Gappa: The Triphibian Monster (1967)
Daikyojū Gappa is a 1967 tokusatsu kaiju film. The film was
produced by Nikkatsu Corporation, and was their only film in
the giant monster genre. The international English title for the
film was Gappa the Triphibian Monster. The international
English print was reedited and retitled Monster from a
Prehistoric Planet, for its original release in the United States.
An expedition from Tokyo heads to Obelisk Island, which a
greedy entrepreneur (Mr. Funazu, the President of Playmate
Magazine) wants to turn into an island resort. The natives of
Obelisk welcome the expedition, but when two members,
Hiroshi and Itoko, venture into the forbidden part of the land,
they skeptically venture ahead, despite the pleas of a native boy
named Saki. They enter a cavern (which was blocked by a
statue that had collapsed) and find a giant egg, out of which
hatches a baby monster, a “bird-lizard”, referred to as a
“Gappa” by the natives, who plea with the scientists not to take
the baby away, lest they anger the baby’s parents, to which the
scientists react with skepticism. Sure enough, they take the
baby away, and soon, inside the caverns, its two larger parents
rise from the underground waters! They rise from beneath the
island volcano, destroying everything in their path, with Saki
being the only survivor left on the island (rescued by an
American navy fleet and brought back to Japan).
Meanwhile, back in Japan, the baby “bird-lizard” monster
makes world headlines, not to mention being experimented on
by scientists. But to the shock of the expedition members, they
hear news of two giant flying creatures appearing over Sagami
Bay. The Gappa parents ravage cities looking for their
offspring, and are impervious to military weapons.
Even mightier than ‘King Kong’!