Gamera (大怪獣ガメラ Daikaijū Gamera, lit. Giant Monster Gamera) is a 1965 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company, and the first entry in the Gamera series. It was released to Japanese theaters on November 27, 1965.
Gamera was the only film in the original Gamera series to be released to American theaters. It was originally presented in America by World Entertainment Corp. and Harris Associates, Inc. who released it under the title Gammera, The Invincible, with two "m"s. All subsequent entries in the series spelled the main character's English name "Gamera," and were released directly to television by American International Productions Television (A.I.P.-TV). Gammera, The Invincible's American premiere was in New Orleans on December 15, 1966.
Gammera, The Invincible was heavily re-edited from its original Japanese version. Shots and scenes were moved around, while some were deleted completely. The subplot involving Aoyagi's one-sided relationship with Kyoko was removed and Toshio's implied mental disorder and role in the plot was de-emphasized. Gamera's implied origins and connections to the Atlantean continent were also excised, and authorities are made initially unsure of Gamera's existence. New footage featuring American actors, including Albert Dekker and Brian Donlevy, was spliced in to create a more international feel and to replace scenes shot in Japan featuring American characters, in a style similar to the U.S. release of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. Unused effects footage obtained from Daiei was also reinserted, as establishing shots and extensions to Gamera's attack on the geothermal power plant and Toshio's encounter with Gamera at the oil refinery.
In 1985, Sandy Frank Entertainment commissioned a new dub of the film, which was first released on video on July 14, 1987 on Celebrity Home Entertainment's "Feature Creatures" label. A planned computer-colorized version of the film was scrapped when results of a Celebrity poll showed fans would prefer the original black and white release. The Sandy Frank version, titled simply Gamera, is simply the Japanese version of the film dubbed into English, with a few differences. Like the other Gamera films distributed by Sandy Frank, it features a new credits sequence with footage of ocean waves as a backdrop. Gamera's raid on the geothermal power plant is also edited differently, and various characters names are Americanized. It is only available via VHS and LaserDiscs released by Celebrity Home Entertainment in the 1980's. Gamera, along with the other four Sandy Frank Gamera movies, was mocked twice on Mystery Science Theater 3000, first on KTMA TV 23, a UHF station in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area, and later in the show's third season.
The original Gammera version would later be shown on syndicated PBS program Nightmare Theatre, which is showing on selected stations in the southeastern United States, as part of its second season; the episode premiered on the program's home station, WSRE Pensacola, on November 23, 2019, and was made available to the other participating stations beginning the following May, along with the rest of the season.
Gammera, The Invincible
|Character||Original Actor||Dub Actor|
|Dr. Hidaka||Eiji Funakoshi||Bernard Grant|
|Aoyagi||Junichiro Yamashita||Larry Robinson|
|Kyoko Yamamoto||Harumi Kiritachi||Paulette Rubinstein|
|Toshio Sakurai||Yoshiro Uchida||Corinne Orr|
|Nobuyo Sakurai||Michiko Sugata||Lucy Martin|
|Mr. Ueda||Ichigen Ohashi||Peter Fernandez|
|Chidori Maru Navigator||Daihachi Kita||Kenneth Harvey|
|News Announcer||Yuji Moriya||Jack Curtis|
- William Griffis
Sandy Frank Dub
|Character||Original Actor||Dub Actor|
|Dr. Hidaka||Eiji Funakoshi||Sean Barrett|
|Junichiro Yamashita||Garrick Hagon|
|Harumi Kiritachi||Liza Ross|
|Professor Murase||Jun Hamamura||Constantine Gregory|
|SDF Commander||Jutaro Hojo||Jesse Vogel|
|Chidori Maru Captain||Jun Osanai||Bob Sherman|
|Chidori Maru Navigator||Daihachi Kita||Jay Benedict|
|Soviet Representative||Munehiko Takada||Bob Sessions|
|News Announcer||Yuji Moriya|
|Akiro||Tsutomu Nakata||Jesse Vogel|
|Old Farmer's Wife||Fumiko Murata||Liza Ross|
|Fish Seller A||Kyosuke Shiho||Jesse Vogel|
|Fish Seller B||Shunji Sayama||Jay Benedict|
|Fish Seller C||Ken Nakahara||Bob Sherman|
|Chidori Maru Radioman||Kazuo Mori||Jay Benedict|
- The Gammera the Invincible version of the film features Alan Oppenheimer in a live-action role.
In addition, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed version of the film was previously available on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 - XXI DVD Set, released by Shout! Factory in 2011. It went out of print in 2015.
- Gamera vs. Barugon
- Gamera vs. Gyaos
- Gamera vs. Viras
- Gamera vs. Guiron
- Gamera vs. Jiger
- Gamera vs. Zigra
- Gamera: Super Monster
- Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
- Gamera 2: Attack of Legion
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
- Gamera the Brave