Est-ce un requin, est-ce un pingouin? Une chose est sûre, il a les dents longues ! Weird looking but deadly enemy of Gamera. The shark-like title antagonist of the 1971 Japanese monster movie "Gamera vs. Zigra"
Based on the real life Goblin Shark, a deep sea animal native to Japanese waters, Zigra (voiced by Kei'ichi Noda) is a lone representative and agent of his Zigran race, who has come to conquer Earth, and make way for his peoples' colonization of it, as their home-world (apparently also called Zigra) has been destroyed by their own scientific advancement. Unlike most giant Japanese movie monsters, Zigra is highly intelligent, and capable of telepathic communication / speech.
On his way to Earth, Zigra destroys a Japanese moon base, taking along its only survivor, woman scientist Chikako Sugawara, and then brainwashing her into becoming his faithful servant known as Woman X (both personalities played by Eiko Yanami).
Although Zigra is initially successful with his invasion, by causing massive earthquakes around the globe (mostly done off camera, due to the film's smaller-than-usual budget), his plans are soon challenged by the heroic giant turtle Gamera. Gamera manages to destroy Zigra's space ship in one of their first encounters, but the villainous alien escapes. And exposed to the atmosphere / water pressures of Earth, mutates into larger proportions, and equal to that of Gamera himself.
Zigra uses his own hypnotic abilities to put Gamera into a coma-like state, and leaving the giant turtle out of action for the majority of the film. Although weaken, Zigra is still a threat against mankind, still holding control over his human agent Woman X, who does smaller scale operations for her master.
Fortunately, scientists discover that sonic waves can free humans from Zigra's mind control, returning both Woman X / Chikako Sugawara, and several of her own hypnotized victims back to normal. An operation is then set to do the same with the unconscious Gamera, with a deep sea bathysphere. But Zigra interrupts this plan, and takes the bathysphere and its crew hostage, in exchange for mankind's unconditional surrender.
All is not lost however, as an electrical storm later that night, manages to hit and reawaken Gamera from his coma-like sleep. And in the following morning, not only does the giant turtle save the bathysphere, but finally defeats and kills off Zigra, ending the alien shark's reign of terror.
Zigra would return, via stock footage, in the (even more) low budgeted affair "Gamera: Super Monster". In the context of that film (possibly unconnected to the previous Gamera films and related continuity - stock footage usage regardless), Zigra appears to be a simple minded beast, created in the service of the unseen alien overlord Zanon.
Zigra also made an appearance in the four issue miniseries "Gamera the Guardian of the Universe", published by Dark Horse Comics in 1996. Once again, Zigra is portrayed as purely animalistic, with his origins changed to that of an ancient bio-weapon of alien design, reawaken from the ocean depths by French nuclear bomb tests.
Monstre et commentaire offerts par Der Kommissar, more pics and text sent by Raf C Gonzalez, merci !