Friday, March 2, 2012

MST3K: Episode 316 - Gamera vs Zigra

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

Episode 316: Gamera vs Zigra

First aired: Comedy Central on 19 October 1991
Availability: iTunes, Amazon DVD (Volume 21 Deluxe Edition/Standard Edition), Shout (Volume 21 Collector's Edition), Best Brains (Volume 21 Collector's Edition)

The last Gamera movie!
If you've been looking at the episode numbers, you may have noticed that we seem to have skipped an episode. We didn't. Not really.

We're going through all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in the order they aired. And this episode is next. This episode, number 316, was the next new episode to air after Episode 314: Mighty Jack. We'll get to Episode 315 soon.

It's another Sandy Frank film. And, another Gamera film. And, another re-working of a KTMA/Season Zero episode.

It's Gamera vs Zigra, where -- and I don't think this is a spoiler -- Gamera battles Zigra.

By now, we all know that Gamera is a tusked, fire-breathing, rocket-powered turtle that's Friend to All Children. Zigra, though, is ... well, we're not sure what Zigra is. It's a silver space bird shark fish. It actually looks sort of like a Goblin Shark, so while at first, you may think the costume designer was smoking some serious stuff when he designed Zigra, it turns out that he's inspired somewhat by nature. That's not to say he wasn't smoking some serious stuff.

It seems the writer was also smoking something, too. It seems that not only is Zigra the name of the critter, it's also the name of the ship that Zigra travels from his home planet to earth. And it's the name of the planet. So, yes, Zigra boarded Zigra when he left Zigra for earth. Those wacky Japanese.

Of course, they do have the Hot Japanese She-Villain that any good ... or really bad ... Japanese Silly Monster Movie should have.
"Space is curved." "And so am I.""That reminds me, I must get my watch fixed."
To the writers' credit -- if you can call it that -- the film followed the same basic script outline as other Gamera films. Some kids are introduced, some bad monster shows up, Gamera flies to the rescue but gets his shell handed to him, the bad monster terrorizes everyone for 45 minutes, Gamera gets better and defeats the bad monster.

"The Maidenform Woman. You never know where she'll turn up."
Or is that Hang 'Em High where the hero gets beaten but comes back to defeat the bad guys? I confuse Gamera and Clint Eastwood all the time, so I may have the plots mixed up.

Frank calls himself "TV's Frank" for the first time. He isn't mentioned that way in the credits yet. That will happen in Season Four; I don't think it happens before then.

Lots of Monty Python references in this episode, from the "Spam Song" sung by J&tB, to the "It's..." reference with the hermit. That's a good thing.

I really enjoyed the riffing in this episode. Lots of funny stuff taking down a very bad movie. It's what MST3K is supposed to be.

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