Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, this became a mostly good image.
In general, sharpness looked fine. Some softness appeared during interiors and some wider shots, but the majority of the flick boasted nice delineation.
Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain seemed natural – if on the heavy side – and outside of a small speck or two, I witnessed no print flaws.
Colors leaned toward blue/teal and orange/amber. These looked appropriately rendered, though they didn’t show great range and impact.
Blacks felt fairly dense, but shadows seemed somewhat problematic, as low-light shots turned a little too dark. Nonetheless, this was a largely pleasing presentation.
As with its predecessors, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack didn’t match up with era standards, but this one worked fine. Whereas the soundscape for Gamera 2 tended to lack good localization, Gamera 3 brought superior spacing and blending.
This gave the action scenes stronger punch, as various elements appeared in the correct spots and moved in a mostly natural manner. The five channels managed to involve us in the material and showed nice activity. Again, the soundfield could feel somewhat stiff and restricted compared to late 1990s US productions for films of this sort, but it still worked fairly well.
Audio quality largely satisfied, with speech that appeared concise and distinctive. Music offered nice range and impact as well.
Though I thought effects could’ve boasted stronger low-end, they nonetheless came across as accurate and without distortion, so they fleshed out the material in a positive way. No one will compare this track with great mixes such as 1998’s Godzilla, but it seemed more than satisfactory.
When we shift to extras, we open with the expected Introduction from Film Historian August Ragone. In this four-minute, 14-second clip, Ragone offers the usual background notes. He continues to deliver useful material.
Two audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from film historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the genre and the history of the franchise, cast and crew, and various aspects of the production.
In short, they cover the expected “film historian commentary” topics, and they do so well. We get a well-paced and informative view of the movie here.
For the second track, we get something unusual, as it involves Gamera, Iris and Soldier 6. A track with comedic intentions, it gives us the supposed actors behind the characters as they discuss their experiences.
Normally I’d frown upon a goofy track like this, as most offer nothing more than a waste of time. However, this one works fairly well, as it manages to remain moderately entertaining across the film’s running time. I wouldn’t want to listen to it a second time, but it delivers enough cleverness and humor to merit a screening.
A continuation of programs that started with the 1995 reboot, A Testimony of 15 Years: Part 3 spans two hours, 14 minutes, 31 seconds. It offers notes from special effects engineer Izumi Negishi, set decorator Keiichi Hasegawa, monster modeler Tomoo Haraguchi, assistant director Shintaro Horikawa, special effects technician Toshio Miike, 3D animator Yoichi Mori, main production director Sho Yamamoto, visual effects supervisor Mitsuharu Haibara, location bus driver Akio Hakamada, audio recorder Yasuo Hashimoto, 2nd AD Masaki Hamamoto, props Akihiro Kayakawa, special effects lighting Hokoku Hayashi, assistant editor Koji Hara, SFX puppetry assistant Masakazu Handa, SFX director Shinji Higuchi, Gamera suit actor Hirofumi Fukuzawa, special effects editor Shinichi Fushima, creature designer Mahiro Maeda, CGI designer Yoshishige Matsuno, visual effects supervisor Hajime Matsumoto, actor Naoaki Manabe, lighting assistant Seiichiro Mieno, special effects assistant Yoshinori Muraishi, assistant director Hideaki Murakami, SFX photographer Satoshi Murakama, executive producer Kensei Mori, 3rd AD Masahiko Yamakawa, 2nd AD Koji Yamaguchi, monster modeling team Takuya Yamabe, 3D animator Kensuke Yamamoto, lighting technician Sosuke Yoshikado, rotoscoper Mizuho Yoshida, modeler Shinichi Wakasa, and 3D animator Shigeyuki Watanabe.
Since the first two parts of “Testimony” simply offered unconnected interviews, should you expect anything different from “Part 3”? Nope – like its predecessors, it throws in some movie clips and shots from the set, but it usually stays with “talking head” interviews, and these come in no obvious order.
As with the first two, that makes “Part 3” informative but unstructured. With about six hours across the three parts, we could’ve gotten a thorough, epic documentary about the reboot series, but instead, we just get a lot of random notes. We do learn a lot along the way, but the lack of organization continues to frustrate.
DNA Tokusatsu Exhibition fills 10 minutes, 47 seconds and brings an interview with Kaho Tsutsumi, the press/publicity coordinator for a Gamera-related show. It feels somewhat promotional in nature, but I like the glimpses of movie props and elements we see.
From July 1998, we get a Publicity Announcement. Like siblings on the other Blu-rays, this three-minute, 50-second clip shows a press conference. It never becomes especially interesting.
Photo Op lasts 55 seconds and crams various actors, filmmakers and press into a tiny, nondescript room. It’s way too short to offer any value.
Next comes Backstage Clip, a four-minute, 41-second montage of behind the scenes footage paired with a pop-rock song – the same damned tune we heard on the prior Blu-rays! It’s a decent view of production material.
Shibuto Cine Tower Opening Day goes for six minutes and offers shots from the movie’s launch. Like its siblings on the other discs, it offers a minor addition.
14 Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 10 minutes, 21 seconds. As implied by the average running time, these tend to offer short bits, and they favor minor character/story beats. Though fun to see, they add little.
The Awakening of Irys (Remix) goes for 37 minutes, 34 seconds and brings a package of behind the scenes elements. It also includes movie clips for context, so don’t expect a full 37:34 of unique shots. Still, it becomes a good look at the production.
After this we find Storyboard Animation, a six-minute, eight-second compilation that lets us see some of the planning art for the film. It delivers some interesting components.
Special Effects Outtakes run two minutes, 19 seconds and give us shots for “men in suits” monster rehearsals. They’re weird but enjoyable.
Up next, Comedy Dub Outtakes fill three minutes, 24 seconds and offer unused lines from an English-dialogue version intended for laughs. This seems like an odd addition since we don’t get the actual “Comedy Dub” rendition itself.
Gamera 2 came with that alternate track, but Revenge doesn’t. Why include outtakes when we don’t get the actual “comedy dub” itself? In any case, these aren’t funny.
Additional English Credits span one minute, 22 seconds. As expected, they present the names of those who worked on the (non-comedy) English looped version.
In addition to six trailers, nine TV spots and a Gamera 2000 Playstation Commercial, we finish with the usual Image Gallery. It presents 114 stills that cover the standard array of production photos, behind the scenes shots and ads. It’s a solid compilation.
The final part of a reboot trilogy, 1999’s Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris likely offers the franchise’s best movie. Though it comes with some weaknesses, most of the film works quite well and delivers an exciting, dramatic tale. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio as well as a bunch of bonus materials. Revenge offers a compelling giant monster flick.
Note that as of August 2020, this Blu-ray version of Gamera 3 only appears as part of a “Gamera Complete Collection”. This packages 12 Gamera adventures.
The “Complete Collection” also features a 120-page reproduction of a 1996 Gamera comic book and an 80-page retrospective book. My review copy didn’t include these components so I can’t formally discuss them.