TV & Film
The Bloody Pit #58 - GAMERA (1965)
NOTICE - There is an audio glitch in the first couple of minutes of our conversation that pushes our voices into one channel. It clears up quickly and remains fine for the rest of the show. It is not you equipment - it was ours!
Having covered a number of Godzilla films over the past two years Troy and I finally move outside of the Toho stable of giant monsters to talk about GAMERA! The giant friend to children everywhere has gone through many iterations over the past fifty-two years but one thing remains the same - he's a flying turtle! How in the hell did that even become a thing?
Regardless, we dig into the genesis of everyone's favorite giant Testudine -(yeah, we're educated) and relate our history with Gamera as well as the strange ways in which we discovered his films. We delve into the two separate versions of the film with attention paid to the alterations and additions made when the film was brought to America. Originally a lean 75 minutes the film's extended US length adds much but is the extra time well used? We have much to say about that, let me tell you! We dig into the pathology of young Toshio as he endlessly seeks to end his own life and the lives of his countrymen by offering himself up as bait/sacrifice to the hideous turtle monster. Rarely has attempted suicide been presented in such a positive light, much less the desire for immolation by prehistoric sea-beast. Circa 1965, truly, the Japanese child-rearing standards were well overdue for an overhaul!
I try (and fail) to contain my hatred for small, precocious, turtle obsessed Japanese children named Toshio while Troy does his best to keep the show on an even keel. We marvel over the technical achievements of the film and it's audacious move to co-opt the younger audience of the Godzilla franchise. The more serious aspects of the story are discussed along with some of the fascinating behind the scenes tales that demonstrate the difficulty of producing movies at this level of complication. Always remember - Mr. Flame is not always your friend!
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