Gamera: The Complete Collection

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
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fdm
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#26 Post by fdm » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:53 pm

You could try a Notify Me When Available via Grindhouse Video.

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smccolgan
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#27 Post by smccolgan » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:42 pm

swo17 wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:45 pm
You can still order it on Amazon UK though there's no guarantee they'll fulfill it
they’re not shipping to the US currently - maybe I’ll try the notify on Grindhouse. Sounds like there’s a pared-down version coming next year but now I want the limited one, haha.

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fdm
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#28 Post by fdm » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:46 pm

I got one that way last week.

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swo17
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#29 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:54 pm

smccolgan wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:42 pm
swo17 wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:45 pm
You can still order it on Amazon UK though there's no guarantee they'll fulfill it
they’re not shipping to the US currently - maybe I’ll try the notify on Grindhouse. Sounds like there’s a pared-down version coming next year but now I want the limited one, haha.
I was able to include it in an order yesterday

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dwk
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#30 Post by dwk » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:11 pm

Ronin Flix might be getting some more in
Update (08.27.20): Gamera has been moved back to Coming Soon status pending delivery of the balance of our order. We will post an update here and on social media prior to release if / when we receive more units. 
So you might want to follow them on social media if you fail to get a copy anywhere else.

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soundchaser
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#31 Post by soundchaser » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:50 pm

Gamera vs. Barugon - In living color! (Plus rainbows!) Props to the team for attempting to creat a sense of continuity here from the word go, although I did laugh at the extent to which the first film’s ending is undone by a huge coincidence within two minutes of this one. (I suppose it’s not quite as lazy as “there was another Godzilla all along!”) I’m pretty surprised at how moody the opening of this film is, relatively speaking — yet again, it sort of beats the pants off some of the later Showa Godzilla films in terms of atmosphere.

Like some of those films, though, after an initial destruction sequence this one drops us right in the middle of some human ~intrigue~, as a group of sketchy characters heads to Papua New Guinea to recover an opal one of them stashed in a cave twenty years earlier. It’s no Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it’s sufficiently engaging in its goofiness and sincerity (“the Valley of Rainbows” just will never be a threatening name, sorry). I’m tempted to try finding a thematic link between this plot and Gamera whirling off to munch on a tasty volcano (something about instinct and plans), but they’re really connected on an incidental level and not much deeper. The shoehorned-in love plot (barely a plot at all) between the sketchy pilot and one of the natives of Barugon’s island is absolutely ridiculous, and the film could lose it without depriving us of anything of value.

Speaking of plots, I’m kind of amazed at how long we’re stuck with the human characters before any kaiju action actually takes place. After that initial Gamera reintroduction, it’s a full forty minutes before we even hear of another giant monster, much less see one. (The opal is, of course, an egg, but the characters dance around it so much that it feels like a weirdly intentional bit of suspense. Had that first scene been excised, you could almost forget this was a film about kaiju at all.) Barugon himself, once he does show up, is pretty fun as far as kaiju go. I love his Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot tongue (definitely *not* erect male genitalia) that knocks down a tower in a single blow, and his main power being frost rather than fire makes for an interesting contrast with others in the genre (as well as Gamera himself). And really, what better way to demonstrate that your new movie is in color than to have the main antagonist shoot a rainbow out of his back and vaporize some of the military? While the fight between Gamera and Barugon that occurs about an hour in isn’t staged in a particularly interesting way, I like how this series is already willing to go to town with special effects — the frozen, powered-down Gamera and Barugon’s stream of purple blood look surprisingly good in context.

Is this a great film? No, definitely not. I don’t think it’s as thematically rich as the first one, and it’s definitely longer than it needs to be (notice I don’t have a ton to say about the back 40 minutes). But to continue my inevitable Showa Godzilla comparisons, it’s way better than the similar Ebirah, Horror of the Deep. I continue to be surprised at how much I’m enjoying these!

Orlac
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#32 Post by Orlac » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:37 am

I wonder what the connection, language wise is, between Daiei's BarUgon and Toho's BarAgon.

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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#33 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:06 am

The "-gon" suffix shared by various kaiju (Baragon, Barugon, Agon, Kanegon) is from "dragon." My guess is the "Bara-" in "Baragon" comes from the same root as Varan ("Baran" in Japanese), the monitor lizard genus Varanus. The character's name has actually been misspelled as "Varagon" in some official products. But as for the "Baru-" I have no idea, and even the people who put together this wiki article on the possible etymologies behind Daiei's kaiju don't have a hypothesis.

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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#34 Post by Orlac » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:50 am

Watching GvB last night...the natives are mostly Japanese actors in various shades of blackface, except the lead female one who is also played by a Japanese but she is almost blindingly white!

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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#35 Post by Orlac » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:00 am

I really like the crocodilian design of Barugon, would love an action figure!


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smccolgan
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#37 Post by smccolgan » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:57 am

I’m waiting to see if Amazon UK ends up fulfilling my order but taking a shot with RoninFlix can’t hurt.

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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#38 Post by hanshotfirst1138 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:21 pm

I was lucky enough to get my copy from Amazon. Sure hope it’s not one of the ones with the wrong disc, because apparently they didn’t press any replacements. Arrow release a lot of good stuff, but this strikes me as very unprofessional. Not to mention their misestimating demand HUGELY.


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Ribs
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#39 Post by Ribs » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:02 pm

I expect if there are wrong disc issues they’ll be rectified inevitably when more discs are pressed for non-Limited editions if not before then. As of right now immediately it might be difficult to fix some issues but the discs will probably be rereleased soon in a different format.

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smccolgan
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#40 Post by smccolgan » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:50 am

Amazon UK was a bust - is trying to negotiate/haggle with eBayers worth it?

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Ribs
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#41 Post by Ribs » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:02 am

Assuming they have a best offer field it's always worth trying, but I wouldn't really expect very good results unless you're meeting them at like 97+% of their price for a set like this that's going to sell regardless, especially while Arrow hasn't announced any standard re-release yet. Once that happens I would expect prices to drop a little.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#42 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:24 am

Gamera subsets broken down by area announced:

The Showa Era
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The Heisei Era
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The Heisei Trilogy Steelbook
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Calvin
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#43 Post by Calvin » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:01 pm

The Heisei Trilogy is being released on 4K UHD in Japan in January. No English subtitles. I would be all for Arrow 'doing an Oldboy' and upgrading them with haste.

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knives
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#44 Post by knives » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:59 pm

This started off for the ‘60s list, going on now for those who want something fun to do, but frankly I have the heart of a teenage boy and finished up the Showa series in about three days and wrote some quick thoughts. I might tackle again the later four films later, but for now some ramblings.

I had only seen two of the Showa films and left me ready to expect the worst. Fortunately the original turned out far better than I was expecting. The people stuff isn’t terribly interesting also Gamera starts off a Godzilla knockoff rather than the protector of children. That premise is a fairly incredible idea that I hope get some depth to it. There is a hint of that direction here, but it’s not full fledged enough. Still, that sequence involving the kid is so good and elevates the film so much I can’t help but be left excited for watching the series. I will admit though to be ridiculously excited at Gamera flying. I can just hear a nauseous Master Roshi.

Next is the worst in the whole series and maybe the worst kaiju film ever with Barugon. For people who think the main Gamera films aren’t Godzilla enough. This is kind of crappy for following the Godzilla formula without any of the ideas and heart. This is about as crass as kaiju cinema gets without being particularly entertaining. It also has a weirdly small amount of kaiju. Gamera is mentioned at the beginning, but then disappears for a very long and boring stretch. Barugon is also the longest film in the series and feels it.

Alternatively, Gyaos is easily the best classic Gamera. The series finally figured out that violence and children are what work for it setting up the psychological interplay of the ‘90s series. This film also has the right human to monster ratio with a lot of great and surreal images during he human segments leaving a distinct feeling from Godzilla. The editing is especially dynamic and exciting with its use as stock footage in later entries usually being a welcome relief.

That though explains why this is a series that really doesn’t reward having been seen in quick succession. Given Viras’ already rusty clip show device is 15 minutes long and presented in a way that even fresh would probably be annoying it exhausts in the home video context. Other films in the series would use stock footage in more creative and effective ways. That exhaustion is unfortunate as this pure kids show entry has a strangeness to it that if handled a little better could have made for a great time. The use of color is fantastic and the new effects are fun while the human side story mostly works albeit perhaps a little too precious at times. I’d take it over the dull adult narrative of Barugon any day at least.

Guiron the first of two I had already seen and with the context of the rest of the series now with me it seems all the more pitiful. I had assumed that I was missing out on something resulting from serialization, but this series is fairly self contained from one entry to the next. Instead we have a belamed version of the previous film with dumb kids replacing the precocious geniuses of before and the plot being motivated by accidents rather than any active conflict.This is kind of just a film where stuff happens. The visuals are also toned down so that the movie feels a lot more generic and lacks the comic boom surrealism of the two previous entries.

That said the monster stuff is a lot of fun. Having a kaiju that is just a sentient sword wouldn’t work in any other series and I’m glad the team at Daiei was willing to be so crazy.

Jiger is a whole lot better even if it is still mediocre. The kids are a bit older which gives the human plot allowance to be a tad more complex and just plain good with a plot centered around them trying to fight against wicked scientist. I don’t have much else to say so I guess this gives me the rope to bring up an odd pattern of these later films. We always have a pair of Japanese and American child which is just weird compared to contemporary Japanese films which saw America with suspicion and even outright hostility. Even something as commercial as Godzilla brought up America as a source of tension and danger. Always with Gamera though the west is a friend you can trust. Since subtle conservatism is very interesting to see develop.

On a less heady topic I gotta say that Jiger is probably the best developed villain since Gyaos with a natural evolution, purpose, and even something like a character arc. These films, even outside this series, tend to just throw a monster to the wall as obligation, but I get why we have what we have here. This honestly might be the second best film in the series.

And so in a sense we have the last Showa Gamera, but more on that later. Zigra is a sea sighting tale which has the youngest protagonists yet although that doesn’t affect the story much as they really do seem to care for this outing. Which is all good as it takes it’s sweet time being not only one of the longest films in the series, but also one with the least amount of monster action. The chase through the park with the possessed woman is definitely a highlight.

The last film of the Showa era to bear the Gamera name is a clip show at least insofar as Gamera is concerned, but Super Monster is far weirder than that. It starts off like Turkish Star Wars with three superwomen teleporting around or something. It then transitions into something closer to a real story. That story shouldn’t have Gamera in the title, but it’s at least something. Eventually the tree threads converge into what’s actually a pretty exciting and interesting greatest hits album. Throw in an unflabbable kid, seriously he gets transported into a movie and is just like, “this is the coolest,” and some wacky anime shenanis and I was kind of just sold.

Actually, I imagine the people who like the Everything is Terrible compilations will get a lot from this. Even I wound up liking it in the end.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#45 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:47 pm

I like the 3 Heisei era films by Kaneko, at least....

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knives
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Re: Gamera: The Complete Collection

#46 Post by knives » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:53 pm

I love them as well, they just weren’t part of the current watch through.

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