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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.

Dubbing History

Theatrical poster for Gammera, the Invincible.

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.

Cast

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

Additional Voices

  • William Griffis

Sandy Frank Dub

Character Original Actor Dub Actor
Dr. Hidaka Eiji Funakoshi Sean Barrett
Alex
(Aoyagi)
Junichiro Yamashita Garrick Hagon
Catherine
(Kyoko Yamamoto)
Harumi Kiritachi Liza Ross
Kenny
(Toshio Sakurai)
Yoshiro Uchida ¿?
Nora
(Nobuyo Sakurai)
Michiko Sugata ¿?
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

Additional Voices

Notes

  • The Gammera the Invincible version of the film features Alan Oppenheimer in a live-action role.

Transmission

Date(s) Channel Dub Country
1966-Present Syndication Gammera United States United States
1987-1994 Sandy Frank
2019 PBS Gammera

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Dub Region Country
Celebrity Home Entertainment 1987 VHS.jpg Sandy Frank NTSC United States United States
Laserdisc.png
Video Yesteryear 1996 VHS.jpg Gammera
Neptune Video 1999
Alpha Video Distributors 2004 DVD.jpg 1
NTSC
Mill Creek Entertainment 2005
Alpha Video Distributors 2007
Mill Creek Entertainment

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.

See Also

  • Gamera
  • 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

External Links

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