Attack Of The Monsters

Attack Of The Monsters

**1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Everybody knows who Godzilla is but, in the west, his turtle-like friend Gamera is rather less famous. Gamera has actually starred in a huge number of films but his image doesn't make as strong an impact here, for all that he can breathe fire and travel through space using jets which fire mysteriously from beneath his shell. He also tends to be ignored because most of this films are made for children. "Gamera is a friend to children," one of this film's young heroes explains - and he'd better hope so, because his life may depend on it.

When they meet two attractive, friendly alien women, Akio and Tom are happy to go with them in their spaceship, breaking every rule their mothers gave them. At first everything on the planet they visit seems wonderful, but their new friends have a dangerous agenda which may threaten not just them, but all life on Earth. To succeed in their aims they need to defeat Gamera, for which purpose they have taken control of a local knife-headed giant monster. But they have reckoned without the boys' inventiveness and Gamera's tenacity.

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With clumsy effects, poor dubbing and shaky sets, this is a film which will appeal to kitsch-lovers, but it's also a solid children's adventure film which will genuinely appeal to kids all over the world. It's good at representing a child's point of view, recognising kids' natural naivety and the distress which can come from being disbelieved by adults.The young stars are natural and engaging with none of the cutesy mannerisms American child actors are encouraged to adopt.

For those looking for monster on monster action, this isn't the best Gamera film, but it does have a couple of good battles and it does well to keep up the tension. The knife-headed monster lacks our scaly hero's cunning but is pretty strong and ferocious, making him a worthy opponent. Together with the aliens' evil plotting, this makes the film quite scary and exciting for young viewers if they're disinclined to worry about the quality issues which bother adults.

Reviewed on: 04 May 2009
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Attack Of The Monsters packshot
Two boys fall prey to charming but dangerous aliens. Can the famous monster Gamera save them in time?
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Director: Noriaki Yuasa

Writer: Nisan Takahashi

Starring: Nobuhiro Kajima, Miyuki Akiyama, Christopher Murphy, Yuko Hamada, Eiji Funakoshi, Kon Omura

Year: 1969

Runtime: 82 minutes

Country: Japan

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