Sep 15, 2012

Asian Monster Flick Week: Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris - 1999

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko

The Gyaos has returned in greater numbers than before and once again they threaten all life in Japan. But this time they’re not alone. Iris, an old mythological monster – a legend, is awoken as a young girl discovers an egg in an ancient cave. The Egg hatches and brings the baby Iris to life. Soon however it has grown into gigantic size and threatens the world as we know is. Once again Gamera comes to the rescue although the government still hasn’t decided which side he is on. But even when attacked by Japanese self defense forces he keeps fighting the other creatures. To the death if necessary!

Once again the mythological feel is present and I welcome that! It’s not necessarily important that the myth is based in true myths either; I’m satisfied with myths created for the purpose of the movie. On the bad side, the Iris monster looks ridiculous at least at times and especially as a baby. I don’t think we needed that cute moment at all! Still, there is not the kind of rubber glory which I liked so much in the first film. Too bad!

That is to say that this is a film where the monster models aren’t as obvious as before. You can still tell that many shots are tricked and combined to make the monsters seem larger but not as much as in the first cardboard city scenes. It might seem as a self contradiction but it is quite more entertaining when it looks more faked! That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the turkey qualities I’m after here but it is good fun to see the tacky environments.

But if we leave the psychical aspects of the monsters and how it’s made for a moment I think that there are plenty more philosophical aspects than before here. I did write about it on the previous movie and claimed it wasn’t a necessary thing for a monster movie, but here it turns out quite well. Gamera refuses to give up and keeps fighting no matter what and that’s an obvious metaphor for dedication in general. Dedication and the ambition to follow through!

This is a worthy final to the trilogy even if the end makes you wonder if more there originally were more movies to come. I don’t need more at this time, there are other monster movies to be seen but who knows, I might explore the original films from the sixties someday!


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