Gehara the Dark and Long Haired Monster
(Chohatsu Daikaiju Gehara)
- Japanese with English subtitles
Director: Kiyotaka Taguchi
Cast: Ken Osawa, Mina Fujii, Mitsuko Oka, Shiro Sano
Producers: Shinji Higuchi
A delightful parody of the daikaiju (giant monster) genre, GEHARA tells the story of a giant hairy beast—strangely reminiscent of Cousin It from THE ADDAMS FAMILY—and the efforts of the Japan Self-Defense Force to stop it. Although only a part of TV special, GEHARA is extremely funny and well made, drawing inspiration from some of the best Toho classics of the genre: WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966), THE MYSTERIANS (1957) and INVASION OF ASTRO MONSTER (1965), to name a few. All the clichés are in there but with little twists guaranteed to bring laughter. The music is a selection of delightful rarieties from the repertoire of none other than kaiju-flick maestro Akira Ifukube, who left us in February, 2006. The miniature work and cinematography are top-notch, as one would expect given the supervision of Shinji Higuchi, who gave us the magnificent GAMERA trilogy of the 1990s. In a genre that has been put on hold since GODZILLA FINAL WARS (2004), GEHARA is a welcome new arrival!