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 your equipment - it was ours!
Having covered a number of Godzilla films over the past two years
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 adventures. We delve into the two separate versions of the film with attention paid to the alterations and additions made when it 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 complexity. Always remember - Mr. Flame is
not always your friend!