Bat Bird

Not that Gamera himself or previous opponent Barugon were inherently plausible, but Gyaos is truly illogical. A vampiric mixture bridging dinosaur and bird, Gyaos looks like a pro sports team’s logo brought to life. Oddly, the angles, the color, and points make Gyaos alluring too. Maybe that’s why he was the lone Gamera adversary brought back in the mid-’90s.

It wasn’t Gamera vs Gyaos itself locking in fandom popularity, the movie a thinly scripted monster story, holding minor relevance to Japan’s changing economics in the ‘60s. Gamera vs Gyaos pits a corporation against an old-style village, a sign of Japan’s capitalist maturation post-war – once a country locked to tradition, WWII brought western ideals of profit over all. Aimed at kids, this all speaks at their level and understanding, keeping both pace and color consistently in motion.

Gamera vs Gyaos signaled the franchise’s definitive change

Putting the young Eiichi (Naoyuki Abe) in the lead, Gamera vs Gyaos allows this little boy to see through the politics. It’s made obvious because both sides refuse to relent, each from a place of greed – villagers care little for land, only the money they stand to make when selling out, the company too cheap to up their payment. Eiichi gets it. He gets almost everything in Gamera vs Gyaos.

The most outlandish idea comes from a scientist, who in trying to defeat Gyaos after the bat’s multiple carnivorous rampages, decides to make the creature dizzy. Adults overthink things. In this case, they design fake blood, overpower motors, and fatten up electrical grids to KO the beast. Eiichi first realizes Gyaos is nocturnal, obvious to anyone paying attention, but the military keeps dreaming up theories or weapons. Finally, after numerous failed plots by leaders, Eiichi speaks the only logical solution: Let Gamera do the work.

Much as the gentrification story and science babble suggest an older audience, Gamera vs Gyaos signaled the franchise’s definitive change. From here, grade school students became stars, like Eiichi, hitching a ride on Gamera’s shell in a moment that certainly made Abe the coolest kid in class. Gamera only defends things in Gamera vs Gyaos, and sports a softer, rounder look – no intimidation intended. Even adult characters accept Gamera as part of their daily lives, no longer a nuisance or disaster. What results is something goofy but entertaining, unquestionably creative, and too fast as to ever bore.


Disappointing results from Arrow on this one. An older master is the source, potentially a less-than-full-HD scan given the bulky grain structure. Some slight sharpening doesn’t help, introducing brief halos.

It’s clean enough. Few scratches or dust specks appear. A reasonable uptick in detail compared to Mill Creek’s Blu-ray happens entirely thanks to better compression. Gamera vs Gyaos shares disc space with Gamera vs Barugon, allowing digital breathing room to resolve this source. Texture on monster suits or in actor close-ups dribble out definition.

Overcranked contrast marginalizes specific elements, bleaching flesh tones and causing clipping. This isn’t the case with black levels, which if anything stay too light (but acceptably so). Color vibrancy takes a shot too as a result, weakening saturation when the image appears blown out in each highlight.


Original Japanese and two dubs – American International and Daiei’s own – show up in the menu. No matter the choice, lean scoring struggles at the peak, wobbling a little. Lows perform better, if limited in range. That’s expected.

The mono tracks keep tight balance, maintaining dialog amid action, or the score as monster fights flare.


Stuart Galbraith takes on the commentary work (and he’s great). August Ragone handles the introduction (nine minutes worth). Alternate opening credits, trailers, and image gallery see this one out.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Gamera vs Gyaos
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A franchise turning point, Gamera vs Gyaos deals in adult topics like gentrification, but it’s ultimately a kid-friendly monster mash.

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