Gamera is a giant turtle (!) who is awakened when a plane carrying atomic weapons crashes into the icy banks of an Eskimo village. The pissed off overgrown turtle uses his fire breath, spinning attacks and rocket boosters (!!!) to reign destruction on Japan. When Gamera isn't busy causing massive property damage, he takes the time to befriend a whiny turtle obsessed boy named Kenny. Meanwhile, Earth's top scientists come up with the "Z Plan" in which they capture Gamera in a giant capsule and blast him off into space.
Despite the pretty cool opening scene, and lots of man-in-a-suit-stomping-on-a-model-city action, the flick really bogs down whenever the big turtle isn't on screen. The annoying kid doesn't help matters any either. Like Godzilla, American theater goers got a dubbed version (titled Gammera the Invincible) that had scenes of American actors (Brian Donlevy and Albert Dekker) edited in. While the Godzilla series originally were serious and only later became geared towards children, the Gamera movies were aimed at kids from the start and usually featured juvenile protagonists. Many sequels followed as well as a new series that was launched in the 90's.
AKA: Gammera, the Invincible.