Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MST3K: Episode 302 - Gamera

I'm watching all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in order. More about this here. It began here.

Episode 302: Gamera

First aired: Comedy Central on 8 June 1991
Availability: iTunes, Amazon (Volume 21 Standard Edition/Deluxe Edition), Shout Factory (Volume 21 Collector's Edition), Best Brains (Volume 21 Collector's Edition)

"You seem tense. Let me break the ice."
If it seems like we've seen this one before, we have. I have anyway.

I saw this one a while back when MST3K was on the air. I seem to remember enjoying it, but I don't remember much about it.

Last year, when I decided to watch all of the MST3K episodes, I actually started with the season that aired on KTMA. And they did this movie. Remember Episode K05: Gamera? Sure you do. It was one of five straight Gamera films that Drs. Forrester and Erhardt sent up to Joel as part of the experiment.

As it turns out, nine of the 21 movies riffed in Season Zero were redone for Comedy Central. This is the first of those.

Oh, and of the nine, five were Gamera movies. Again, this is the first.

Dr. Forrester san coat and ponytail
Dr. Forrester isn't wearing his usual suit. At least, he's not wearing his coat. The rest of the outfit looks right. Oh, and he cut his hair.

In the KTMA season, Joel did this movie by himself. This time, he brought reinforcements. It helped. That's not a slam on Joel; he did the solo effort on KTMA well, and the riffing in this episode is handled by  three times the crew, isn't three times as good. Better, though.

As before, the thing that was the worst about this and other Gamera episodes are the Gamera movies. I don't care for the Giant Silly Japanese Monster movies, unless there's a hot Japanese she-villain. Doesn't make it better, just more tolerable.

Not a hot Japanese she-villain. She's one of the good guys.
The plot of the movie? An American general who looks like Curly Joe DeRita and sounds like Buddy Hackett orders an unidentified plane shot down. It crashes and a nuclear bomb explodes, waking up Gamera -- who, apparently, is a heavy sleeper.

The giant prehistoric turtle is grumpy when he wakes up, so he decides to tear the hell out of Japan. Gamera kills everybody he can find, except a little Japanese boy named Kenny, who wears short-shorts.

The rest of the movie is the Japanese military trying to kill Gamera, and Gamera breathing fire on Japan and flying around -- and I do mean around; he rotates like a UFO with flames coming out of the leg holes in his shell.

The military and scientists finally figure out how to lure him to a rocket, which shoots him to Mars. The End.

A few things I did enjoy about the movie:

Some of the characters looked like other famous people.
The American general looks like Joe DeRita and sounds like Buddy Hackett.Colonel Sanders helps defeat Gamera
Tom Servo's fez is gone. And we get to hear Tom Servo sing his song about pet turtle Tibby. Made me want to go buy a turtle just so I could sing over its corpse. And Gamera pays a visit to the Satellite of Love.
Servo sings to TibbyGamera (Michael J. Nelson) visits
This was Mike's first appearance since voicing Mothra late in Season Two.

Joel lost his temper with Crow a couple of times.
Joel rips off Crow's arm.Twice!
Don't mess with the sleepy-eyed guy.

A good effort. The full crew riffing made this better than the KTMA version.

Oh, and we'll see Gamera again. Just not five episodes in a row.

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