Kaijū Menagerie

NAME: Guiron
Guiron (ギロン Giron)

Gamera vs. Guiron, 1969

– an enormous forehead-blade almost as big as his body
– ninja star storage holes

– slicing Space Gyaos to pieces (and thoroughly enjoying it)
– flinging ninja stars about
– a penchant for sadism
– guarding brain-eating spacewomen
– biding his time in an underground prison


The Shōwa era Gamera series cops a lot of flak for being cheap and silly. That is fair enough. It is undoubtedly cheap and silly. That’s also part of why it’s so great. Perhaps my favourite aspect of the Gamera films of the 60s and 70s is the ludicrous, dead-eyed designs of the monsters. Some appear to have been created by children. Even down to their powers. Barugon, for example, shoots a rainbow out of his back. But nothing compares to the childish design of my favourite Gamera monster: Guiron.

I have a theory that Nisan Takahashi, Gamera vs. Guiron scribe, took a page out of Hausu director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi’s book and based his script on his own child’s nightmares. The film centres around a delirious adventure led by two obnoxious kids. The kids are kidnapped, taken to another planet, get chased around by brain-guzzling spacewomen, and occasionally watch Guiron crawl out of his underground confinement to fuck shit up.

Guiron is straight out of the sketchbook of an imaginative kid. He is essentially a giant knife – an enormous blade extends from his forehead. And – as if thrown on as a last minute addition, again like the drawing of a child – he can also fling ninja stars stored in circular holes on both sides of his face-blade. Guiron is a crawling, screeching mess of a monster design.

Despite his buffoonish appearance, Guiron is a sadistic bastard. He takes serious pleasure in hacking Gamera with his face-blade, and an even greater pleasure in absolutely annihilating the Space Gyaos monsters that roam around his planet. (Space Gyaos is Gyaos spray-painted silver, by the way.) In an early scene of the film, the two kidnapped lads watch on with mild amusement as Guiron cuts a Space Gyaos into little pieces.

Goddamn. I love Guiron. He should have got his own spin-off movie. Although it would probably just be torture porn of him chopping up Space Gyaos. As is the fate of almost every Gamera foe, Guiron would never be seen on the big screen again. Damn you, Daiei.

Bonus fun fact! According to Wikizilla, “Due to the lack of distinction in Japanese between the “l” and “r” sounds, Guiron is actually named after the guillotine.”