Gamera vs. Guiron appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Similar to its siblings, Guiron brought a good but not great image.
In general, the movie came with reasonably precise sharpness. Occasional soft shots materialized – some connected to effects, some not – so the flick lacked consistent definition, but the majority of the flick seemed well-rendered.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects emerged, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, and print flaws remained restricted to a few small specks.
Guiron opted for a fairly earthy palette, with a mix of sandy amber and blue on display. While the hues didn’t excel, they appeared fairly vivid and occasionally came across as pretty lively.
Blacks seemed pretty deep and dense, while shadows displayed adequate clarity and smoothness. Overall, this became a mostly satisfying presentation.
Don’t expect much from the wholly ordinary DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Guiron. Speech felt generally natural, with lines that suffered a little edginess but that usually came across in a decent manner.
Though neither music nor effects boasted much range, they also didn’t show prominent distortion. The effects could become a bit rough around the edges, but they usually seemed accurate enough. The movie offered an average soundtrack given its age and origins.
As we shift to extras, we get the expected Introduction from Film Historian August Ragone. In this 11-minute, 25-second piece, Ragone gives us background for the film and a discussion of the production. He always provides worthwhile notes, and that trend continues here.
Next comes an audio commentary with film historian David Kalat. He provides a running, screen-specific look at filmmaker Noriaki Yuasa, cast and crew, aspects of the franchise/genre and production notes.
Kalat provides an engaging look at the subject matter, but his commentary points out one weakness of this package’s approach: different participants for most of them. Although variety may seem nice, the fact that we get new speakers across the films ensures repetition.
That becomes more prevalent here because Kalat spends so much time with historical elements and less with Guiron specifics. We find notes that we already learned on earlier commentaries, so a more unified approach to the tracks might’ve made them better.
Despite that, I do like Kalat’s discussion. He offers plenty of good comments and makes this an informative chat.
Alternate English Credits splits into two clips: “American International Version” (2:24) and “Sandy Frank Version” (2:44). Both show modifications made for US TV cuts. They’re good for archival reasons and that’s about it.
In addition to a Japanese trailer and a US TV spot, we find an Image Gallery. It brings 63 elements that mix production photos, shots from the set and advertising tidbits. This becomes a nice compilation.
Nepture Media Archive Gallery provides another 39 stills, all related to a late-90s series of collector’s videocassettes. It adds some useful materials.
Arguably the most ambitious effort in the series to date, Gamera vs. Guiron comes with real potential. However, it lacks commitment to its themes and ends up as a shoddy mix of bad effects and lackluster action. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio as well as a useful set of supplements. Guiron is far from the worst of the franchise, but it might become the biggest disappointment.
Note that as of August 2020, this Blu-ray version of Guiron 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.