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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

Japan

Program Title: Gamera: Attack of Legion
EASC Code: JG-14
Series Title:
Region/Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Subject: Fiction
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Director:
Producer: ADV Films
Release Date:
Running Time: 140 min.
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract:The Film: The crashing of a meteorite interrupts a serene winter night in Sapporo, Japan. The fact that the celestial object is nowhere to be found (despite leaving a sizeable crater) takes on a sense of sinister foreboding when the area is plagued with strange phenomena. Lights in the sky, disruptions in communications, and a break-in at a beer warehouse (where the bottles, not the beer, are consumed!) all point to a visitor from space.

This is confirmed when subway passengers are attacked by a horde of insect-like creatures. Soon, downtown Sapporo is shattered by the blooming of a huge flower that is tended by the creatures. Investigators correctly deduce that the flower pod is gathering oxygen to launch its seed into space. The force of this explosion will wipe Sapporo off the map, but it’s too late for the military to do anything about it! Luckily, the Earth’s guardian Gamera senses the threat and arrives in time to destroy the flower. Afterward, he is injured by the swarm and retreats back to the sea.

The insects (dubbed “Legion” in reference to the Bible, Mark 5:9) amass their forces for a second try. This time, the giant Queen Legion runs interference against Gamera. Against all odds, Gamera again destroys the flower, but at a terrible price. The city of Sendai is completely annihilated, with Gamera at ground zero! Can anything revive Gamera, or give the military the edge it needs, to stop the Legion’s relentless march towards Tokyo?

Gamera 2: Attack Of Legion is the follow-up to 1995’s Gamera, Guardian Of The Universe. The first film was widely considered the best kaiju eiga since Toho’s golden age in the 1960’s. As such, it’s a tough act to follow, but Shusuke Kaneko and his crew do so brilliantly. G2 moves along at a quick pace. Despite the fact that Gamera doesn’t show up until the half-hour mark, the film never drags. In best X-Files fashion, the mystery of the Legion grows and develops ominously. When the monsters do engage in battle, there is a real sense of urgency that is lacking in many monster films. Far from being merely a technical exercise, the fights are true struggles for survival. The overwhelming Legion needs to reproduce at any cost, and the audience gets a real sense of the painful sacrifices made by the noble Gamera to stop it. Legion is by far Gamera’s largest and most powerful opponent. Not only is its strength incredible, but it is also able to neutralize Gamera’s attacks. It is a creature which neither Gamera nor humanity alone can destroy. Both must work together to preserve the planet

Data Entry Date: 12/8/06