|Daiei's Gamera Series|
|Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris|
|Directed by||Shusuke Kaneko|
|Written by||Kazunori Ito|
|Produced by||Miyuki Nanri|
|Music by||Kow Otani|
|Distributed by||Toho Company Ltd.|
Daiei Motion Picture Company
|Running time||108 minutes|
|Preceded by||Gamera 2: Advent of Legion|
I will not forgive Gamera. (わたしはガメラを許さない。)
— Japanese tagline
Save the planet. Go green.
— American DVD tagline
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (ガメラ3 邪神〈イリス〉覚醒?, lit. Gamera 3: Evil God Awakening) Gamera Surī Irisu Kakusei[note 1] also known as Gamera 3: Awakening of Iris is a 1999 daikaiju eiga (giant-monster movie) and the last of the Heisei Gamera trilogy, and the last to be released by Toho.
Three years have passed since the attack of the Legion, and the world is once again plagued by Gyaos attacks in diverse locations such as the Philippines. The flying monsters, thought to have been wiped out by Gamera, are now reappearing in increasing numbers across the globe and have been evolving out of control. Mayumi Nagamine, noted ornithologist, returns to aid the Japanese government in addressing this threat. A graveyard of Gamera fossils has been found at the bottom of the sea. Shadowy government agents Miss Asukura and Kurata Shinji, the former with occult beliefs and hinted by Kurata to be descended from the ancient advanced civilization that created the Gameras and Gyaos', are meanwhile working to a different agenda, with Asukura believing Gamera to be an evil spirit that has to be stopped "to prevent Heaven and Earth's destruction."
Tragedy strikes, however, as the monsters take their conflict to the populated Shibuya district of Tokyo. Two Gyaos glide across the city skyline, relentlessly pursued by Gamera. He manages to blast one of them with a plasma fireball over the city, sending its flaming body into a collision with a crowded subway. Gamera bursts into the station in order to finish off his foe, incincerating the dying Gyaos along with several city blocks. Gamera then pursues the second Gyaos, firing several plasma fireballs at it until it is destroyed. Gamera then flies away into the night sky. An estimated twenty thousand human lives are lost in the battle, and the Japanese government orders Gamera's immediate destruction.
Meanwhile, a young girl named Ayana copes with the loss of her family, who were inadvertently killed by Gamera during his Tokyo battle with Gyaos in 1995. A maelstrom of hatred and despair, Ayana finds friendship in the oddest of places: a stone egg sealed within her village temple. The egg hatches a small tentacled creature, whom the girl names "Iris." Iris becomes the focus of Ayana's quest for revenge, as she seeks to raise her own monster and take vengeance against Gamera.
Revenge comes at a price, however, as Iris attempts to absorb Ayana in the process of its growth. The girl's suitor manages to free her from Iris' cocoon, but its taste for humanity is far from quenched. It escapes and kills the entire populace of the village. Iris then grows into his monstrous adult form.
Iris flies toward the city of Kyoto, but is intercepted in mid-flight by Gamera. The monsters engage in a high-speed battle in the night sky, Gamera using his saucer-like locomotion to batter Iris. The Japanese army intervenes, however, knocking Gamera out of the sky with a tactical missile strike. Iris then proceeds unimpeded to Kyoto, where Ayana has been taken by Asukura and Kurata, with Asukura deliberately trying to use the girl to summon Iris; Nagamine and Asagi, the girl once psychically linked with Gamera, retrieve her and attempt unsuccessfully to get her out of Kyoto. Kurata expresses a belief that Iris has been deliberately created to kill Gamera so that the Gyaos will wipe out modern humanity, a "decadent civilization."
Ayana lends her will to Iris, as Gamera dives on Kyoto and fires several plasma fireballs towards Iris. Iris easily bats them away with his tentacles, and the city erupts in flame. The two monsters engage in melee, but Iris easily gains the upper hand, impaling his foe and leaving Gamera for dead. Iris then makes his way to the train station, killing Asukura and Kurata and opening his chest to finally absorb Ayana.
From within Iris' body, Ayana experiences the monster's memories of killing her village, and realizes that her hatred and bitterness over being an orphan motivated the monster she raised. Just as she has her epiphany, however, Gamera smashes into the station and plunges his hand into Iris' chest. Gamera manages to wrench the girl free, robbing Iris of its human merge, but it counters this by staking Gamera's hand to the wall with one of his extendable, sword-like arms. Miss Nagamine and Asagi, trapped within the train station's wreckage, watch helplessly as Iris begins to syphon Gamera's blood, using it to create plasma fireballs with its tentacles. Before they can be launched, however, Gamera takes action, choosing to instead blast off his own impaled hand. Iris fires two plasma fireballs, but Gamera then points his arm toward the incoming attack, absorbs them, and forms a fiery plasma fist, and drives it into Iris' wounded chest.
Iris shrieks in agony and explodes, blowing the roof off the crumbling train station and oblitarating Iris once and for all. The comatose Ayana still clutched in his fist, Gamera sets the girl down where Nagamine and Asagi are hiding. The women are unable to revive her, but Gamera lets out a roar and Ayana opens her eyes. Gamera leaves the girl wondering why he would save her life after all she had done, and the four survivors watch as Gamera marches into the fire-streaked night. As Gamera roars in defiance, the Gyaos, thousands strong, descends upon Japan.
- Shinobu Nakayama as Mayumi Nagamine
- Ai Maeda as Ayana Hirasaka
- Ayako Fujitani as Asagi Kusanagi
- Senri Yamasaki as Mito Asakura
- Toru Tezuka as Shinya Kurata
- Yukijiro Hotaru as Inspector Osako
- Hirofumi Fukuzawa as Gamera
- Akira Ohashi as Iris
- Directed by Shusuke Kaneko
- Written by Kazunori Ito, Shusuke Kaneko
- Executive producer Yasuyoshi Tokuma
- Produced by Tsutomu Tsuchikawa, Naoki Sato, Ko Nanri
- Associate producers Seiji Okuda, Naoya Fujimaki
- Music by Kow Otani
- Theme song "Tell Me Once Again" performed by Juliana Schano
- Lyrics by Shusuke Kaneko
- Composed by Kow Otani
- Arranged by Yoshio J. Maki, Juliana Schano
- Cinematography by Junichi Tozawa
- Edited by Isao Tomita
- Production designer Hajime Oikawa
- 1st assistant director Hideaki Murakami
- Director of special effects Shinji Higuchi
- 1st assistant director of special effects Makoto Kamiya
2000: Won Mainichi Film Concours Best Sound Recording - Yasuo Hashimoto, also for Ôsaka monogatari (1999).
- Gamera 3: The Absolute Guardian of The Universe (Original Japanese working title)
- Gamera 1999: The Absolute Guardian of The Universe (Japanese English title)
- Gamera 3: The Awakening of Iris (Another Japanese title)
- GIII (Japanese English poster title)
- Gamera 3 (Fan title)
- Gamera 3: The Demon Awakes
- Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris (alternate English title)
- Gamera 3: Incomplete Struggle (International title)
- Gamera 3: False God Iris's Awakening (literal translated title)
- Gamera 3: The uncomplete struggle (Another Japanese title)
- GIII: The Guardian of the Universe (alternate English Japanese title)
- Gamera, Absolute Guardian of the Universe (United Kingdom)
- Gamera 3: Evil God Irys' Awakening (Gamera 3: Böse Gott Irys Awakening; Germany)
- Gamera 3: Evil God Awakening (alternate reading of Japanese title)
- Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys (alternate English title)
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris has been widely praised by critics and kaiju fans as not only being the best of the Heisei Gamera trilogy, but also being the best of all the Gamera films, as well as one of the greatest kaiju films ever made. Stomp Tokyo gave the film a glowing review, calling it "The Finest Giant Monster Movie Made Since The Original Godzilla."
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris recorded an attendance of approximately one million and grossed 600 million yen during its Japanese theatrical run. According to Variety, it had earned the equivalent $15,000,000 at the time by June 28, 1999. According to director Shusuke Kaneko, if the film had reached its target of one billion yen, the filmmakers would have begun production on a fourth entry.
- In an interview, Kaneko revealed that Gamera will win and survive the fight against the swarm of Hyper Gyaos.
- This is the only Gamera film to have a darker tone.
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris received a fan-made sequel from director Shinpei Hayashiya titled Gamera 4: Truth, which features Yukijiro Hotaru reprising his role as Osako. This short film was screened several times in Japan in 2003, and was even distributed by Kadokawa. It has rarely been screened since, and has not yet been released in any form.
- Kadokawa published a tie-in manga for Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris in 2002, which is set between it and Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion and as such is labeled Gamera 2.5. The manga is an adaptation of Gamera vs. Barugon, and adapts its events into the continuity of the Heisei trilogy. It also attempts to explain the backstory of Iris, suggesting he was a prototype guardian created by the Atlanteans to exterminate Gyaos, along with Barugon, Zigra, and Jiger. The manga's author has stated that it was never meant to considered canon to the trilogy.
- Alternatively spelled ガメラ3 邪神〈イリス〉覚醒, in cases where furigana is not applicable. The kanji 邪神 is normally read as Jashin, meaning "Evil God." However, the furigana イリス next to the kanji in the title indicates that in this case it is read Irisu (Iris).
- SPA!, published on March 17, 1999, Fusosha Publishing