After Gamera vs Zigra finished production, Daiei Co. went bankrupt. This prompted a deal with Dainichi Eihai to distribute the film. The film only had a budget of $97,000.
Gamera vs Zigra was released in 1971 around the same time Toho Co. released Godzilla vs Hedorah. Both movies had pollution as the central talking point and both Hedorah and Zigra originated from outer space.
When the space monster Zigra arrives to Earth in search for a new home, it tries to provoke the entire world into an immediate surrender. In order to achieve this, however, the alien must fight against this world's protector and friend of all children, Gamera.
As I have mentioned in my previous reviews, Daiei Co. was going through some financial issues and the budget for each movie was getting smaller. At the time Gamera vs Zigra had wrapped up production, the studio went bankrupt and had to turn to Dainichi Eihai to distribute the film. Daiei really needed a film to do well and unfortunately Gamera vs Zigra bombed at the Japanese box office much like the previous movies that came before.
The story, once again, focuses on two little children. This time, it is a boy and girl duo rather than a duo of two boys. That is how you know this movie is different...somehow. An alien monster seeks Earth to conquer and Gamera comes to fight the monster because he is all about the little children and protecting the planet. Same story, different characters. It is like watching a Home Alone movie, except it isn't Christmas, it doesn't take place in Chicago, and there is no Harry and Marv. You would think the aliens would be able to capture these kids if they weren't so clumsy. Even Harry and Marv were eventually able to nab Kevin in Home Alone. Maybe Zigra should have hired Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern to catch these children.
The only new thing with this movie's story is the talking point is focused on our oceans being polluted and how we need to be less ignorant on the issue. What I found interesting is that the movie was released in Japanese theaters the week before Godzilla vs Hedorah was released. Both movies had similar themes talking about pollution and both Godzilla and Gamera fought a space monster that attacked Earth as a result of the humans polluting the oceans. However, I felt as though Gamera vs Zigra was rushed out there because Noriaki Yuasa learned about Toho Co. making a Godzilla movie about pollution and he wanted to respond with a Gamera movie that was similar.
I will go over the results of the popularity contest between Godzilla and Gamera in my next review of "Gamerathon" (spoilers: Godzilla won the popularity contest) in greater detail. For now, all you need to know is that Gamera vs Zigra bombed and Daiei Co. was going bankrupt due to their desperation. I will at least give this movie credit for not using any stock footage, but that doesn't make this movie any better. Daiei will go on to make one more film for the showa era as their final attempt.
Gamera vs Zigra comes off as desperate and boring as the previous films. While it is all new characters and theme, the story is very much the same in every Gamera movie with an alien in it. It's still not the worst, but it is not good either.
What are your thoughts on Gamera vs Zigra? Do you think this movie is under rated or do you agree that this is a bad movie? Leave a comment in the comments section of your thoughts on this movie. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.