Gamera vs. Barugon ( 大怪獣決闘 ガメラ対バルゴン / Daikaijū Kettō: Gamera Tai Barugon / Duel of the Giant Monsters: Gamera vs. Barugon, released in the U.S. as War of the Monsters ) is a 1966 Japanese kaiju film directed by Shigeo Tanaka. It is the second entry in the Gamera film series and was released straight to television in the United States by American International Television as War of the Monsters, and then later by Sandy Frank as Gamera vs. Barugon. It was one of five Gamera films to appear in the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is the only film of the Showa Gamera series that does not feature one or more preteen children as the main human characters.
Set six months after the events of Gamera: The Giant Monster, a meteorite collides with the Z Plan rocket transporting the creature to Mars. Now free, Gamera returns to Earth and destroys Kurobe Dam in Japan. At the same time three mercenaries are sent by Kano, a World War II veteran, to an island in the South Pacific to retrieve a huge opal he once found and hid in a cave. Despite warnings from the local villagers, the trio find and locate the opal, but one dies from a fatal scorpion sting. The second man, Keisuke, Kano's younger brother, is betrayed by his fellow expeditioner Onodera and apparently killed in a cave-in.
En route back to Japan, Onodera accidentally leaves the opal exposed to an infrared light. The heat incubates the opal - actually an egg - and a lizard eventually hatches. Growing to enormous size very quickly, the lizard destroys the ship and Kobe Harbor. Keisuke, having survived the cave-in, awakens in the care of the villagers. He then returns to Japan with a village girl called Karen, who refers to the lizard as Barugon. Barugon wreaks havoc in Osaka with its freeze-gas emitting tongue and stops the launching of the retaliative missiles with a rainbow-like ray emitted from seven spines on the middle of its back. Barugon encounters Gamera and the two battle, with Gamera eventually being frozen solid.
In the meantime, while debating with Kano on how to recover the opal, which he still believes to be aboard the sunken ship, Onodera inadvertently blurts out that he killed his two companions and then murders both Kano and Kano's wife to cover up his crime. After finding Onodera, Keisuke and Karen subdue him and leave him tied up in his home. Keisuke and Karen travel to the Japanese defense ministry and suggest a plan using a huge diamond to lure Barugon into a lake to drown. The plan fails because the diamond's radiation proves to be not enough. Another attempt by irradiating the diamond with additional infrared radiation almost succeeds, until Onodera, having been released and informed of the diamond by his wife, steals the gem. Both he and the diamond, however, are immediately devoured by Barugon.
Keisuke discovers that mirrors are not affected by Barugon's rainbow ray, so the military devises a plan to reflect its own rainbow emanation back at it with a giant mirror. Barugon is wounded by its own ray, but despite prompting it cannot be goaded into repeating its mistake. Gamera thaws out and attacks Barugon once again, and after a destructive battle it drowns Barugon in Lake Biwa, then flies away. Remorseful over the disaster his greed has caused, with his brother now dead, and having found love with Karen, Keisuke decides to make a fresh start on the island where it all began.
Kōjirō Hongō as Keisuke Hirata
Kyōko Enami as Karen
Yūzō Hayakawa as Kawajiri
Takuya Fujioka as Dr. Satō
Kōji Fujiyama as Onodera
Akira Natsuki as Ichirō Hirata
Yoshirō Kitahara as Professor Amano
Ichirō Sugai as Dr. Matsushita
Bontarō Miake as Self-Defense Force General
Jutarō Hōjō as Self-Defense Force Commander
Kazuko Wakamatsu as Sadae Hirata
Yuka Konno as Onodera's lover
Eiichi Takamura as Governor of Osaka
Kenichi Tani as Lee
Kōichi Itō as Metropolitan Police Superintendent-General
Hikaru Hoshi as Awaji Maru captain
Osamu Abe as Awaji Maru crewman
Yoshihiro Hamaguchi as Awaji Maru crewman
Teruo Aragaki as Gamera
Released: June 24, 2003
Note: Features the American version of the film, War of the Monsters.
Vintage Home Entertainment
Released: May 17, 2005
Note: Gamera: The Ultimate Collection three-film DVD set. Features the American version of the film, War of the Monsters. Also includes Gamera and Gamera vs. Viras.
St. Clair Entertainment
Released: February 19, 2008
Note: Monsters Unleashed nine-film DVD set. Features the American version of the film, War of the Monsters. Also includes Gamera, Gamera vs. Gyaos, Gamera vs. Viras, Gamera vs. Jiger, Yonggary, Gappa: The Triphibian Monster, Warning from Space, and The Giant Gila Monster.
Released: July 6, 2010
Note: contains the Japanese version of the film with English subtitles.
Released: August 2, 2011
Note: Contained in the MST3K Volume XXI set that features all five of the Season 3 Gamera episodes.
Mill Creek Entertainment (Blu-ray)
Released April 29, 2014
Part of Gamera: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1, which includes the Japanese versions of Gamera the Giant Monster, Gamera vs Barugon, Gamera vs Gyaos, and Gamera vs Viras.
Mill Creek Entertainment (DVD)
Releasted April 29, 2014
Part of The Gamera Legacy Collection: 1965 - 1999, which features all 11 Gamera films made from 1965 to 1999.