“We can’t just stand here while they destroy the Earth.”
A deadly alien spaceship approaches Earth. Gamera destroys it. Before the ship is destroyed the aliens send a message to the mother ship of their eminent destruction and warning them of Gamera. They instruct the mother ship to send out the next ship.
Back on Earth, boy scouts are getting a lesson on mini-subs at the local aquarium. Two of the boys, Masao Nakaya (Toru Takatsuka) and Jim Crane (Carl Craig), manage to talk their way into getting to pilot the sub. While underwater they see Gamera. They play with the giant monster for awhile.
Suddenly the second spaceship shows up and hits Gamera with some kind of paralyzing ray. The aliens want to destroy Earth, but first they need to make Gamera their slave. The aliens have a scanning ray they use on Gamera to scan his memories. They are looking for a weakness they can exploit. The aliens learn that Gamera has a soft spot for Children. The aliens kidnap Masao and Jim. Unless Gamera submits to their demands, the aliens will kill the kids. Gamera has no choice but to comply. The aliens attach a brain control device to Gamera’s head. They now have control over Gamera.
While the kids try to find a way to escape, Gamera is wreaking havoc all over Japan. The boys find a squid-like creature that they think may be another captive but it turns out to be the leader of the aliens. The kids manage to free Gamera from its mind control devise. At that point the aliens get rid of their human disguises and merge together making one big monster. The monster is Viras.
“Gamera vs Viras”, AKA “Destroy All Planets” in the US, was released in 1968 and was directed by Noriaki Yuasa. It is the fourth entry in the Gamera series. It is made for 8 year olds.
This is the first Gamera movie that uses flashbacks. It’s a good excuse to save money by using stock footage. There is plenty of stock footage used. About fifteen minutes. It is about an 81 minute movie.
There is a rather cleaver plot devise in this movie. Masao is a genius with electronics. In the beginning he plays with the controls of the mini-sub making it do the opposite it is supposed to do. This confuses the mini-sub pilots and gives Masao a chance to show off his talent, since he knows what he did to the sub. Later with Gamera’s mind control devise, Masao adjusts it so it also does the opposite of what it is supposed to do, thereby, confusing the aliens. Yes, I know, a little ambitious for children. I know adults who can’t change a tire but a child can reprogram an alien thought devise to run in reverse. Easy Peasy.
Unless you are an eight year old boy the movie is not exactly a thrill a minute. And you can tell that the movie is for children when the Earth decides to surrender to the aliens instead of attacking the spaceship and risking the lives of the two boys that are captive on it. Yes, the Earth took a poll. It was unanimous.
Suffice it to say the movie is a typical children’s Kaiju monster movie. Silly but still a little fun. In 1969, the film was released in the US through American International Television, under the title “Destroy All Planets”, likely to capitalize on the success of the Godzilla film, “Destroy All Monsters”, released to theaters the same year. The “Destroy All Planets” version of the film is in the public domain in the United States.
(No planets were destroyed during the making of this movie.)