Also known as: Daikaijū kūchūsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu, lit. Giant Monster Midair Battle: Gamera Versus Gyaos (Japan), Return of the Giant Monsters (US)
Release Date: March 15th, 1967 (Japan)
Directed by: Noriaki Yuasa
Written by: Nisan Takahashi
Music by: Tadashi Yamauchi
Cast: Kojiro Hongo, Kichijiro Ueda, Naoyuki Abe
Daiei Film Co. Ltd., AIP-TV, 87 Minutes
After the original Gamera film, Gamera vs. Gyaos is probably the most important. The main reason being, it introduces us to Gyaos, which is a monster species that would reappear throughout the series. There is even a later film that features multiple Gyaos.
Having rewatched it for the first time in awhile, I found it to be better than Gamera vs. Barugon. Although I love the kaiju Barugon more than Gyaos, this film has more of Gamera, where the other film really lacked the title monster.
In fact, there are more kaiju showdowns in this film and they are executed better than the previous chapter in the series. This is actually the first film that feels like an all out kaiju war between two giant monsters.
This film also reintroduces the concept of Gamera being a friend and protector of children. That personality trait wasn’t existent in Gamera vs. Barugon. From this point forward, however, Gamera is homeboy to the kids.
As with all Gamera films, the acting isn’t great, the cinematography is just barely passable and the special effects aren’t as great as those seen in the rival Godzilla series. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t enjoyable. It has many flaws but it also has heart and for those who love old school kaiju pictures, those negatives don’t really detract from the excitement of seeing two big monsters throw down.
Gamera vs. Gyaos is pretty action heavy, which is a big benefit. There is rarely a dull moment in the movie and it’s just plain fun.
Plus, the people who designed the villain kaiju in the Gamera films, always created really cool and unique looking monsters. Gyaos is one of the coolest, which probably explains its inclusion in several films after this.