|Gamera vs. Zigra|
|Directed by||Noriaki Yuasa|
|Produced by||Hidemasa Nagata|
|Written by||Niisan Takahashi|
|Music by||Shunsuke Kikuchi|
|Distributed by||Dainichi Film Distribution Co., Ltd|
|Running time||89 minutes|
Gamera vs. Zigra (ガメラ対深海怪獣ジグラ?, lit. Gamera vs. Deep Sea Monster Zigra) is a 1971 daikaiju eiga (giant-monster movie) featuring the popular Gamera character created by Daiei Motion Picture Company. Gamera vs. Zigra was released in the United States by AIP-TV, and later by Sandy Frank. It is one of five Gamera films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Episode 316, October 19th, 1991). The film was released to Japanese theaters on July 17, 1971 on a double bill with a re-release of the 1958 film, Gamera tai Shinkai Kaijū JiguraSuzunosuke Akado: The Birdman With Three Eyes.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Without warning, Zigra -an alien being- attacks a moon base. Soon after (back on Earth), Kenny and his friend Helen, along with their fathers, see a strange spaceship (Zigra's) descending into the ocean. Investigating, they are soon captured and instructed to tell the world of Zigra's great achievements in science. The Zigra "space woman" creates a gigantic earthquake ("magnitude 18 no less") and they learn of Zigra's past history, advancing in science and destroying their planet. Searching out a new home, Zigra found Earth and orders the "earth creatures" to surrender the Earth. While speaking with Earth, Tom declares the the Zigra woman is crazy. In anger, she puts the men in a hypnotic state. Kenny and Helen take action, successfully using the ships console to escape. Enraged, Zigra orders their death. He sends the woman to kill the children. After a close call on the surface of the water, Gamera saves the children and their fathers from Zigra. After questioning the children, the UN decides to attack Zigra. The jets scramble.and Zigra makes short work of them with his laser beam. The Zigra woman, disguised as a babe (she stole some unlucky gal's bathing suit), searches for Kenny and Helen. She hitches a ride with the Sea World dolphin trainer back to the facility. She changes into another stolen out fit and proceeds to wander the facililty which is now crawling with military. She overhears the exasperation of the UN's fruitless efforts to defeat Zigra. While chasing the children, some photographers identify trhe Zigran woman as Lora Lee. After ditching the Zigran woman, the children call for Gamera. Gamera begins an underwater assault on the Zigra spaceship, hich retaliates until transforming into a shark-like monster. The battle continues until Gamera beaches Zigra, who then retaliates sending Gamera into the sea for recuperation. Zigra threatens again, claiming to be all-powerful.
Back at Marine World, the dolphin trainer and the scientists divulge a way to break the control with "sonic waves." They use this information to disable the Zigra woman. Lora Lee, it is discovered was brought aboard Zigra's ship when he attacked the moon base. The scientists go to look for Gamera, hoping to work with him to defeat Zigra. But as the bathoscope is trying to revive Gamera, Zigra attacks them - again demanding the immediate surrender of the Earth.
An electrical storm appears above the bay and a bolt of lightning somehow revives Gamera and he snatches the bathoscope and returns it to the surface while Zigra is sleeping. Gamera returns to the sea to face off against Zigra for the final battle.
Production[edit | edit source]
Gamera vs. Zigra had a budget of 35,000,000 yen, which was roughly $97,000. Shortly after the film was completed, its production company Daiei Film went bankrupt, leading it to be distributed by Dainichi Eihai.
American release[edit | edit source]
Unlike the previous five Gamera films, Gamera vs. Zigra was not acquired by American International Pictures, possibly due to Daiei's bankruptcy shortly after its release. Instead, King Features Entertainment licensed it and commissioned a dub in 1985. It first aired on American television in 1987, and was among the first films to be riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000 the following year.