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Sci-Fi Archives


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

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

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Episode guide: 909- Gorgo

Movie: (1960) It’s an anglo-saxon mashup of Godzilla and King Kong, as a dinosaur-like creature is caught off the Irish coast and then exhibited at a circus in London. What could go wrong?

First shown: 7/18/98
Opening: Crow’s head has become a nesting place of the Spix’s macaw
Intro: Observer & Bobo’s arm wrestling match is interrupted by a transmission from Pearl and … Leonard Maltin!
Host segment 1: “Waiting For Gorgo”
Host segment 2: The William Sylvester edition of Trivial Pursuit
Host segment 3: The Nanite’s circus encounters tragedy
End: The women of “Gorgo,” Pearl & Leonard continue to plot
Stinger: Irish fisherman says “Blow it out your…” something.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (257 votes, average: 4.03 out of 5)

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• This is as close as we ever got to a real “lost” episode. It aired once (or, rather, twice, once in the morning and once in the evening) on July 18, 1998, and then apparently somebody with a claim on the rights to the movie contacted SciFi Channel and made them pull it. It never aired again. And that’s a shame, because it’s pretty good. Not a home run, but a solid standup double of an episode, notable for the guest starring appearance of none other than Leonard Maltin. The movie is pretty watchable, clearly an “A” movie put together by professionals (shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Freddie Young) with a big budget, which is definitely a departure for the show. The non-Maltin host segments are, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide would say, mostly harmless.
• Paul gets a break and this week it’s Kevin turn to offer observations.
• For a long time, if you owned a copy of this one, you either taped it back in 1998 or you got it from a tape trader. Then, it was recently included in the Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition.
• Bill does a nice bit of physical comedy in the opening bit when he convincingly launches himself out of frame.
• Maltin does okay, in my book. He’s not an actor and it shows, but he delivers his lines well.
• Actually the Spix’s Macaw is a kind of parrot and not nearly as large as depicted in the sketch. Incidentally, it is believed to be extinct in the wild.
• Callback: “We’ve got to go find Robert Denby!” (“Riding with Death”)
• Segment 1 is cute and silly, but there’s not much to it.
• Segment 2 is kind reminiscent of the “City Limits” trivia game in episode 403. I wonder if they remembered that they did it.
• That’s Kevin and Paul, of course, as the voices of the nanites in segment 3. As near as I can tell, this episode features the very last appearance by the nanites.
• Some may be baffled by the “Hey! Mike Nelson!” “Hey! Tom Servo!” bit. Mike Nelson was the name of the character Lloyd Bridges played in the TV series “Sea Hunt.” The character was a scuba diver (it’s where the phrase “By this time my lungs were aching for air” came from).
• The exchange “Well, whaddaya know?” “Not much, you?” refers to Michael Feldman’s long-running radio quiz show “Whad’Ya Know?”
• In the final segment, Maltin suggests that a Mickey Rourke movie will be a painful selection, and Pearl adds that he should cross reference that with Eric Roberts. So, “The Pope of Greenwich Village”? I don’t know…
• Cast and crew roundup: Camera operator James Mills also worked on “Phase IV.” In front of the camera, William Sylvester was in “Riding with Death” and “Devil Doll.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Mike. Intern Dan Tanz joined the show and would continue for the rest of the season.
• Fave riff: “Am…in…Ireland. Send…real…food.” Honorable mention: “Let’s go steal the captain’s strawberries. That’s always funny.”

157 Replies to “Episode guide: 909- Gorgo”

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

    Kenneth Morgan:
    Personally, I don’t mind Sean, the “Gorgo” kid.He seems to talk sense a good part of the time, he’s clearly smarter than the two leads, he doesn’t do anything to seriously endanger anyone, and he doesn’t automatically get Level 1 security clearance and start advising the Ministry of Defense.

    That probably has something to do with the fact that IIRC he was never actually allowed INSIDE a government building…
    ;-)

       1 likes

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

    I only recently, belatedly, realized that almost all of Rifftrax’s shorts have been (theoretically) educational shorts. I suppose those are relatively easy to acquire the rights to but I’d think there are plenty of short films which qualify as, you know, FILMS — horror, sf, crime, et cetera — that wouldn’t be too hard to acquire rights to also. Oh well.

    “The Baggs” is one such film. An interesting bit of WTH indeed. ;-)

    While speaking to the live audience at Samurai Cop, Bill Corbett mentioned “Are You Being Served” four times for no obvious reason. I suspect that I’m not the only one who thinks he bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Humphries and that a few others went to the trouble of apprising him of that. :-)

       1 likes

  3. bartcow
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:

    “The Baggs” is one such film. An interesting bit of WTH indeed. ;-)

    They did riff “The Baggs”, in the Summer Shorts Beach Party from earlier this year. Or is that what you were saying?

       0 likes

  4. The Original EricJ
    Ignored
    says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    While speaking to the live audience at Samurai Cop, Bill Corbett mentioned “Are You Being Served” four times for no obvious reason. I suspect that I’m not the only one who thinks he bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Humphries and that a few others went to the trouble of apprising him of that. :-)

    Usually when they mention Are You Being Served? it’s in reference to Bad British Comedy as microcosm of All Bad British Things, or chief poster-boy of their Blame PBS campaign against “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank”, and annoying happy people who delay their shows by hitting them up for money.

    But yes, I suspect Bill has gotten as many Mr. Humphries jokes over the years as he has of Colin Mochrie or Emperor Palpatine.
    (And I liked AYBS? like most Americans who’d never seen a real Carry On comedy in their lives, but now that I found them on Amazon, it’s 50-50.)

       2 likes

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

    bartcow: They did riff “The Baggs”, in the Summer Shorts Beach Party from earlier this year. Or is that what you were saying?

    Yes, that’s what I was saying. :-) I’m sure they’ve riffed a FEW other “short films” of that sort but it’s been mostly educational.

       2 likes

  6. Cornjob
    Ignored
    says:

    This is definitely one of the better movies to get the MST treatment. Not what I’d call a great movie, but it does have a lot going on in it, and I gained more respect for it after watching the “making of” documentary.

       0 likes

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

    More concerning shorts: On a separate note, although what Beez and Mary Jo refer to as “period pieces” (introducing high school girls into the wonders of the first step into womanhood or some such whatever you call it) of course qualify as educational films, they’re a type of film rarely seen outside of their original venue and rarely seen by males. Almost completely unknown territory (if one perceives a pun to be present, it’s unintentional). I have no idea how far back the making of such films goes — I somehow doubt that the topic was at the top of the list to receive attention in the early days of film — but the law of averages suggests that however many of there are, there are a few “zany” ones. I wonder if Coronet ever made any such films. I wonder if any such films ever took the Coily / Mr. Paperback / Chalky route…

    I know that Rifftrax has riffed at least two such films so far, Molly Grows Up (which goes with the whole “becoming a woman” approach, I guess) and the one on the Beez/MJ DVD.

    Chalky of course appeared in the “Manners” short that accompanied “Samurai Cop.” While watching it, a minor example of a missed riff opportunity occurred to me (which would only have the full effect if you (1) know where it’s from and (2) can imagine one of the Brains imitating the voice that Mel Blanc used on the occasion):

    “I’m gonna r-r-r-r-rub ya out, see?! R-r-r-r-r-r-rub ya out!”

       1 likes

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