Movie: (1967) In third outing of the long-running Japanese movie series, the giant flying turtle monster takes refuge in a volcano. His arrival releases Gaos, a shovel-headed bat-monster with the ability to shoot laserbeams. 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 from Gaos, becomes an instant expert on both creatures.
First shown: 12/18/88
Opening: After a complaint about the movies, Joel explains that he doesn’t control what movies are shown
Host segment 1: Joel changes Tom Servo’s voice. He’s very pleased
Host segment 2: Gypsy wants a new voice too. Joel explains again that Crow has been frozen. Gypsy has been snacking on decorations
Host segment 3: Joel and Tom offer birthday wishes to a young viewer
End: Joel and Tom preview the KTMA’s New Year’s Eve programming
Joe’s notes: With the exception of the theme song, this show contains the first mention of the Mads. Joel informs the world that the Mads send him the movies, although this contradicts what he said in the opening segment of episode K05- GAMERA. (In that episode, Joel said that he “raided the movie library,” giving the impression that he, Joel, decided what movies they watch.) Servo is back in the theater for this episode. Note that Servo sits in Crow’s seat rather than his own.
• Trace is still away, so Crow is still frozen.
• It’s fascinating how loose things were at this point. As Joe explains, in the last episode Joel casually talked about raiding the movie library, very much implying that he controlled the movie choices. Now, it’s true that the theme song doesn’t explicitly say anything about movie choices, it just discusses “when the movie begins or ends.” But still, that seems to imply that movie choices are under the Mads’ control too. Joel wrote the song, and all. Did he forget the lyrics? Anyway, things are back in synch this week, and there’s a kind of historic moment during the opening, as Cambot throws up a still from the opening theme, and the names of the Mads are spoken for the first time. It seems like Joel is laying the groundwork for the arrival of the Mads as actual characters.
• We seem to come in with the movie already under way but, just like last week, it’s just a teaser. Again, it was cut from the season three version.
• With this episode we get our first Sandy Frank comment.
• Tom Servo (thankfully!) gets a new voice. I’m sure it helped Josh that the new voice is much closer to his natural voice. I wonder if it also occurred to somebody that Josh will need two distinctly different voices after Dr. Erhardt becomes a character, which meant the previous, Bullwinkleish voice was not going to be sustainable.
• Portions of segment 1 appear on the MST3K Scrapbook tape.
• In the theater, Joel shushes Tom twice!
• On the other hand, several times Joel is in mid-riff when Tom just blurts out a riff and interrupts him. Each time Joel, ever the Midwestern nice guy, stops talking and gives way to Tom. I think Josh was a little excited about his new voice. I can’t be sure about this, but after Tom does this about four times, I THINK I can see Joel covering his mic and saying something to Josh. Can anybody else see that? In any case, Josh stops interrupting after that.
• Joel calls Servo “Josh” at one point! And Servo calls Joel “Joel Hodgson.” Was he not Robinson at this point?
• Movie stuff: Sometimes Gamera doesn’t have to spin to fly, though sometimes he does. Weird.
• Unlike Kenny in the previous episode, Itchy does seem to have a genuine relationship with Gamera. Why, I have no idea.
• Did anybody mention the whole blood turntable idea in our recent discussion of the dumbest schemes? It ought to rank right up there.
• Fave riff: Grandpa thinks he’s a saxophone now!