Movie: (1971) In the (sigh) seventh outing of the long-running Japanese monster movie series, aliens from a distant planet, called Zigra, send a spaceship, called Zigra, commanded by a strange creature — called Zigra — to Earth with a plan of world domination. Opposing him is a pair of concerned marine biologists, pesky brats Kenny and Helen and, of course, giant turtle monster Gamera.
First shown: 10/19/91
Opening: J&tB are having a root beer kegger to celebrate the last Gamera movie
Invention exchange: The Mads have invented Three Stooges guns; Joel has invented the Crow-ka-bob; Frank spoils Dr. F’s surprise
Host segment 1: The bots have built a scale model of Gamera
Host segment 2: The bots present their shoe box dioramas
Host segment 3: Kenny and Helen visit on the Hexfield
End: J&tB present different ways to sing the Gamera song
Stinger: Fish boy talks to himself.
• It isn’t my favorite Gamera movie (that would be “Guiron”) but this one is plenty strange and very riffable, and the guys do a great job. The host segments are fair to good.
• This episode is included in Shout!Factory’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Gamera Vs. MST3K (aka Vol. XXI) which, by the way, seems to be out of print.
• The Shout DVD menu notes something I never noticed before–there’s a preponderance of Monty Python references in this one, for some reason.
• At the beginning of the IE segment, Joel hits the piñata a little too hard, I think, and it spins around and empties the “guts” contents with the opening facing away from the camera. Joel quickly reaches in and taps it so it spins back around, and we can still see some guts hanging out, so we get the joke, but we never got to see what we were supposed to see. They keep going.
• “I’d take the pizza off the ceiling” is a reference to a commercial at the time. I can’t find it on Youtube.
• It must have taken some practice for Trace and Frank to line up those guns so they would meet.
• Tom makes a raspberry, and Joel notes that Tom has no fleshy parts with which to make it.
• Sandy Frank probably didn’t appreciate the assertion that his IQ is 13-and-a-half.
• In the segment with the Gamera model, you can see some “guts” leaking out the bottom from behind the door before Joel opens it.
• Joel says “Oh, Lisa…” before opening the “guts” door. “Green Acres” reference?
• As I noted when we watched this on KTMA: I don’t really understand the anti-science message that floats through the movie. The two dads are biologists. Doesn’t that make them scientists? And are scientists actively polluting the sea? So why are scientists the problem?
• As I also noted then: I have seen this movie a dozen times now and I still cannot make heads or tales out of the weird Zigra monster up on the shelf in the alien spaceship. It looks a little like a skeksis from “The Dark Crystal,” but what’s with the billowing cobwebs?
• Also from the KTMA comments: How did “your Earth science” pollute a planet 400 light years away? I ran that back and listened to it again and that’s definitely what he says. Doesn’t make any sense.
• Then-current riff: There’s a deserved slam on once-prominent KKK leader David Duke, but how many people even remember him now?
• The appearance of the Japanese version of the Monty Python “It’s!” guy seems to go nowhere, as does the whole “who gets to buy the fish” subplot. Ruthless editing, I assume.
• During the sketch with the dioramas, a table has been added to the set in front of the normal desk. It looks like it was something out of the prop shop — there’s spray paint patterns on it that they didn’t even try to cover up.
• As Joel brings up Tom’s diorama, Tom and Crow have some lines, but Joel completely plows right over them with his own dialog. Joel also says “Steven Bing…er…Steven King.” They keep going.
• It’s a nice touch that Cambot goes through the diorama door.
• Callback: Tom sings the Wild Rebels song. Also: “McCloud!” (“Pod People”)
• Tom again does an impression of Dr. Erhardt saying “Enjoy!”
• A glaring mistake (among many) in the dubbing: Lana says she is going to feed the kids to the dolphins, but the animals in the tank before her are whales.
• Obscure reference/pun: “That terrapin is stationary.” The right Deadheads will get it.
• In the host segment with the hexfield, the model of Gamera is, well, lame. By the way: this is Bridget’s first appearance on the show.
• The whole sequence where Gamera rescues the crippled bathysphere (which people in the movie keep calling a “bathoscope”), and delivers it on shore like Lynn Swann scoring a touchdown, which we saw in the KTMA version, is missing here. Tom notices.
• Suggestive riff: “You know, Gamera’s never seen the mohel…”
• I love Gypsy’s bullet bra in the ending segment.
• The final, harmonized version of the Gamera song seems to be all Kevin Murphy, overdubbed.
• There’s no cast and crew roundup this time: Some people did work on other movies we watched, but they’ve all been mentioned in previous episode guide entries.
• Creditswatch: The mole people “roadies” behind Dr. F. and Frank are Kevin and Jef. There’s also a “special thanks” to St. Paul Harley Davidson. Wonder why. Maybe for Trace’s and Frank’s getups? Once again “villians” is spelled wrong and Dr. F’s last name is spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “And, uh, maybe you could dust up here some time!” Honorable mention: “Wait, I found some more oxygen in a drawer. We’re fine.” and “Fish Argument Theater will be right back, but first, a scene from Plot Convenience Playhouse.”