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Episode guide: 308- Gamera Vs. Gaos

Movie: (1967) In third outing of the long-running Japanese movie series, the giant flying turtle monster faces off against Gaos, a shovel-headed bat-monster with the ability to shoot laser beams. Caught between the two monsters are some nearby villagers, who want to stop the construction of a highway through their land (or at least get a good price when they sell it). The grandson of their leader is young Itchy who, after Gamera saves him, becomes an instant expert on both creatures.

First shown: 7/27/91
Opening: The bots are pretending they are raspy-voiced celebrities and Joel joins in
Invention exchange: Gypsy does her impression of the NBC Sunday Night Mystery Movie. The mads show off their self-image printers, Joel demonstrates his fax tissue dispenser
Host segment 1: Joel presents an arts and crafts project, but Crow and Tom are no help
Host segment 2: The “Gamera-damerung” never gets off the ground
Host segment 3: Ed Sullivan presents “Gaos the Great”
End: The bots suggest other ways to snuff Gaos and request ideas from the viewers
Stinger: Comic relief guys get scared.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (116 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)


• I’ll admit I was dreading this one. After my encounter with it during the KTMA season, I remembered it as a long slog. What a pleasant surprise. It’s really a lesson for me not judge a season 3 episode by its KTMA antecedent. The riffing is sharp (though it sags a bit in the middle) the host segments are generally fun and the movie was more watchable than I was worried it was going to be. All in all, lots of fun.
• This episode was included in Shout’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Gamera Vs. MST3K (aka Vol. XXI).
• For those keeping score, this was number 52 in that 1995 countdown.
• Joel blows his reading of the name “Brenda Vacarro.” They keep going.
• Joel is VERY funny in the opening sketch. Of course, most of the people mentioned in the sketch are now dead, because they all got their raspy voices from smoking which, you know, killed them.
• Alert dsman71: Joel seems to have gotten a haircut.
• This will not be the last time the “NBC Sunday Mystery Movie” is mentioned.
• I’ve always suspected that the Mads’ invention was largely a way that Jim could invest in some large-format printers and then write them off.
• The noise we hear as the printer images are revealed sounds like a dot matrix printer, which they probably had sitting around in the office. I suspect Trace and Frank are just unrolling the images by hand.
• That’s not to say it isn’t a funny sketch. Dr. F’s self-description is great. There’s probably several catchphrase T-shirts in that speech.
• Joel’s invention is dependent on the then-current nature of fax paper. Two decades later, with plain-paper fax machines having almost completely taken over, younger viewers might not even know what he’s talking about (or even know what a fax machine is).
• Callback: “Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy.” (Godzilla vs. Megalon); amid the striker rhubarb: “It’s pretty good!” (Sidehackers)
• This is as good a place as any to mention that quite a few of the little “Play MSTie for Me” bumpers CC ran during that summer of 1995 were, simply, wrong. One example came in this episode, in a message that reads: “Joel Hodgson was 10 in 1967.” No he wasn’t. The author of all or most of these cards was a MSTie named Mike Pearce, who managed to make friends with somebody in the Comedy Central scheduling department, and soon became quite useful to online MSTies by regularly posting largely accurate lists of which episodes were going to air. He apparently gained CC’s confidence enough that he got tapped for this gig. But there was no fact checking, apparently.
• Is this the first episode featuring the phrase: “You look at it, I’m bitter”?
• Then-current reference: “Arsenioooo Haaaall!” (Woo! Woo! Woo!)
• The “arts and crafts” segment is a classic, with a TON a great lines. And Joel, I believe you about the mucilage.
• Joel, usually quite the stickler about puns to the point of ripping parts off the bots, says: “I thought this was ferris wheel’s day off.” The bots glare at him. Hypocrite!
• Joel re-warns Tom about Anthony Newly impressions.
• Naughty line: “Have you ever seen ‘The Last Emperor’, sister?”
• Joel uses the phrase “deus ex machina,” not for the last time.
• I like the way Gypsy chuckles at the phrase “Gameradamerung.” As Mike mentions in the ACEG, that segment had a lot of set-up for a two-second bit.
• Tom is still wearing his Gameradamerung costume when he reenters the theater.
• Kinda dark riff: “Take one down, write piggy on the wall…”
• Sandwich riff: “The substation is burning.” “We’ll have to go Schlotzski’s.” I wonder if there was an actual place called “The Sub Station” near them.
• Gamera climbs on Gaos’s back and Tom says: “You’re a big ol’ hog!” Yikes!
• Then-current riff: “Just like when Gary died.” (It’s a “thirtysomething” reference.)
• I wonder how many young viewers have any clue what that Ed Sullivan sketch is about. I do love the way Joel slaps the plates together over and over, as if it’s supposed to demonstrate something.
• In the last segment Tom is again wearing the hat he was wearing in segment 3.
• Did anybody write in to the “Ways to Snuff Gaos” contest? They never read any of the entries if they did.
• Movie stuff: I noted this during the KTMA writeup and I will note it again. Sometimes Gamera doesn’t have to spin to fly, though sometimes he does. Weird.
• Another note from last time: Unlike Kenny in “Gamera,” Itchy does seem to have a genuine relationship with Gamera. Why, I have no idea.
• Cast and crew roundup: Again, I will not repeat the items that were mentioned in previous Gamera entries. Prod: Hidemasa Nagata also produced “Guiron” and “Zigra.” Planning person Kazutada Nakano also worked on “Guiron.” Cinematographer Akira Uehara also worked on “Zigra.” In the cast, Reiko Kasahara also appears in “Guiron” and “Zigra.” Isamu Saeki, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Yashushi Sakagami and Eiko Yanami also appeared in “Zigra.”
• CreditsWatch: Trace and Frank are still “guest villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s name is still spelled “Forrestor.” Someone named Karen Lindsay does the first of nine season 3 eps as online editor. A Lori Schackmann was prop assistant for only this episode. Mike wrote the plate spinning music, which he entitled: “Opus 4, Number 23, Plate Spinning Song”
• Fave riff: “Grace Jones takes one to the head–she can’t take it there!” Honorable mention: “I wish to play with clay now!”

84 Replies to “Episode guide: 308- Gamera Vs. Gaos”

  1. Dan in WI says:

    It’s been a while but here is that fascination with Lucille Ball again. I have to agree she never was funny. But these bits get old fast. It was one thing when it was a one liner during the gobos host segment of Jungle Goddess, but a whole sketch it does not make.

    The Mad’s invention was fun. But maybe it was nothing more than the fond remembrances of old dot matrix printer noise. I’m dating myself here but I still ran one of those during my early dorm years. (Circa 1994ish) At that point others where just starting to get inkjet printers but I was a bit late coming to that party. But I took great pride in that if I had to be up late finishing up a paper, the whole wing of the dorm would be up with me.

    What’s this? An annoying Japanese kid who ISN’T wearing hot pants? This does call into question everything I thought I understood about this world.

    It’s been a while since Joel is cracked up in the theater. But when Crow makes the Gaos has a Pez jaw riff Joel gives a good laugh.

    Joel makes a reference to my favorite B movie of all time: Big Trouble in Little China.

    That is quite the set re-dress for Gameradamerung. I barely recognized it.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Desk parts liter the path of the road under construction. Crow “Hey somebody dropped their drawers.”

    Gamera throws flames. Tom “Forget Agent Orange. I’ll show you how to defoliate a forest.”

    Old man standing in the middle of the street talking about the road issue and along comes a truck. Crow “Can you get the subplot off the road. We’re trying to kill a monster here.”


  2. Sharktopus says:

    “I don’t know what happened to my friend, but there’s a big pile of poop here with shoes in it.”

    The reporter calls Ichi “boy” so many times, I was expecting a Foghorn Leghorn riff. But it never came. :-((

    I just read an interview with Neil Gaiman at the AV Club where he compares balancing numerous projects with plate-spinning: “It’s like being a plate-spinner on one of those old TV shows that they never show anymore, where people would spin plates. Which, it seems to me, could be possibly the lowest form of entertainment, plate-spinning.” :-D


  3. Brandon says:

    Maybe Joel told Mike Pearce he was 10 in 1967 just to mess with him, and Mike took it seriously. I’m kidding. Here’s my review.

    308- Gamera Vs. Gaos

    [Episode Info from Satellite News]

    First shown: 7/27/91.?
    Opening: Raspy voices.?
    Invention exchange: Self image printers, fax tissue dispenser.?
    Host segment 1: Joel offers an arts and crafts project, Crow and Tom are no help.?
    Host segment 2: The “Gameradamerung” never gets off the ground.?
    Host segment 3: Ed Sullivan presents “Gaos the Great.”?
    End: Other ways to snuff Gaos.?
    Stinger: Comic relief guys get scared.

    Memorable riffs:
    Joel: “Do you think Japanese people make fun of American names?”
    Servo: “I suppose so.”

    Crow: “Bless you… wait, was he mooing?”

    Joel: “Maybe Gamera can fix that boy’s teeth.”

    Crow: “You look at it, I’m bitter.”

    Kid: “GAMARA! GAAAAAMAAAARRRRAAAAA!!!! Hurray up, and get well!”
    Crow: “OKAY! I’m in the tub!”

    Servo: “I thank the Lord for the night time!”

    Crow: “I forgot, I’m a hand puppet…”

    Joel: “I like how suddenly the kid’s in authority.”

    Fav. Riff:
    Crow: “Yeah, I’m sending over a couple of blood donors.”

    -Is it just me, or does Magic Voice sound sexy with a raspy voice?

    -One of the dubbers’ voices kind of sounds like Howie Morris to me. I wonder if it’s him.

    -MST3K foresaw a lot of things; “Rick-Rolling”, South Park, and Packers winning the Super Bowl. In this episode they make another prediction: HD Television!

    -I like how whenever Gamera growls, Crow growls with it.

    -What is Servo’s “Don’t you do it! I got nowhere else to go!” a reference to? He’s used it in a couple other episodes.

    -Great bit of movie interaction. At the end when Gamera spins his body to take off, Joel sticks his finger underneath Gamera, making it look like he’s spinning a plate.

    Best Segment: No segment really stands out. I found most of them to be fast-forward moments. The Invention Exchange doesn’t get picked much, and the Self-Image Printer was a great gag, so I’ll pick that segment.
    Worst Segment: Segment 2 goes absolutely NOWHERE. Yes, I realize that was the whole point of the joke, but still…

    Overall: An average episode. Not especially memorable. **1/2


  4. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Joel: “Do you think Japanese people make fun of American names?”
    >>>Servo: “I suppose so.”

    Which reminds me of this passage from “Danse Macabre,” by Stephen King, Page 37:

    “Normality is a sociological concept. There’s an old joke about two African leaders getting together with JFK for a state meeting and then going home on a plane together. One of them marvels, “Kennedy! What a funny name!””


  5. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>Kid: “GAMARA! GAAAAAMAAAARRRRAAAAA!!!! Hurry up, and get well!”

    Jeez, he even made a get-well wish sound like a command from a smug unmerited sense of entitlement. OSLT.


  6. monoceros4 says:

    #3: “-What is Servo’s “Don’t you do it! I got nowhere else to go!” a reference to? He’s used it in a couple other episodes.”
    That’s from An Officer and a Gentleman.


  7. trickymutha says:

    Boy, it’s been a long time, a lonely, lonely time since I’ve watched any of the Gamera episodes. Upon discovering the Shout! releases, I will hold off until I afford to buy them, and spend a rainy day watching.


  8. monoceros4 says:

    Even though I like this episode, I can’t think of anything particularly clever to say about it. It’s the last of the Gamera movies shown on MST3K that isn’t complete rubbish on its own, but that makes the episode a bit less interesting somehow than Gamera vs. Guiron.

    There’s kind of a transition here, isn’t there? The Gamera of the original film and of Gamera vs. Barugon is basically just a monster who (no matter what Kenny says) is completely unpredictable and alien. In Gamera vs. Gaos, though, he really has become a “friend to children”, paving the way for turning the Gamera movies into kiddie-movie fare of the worst description. But vs. Gaos itself isn’t all that juvenile.


  9. Mr. B(ob) says:

    Another terrific episode, Gamera and MST3K go together better than mustard on hot dogs and definitely better than putting a circus on ice.

    Great sketches in this one. Alternate ways to “snuff Gaos” suggested by goofy puppets, yes please! Seriously, it’s hard not to laugh just hearing lines like that coming from Servo and Crow. The premise itself is incredibly funny, which is why MST3K makes me laugh as much now as it did when it was new. I don’t know how they did some of those sketches without ruining them every time by laughing. I often wonder when I see a sketch that funny how many takes they had to do to get one on tape.

    The Gameradamerung is brief, but hilarious and is one of those things I always remember no matter how long it’s been since I’ve watched this episode. It’s one of those “they wrote that for me” moments as I’m a huge mythology fan and so have good familiarity The Nibelungenlied and the Wagner opera based on it.

    I still like to say “mucilage tastes just like sweet honey”. It’s one of those throw-away jokes from the show that really stuck with me. The arts and crafts sketch, like pretty much all the sketches where Joel is instructing the ‘Bots, kills every time.

    Regarding the old thermal paper fax machines, many electronic cash register receipts are still printed on that crummy thermal paper on which the printing fades out completely over time or is easily wiped out by friction so that it becomes illegible, so the nuisance that is thermal paper can still be experienced today.

    One scene that sticks out in my mind from the movie is Gamera being sliced repeatedly by Gaos’s laser. It’s kind of gross, so I guess it’s one of the better special effects in the movie. I do like all the jokes that are made when limbs get removed, grow back, etc.

    Sampo, thanks for the quote, “Joel is VERY funny in the opening sketch. Of course, most of the people mentioned in the sketch are now dead, because they all got their raspy voices from smoking which, you know, killed them.” I’m going to totally back that statement, both parts of it.

    The more we talk about these Gamera movies here on Satellite News the more I look forward to the 5-disc DVD set coming in less than a month now from Shout! Factory. Five stars again!


  10. dsman71 says:

    Hey Sampo – Joel got his hair cut – it was cut between the host segments of Daddy-O and when they riffed the movie – it grew out all the way to Zigra…
    Joel’s hair is different with every episode
    As for Gaos, I love this film stand alone or the MST3K version…I thoroughly enjoy this
    This is a great time to cover the Gamera eps with the upcoming MST3K vs. Gamera set due out soon….
    That being said
    Joel’s Hair
    Joel’s knees
    Gaos looks like Arsenioooooooo Hall
    Sampo included ME in his Gaos coverage
    Do I really need therapy this time ??
    Ive gotten the attention of …
    The Sampo !!


  11. Matt Sandwich says:

    My first episode. I came into it partway through, and just sat there slack-jawed for a while. Then got on the phone during a commercial break and started spreading the word.

    Still, I don’t feel overly fond of this one. (Wait a minute– has there been no mention of the turntable and fountain of blood yet!?!1!) It has some inspired riffs, like Itchy having eaten so many Little Debbies he can barely move (also one of the very few lines to get a laugh from one of the folks, way back when), the aforementioned ‘poop with shoes in it’ and on and on. And there are some nice bits in the sketches. I especially liked the ways to off Gaos sketch, with its catalogue of contrived scenarios. For my money, the elegant simplicity of getting Gaos a job at a liquor store in a bad part of town takes the prize. I think Joel is at his best in the ‘arts & crafts sketch’ playing the straight man, and that’s probably the reason I still add “…from one who knows” when describing

    Then there’s the movie. Itchy, as is usually the case in these movies, comes across as an obnoxious, bratty load (probably why I thought that line about him gorging on junk food was so spot-on), and this seems to be the Gamera installment where things go from surreal-dark to surreal-goofy. Besides the turntable death machine, that scene with Gaos’ stubbed toe in the cave is just… insane. Crow riffs it, but really all he’s doing is narrating exactly what the filmmakers put in there. Which was, for some inexplicable reason, a jokey ‘humanizing moment’ for a giant monster bent on a bloody rampage of death and destruction. Not to mention the weird-ass way they chose to depict Gaos as pushing new toes out of his foot through sheer force of will. Who nods in approval afterward? Who even thinks of stuff like that?

    I actually thought that whole scene with the villagers being shamed into leaving Itchy’s front yard was kind of touching, though. In spite of the fact that the entire premise was Itchy’s grandfather being a dick and everyone’s hopes fading on the whole extort-the-government scheme (I know, I know, some people see that sort of thing as heroic). But that’s something of a testament to the filmmakers, right? That they can squeeze a bit of genuine emotion from a bratty fat kid sticking up for his Mr. Potter-like grandfather? Takes some skill. Now I believe I’m due one RAM chip, please.


  12. anita says:

    I re-discovered muclilage from watching this episode.


  13. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Is it just me or are the old Gamera films pretty violent and gory for kids movies? I mean, a fountain of blood? Funny episode, though, especially Forrester’s self-description.

    Question re: the Dianetics commercials. Were they the “Man is nothing but a brain! A BRAIN!!!!!” ones. Those were almost as funny as MST was.


  14. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #13: It’s not just you. When I describe Gamera to people who haven’t seen it I often talk about the one where the attractive “alien” gals are going to saw the top off that kid’s head and eat his brain! Seriously, that later entry in the series is clearly for little kids, so that seems like pretty gruesome stuff to suggest. Gamera is weird, really weird.

    @ #11: “this seems to be the Gamera installment where things go from surreal-dark to surreal-goofy”
    Great quote there, I might have to use it. As the Shout! DVD for these episodes approaches I’ve been explaining what Gamera is to some people recently and I always talk about how though it started as a knock-off of Godzilla it is much weirder. Even when I was a kid and saw a Gamera film for the first time on a UHF channel I thought it was weird compared to other monster movies I loved to watch at the time. Even when I was 12 years old Gamera seemed really odd to me and it still does so today. I recently bought the Shout! DVD of the original Gamera in Japanese and seeing it uncut helps and hearing the commentary explanation helps too, but even with all that, still weird.


  15. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I don’t remember anything about this episode but I will hold off watching it until the box set comes out.


  16. tinaw says:

    I always assumed the kid’s name was “Ichi”, as in, short for “Kenichi”, which would be consistent with my theory that all the kids in these movies have the same name, but use different nicknames.


  17. John R. Ellis says:

    #9: I agree, every time Joel tried to get a little project going, which the ‘Bots would then cause to rapidly deteriorate was comedy gold.

    Which made the (I believe) final example of such a bit, the one where he deliberately encourages the ‘Bots to destroy his toothpick model of Monticello weirdly poignant.


  18. snowdog says:

    I’m generally not a huge fan of the Gamera movies, but I found this one quite watchable for some reason. The riffing did sag a bit in the middle, but once it picked up again, I had a good time. Even the hosts segments were above average.

    Fav riff: “It’s a blood atomizer!”

    Ok, maybe I was in a bit of a dark mood coming in.


  19. Spector says:

    And the Gamera series begins its serious descent into silliness with this one, which makes them only that much funnier to watch.This is one which, for me, there wasn’t a single host segment that was worthwhile, but the riffing in the movie itself was very good. I usually enjoy the host segments but this is one episode where I felt, given the poor quality, it would’ve been better off without them. Of course, it’s probably because they haven’t aged well in this particular episode. NBC Mystery Movie? You had to have been born before 1970 to get that one. Ditto the parodies Ed Sullivan and the raspy-voiced celebs like Lucille Ball and Brenda Vacarro. I realize, of course, not all their host segments hold up, and some are just downright lame, but overall I find they’re very funny, and some are outright classics, but none of them in this episode are of the Brains usual high standard. I’m not a fan of the Gamera series, but this one could’ve been better had the host segments been stronger, or done without them. I fast-forward over them in this episode, something I don’t usually do as I enjoy them in most of the episodes. Because of the host segments, I give this 3 stars out of 5.


  20. Sampo says:



  21. schippers says:

    Potentially ethnocentric comment coming re: the Gamera movies seem pretty violent for kids. They do, I think, to us Westerners. To Japanese, not so much. At least, that was my observation of the materials available to little kids whilst on vacation in Japan.


  22. Cody Himes says:

    “Movie stuff: I noted this during the KTMA writeup and I will note it again. Sometimes Gamera doesn’t have to spin to fly, though sometimes he does. Weird.”

    Sampo, this is by no means a definitive answer, but here’s my best guess.

    According to Shinji Higuchi (the SFX director in the 90s Gamera movies) in an interview on ADV’s GAMERA GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE disc, the original flammable material used to light Gamera’s jets cost a LOT of money. My guess is that as the original Gamera series progressed, the SFX crew realized this and only started lighting the back two jets. You also have to take into account that it’s a lot easier for the wire technicians to move Gamera from one spot to another without having to spin him as well.


  23. Matt Sandwich says:

    Oops! Film broke!

    “I think Joel is at his best in the ‘arts & crafts sketch’ playing the straight man, and that’s probably the reason I still add “…from one who knows” when describing”

    …highly implausible mishaps that would also reflect really badly on my judgment.

    Didn’t want to leave that hanging there, for God’s sake. This is the Internet, and everyone really, really cares!

    But as long as I’m here, I’ll add that the way the mucilage bit plays out, it really really sounds like someone in the writer’s room that week had a mean older sibling.


  24. Fred Burroughs says:

    I will say that Gaos is pretty scary as far as monster villains go. His laser-breath has almost unlimited range, and not only cuts cars and tanks in half, but cold easily cut off arms and legs of your garden variety giant mutant, i.e. Gamera. Ichi (short for Ichiro, I’m sure) is the pinnacle of the Nip kids; in spite of being overweight and outcast, his wardrobe is not embarrassing AND he comes up with all the good ideas on how to neutralize Gaos. Kenny may have been allowed to put half the army at risk, but Ichi is invited into the Joint Chiefs briefing and he orders them around. And is his mom with the nose the same girl who played the evil space chick on Gamera V Guiron?


  25. Spalanzani says:

    @tinaw: “Ichy” actually comes from “Ei’ichi” in this case. “Ichi” is a common element in Japanese male names.

    I like this one, but I’m with all those who prefer the final two Gamera episodes because the movies get really absurd and therefore make even better MST3K fare, in my opinion anyway.

    More tidbits from Japanese Wikipedia page for the movie:

    Gaos was originally going to be named “Vampire”, with the idea that he’d be a kaiju version of Dracula. This was in response to Toho, who at the time were adapting world famous monsters like Frankenstein and King Kong into kaiju movies. So the peerless minds behind the Gamera franchise wanted a monster that would likewise have global appeal, and the settled on Dracula. The whole Dracula/vampire connection ultimately fell through, but Gaos still ended up being a vaguely bat-like nocturnal monster who’s weak to light and craves blood.

    As others have noted, this was really the point where the Gamera movies started to turn towards being aimed purely at kids. However, the whole road development plotline is a bit of a holdover from the more adult-oriented Vs. Barugon; it’s hard to imagine kids being too interested in that kind of stuff. This movie also had about the same budget as the previous Gamera movies, whereas after this they started being made more on the cheap.

    The kid who played Ei’ichi/Itchy was rather fat, especially by Japanese standards. And the film’s director Noriaki Yuasa was also pretty fat, so a lot of people on the set thought the two were father and son and that Yuasa had pulled strings to give his son the main role. In reality the two weren’t related and the role was chosen through audition.

    This seems to have been one of the most popular Gamera movies among Japanese fans at the time, or at least Gaos was a popular opponent, since he reappears in the various Gamera revival movie series. In the Heisei series he’s even given a more major role as Gamera’s nemesis, as opposed to the original series where he’s just one among many of the monsters Gamera fights. One reason for his popularity might be because of how Gamera and Gaos have opposite but well-matched abilities. Gamera is most at home in the water and fights well on land, but while he can fly, he’s not that good at it compared to Gaos, whereas Gaos is at a disadvantage on land and can’t enter water at all. Gamera has a tough shell and specializes in close-quarters fighting (he’s got that flame breath thing but it doesn’t go that far), while Gaos has weak defense but that long-range laser attack. Etc, etc.


  26. Spalanzani says:

    @Fred Burroughs: Yeah, that’s the lady who plays Florabella in Vs. Guiron. However, in this movie she’s supposed to be Itchy’s older sister, not his mother.


  27. Cronkite Moonshot says:

    “I’ll admit I was dreading this one. After my encounter with it during the KTMA season, I remembered it as a long slog. What a pleasant surprise. It’s really a lesson for me not judge a season 3 episode by it’s KTMA antecedent.”

    Why is this written as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen this episode?


  28. snowdog says:

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this before, but Amazon has the Gamera box set for $40.99 and it ships free. That’s about $10 less than Shout Factory’s price. Sampo should post a link. Ok, I guess you’d miss out the MST3K stress ball and card pack, but I would have just tossed ’em into the trash anyway.


  29. Fletch Griswald says:

    #24, “Nip kids”? Is it still 1943, and no one’s noticed?


  30. dsman71 says:

    This was my first episode fact I thought I was hearing things when I first saw it…I thought there was a problem with the audio because I was hearing other voices and never saw the silhouettes due to the positioning of the set..
    I was changing channels , looking at the back of the TV set and just wondering what the heck was going on when I was trying to watch Gamera vs. Gaos…that was 1992..
    And look at me now..a huge fan of MST3K , I met Joel and the CT crew three times , writing reviews about the DVD sets…
    and perhaps needing some therapy ( ?? )


  31. Sharktopus says:

    @ Snowdog: If you ever do get an MST3K stress ball, don’t thrpw it out. Save it for me, huh?

    @ Spalanzani: There’s also a pretty big guy in the road construction crew, kind of a Japanese Lou Costello. Maybe Gamera Vs Guiron had some fat guy affirmative action quota. (Something like that would really help me get a job…)

    In Gamera Vs Guiron, when reminiscing about previous gameras, doesn’t Tom refer Kenny as a butterball? Maybe I’m misremembering it.


  32. Edge says:

    Would somebody please milk grandpa? He’s in a lot of pain!


  33. Sharktopus says:

    “That’s the Japanese eye doctor drives – a Cataract.”

    I like how in these Gamera movies the military consults with scientists (and Ichi, of course) about the monsters’ strengths and weaknesses and try to come up with specialized plans. In the Godzilla movies besides Gojira they usually just fire some rockets at the kaiju and pray the Big G shows up soon to save Tokyo.


  34. Stressfactor says:


    Re: Toho using famous movie monsters. Recently I watched “Godzilla vs. King Kong” for the first time since I was a kid.

    I remember really liking the movie when I was a kid.

    Watching it this time I’m now scarred for life.


    MST3K riffed the *wrong* Godzilla movies. Sure, Jet Jaguar is bad but by all that’s holy Godzilla vs. King Kong is *worse*!

    There are Japanese people in blackface (yes, really), there are reporters who give cigarettes to all the natives… including a little kid! There’s a so-called “expert” on natural history who uses a children’s dinosaur book to illustrate his talk on Godzilla. And perhaps the crowning low point… King Kong gets stronger by getting hit by massive doses of electricity… and everyone treats this as normal.

    Also, “Dinosaurs and apes are natural enemies”. No lie, they say that.

    There is *nothing* in the Gamera movies that is quite as cracktastic as the stuff in “Godzilla vs. King Kong”.

    Re: Gamera, though. I grew up watching Gamera movies and have a soft spot in my heart for them; but that doesn’t mean that I don’t at the same time appreciate Joel and the bots shredding them wittily.

    Also, it’s actually kind of hard to really judge the Gamera movies since we’re always getting the dubbed versions. When possible I like to watch any Japanese monster movie in the original Japanese with subtitles because, quite often, they turn out to be not as stupid of movies as you might think. The translators responsible for creating the English scripts were, I somtimes think, imbibing various controlled substances of the time period.


  35. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ #34: “it’s actually kind of hard to really judge the Gamera movies since we’re always getting the dubbed versions. When possible I like to watch any Japanese monster movie in the original Japanese with subtitles because, quite often, they turn out to be not as stupid of movies as you might think.”

    This recent release from Shout! will solve your problem (see the Amazon link below). I watched it twice already, once with the commentary. As I pointed out in an earlier post here, even with the uncut version and the insightful commentary, Gamera is still weird, far weirder than anything I ever saw in any Godzilla movie ever.
    Gamera: The Giant Monster DVD from Shout! Factory, original Japanese version with English subtitles…

    And yeah, Godzilla Vs. King Kong is bizarre and unintentionally funny in the extreme, though I still wouldn’t argue with the choice of the Megalon film for MST3K, equally goofy and a lot more kid friendly and “charmingly goofy”.


  36. Sampo says:

    #27– Why is this written as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen this episode?

    Because I saw the KTMA version only a few months ago and before that I had not seen the season three version for quite a few years, and I’d forgotten most of it.


  37. trickymutha says:



  38. Reaper G says:

    This is pretty straighforward for a Gamera film, but you can see the weirdness starting to creep in. Frankly, I like Ichi just for being the least obnoxious of the Gamera kids.

    Gaos/Gyaos has been almost as durable as Gamera himself, appearing in six more of the big turtle’s flicks (even if in stock footage).

    And if you want to talk about finding it hard to judge these films based on their U.S. versions, look no further than Universal’s adaptation of “King Kong vs. Godzilla”.


  39. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    The third of five Gamera movies and another 3/5 episode for me. This is probably the best Gamera episode so far, but still . . . .it’s only okay.

    The Mad’s Invention Exchange is probably one of their LEAST evil inventions ever. It’s neat, and kinda funny, but definitely NOT evil.

    ALL 3 Host Segments are skits that go nowhere. HS#1 is the best, lots of quotables, and I love the ending with Crow, hesitating to get commercial sign and saying “the word of the day is: booger. Booger-booger-booger!” HS#2 has really nice production value (look at that set!) but of course, goes nowhere. HS#3 is a FAIL. The best thing is Crow’s Ed Sullivan impersonation, and that only carries the bit so far.

    I just watched the KTMA version a few months ago and I didn’t remember a bit of GAMERA VS GAOS. Says something about how memorable those KTMAs are. This movie is really weird, alternately goofy and violent. It held my interest but I zoned out a few times. . . .


    Crow: “It’s Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy!” —–Hey, a callback to a better episode!

    Crow: “Put your shoes on, we’re at Grandma’s.”

    Crow: “I can’t believe I’m hiding behind a dingleberry.”

    Gaos blinks slowly,
    Joel: “Just the thought of food makes me sleepy.”

    When the kid is in Gamer’s hand,
    Servo: “Gamera has Ichi palms now.” —-Joel and Crow nod approvingly at this pun.

    Joel: “I’m tripping BIG TIME.”

    glowing green background,
    Joel: “It’s a pocket of lyme disease.”

    Joel: “Man, I shouldn’t of had that tofu chili.”

    Crow: “Calgon, take me away!”

    Gamera in churning water,
    Crow: “It’s too hot! The water’s boiling!”

    In regards to the turntable, bowl of blood plan,
    Servo: “Operation Goofy now in effect.”

    Overall an okay episode; last weeks episode was a classic and so is next weeks. This is the weird turtle movie that is stuck between two pieces of amazing and awesome. A strong showing for a GAMERA movie, but VS GAOS gets a 3/5.


  40. Stressfactor says:


    Oh, I can remember a few things about the KTMA Gamera vs. Gaos — Servo’s “Grandpa just moo-ed!” And “Grandpa thinks he’s a saxaphone now.”

    Also Joel’s “I said a blood light!”

    Although the later edition of the movie was bound to better if for no other reason than they had a full house. Trace’s Crow was out for the KTMA version.


  41. Sharktopus says:

    glowing green background,
    Joel: “It’s a pocket of lyme disease.”

    Can someone explain this one for me? I grew up here in Lyme Disease Central (the black section of this map: and have been prgrammed to go hiking with long pants tucked into my socks, check all my crevices for ticks, and for God’s sake don’t pet the deer, but I don’t get that at all. ?:-)


  42. briizilla says:

    @ 41. Because it’s glowing LIME green.


  43. Sharktopus says:

    …I may have a tendency to overthink things sometimes. :-((


  44. Dan in WI says:

    We’ve seen the comment that the original Japanese movie with subtitles is so much better than the dubbed version several times in these threads. Now I’ve never watched a movie in Japanese (with or without subtitles) nor do I have any desire to do so. But what I don’t get is why would subtitles be superior to dubbed dialogue? Either way someone still translated the Japanese to English so why is the subtitle translation superior to the dub translation? What am I missing?


  45. Stressfactor says:

    @Dan in WI

    I wouldn’t say that *every* Japanese movie is superior subtitled as opposed to dubbed but at least many make slightly more *sense* subbed as opposed to dubbed.

    Often the issue is that the dubbing tries to make the dialogue at least sort-of match the mouth movements of the original Japanese actors so they might choose words which aren’t the best translations.

    This is true of any language. Sometimes something that is only one word can take a whole phrase to translate properly into English.

    Take Schadenfreude. It’s one word in German but to translate it into English properly we would have to say “taking delight in the suffering or bad luck of others”.

    Subtitles, because they’re not concerned with trying to fit things into dialogue breaks in the film, can take the time to be a closer translation.

    At least that’s been my experience.


  46. Mr. B(ob) says:

    @ # “Now I’ve never watched a movie in Japanese (with or without subtitles) nor do I have any desire to do so. ”

    Forgetting about less “artistic” films like Gamera and Godzilla for a moment, if you’ve never seen a Kurosawa film, you are missing a lot. Not only are many of his films some of the finest films ever made, they are also copied, imitated, quoted and referenced endlessly, not just on MST3K, but throughout the history of film since they were made which is why he is even mentioned on a “little” show like MST3K where the history of cinema is crucial to the construction of and enjoyment of the show. Seven Samurai alone has been remade, copied and influenced dozens of films good and bad and continues to do so (e.g., Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond The Stars, to name just one good and one bad) and Hidden Fortress provided many of the basic elements of Star Wars. Yojimbo was remade by Sergio Leone into A Fistful of Dollars.


  47. dsman71 says:

    The reason Barugon was more a serious picture as it was the only Gamera film in the series not directed by Noriaki Yuasa. Yuasa must have visioned Gamera to be for the children..
    Gaos was good for the most part but the next film which wasnt an MST3K episode was the decline – that was Destroy All Planets aka Gamera vs. Gaos. Im surprised Cinematic Titanic hasnt done this film as its owned or the rights to it are with Shout (I think)


  48. Sharktopus says:

    Let us also consider that the Sandy Franks of the world hired the cheapest translators, writers, and voice actors they could find. See the repeated use of “star” instead of “planet” in Gamvera Vs Guiron, a simple translation error stemming from lazy translation, not to mention the inexplicable southern American accents of the aliens.

    There’s a reason Guillermo Del Toro personally writes the English subtitles for his Spanish-language films – he’s seen these cheapo dubs of imported kaiju movies.


  49. Joey Stink Eye Smiles says:

    ‘Also, “Dinosaurs and apes are natural enemies”. No lie, they say that.’

    Any film with that sort of dialogue needs to be watched.


  50. Spalanzani says:

    @Dan in WI (several people have answered you already so hopefully this doesn’t seem like piling on), the sad fact is that a lot of the voice acting in dubs is simply bad, something we see a lot with these Sandy Frank films. That can make a dubbed movie much less enjoyable than the original, even if the script itself is accurate (which isn’t always the case anyway). It’s not just Japanese movies; I’ve seen more poorly dubbed French and Spanish films than is good for me, and I’m sure many a fine English picture has been saddled with a lousy dub overseas.

    Besides dubbing, another factor we run into with these Japanese monster movies is that the US versions sometimes have new scenes added, or scenes from the original versions removed. Steve Martin in the original Godzilla movie is probably the most famous example of this. Stuff like this doesn’t necessarily ruin a movie, but it can mess with its pacing and sense of continuity, especially because any scenes added generally can’t contribute to the main plot in any way, since they weren’t there to begin with.


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