When: Jan. 18-19 2013
Godzilla, the King of Monsters, began his career as a serious, artful metaphor for nuclear destruction before descending into progressively campier sequels and kiddie-land entertainment. But Japan’s other big monster star, Gamera, started out camp and got even more ludicrous throughout his motion picture run, eventually being roasted in the shell on Mystery Science Theater 3000. But during the late ’90s, Japanese director Shusuke Kaneko pulled off what may be the greatest reinvention of a character in the history of cinema with his impressive Gamera trilogy, starting with Guardian of the Universe. Make no mistake, we’re still talking about a giant flying turtle that shoots streams of fire out of his shell while spinning like a top, but the film also features moving melodrama, sly humor and some of the greatest two-fisted monster action you’ll ever see on the big screen. Gamera is still really sweet, but he’s filled with some kick-ass turtle meat.