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 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 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
• Leaving aside the theme song, this show contains the first mention of the Mads. There’s a kind of historic moment during the opening, as Cambot puts 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.
• Joel’s comment about the Mads contradicts what he said in the opening segment of the previous episode. In that episode, Joel said that he “raided the movie library,” giving the impression that he, Joel, decided what movies they watch. In the Q&A, Joel admitted that, yes, they were “sloppy with the concept” in those early days.
• Trace is still away, so Crow is still frozen.
• Joel says “Your eyes won’t believe what your hands have done.” That’s the old Spirograph tag line.
• Servo is back in the theater for this episode. Note that Servo sits in Crow’s seat rather than his own.
• 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.
• Let me just say: I hate Tom Servo’s new voice! Kidding. I’m sure it helped Josh that the new voice is much closer to his natural voice.
• Portions of segment 1 appear on the MST3K Scrapbook tape.
• The clip of Crow being frozen is shown again.
• 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, something Trace called “runover.” 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. After Tom does this about four times, Joel covers his mic and saying something to Josh. Josh stops interrupting after that. In the Q&A, Joel admitted that something like that happened.
• Joel calls Servo “Josh” at one point. Servo calls Joel “Hodgie.”
• 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. Somebody in the comments suggested that the whole strange relationship between the kids and Gamera may be something that’s lost in translation.
• We had a weekend discussion thread about the dumbest schemes in MSTed movies. The whole “blood turntable” thing ranks right up there.
• The whole “Grandpa mooing” running joke is great.
• Fave riff: “Grandpa thinks he’s a saxophone now!”