Gamera: The Giant Monster (Japanese title Daikaijû Gamera), was also released as Gammera the Invincible. The 1965 film was intended to compete with the Godzilla franchise which had been going strong for a decade.
Once it became obvious that Toho Studios had a hit series with Godzilla, other Japanese studios wanted their own monsters. Daiei came up with this giant, fire-breathing, flying turtle. Gamera comes from a time so remote in Earth's pre-history that his cell structure differs from all other living things. He gets energy from heat and eats fire to survive! This makes all modern weapons useless.
If you have to be chasing after a monster, a Jeep is a good vehicle, so there are quite a few shots of Japanese-built Mitsubishi Jeeps in the movie.
At the arctic base of a Japanese scientific expedition, a Jeep with chains is the transportation of choice.
Unfortunately a skirmish between American and Soviet jets over the arctic results in one of the Soviet bombers crashing nearby and its nuclear bomb load detonating. This causes Gamera to be melted out of the ice and wreak havoc on the world (particularly Japan).
Eventually Gamera gets to Tokyo and rampages through the city. Reviewers on the Internet Movie Database generally feel that the scenes of destruction stand-up to anything in a Godzilla film.
Although there are lots of soldiers in evidence, the Jeeps we see are mostly CJ3B-J3R civilian models. This one has some kind of official badge on the front.
There are a couple of big military battles with Gamera. A firefight at a nuclear power plant is considered the best example, as the military unloads a large amount of firepower at the monster, and there's a ton of destruction in the process as the entire place is leveled.
Gamera spawned a somewhat successful series of sequels, with a new film every year for the remainder of the 1960's, in which the giant turtle became more sympathetic, almost a superhero. But as is often the case, the original film is remembered as the most entertaining, and it has the best Jeep shots.
Thanks to the Internet Movie Cars Database for frame enlargements. -- Derek Redmond
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