Wednesday, 23 April 2014

DVD Review - Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999

Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00I099JO6
Running Time: 16 hours 29 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


The summer blockbuster season began earlier this year with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but one of the most anticipated summer films of 2014 is Gareth Edwards' remake of Godzilla. You would think there would be several DVD/Blu-ray releases of the older Godzilla flicks, but surprisingly only King Kong Vs. Godzilla has been released this year; though there are a few other titles scheduled for release in May. Until then, monster fans can enjoy Mill Creek's Entertainment DVD release of Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999, featuring 11 movies, minus 2006's Gamera the Brave.

After the original Godzilla (Gojira) film was released in 1954, there were a surge of monster films being released, including many sequels to Godzilla. Out of these monster flicks came the giant flying turtle, Gamera, the guardian of the universe and friend of all children!

Yes, a flying turtle may seem a little far fetch and a ripoff of Godzilla, but the Gamera became successful; though I'm surprised there was never a Godzilla Vs. Gamera ever produced.

The films on the Gamera Legacy Collection four-disc set are:
  • Gamera: The Giant Monster (1965)
  • Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966)
  • Gamera Vs. Gayos (1967)
  • Gamera Vs. Viras (1968)
  • Gamera Vs. Guiron (1969)
  • Gamera Vs. Jiger (1970)
  • Gamera Vs. Zigra (1971)
  • Gamera: Super Monster (1980)
  • Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
  • Gamera 2: Attack Of Legion (1996)
  • Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)
Die-hard monster fans know that Gamera is no Godzilla, but the Gamera movies are still decent low-budget films and a tad bit underrated. The first entry, similar to the original Godzilla, takes a more serious approach with the giant turtle taking on the military. It wasn't until the sequel that Gamera becomes an anti-hero by protecting Earth from other giant monsters. The later entries in the Showa era became even more low-budget; recycling clips from the previous films and making the films more childish.

The franchise seemed to be dead until Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe was released in 1995 followed by two sequels. Dubbed as the Heisei era, the trilogy was praised by both critics and fans for taking on a more darker approach with better special effects, including the use of CGI.

I'm not the biggest Gamera fan, as I've had only seen a few of the earlier films when I was a kid, but I only became interested in reviewing this set because I had heard good things about the latter trilogy. I'm glad to say that the Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy are fun, entertaining films with decent special effects. The other eight films are still entertaining, as long as you don't think to hard about the plots and just enjoy the monster mayhem. Overall, I enjoyed watching the Gamera Legacy Collection 1963 - 1999 DVD (the films are available on a few Blu-ray sets too), though there isn't an English dubbed for any of the films, there are English subtitles.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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