🐢 Gamera: Guardian of the Universe—June 11th, 2019—Tuesdays at Cichlidia

After being reminded of Roger Ebert’s amazing review of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, I’ll lightly suggest we kick of Cichlidia Tuesdays with a viewing:

"Gamera: Guardian of the Universe’’ is precisely the kind of movie that I enjoy, despite all rational reasoning. How, you may ask, can I possibly prefer this Japanese monster film about a jet-powered turtle to a megabudget solemnity like “Air Force One”? It has laughable acting, a ludicrous plot, second-rate special effects and dialogue such as, "Someday, I’ll show you around monster-free Tokyo!’’ The answer, I think, is that "Gamera’’ is more fun.

There’s a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like "Gamera’’ more than “Air Force One” because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop "taste,’’ and prefer “Air Force One,” which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn’t it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to "Gamera’’ again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness–and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.

The whole movie is on YouTube, and here’s a trailer:

Subject to change!


Success! The movie was thoroughly silly and enjoyable! We didn’t invite out because our aparment is still such a shabby mess; but housemates had a great time :smiley:

Some highlights:

  • Cichlidia Team Activity: make our own Kaiju movie by recutting other kaiju movies, since you can often take the “crowd running away, screaming” and “military fires missiles” shots from any one and use them in the other.

  • What is your favorite “bad” movie? This mostly produced genres:

    • Desperate children’s movies, usually competing with Disney/Pixar.
    • Bad horror movies, a la House on Haunted Hill.
    • Silly action movies.
  • Gamera first appears in 1965 to compete with Godzilla, who first appeared in 1954. So we were watching the Pepsi of kaiju.

  • As a giant turtle who can spit fireballs, Karen pointed out that Gamera is Bowser, but actually.

  • As Roger Ebert notes in his review linked above, one of the main characters is Steven Seagal’s daughter. Steven Seagal is a piece of shit, but in the franchise tradition of casting genuinely horrible people as the villain, his best role was Machete.