Gamera vs Gyaos (1967) The 3rd Gamera film introduces Gyaos, a giant vampire bat-like creature that shoots a laser beam from its mouth that can slice and dice airplanes and warships with surgical precision faster than they can shoot weapons at it. He also cuts Gamera up pretty good too, but of course, the big turtle was distracted by the child-in-peril that he needed to rescue. He even flew him to safety on his back. It is soon realized that Gyaos is nocturnal, and like a vampire, starts to burn up in the sun, so the plan is to keep him out all night by pushing Gamera into a rematch…and then a third. In between the fights, they managed to nearly knock Gyaos dizzy by spinning him around on the roof of a revolving restaurant! The great terrapin eventually prevails and is ready for a new kid-saving adventure next year. This was shown on American TV as Return of the Giant Monsters.
Gamera vs Viras aka Gamera vs Bairus (1968) This is the one I had the best memory of from when I watched it over and over as a kid when it played on US TV as “Destroy All Planets”. Two mischievous boy scouts, one Japanese, one American, are in a toy submarine in the ocean when aliens attack Gamera, the giant turtle who protects children. The ship is a great, bumble bee striped set of spheres, attached to each other. After a few failed attempts at defeating the turtle, they end up kidnapping the boys and using a mind control device on Gamera, and turn him loose on the city. The boys are pretty resourceful though, they manage to escape and release Gamera from his servitude. In a scene that was way too intense for the 8 year-olds that this film was made for, an alien creature with tentacles for legs and on its head, decapitates the heads of his six humanoid servants and merges with them, creating one giant beast that will have a final showdown with Gamera once and for all. This film is where Gamera made the transition from a monster who destroyed cities, yet occasionally saved children against the greater evils, to a 100% protector of children and Earth. And it was also the debut of the “Gamera March” which appears in the opening credits with singing children, and throughout the film as an instrumental. Come back soon, Gamera, now you have a theme song!