A giant fire-breathing turtle and an oversized lizard with freeze-spray powers battle it out in Japan. Gamera vs. Barugon is the second entry in Daiei Studios' creature flicks, and features bigger and badder visuals, along with another thing missing from a lot of the early monster movies -- color.

Admittedly, neither had I until Shout Factory! remastered a special edition of the film, which hit stores on July 6. I grew up watching my mom be obsessed with these films, but the low quality images just didn't appeal to my young peepers.

Yeah, seriously. But Shout's! all-new HD anamorphic widescreen transfer makes Gamera vs. Barugon a lot more fun to watch.

More monster mayhem after the jump!
The film picks up where Gamera: The Giant Monster leaves off. Japan's Self-Defense forces sent their turtle foe into space on a giant rocket. When a stray meteor collides with the beast, he's freed from his confines and spins back to Earth faster than you can say "Turtle in a half shell!" After he stomps around Japan for a while, crushing miniature sets in his path -- he simply vanishes. Flash to a group of explorers who head off to visit the South Pacific in search of a giant opal in a cave.

Only one of the men survives the jewel heist, but the opal turns out to be an egg which contains the humungoid lizard, Barugon. He has this wonky tongue-spray freeze power going on, but best of all -- he attacks things with his rainbow ray.

I wasn't joking. Apparently Gamera is attracted to rainbows, so he shows up to kick some ass, but gets frozen solid by old lizard breath, who then darts off into the world in search of his lucky charms. There's all sorts of military stuff happening that I wasn't really interested in at the time of watching (sorry Shigeo Tanaka!), a girl from the island who assists our hero, and attack plans with ridiculous names.

Finally the crew discovers that the only way Barugon can truly be defeated is by reflecting his rainbow, so a giant mirror is placed in front of the monster, which tricks him to go-go gadget rainbow -- but he's too smart to be fooled so easily. All the happy colors wake up Gamera from his frozen slumber, and together with the help of the military he's able to wipe out his enemy once and for all.

No, no he won't.

Special features on the new disc include audio commentary with August Ragone and Jason Varney, publicity galleries, and images of the original movie program. Pick up a copy of Shout Factory's! fantastic looking DVD so you can bask in the magic that is these early kaiju films -- they're a lot of fun. Thanks to Shout! we're finally able to see the authentic Japanese versions of the movies, and the company will be releasing future Gamera titles in association with Kadokawa Pictures.

They'll be here soon!
categories Reviews, Sci-Fi