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Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 312- Gamera Vs. Guiron

Movie: (1969) In the fifth movie of the long-running Japanese monster series, two boys accidentally hijack an alien spaceship and fly to a dying planet, where they encounter two evil babes and knife-headed monster Guiron. Can Gamera save them?

First shown: 9/7/91
Opening: Crow and Tom are playing “school lunch”
Invention exchange: The Mads show off their racy Rorschachs, Joel has invented a collapsible trashcan
Host segment 1: J&tB sing the Gamera song (with English lyrics)
Host segment 2: Joel’s “sawing a robot in half” trick gets ruined
Host segment 3: J&tB do a pageant about Richard Burton, based on the kid in the movie’s vague resemblance
End: the Gamera song again (with fake Japanese lyrics); meanwhile, Michael Feinstein is headlining in Deep 13
Stinger: “What a monster!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (139 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)


• Wow, this episode is so much fun. It’s my favorite Gamera outing for sure, and just a really fun MST3K episode all around. It has great riffing, and all the host segments are at least worth a smile. And then there’s the movie itself, a truly zany outing (featuring the inimitable Cornjob) made all the zanier by the hamfisted dubbing. Much fun, and no traffic accidents.
• This episode was included in Shout!Factory’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Gamera Vs. MST3K (aka Vol. XXI).
• Note the MST3K lunch boxes (now no longer available) in the opening segment … Frank has one too!
• I’m not sure what’s funny about Joel’s invention. Seems pretty useful, actually. Oh, and: call your lawyers, Joel.
• Did you notice the season one-style table slap! What happened to the buttons?
• The awful, awful dubbing in the press conference scene early on makes for a gaspingly funny few minutes of riffing.
• References to things completely forgotten: “The New Munsters” and “Superboy.” Sheesh.
• Crow gets roughed up by Joel in the theater after deploying several puns in a row.
• Callbacks: The space ship is “funny flying.” (Rocketship XM) “…so much…about…lately?” (Gamera) “And he’s givin’ it back to you!” (Sidehackers) “Rex Dart” (Godzilla vs. Megalon)
• There’s a funny in-joke when the bots point out a starfield created by putting “a bunch of Christmas light against a wall” and talk about how really cheesy that is. That, of course, is exactly how BBI did it.
• Joel rolls with the punches again: In the theater, as the Gamera song begins, Crow’s arm falls off. Joel just reattaches it and continues. Crow’s arm falls off again in the next segment and Joel pops it back on again. They keep going.
• The lyrics to the song in the first segment kind of restate the premise. I wonder if they were they getting notes from the network asking them to restate the premise more.
• One curious lyric in the song is when, explaining the kinds of riffs they do, J&tB sing: “So we hi-keeba all over the place and talk of a thousand wonderful days.” The first example is a pretty good description of a typical riff, but “talk of thousand wonderful days,” a callback to a line in “Rocketship XM,” has maybe been referenced twice since then. Did Mike (who, the credits say, wrote the song) really think that was a typical example of a movie riff?
• The whole notion of a twin earth on the opposite side of the sun (which we previously encountered in “Stranded in Space”) pops up for a moment in the movie and is then forgotten.
• Tom and Crow come into the theater still wearing their hats from the host segment 2; Joel removes them. Crow has no net for the entire theater segment.
• Another moment from this movie that always has me in stitches is the whole “Hello! Thank you!” routine. A classic case of taking something innocuous in the movie and exaggerating it for brilliant comic effect.
• During the flashback, we get a few minutes of a Gamera movie MST3K didn’t do. (A commenter tells us it’s “Gamera vs. Viras.”)
• One of the kids says, “wait a minute…” and Tom says “You’re not a cop!” Both Tom and Joel express their love of that joke. (A commenter explained that this is a reference to a scene from “High Anxiety” I’d completely forgotten about.)
• Zappa fans loved to hear “Weasels ripped my flesh! Rizzz!!”
• Instant catchphrase: “I’m feeling really good!”
• Vaguely dirty riff: “Wait, touch me here while you do that!”
• The Richard Burton sketch is pretty dumb, but it’s saved by Trace’s great impression. Also, it was definitely written in pre-internet days, when they could have easily looked up info on him (such as that he was born Richard Walter Jenkins).
• Is this the first time Crow has called himself “Crow T. Robot”? Joel seems surprised by it. Also, Joel amusingly refers to himself as “the sleepy-voiced narrator.”
• This is the episode with the memorable “Gamera on the high-bar” moment, later used in the opening. I am a little surprised it wasn’t used as the stinger.
• Toward the end of the movie, there’s a riff in which Tom rattles off a bunch of New York-area railway stations. Gotta figure that was provided by Frank.
• This is also the episode with the infamous “most obscure reference ever”: “Stop her! She’s got my keyboard!” (By the way, it’s often quoted — including by cast members — as “…Mike’s keyboard…” but that’s not what is said.)
• In the closing segment, J&tB sing the Gamera song AGAIN–this time in fake (and mildly racist, it seems to me) Japanese. I’m not sure I get the point, but it’s wacky!
• Mike is hilarious as Michael Feinstein, but wow does he ever hit a sour note at one point.
• Cast and crew roundup: Again, I am not going to repeat all the connections named in previous Gamera movie episode guide entries. Which narrows down the list a lot. The score was composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi (misspelled in the credits), who also gets a credit (though it was probably just a needle drop) in “Zigra.” Similarly, Kenjiro Hirose gets a credit for music and lyrics in both this movie and “Zigra,” when they probably just used the same music.
• CreditsWatch: Trace and Frank are still “guest villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s last name is still spelled “Forrestor.” Brian Wright returns for the first of five eps as audio guy. Someone named Carolyn Sloat was a prop assistant for this episode only. For Thomas Alphonso and Tom Henderson, this was their last show as interns. Also, a minor typo: “Gamera in ‘it’s’ [should be ‘its’] many forms.”
• Which brings us to a special treat, courtesy of a MSTie named Lisa Wakabayashi and her mom:

The Gamera Theme Song translated (the Japanese lyrics are, obviously, phonetic. The English lyrics are in parentheses after each line.)
Verse 1
Gamera, Gamera
(Gamera, Gamera)
Ikasuzo, Gamera! Ikasuzo, Gamera! Ikasuzo, Gamera!
(So cool, Gamera! So cool, Gamera! So cool, Gamera!)
Nichi, Getsu, Ka, Sui, Nichi, Getsu, Ka, Sui
(Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Nikkoh saegiru, Akuma no niji da
(Shadow the sun, evil’s rainbow)
Reitoh kaiju, kurunara koi!
(Frozen monster, dare to march!)
Haneta-zo, tonda-zo. Go! Go! Go!
(Jumped, flew. Go! Go! Go!)
Kaen funsha de yattsukero
(Destroy with jet flame)
Ikasuzo, Gamera! Ikasuzo, Gamera! Ikasuzo, Gamera!
(So cool, Gamera! So cool, Gamera! So cool, Gamera!)

Verse 2
Gamera, Gamera
(Gamera, Gamera)
Ganbare, Gamera! Ganbare, Gamera! Ganbare, Gamera!
(Hold out, Gamera! Hold out, Gamera! Hold out, Gamera!)
Getsu, Ka, Sui, Moku, Getsu, Ka, Sui, Moku?
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Gekkoh yaburu, satsujin onpa
(Overcome the moonlight, super sonic)
Mach kaiju, itsudemo koi!
(Monster mach, come anytime!)
Hikatta, yoketa-zo. Go! Go! Go!
(Burning bright. Go! Go! Go!)
Kuwaete hanasuna, Fukitobase.
(Bite hard and blown away)
Ganbare, Gamera! Ganbare, Gamera! Ganbare, Gamera!
(Hold out, Gamera! Hold out, Gamera! Hold out, Gamera!)

Verse 3
Gamera Gamera
(Gamera, Gamera)
Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera! Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera! Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera!
(So strong, Gamera! So strong, Gamera! So strong, Gamera!)
Ka, Sui, Moku, Kin, Ka, Sui, Moku, Kin?
(Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
Kasei ka, Kinsei, dokokano hoshino
(Mars, Venus, any other stars)
Uchu kaiju, nandemo koi!
(Come monsters from the universe!)
Kitta-zo, Tsuita-zo. Go! Go! Go!
(Stabbed, shoved. Go! Go! Go!)
Kaiten jet de, taiatari
(Tackled with circling jet)
Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera! Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera! Tsuyoi-zo, Gamera!
(So strong, Gamera! So strong, Gamera! So strong, Gamera!)

• Fave riff: “We’re from the padding department! Where’s the plot hole?” Honorable mention: “You know, guys, it just dawned on me how weird this film is.”

125 Replies to “Episode guide: 312- Gamera Vs. Guiron”

  1. Dan in WI says:

    Let me start off by saying Hello…. Thank you.

    So what is the deal with the Brains watching these Gamera films out of sequence? During KTMA they would flip Gamera and vs. Barugon. Then here during Comedy Central they take vs. Zigra and vs. Guiron out of order.

    So Tom compares something in his lunch to a chocolate covered urinal cake. Just who in the writing room knew what those tasted like in order to come up with this riff? Then we see Joel admonishing them and scrubbing out Tom’s gumball head. Does that make that his load pan of which we used to hear so much about?

    When the scientist is explaining the radio wayves from Terra in one of the opening scenes the Bots rip on the halting speech pattern. Thing is I noticed the dubbed lines more or less meet up with the lip movements. So that part of the dubbing was successful anyway. So it must be something else really lost in the translation causing this.

    We have a callforward! When Cornjob is doing his workout routine Tom says “it’s Patrick Swayze.” See even back then some of the Brains wanted to riff Road House.

    You can see Akio’s breath when the meet the space babes. Must have been a cold set. But the Brains let that one go. In a later scene the same would happen and it would only get a passing mention instead of a whole riff.

    Some time ago there was a weekend discussion thread about poor science. This episode has a winner. The space babes have a machine which reads Akio’s mind. It tells them everything from what his favorite donuts are all the way to a rather detailed history on Gamera. Yet they have to eat their brains in order to absorb his knowledge. What?

    Favorite Riffs:
    Crow “Ah the turtle’s playing chicken.” Tom Servo “No. He just tastes like chicken.”

    Tomoko “Mother!” Tom Servo “I just killed a man.”

    Tomoko stows away in Tom’s mother’s car. Tom Servo “Shut up and keep driving. And Thank you.”


  2. Kenneth Morgan says:

    The clips from the unfamiliar Gamera movie are from “Gamera vs. Viras”. For those familiar with it, that’s the one with the Japanese scouts (and their token American scout) and the two-man mini-sub that the monster kids “hilariously” sabotage and steal. There’s also some pretty disturbing aliens in that one.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Kenneth Morgan says:

    As for “Gamera vs. Guiron”, like I noted in a previous thread, I remember seeing this one on “The 4:30 Movie” when I was a kid. My brothers and I would joke about “How do you like your brains? Medium rare?”

    As for the collapsable trash can, I’ve also seen junk drawer organizers sold in Wal-Mart. So, how many of Joel’s inventions have actually been turned into products, and does Joel get a piece of the action?

    Oh, and were all the lines about traffic accidents in the original script for this, or were they put in by the dubbers?


  4. fathermushroom says:

    I’m not a MST3K Gamera fan, but I totally LOVE the Michael Feinstein sketch, which makes the whole thing worth it for me!

    I do also get a hoot or two out of the atrocious dubbing — and Cornjob, natch.

    I kind of like the little girl with the frowny face. Even though I know that’s not her real voice, it seems to fit.

    One of my favorite Japanese Rubber Monster eps for sure.


  5. ARCH HALL 3 says:



  6. Michael Dibble says:

    I believe the “You’re not a cop” reference (and definitely any “Do you find me pleasing?” ref) comes from the Mel Brooks film “High Anxiety” (1977), a Hitchcock parody film. At the airport, a man in a trench coat, whom Brooks assumes to be a cop, leads him into a men’s room, opens his coat to reveal, well, everything. “Do you find me pleasing?” asks the man. Brooks stares dumbfound for a second or two and realizes “Wait a minute… you’re not a cop!” and flees the restroom.

    Of course, it’s been decades since I’ve seen the movie, so I could be wrong. But it did teach me an important lesson about trench coats and men’s rooms.


  7. Fred Burroughs says:

    This is one of the first episodes I taped. But for some reason, the Michael Feinstein skit got cut in my version, and I had to wait 15 years before I saw the ending. It was worth it. At the time Feinstein and others were doing these horribly pretentious one-man shows, singing the greatest hits of yesteryear, complete with lickspittle fawning over how wonderful their other showbiz friends and forbears were; and I think my mom watched every one. Kill him, Frank.

    Thank you! Hello?


  8. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    This one has probably my favourite “let’s make fun of the names during the credits” riff with “Christopher Murphy? Boy, the Japanese have some funny names!


  9. Wesley Shadrix says:

    As Kenneth Morgan pointed out, the clip from the unriff Gamera movie was Gamera vs Viras, however it was also called Destroy all Planets in some releases. It’s completely MST3K material, but I guess they couldn’t do all the Gamera films.

    Also, this was the first episode of MST3K I’ve ever seen. (well, ethier this one or Godzilla vs Megalon, it’s been a long time)


  10. Sharktopus says:

    A five star experiment, hands down thank you please.

    Say what you will about the kaiju genre of films, and honestly I enjoy them – mostly on what the hipster kids would call an “ironic level,” but I do enjoy them – you just have to appreciate the sheer creativity of a design like Guiron. Most of the monsters your Godzillas and Gameras fight have some sort of antecedent in nature, but I don’t think any paleontlogists have dug up a prehistoric giant rhino with a machete for a nose.

    I saw a “collapsible recyclables basket” for picnics and such at Target recently and, while it was obviously a clever, worthwhile invention, it also bugged me for some reason I couldn’t immediately put my finger on. Has anyone compiled a list of Invention Exchange items that turned up in real life? One belongs in Ward E. (And Joel’s resume, for that matter.)

    So, if I’m interpeting those lyrics correctly, Gamera is Jewish? Like Walter Sobchak, he doesn’t roll, or should I say fly, on Shabbos. Hello!


  11. klisch says:

    I haven’t seen this movie since it first aired but I still recall the “Hello! Thank you!” routine and the Cornjob charactor. Remember laughing out loud plenty of times while watching and my Mom would keep coming into the room and wondering why I was cracking up. She would see the show and just roll her eyes. My Mom never got it.


  12. Trilaan says:

    Regarding the question of hi-keebas and talking of a thousand wonderful days, I’m thinking Mike just liked the phrase “talk of a thousand wonderful days”. I do. It’s a very lyrical phrase and thus lends itself very well to song.


  13. Droppo says:

    A first ballot Hall of Famer.

    Goofy movie? Check.

    5-star riffing? Check.

    5-star skits? Check.

    Hilariously awful comic relief character? Cornjob…double check.

    Beatles-quality music? Check.

    A no doubt about it home run of an episode.


  14. Sitting Duck says:

    As something of an anime fan, I’ve encountered some pretty bizarre lyrics translated from Japanese to English. But I swear, none of them come close to the shear incomprehensibility of the translation of the Gamera Theme Song above (not even the opener of Lost Universe). “Shadow the sun, evil’s rainbow.” The hell?


  15. Alex says:

    Really makes me wonder what the Japanese writers were trying to think of when creating Gurion. A monster with a knife for a head. How….. interesting. :P

    Anyway, this is a classic episode. The Gamera theme song is always something to remember, along with the little bicycle song they make.

    Oh…. and actually Sampo, you might be thinking of that small clip from Godzilla vs Megalon. The bit with Gamera on the bar wasn’t included at all in the opening.


  16. jjb3k says:

    @#1 Guiron and Zigra aren’t out of order in the Comedy Central run. Guiron was released in 1969; Zigra came out in 1971.

    Sampo’s Theorem is in full effect here – this episode pains me deeply. I can barely even sit through it. The movie is so damn boring, despite its incredibly goofy nature, and the dubbing is frighteningly awful (it must have been done by another company, ’cause none of Sandy Frank’s other movies sound anywhere near this bad). And that should be a slow pitch over the plate for the Brains, but Joel and the bots can’t save it – at least not at this point in the show’s run. The riffing in Seasons 2 and 3 has always rubbed me the wrong way. Everyone’s shuffling around in their seats, missing their cues, flubbing lines, chuckling at their own jokes, the bots are clacking loudly and falling apart with the slightest touch, and the riffing itself is still too weak at this point (too many state park jokes and shallow pop culture references and lazy callbacks, not enough genuinely humorous observations). I know a lot of people love that low-budget unprofessionalism of the first few seasons, but it just takes me right out of the show.

    In a later era, this episode could have been classic. Imagine if Mike, Kevin, and Trace had taken a crack at this in the middle of Season 6, or if Mike, Kevin, and Bill had done it in Season 9. Hell, even if Joel, Kevin, and Trace had the level of skill they’d attained by Season 5, this could have been a brilliant episode. But I maintain that MST3K did not hit its stride until two-thirds of the way through Season 4, starting with “The Beatniks” and continuing on a streak that didn’t stop until pretty much the end of the series. At this point, though, they’re still fumbling.


  17. Revlillo says:

    This was the first movie since the beginning of the second season that I didn’t record on its original airdate. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii and I didn’t set my VCR (remember those?) to record the episode. For some reason, I didn’t think there was going to be a new episode that weekend. I remember catching it by accident in Hawaii on Saturday morning and thinking, “Oh no!” I got it recorded on the next Turkey Day marathon (I think). The rest of the honeymoon went just fine.


  18. JimmyBruce says:

    I use Cornjob for all my passwords. Hmmm, maybe I should change it…


  19. Guiron’s knife head isn’t even the oddest part of him. I really want to know how evolution creates throwing stars on his side, that he can toss with his mind. Maybe, the space ladies man him or the other people on Terra did. I’ve only seen the unriffed version a couple of years back; did they mention what happened to the other people that lived on the planet before the kinky child shaving service where pretty much it. If they didn’t; I’m going with a planet full of poor drivers and worst road conditions.


  20. (The Original) Rex Dart, Eskimo Spy says:

    Regarding Joel’s invention, the Brains even mention in the episode guide that “as sometimes happens with these inventions, it’s actually a pretty good idea.” (May not be an exact quote.) Joel really needed to patent this one along with the junk drawer organizer.

    Of course, if we’re going to take care of the environment and stuff, he really should learn his lines. ;-)


  21. rcfagnan says:

    IT’S NOT A STAR, IT’S A PLANET!!!!! Thank you, hello. Has anyone noticed how the Friend to All Children gets treated like a slave by said kids? Always issuing demands and commands, without ever so much as a ‘please.’ Maybe it’s just me, but if I were a jet-powered giant flying turtle, I would hold out for a little more courtesy and not just hop to because some badly-dubbed brat whines. Oh, and I really don’t see much of a resemblance between the caucasian kid and Richard Burton, but Trace’s impression is killer. “I’m Welsh, I’m poor, and my name’s not Richard Burton yet!”


  22. Tom Carberry says:

    I can’t say I’m much of a Gamera series fan, but this one is ok in my book. While I don’t really see any resemblance between the child actor (Christopher Murphy–what a funny japanese name) and Richard Burton, it sure gave Trace a chance to display his Burton imitation. My favorite line is just an observation Crow makes about the little girl–“the kid looks like she’s fifty”.


  23. John R. Ellis says:

    One of my all time favorite experiments.

    “Cornjob, they will all die by Gamera’s wrath.”

    The guys really loved implying the kids in these things had a dark side, didn’t they?

    (Granted, Kenny in the original really was a bit cuckoo.)


  24. Dan in WI says:

    JJB3K #16. Perhaps my confusion on the out of sequence things is my mistaking the flashback footage in the space babes read Akiro’s mind for info about Gamera scenes. I was thinking that footage was from vs. Zigra. But if I understand correctly post #2 says that is from vs. Viras.


  25. I don’t get anyone who doesn’t like this episode (at LEAST 5 stars) but then again, I love all the goofy Japanese stuff (with Fugitive Alien being the absolute peak of Joel-era MST3K).

    And perhaps it’s just because I’m an old guy (older than all you kids here, that’s for sure) and grew up with Burton as a contemporary more or less, but the resemblance is definitely there with the kid (particularly young RB).

    I can hardly wait to see this one again (we’re in our regular rotation, having just finished 302, so the first Gamera is on my mind right now. Now THAT was a weird movie, and not all that great to riff even).


  26. Spector says:

    I’m not a big fan of the Gamera series, but this one is the best of the bunch, and is hilarious, definitely one of the highlights of this particular season. Just a lot of fun, from the lousy dubbing in the opening scenes, to the kid who looks like a young Richard Burton (giving us plenty of Crow’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” imitations), to the delightful “Gamera” theme song, to “Cornjob”, the goofy policeman (?),to the funniest segment of the episode for me, the “hello”, “thank you” scene between the two mothers. The host segments were also well done. “Droppo” put it best: “A no doubt about it home run of an episode.” Five stars out of five.

    “And for that, I thank you”.


  27. CMWaters says:

    The singing to the “Bicycle” song was one of my favorite parts, as well as this riff:

    Tom: MCMLXIX, Daiei makes the very best.
    Joel: Mooovies…NOT!


  28. snowdog says:

    Again, not much of a Gamera fan here, and this one definitely goes into the so-bad-even-J&tB-can’t-save-it category. The final host segment made me smile, though, and gave me a new appreciation for Mike’s musical and acting chops. I didn’t know he was THAT good on the piano, despite the bum note.


  29. Roman Martel says:

    You know of all the Gamera movies, this one feels most like a movie a kid would make up. A six year old watches a couple Gamera movies on TV and goes outside to play after some sugary snacks. This is what they come up with. I mean, it’s got Gamera, UFO’s, girls who start out nice but are really evil (at age six girls are still icky), you ditch your annoying kid sister, the monster is based off a knife and ninja stars, and there’s blood and guts.

    It actually breaks the formula that permeates most Gamera and Godzilla movies. You know, the typical evil monster shows up, trashes the city, then hero monster shows up gets his ass handed to him. The military attacks the evil monster and fails. The hero monster rallies and kicks the evil monsters butt. Instead this movie is just all over the place and a lot more fun because of it. As a stand alone its probably my favorite of the Gamera movies. And with the riffing its even more fun.


  30. Spalanzani says:

    Easily my favorite Gamera episode, and one of my favorite of the whole series. I don’t know about top 10, but it’s definitely top 15. The movie is so, so weird. At times it feels almost like a movie written by children rather than one written for them, which is a big difference. Certainly the scene where Guiron kills and then methodically chops up Space Gyaos feels like the kind of bizarre violence that might come from a little boy’s mind (can’t you just imagine Calvin play-acting that scene with Hobbes?), but that adults would typically consider inappropriate viewing material for children. And the way mundane authority figure Cornjob threatens to shave Akio’s head, only for Akio to eventually have his head shaved by malignant space monsters feels like a child’s fantasy. Combine all this nuttiness with one of the most incompetent dubs in the history of the universe, and sprinkle Joel and the bot’s great riffing on top, and that gets you one great episode. Only letdown for me is the Richard Burton running gag: it’s overused and the resemblance really isn’t that strong.

    Man, that dub. It’s been mentioned before, but the reason they keep referring to planets as “stars” is because in Japanese, hoshi/sei can mean both. This is a holdover from the days when astronomy was in its infancy and stars and planets were all just shiny lights in the sky that differed only in how they moved. We see this in English a bit too: “asteroid” means “like a star”, even though we now know asteroids and stars are completely different. So there’s a reason behind the dub’s mistake, but it’s still rather absurd that they wouldn’t figure out that hoshi in this case meant “planet” when the characters are actually standing on the rocky “star” in question. Oh, and in case anyone’s wondering about the state of Japanese astronomy, I should say there are words specifically for “star” and “planet” too (kousei and wakusei, respectively). It’s only the colloquial usage that remains vague.

    Aside from that screwup, the dub’s actually rather interesting for being very accurate but still completely horrible. They clearly just went for the most direct translation possible and didn’t bother making any adjustments to make anything more coherent in English. It’s like people reading aloud a Google translation. Notably, what Joel and the bots mishear as “Cornjob” is actually “Kon-chan”. The police officer’s name is really “Kondou”, and chan is a cutesy version of san, Japanese for Mr/Ms/Mrs. So “Kon-chan” is basically his nickname (following a standard Japanese formula for such things), and Akio scolds his sister for using it and says she should call him “Kondou” instead. The dub accurately translates the whole conversation, but doesn’t consider that an English-speaking audience probably isn’t going to know these cultural details, leading to pointless confusion for J&TB. But it creates countless opportunities for riffs, so I’m not complaining.

    Speaking of Cornjob, he’s played by Japanese comedian Kon Oomura. Oomura’s real-life nickname was “Kon-chan”, which is why it’s included in the movie. But in the movie “Kon-chan” is a play on the character’s surname, instead of his given name like with the real-life Oomura.


  31. Matthew Shine says:

    My second favorite Gamera episode, with my all time favorite being Gamera Vs Gaos.
    I love this episode for it’s sheer insanity. Officer Cornjob, the alien brain eating babes, Ginsu Knife-zilla aka Guiron with his ninja stars of doom and incredibly poor dubbing serve to be absolute gold for the SOL crew.
    Favorite Riff: “Señorita Gamera?”


  32. Schippers says:

    Hello! Thank you!

    This is probably my favorite ep of season 3, and surely the best MSTed Gamera film (Zigra has some good parts, but going to the super-fakey planet cinches it for me here, since I love to look at fake Star Trek-style studio planets). And the dubbing, oh the wonderful dubbing, with the newspaperman in the beginning throwing in “accordingly” for no other purpose but to fill up some of his flapping lips. Pure magic.


  33. Spalanzani says:

    Some more stuff I found mucking about the movie’s Japanese Wikipedia page. I think some of this was mentioned in the documentary included with the Shout! Set, but whatever:

    Guiron’s supposed to be named after the guillotine (somewhat famously, Japanese doesn’t distinguish between “r” and “l” sounds). So technically I guess he should be called “Guillon”, but apparently Sandy Frank didn’t pick up on this or didn’t care.

    Starting with Gamera vs. Viras (not featured on MST3K), Daiei had a contract ensuring that the Gamera movies would be reshown on US television, and this was the second such movie. That’s why you see American kids having adventures with Japanese kids in this movie and Vs. Zigra. The movie’s space theme was also an attempt to appeal to US children, since space movies were popular in the US at the time.

    There’s that scene in the movie where the aliens read Akio’s memories, which conveniently consist of nothing but footage from previous Gamera movies. This includes scenes from Vs. Viras, which confuses Joel and the bots. Vs. Viras was something of a turning point in the series. Besides being the first one to have a US kid featured alongside a Japanese kid, it was also made on 1/3 the budget of the previous movies. At the time it was intended to be the final Gamera film, but it was successful enough to allow them to make more Gamera movies on the same crappy budget.

    The woman who plays Tom’s mother is Edith Hanson. Hanson was a minor TV personality and essayist who first came to Japan as an adjunct professor at Osaka University and went on to get various roles in TV shows, movies, and radio. She also wrote several books in Japanese, mostly essay collections and educational books to help Japanese people speak better English.

    Reiko Kasahara, who played Itchy’s older sister in Vs. Gaos, plays the alien chic Florabella here.

    Gamera’s fancy gymnastics are supposed to be due to the influence of the then-recent Mexico City Olympics.

    One place the movie’s cheapness shows through is how the monsters infesting Planet Terra just so happen to look exactly like Gyaos for no apparent reason. This was because there was still a Gyaos rubber suit lying around the warehouse, so they painted it silver and viola! Instant new monster! Probably my favorite dialogue from the whole movie is the part where Akio and Tom see this creature, immediately conclude that it must be a “Space Gyaos”, and just consider the matter settled. It’s such a perfect example of the movie’s twisted dream logic.

    Also, since Gyaos had been such a popular monster, at the time the fact that his silver space-clone got so effortlessly defeated drew complaints from the kiddies.

    Gamera blocking Guiron’s shuriken with a rock is a reference to Daiei’s popular Zatoichi films, which center around a super-skilled blind swordsman who uses a similar trick at one point.


  34. Stressfactor says:


    As I recall one of the ‘Space Babes’ tells the kids that, when the planet’s eco-system started going to heck in a handbasket, the surviving population got into a larger version of the spaceship which brought the kids there in order to go to another planet. The woman says that the spaceship “crashed” and everyone on board was killed.

    Of course this raises a lot of other interesting questions…

    Like, it’s indicated that the smaller spaceships were sent out as scout ships to find a new home for the “Terrans” and obviously the ships were built to hold a two-person crew so what happened to the crew of the ship which landed on Earth and which the kids got into? Does this mean that there are a couple of homicidal, brain-eating aliens running around on Earth yet?

    Also, if the rest of the population got on the bigger spaceship why did the two women stay behind?

    How do the two women know there were no survivors from the crash of the bigger spaceship? Did it actually crash before it could clear the planet and did they check for survivors?

    And yeah, it’s a badly dubbed movie I should probably “really just relax”.


  35. robot rump! says:

    so are disgrunteled security guards/ part time police officers legally allowed to shave kids heads in Japan? i figured a 20 minute caning session would be the normal routine for Richard Burton and his pal. i think the alien babes from Iowa got a raw deal in the end but hey…


  36. Stressfactor says:

    Also, @30:

    In the interview for the DVD extras for the Gamera set Trace actually expresses some admiration for Oomura and his performance. Although for Trace and the gang they could really only judge the man’s physical performance since they weren’t getting any of his actual vocal performance for this version of the movie.


  37. Mr. B(ob) says:

    I really liked Joel and the ‘Bots’ self-effacing joke about the cheap method of doing the star backdrop in the movie and their delivery made it very clear they were really calling attention to their own set. It’s not the only instance of such a joke “breaking the 4th wall” on their show by making fun of their own set, there’s a joke in another episode about “cheap junk glued to the walls to make it look like a spaceship” where they are not only making fun of the movie but making fun of the SoL set during a host segment. Everyone casts their eyes around the toys and other junk glued to the set after the line is delivered.

    The jokes made via the tenuous connection to that one kid’s faint resemblance to Richard Burton really crack me up, but I’ve always loved the jokes aimed a bit at movie buffs.

    One of my favorite riffs: “Kids brains taste better when they’ve been thinking about donuts.” I also really enjoyed the one mentioned above by Sampo, “We’re from the padding department! Where’s the plot hole?”.

    Fellow MSTies, there’s a one-day special on Gamera Vs. MST3K at DeepDiscount, $36.09 w/free shipping.

    I’ve always liked this episode a lot and strangely, the movie itself seemed less terrible on this viewing. I think it had to do with watching some of the actors in the movie more closely this time and ignoring some of the horrible English dubbing that was done for them. The guy who plays Kondo is very good and the little girl is so young she is quite genuine. Watching the trailer on the disc gave me a better idea of what they sounded like before Sandy Frank got hold of the movie. Some of Trace Beaulieu’s comments in the So Happy Together extra feature made me decide to watch some of the performances more closely than I had before on this viewing and that gave me a nice, new perspective on the film. It was a gentle reminder that sometimes even terrible movies have a few decent actors in them.

    I used to watch Gamera movies when I was in my early teens and they were shown on UHF channels on weekend afternoons. They always seemed weird to me then and in many respects they still do. I never really had that reaction to Godzilla or the other monster movies I watched as a kid, but Gamera movies are weird in a way that even other foreign monster movies don’t project. All these years later they still seem kind of weird. Daiei definitely had their own little odd take on how to make a monster movie both before and after they aimed them directly at children.


  38. SuperSwift says:

    #19 I totally agree with you. Isn’t it enough his head is one big Ginsu knife? To add some Japanese throwing stars in is a head scratcher. But this film is complete lunacy so it actually makes perfect sense.


  39. Cheapskate Crow says:

    Come on Amazon, send me my boxed set already so I can watch the episode that started my MST fandom. I haven’t seen it in a long time and I’m guessing it must have been good.


  40. CT Himes says:

    Sampo, Kenjiro Hirose wrote the score for GAMERA VS VIRAS, which is where the Gamera theme premiered. Since it was used in the next three films (GUIRON, JIGER and ZIGRA), he’s credited for writing it. Shunsuke Kikuchi (the composer of this film) also composed the scores for the next four Gamera films.

    Also, Kathy Horan was indeed a Caucasian actress working in Japan during this time, but according to Stuart Galbraith’s “Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo”, Edith Hanson was the mother in this movie. In the book, the actor playing Cornjob (Kon Omura) mentions that he saw her at a party in the late 80s/early 90s.

    As for the episode, I still need to get the Gamera box set!! :/


  41. Spalanzani says:

    Another reason this is my favorite Gamera movie: the kids are actually tolerable this time around. Tom and Akio are older than Gamera’s previous sidekicks, and they don’t have screechy voices. Tomoko’s young but doesn’t have an annoying voice, unlike the little girl in the next Gamera movie. The boys spend almost the whole movie on another planet, so they don’t have time to boss around Japan’s military and other authority figures just because they spent 8 seconds in close proximity to a monster. Tomoko does get showered with attention by the press simply for having seen the boys fly off in that saucer, but this only comes after she’s treated rather badly by her own mother and Tom’s, and she doesn’t really milk her fame the same way Kenny does. Incidentally, that scene where the reporters whisk Tomoko away while the mothers realize in horror that she was telling the truth all along is another thing that feels like a rather direct staging of a child’s fantasy. It’s like something Ralph in A Christmas Story would daydream of, but here it’s supposed to be real.

    Some corrections to Sampo’s episode guide:

    Tom’s mother was played by Kathy Horan, who was also in “The Green Slime.”

    Kathy Horan’s imdb page lists her in The Green Slime but note Gamera Vs. Guiron, and Edith Hanson is listed as playing Tom’s mother on their Gamera Vs Guiron page.

    The score was composed by Shunsuke Kituchi

    This should be “Kikuchi” rather than “Kituchi”; they actually spell his name wrong in the movie credits, if I remember right. Shunsuke Kikuchi is something of a famous anime soundtrack composer. He did the score for Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which got him an award not too long ago for bring in the second most revenue of any anime score. For the record, the US dub of DBZ replaced Kikuchi’s score with a completely new one, but recent US releases of the series have tried to phase out the replacement score in favor of the original one. This has led to more arguments among DBZ fans than you really want to know.


  42. Dark Grandma of Death says:

    This is in my top 10 must-have episode list; I love it! I’m okay with the other Gamera movies, but I watch them only occasionally. THIS one, however, I watch a lot. I think it’s the combination of the great 60s vibe (the line about Gamera “dancing Go-Go,” the use of the word “groovy,” the look of the space babes’ planet), along with these kids, who don’t come across as nearly so shrill and annoying as most kids in these movies, that really makes it a winner for me. And to make it even better, the riffing is fantastic & the host segments are great fun.

    Along with Kenneth Morgan (#3) I, too, wonder about the weird emphasis on traffic accidents; was there a major confusion in translation, or did the writer have some phobia about them?

    Oh, and Mike “ex-genius” (#25), I’m in total agreement about the Burton stuff…I thought Tom looked very much like Burton, and the host segment where they conclude by saluting “one of the good, dead ones” makes me laugh every time.


  43. NoTrafficAccidents says:

    How can you forget your first love? This is the episode that hooked me on the show. The bicycle song. Cornjob. Hello, thank you. What is with the traffic accidents?! The riffing is strong with this one.


  44. Sampo says:

    Thanks to those who caught the Kathy Horan mistake. I blame Daddy-O and accuse my parents.


  45. big61al says:

    Just three two more days until my GAMERA marathon! Five episodes back to back! ;)


  46. snowdog says:

    “Just three two more days until my GAMERA marathon! Five episodes back to back!”

    Ouch! Well, I guess the Geneva Convention rules don’t apply to torture you inflict upon yourself! :)


  47. Creepygirl says:

    I too loved this one. In my eyes everything clicked. I agree with all the possitive comments above. The only comment I disagree with is the one that Tom (the boy) does not look like Richard Burton. IMO The kid looks just like a young Richard Buton and always had. When I saw this the first time back in ’91, I said to a friend watching with me “Look it’s Richard Burton!”. I could have only beat Trace’s comment’s by a few momments. We laughed and loved this one all the way.

    I’m glad for the new box set. My old copies are really close to death.

    5 stars. MST3K Hall of Fame.


  48. clonus says:

    This episode must have stuck with them, based on Crow’s “traffic accidents” call-back in the series finale. I wonder who wrote that in…?


  49. JCC says:

    Great episode! The little sister has to be in the top five cutest MST children. This may be the worst of all the Japanese dubs on MST3k. Everything is so halting and strange, the only other thing that comes close is the old man from the first Gamera movie.


  50. Joe Klemm says:

    @ 9 My guess as to why Gamera vs. Viras (as well as Gamera vs. Jiger) were not shown on MST3K could be due to those films not being redubbed by Sandy Frank.

    Anyways, I watched this episode last night (as I’ve finally gotten to that film in my MST3K vs. Gamera box set), I was having major fits of laughter after not only the “Gamera on the high-bar” moment, but also the riff about Aiko’s sister breaking up the Beatles when she grows up.


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