 2 decades scored DRAGON BALL.
- Guiron’s moniker was decided by a public naming contest in the pages of Weekly Shonen and Weekly Bokura magazines.
- Jiger was the first female Kaiju to fight Gamera.
- Jiger was initial referred to as “Monster X.”
- Comedian Yukitaro Hotaru, last seen in GAMERA VS GYAOS, appears in a cameo as a longshoreman in Gamera VS. Jiger.
- Gamera VS Zigra, was the first in the series to take on ecological pollution, which were topical at the time. Takahashi’s story features an aquatic alien race who through the environmental destruction on their home world, decide to conquer ours, and use the population as their cattle.
- In Gamera VS Zigra budget issue and scheduling caused one of the scripted monster battles to be cut.
- Right after filming finished of Gamera VS Zigra the production studio that had produced the original Gamera films was forced to close its doors. After hearing the new, studio workers caused a riot that destroyed many irreplaceable props including everything created for the Gamera Series.
- In Gamera: Super Monster, Godzilla is parodied when Gamera knocks over a signboard for a faux kaiju movie called, GOODBYE, DODZILLA.
- There was a 9 year gap between the first series of Gamera and the revival.
- In the opening of Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe you will see two ships and meet their respective skippers. The captain of the patrol boat Nojima was played by Kojiro Hongo, the star of three of the original Gamera films, while the captain of the transport shop Kairyu was played by Akira Ifukube, the star of several Godzilla films.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =