Sunday, June 16th, 2024 3:41 pm.

My father introduced me to Kaiju Eiga, (Japanese films about giant monsters) and then he died.

He wouldn’t have known the Japanese terminology (Or maybe he did. He was big on history and other cultures.) but, as a kid, it wasn’t Kaiju, it was just a bunch of guys in rubber monster suits, knockin’ each other around, on Saturday afternoon!

I was never that big into wrestling because HOW COULD IT MATCH THIS!?  (Or, how could it match comic books, for that matter?)

So, for the years when my dad and I were both alive at the same time, we would watch Saturday afternoon creature features together, and one of our favorite Monsters was GAMERA!!

Oh, sure, we watched Godzilla too. My dad also introduced me to him and he is one of my fave monsters. (There were two really good Godzilla movies that came out recently. One was a great Popcorn flick, and one was a great movie movie. If you’ve seen them, you probably know which is which.)

MST3K is probably the way most people got introduced to Gamera, but I fell in love with him on those lazy Saturday afternoons with dear departed Dad.

We watched all the Gamera movies that were available to the local station in Northeast Ohio.

Throughout the movies, my Dad would always say, without fail, “HE’S GOT ROCKETS IN HIS POCKETS!!”

He was correct. Gamera can do this thing where he puts his head and feet into his shell, then he blasts fire out of his shell and twirls around like a flying saucer. (Now that I think of it, he may actually be cooler than Godzilla. When you watch Godzilla fly, it is a sad state of affairs.)

My favorite Gamera movie (I’m just assuming you want to know)  is Gamera vs. Guiron. MST3K fans know this classic, but if you didn’t see that episode, it’s the one where two kids get kidnapped by evil alien women, who plan to eat their brains, and Gamera fights a big monster with a knife on his head.

Funny story, one time I got a DVD of this movie at Best Buy and insisted to my friend that we should watch it at least until the point where Guiron uses his knife head to slice up space Gaos. (Gaos is a villain from a previous movie, but they painted him different, and said this is SPACE Gaos.) For some reason though, that scene is not in the Best Buy version, SO IT’S NOT THE BEST BUY!  I don’t know how they get away with calling themselves that.

Kidding aside, it’s not Best Buy’s fault. There are different releases of the movie, and some don’t include Guiron slicing up Space Gaos,   I think, getting a DVD of Gamera vs. Guiron without the slicing scene is probably a First World problem, so, I shouldn’t really complain.

My second favorite Gamera movie is Gamera Vs. Zigra, because, in that movie, Zigra is this giant shark alien who can talk, and the guy who dubs him sounds hilarious. There is a scene where he says something like, “Your Earth water has caused me to become ABNORMALLY LARGE.”  Trust me, it’s funny. I quote this a lot to my cat. “Hmmm, perhaps I’m giving you too much food. It’s causing you to become ABNORMALLY LARGE!”  (He hates that, but I think it’s funny, and he IS abnormally large.)

My dad was also ABNORMALLY LARGE. Not in a chonky way, like my cat, but in a tall way. I’m an average height, for a guy, like 5’9, but my dad was something like 20 feet tall. I’m serious. They had to build special doors for him in our house.

He wasn’t quite as tall as Gamera, though, but at least he introduced me to him!!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!



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