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|Gamera vs. Jiger|
|Directed by||Noriaki Yuasa
|Produced by||Hidemasa Nagata
Masaichi Nagata (executive producer)
|Written by||Nisan Takahashi|
|Music by||Kenjiro Hirose (Gamera song only)
|Distributed by||Daiei, AIP-TV (US TV)|
|Running time||83 min.|
Gamera vs. Jiger (ガメラ対大魔獣ジャイガー Gamera Tai Daimajū Jaigā , Gamera versus Giant Demon Beast Jiger, released in the U.S. as Gamera vs. Monster X) is a 1970 kaiju film by the Daiei Motion Picture Company. It is the sixth entry in the original Gamera series.
In Gamera vs. Jiger, Gamera has his hands full right from the very beginning. Japan is preparing for the 1970 World's Fair, to be held in Osaka. Construction of the various buildings and pavilions is well under way. On Wester Island in the Pacific Ocean, a large statue of mysterious origin (called the Devil's Whistle) is located by scientists. Workers from the Expo are interested in returning the statue for display, and try to remove it for transport by ship. The removal of the statue is hampered first by a tribal member of the Wester Island people, then by the unexpected arrival of Gamera, who aggressively attempts to prevent the removal of the statue, only to be shot at by the crew instead. The statue is removed from the island successfully after a volcano erupts. Shortly after departing the island, members of the ship's crew begin to fall ill. The statue appears to be the source of the outbreak, as it makes a continuous piercing sound, driving many of the crew members insane. Later analysis reveals the presence of a central shaft that runs nearly the length of the statue top-to-bottom. The position of the opening on the statue is creating the high-pitched 'squeal', as air passes through it.
After the statue is removed, Jiger makes her first appearance and gets Gamera's immediate attention. The first of several fights ensues, and Jiger wins by shooting projectile quills from her face. The quills impale Gamera's arms and legs, piercing all the way through and preventing Gamera from withdrawing his limbs into his shell and taking flight. To make matters worse, Gamera is on his back and cannot move. He pulls himself up with his tail using a large rock and then removes the offending quills from his limbs and is finally able to fly after Jiger.
Meanwhile, Jiger is actively seeking the statue, because it is making a horrible ringing sound that is causing her tremendous pain. Jiger lets nothing impede that hunt as she splits two ships in half and starts tearing through Osaka. Scientists are beside themselves as Jiger displays another weapon: a heat ray that vaporises not only flesh but entire city blocks. The JSDF does make a token effort to kill the kaiju, but her quills knock down the F-104 fighters, ending that involvement.
Gamera returns for round two as the fight is witnessed by several children. Gamera knocks Jiger around and appears to have the upper hand until Jiger pulls Gamera to her. Jiger extends a stinger from her tail and inserts the barb into Gamera's chest, laying an egg inside his lung. Gamera staggers away, roaring in agony. Finally, he barely makes it to the bay and his body turn a chalky white color, almost like ice. Gamera is presumed to have been killed at this point as Jiger heads straight to the World's Fair. Jiger finally obtains her goal of the statue, and throws it into the ocean, ending the painful noise.
The scientists were checking out possible causes of the noise, as it affected humans, causing temporary insanity. The children convinced them to do a medical exam on the comatose Gamera, where it's discovered that there's a dark spot on one of his lungs. One of the scientists served as a zoo director and realised that the spot might not be a fast spreading cancer, but actually a parasitic infant Jiger growing inside Gamera. (By way of demonstrating his theory he plays, in one of the film's more notable sequences, actual black-and-white science documentary footage of an infected elephant's trunk being surgically sliced open, spilling out an oleaginous mass of parasitical larvae.) An operation is needed to remove the threat, so the children took the initiative by taking a walkie talkie and a mini-sub. Communication is established with the kids and they enter Gamera through his open mouth, and after almost going into his stomach, they arrive at the problem lung. The children are able to exit the sub and walk around in the lung. There, they discover the baby.
The baby looks like a tiny version of his mother, except that instead of shooting quills, the baby squirts sticky goo. The baby attacks them but he has a weakness just like the adult: white noise. The kids discover this is actually a fatal weakness and manage to kill the baby using static from their radio. They leave Gamera's body and report their findings to the scientists. They rig up large speakers to keep Jiger at bay, as well as figuring out that power would have to also be run into Gamera, who cannot recover on his own. The children make a final trip inside Gamera to hook up a set of power lines directly to his heart.
Jiger is kept still by the speakers playing the white noise. It's not enough to kill Jiger, but buys enough time for the other plan to start. Gamera is subjected to high voltage shock before the electrical grid overloads. It's enough that Gamera revives on his own.
Gamera flies over to the World's Fair for the final battle. Jiger tries every weapon she's got, but Gamera has learned from his previous battles with her. After her spears fail to affect him, Jiger then uses her heat ray, the one weapon she'd yet to use on him. It doesn't affect Gamera's shell or even skin (likely due to Gamera's resistance to heat) but the sound it generates threatens to rupture his ear drums. Luckily, Gamera is able to put power poles in his ears to protect them from the sound. After trying all her other attacks, Jiger resorts to her tail stinger again but Gamera is prepared for it this time and uses a building to smash her tail and destroy the stinger. Gamera body-slams Jiger several times from great heights, but Jiger isn't really affected. However, it buys Gamera the time needed to go into the ocean to retrieve the statue from the sea floor. Jiger, enraged by the statue's return attempts to catch the flying Gamera. Gamera taunts Jiger with the statue, who tries in vain to catch Gamera and retrieve the statue. Gamera finally ends the fight by throwing the statue at Jiger, which embeds itself in Jiger's skull, killing her. Gamera then returns the devil beast to Wester Island.
Jiger is a large, quadrupedal reptile, with a head adorned with quills protruding from her face. Along her back is a long dorsal fin, and on sides of her body, behind the head, are a pair of organic thrusters that enhance her jumping ability and is also the first female kaiju in the gamera series.
Jiger is a bizarre creature with bizarre powers. She can fire projectile quills from her nose that have deadly penetrating power. In addition, she can fire an energy beam from her head that can vapourise a whole city block and all the people in it. Finally, nestled within her tail is a secret weapon - a stinger-like ovipositor which can inject an egg in order to breed. She can use a form of suction to hold an opponent in place to inject said egg. This parasite can render her opponent comatose in minutes.
Jiger's weakness lay in an ancient statue which emanated a wavelength to which Jiger was susceptible. When this statue was dug up for the 1970 World's fair, she was released, but in the end, Gamera recovered the statue and killed her with it, by using it to stab her in the head.
AIP-TV distributed the film directly to television in the United States, as Gamera vs. Monster X. A monster with the same name would later be featured years later in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), but with no similarities. This was the last Gamera film released by American International.
Shout! Factory has released the film on September 21, 2010 on DVD as a double feature with Gamera vs. Guiron. The films include the original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles. It also has the original AIP-TV English dub by Titra Sound.
St. Clair Entertainment
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