Gappa, the Triphibian Monsters (1967) / Horror-Sci Fi
aka Daikyoju Gappa
aka Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
aka The Giant Beast Gappa
MPAA Rated: Probably PG-13 for violence
Running Time: 85 min.
Cast: Tamio Kawaji, Yoko Yammamoto, Yuji Okada, Koji Wada, Tatsuya Fuji
Director: Haruyasu Noguchi
Screenplay: Ryuzo Nakanishi, Gan Yamazaki
Review published January 19, 1999
Without question, this is the best movie with the word "Triphibian" in the title. That's not saying much though. If the worst example of my grandmother's shaky home-movie camera work were to be dubbed with "Triphibian", Gappa would quickly lose the claim.
The plot? Well, it's an amalgam of much better creature features (I've heard Golgo and King Kong mentioned) with particularly blatant rip-offs in terms of the monster's abilities from Godzilla. A Japanese expedition of a small South Pacific island uncovers the monster that has terrorized the native villagers for centuries. Heedless of the warnings of the villagers, the hubris-infected crew venture into the lair of the monster, end up hatching a long dormant egg, and take the baby Gappa to study back in Japan. This act really pisses off the parents of the young monster, who proceed on kicking the ass of every building in Tokyo in search of their long-lost child.
Gappa the Triphibian Monsters is the type of movie that should only be watched if you see the silhouetted figures of a man and two robots in the lower right corner. If you were to scrape any further into the bad monster movie barrel for entertainment, all you might come up with is wood chips. Not even awe-inspiring or scary in the slightest, the Gappa monsters resemble Teletubbies, only a little less menacing. Every special effect shot looks phony, the acting is quite bad, the directing seems hastily slapped together, and the storyline is so clichéd, there isn't a single element of the entire 85 minutes one cannot trace to at least a dozen other (and better) films.
Ironically, this film is so bad that it saves itself from the lowest rating by garnering entertainment through unintentional humor and high camp value. This film is only recommended for the most hardcore of creature-feature junkies and lovers of MST3K-quality schlock films.
©1999 Vince Leo