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

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Episode Guide: K08- 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: 01/08/89
Opening: The Mads think they’re out of Gamera movies, but at the last minute they find one more
Host segment 1: Crow gets conked on the head and dreams that he controls the experiment while the Mads are trapped in space
Host segment 2: Crow is still thinking about his dream in the last segment, and discusses it with Joel and Servo
Host segment 3: More dream talk with Joel, Crow and Gypsy
End: J&TB sing “Satellite of Love”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (118 votes, average: 4.12 out of 5)


• This show featured the last Gamera film of the KTMA series. For the first time ever, J&TB did not listen to any viewer calls. There’s also a tiny continuity error: at the end of the last episode, Joel announced the name of this week’s film. And Joel starts this week’s episode by saying they’re going to do another Gamera movie. But then, everyone seems shocked when the Mads say that they’re doing another Gamera.
• The opening feels very much like a season one segment.
• It’s becoming increasingly clear that the idea that they completely ad-libbed the riffing is a myth. It’s clear that they had the little song they sang to the Gamera song prepared.
• Servo’s head extends again.
• The carnage we witness once the boys get to the planet is pretty intense. It appears to upset Joel, even though they’re just models.
• Crow calls Gypsy Gipsum again.
• Crow’s dream is strangely prophetic! What he dreamed will come true in episode 613- Last of the Wild Horses.
• I like the Batman (the 60s TV show)-esque slanty camera angle when they show the Mads.
• After the second segment, Josh has a little problem getting Tom Servo set up in the theater.
• In segment 3, we get a rare political joke! Dan Quayle was set to be sworn in as vice president in a few weeks, so I guess it was on their minds.
• Crow’s riff “Ya gotta shave ’em!” cracks Joel up.
• In the final segment, J&tB sing Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love.” It would become a traditional closing number at their live shows.
• Movie stuff: Terrible, terrible dubbing. The pauses are ridiculous.
• So Gamera was just passing by in outer space when the kids need rescuing?
• The long stretch of clips from other Gamera movies is a bit hard to sit through.
• Fave riff: Bad haircut! Help! Bad haircut!

49 Replies to “Episode Guide: K08- Gamera Vs. Guiron”

  1. Graboidz says:

    This is one of the better Season 0 eps for me. The movie is pretty low rent even for a Gamera flick, with the lengthy flashback sequence to help pad the film, and the very cheap costumes and sets…well it makes perfect fodder for Joel and the bots. It seems the riffs were a bit more solid with this entry as well.


  2. Dan in WI says:

    So Joel starts off saying this is the sixth straight week of a Gamera movie even though it is only the fifth and final week. (At one point I think Servo even says seven) I’ll tell you what though I’m probably in the minority here, but I for one have enjoyed the Gamera (or Gameron as even Crow is now starting to say) marathon. When this show was really firing on all cylinders in season three the Gamera experiments were among my very favorites at the time. And even as I watched these KTMA’s for the first time a year ago all things said (with the usual caveats associated with the primitive nature of the KTMA episodes) I’ve enjoyed these too. Then again I enjoyed Godzilla movies as a kid as well. But to those who aren’t enjoying this slew of Gamera films, Dr. Forrester said it best: Turtle movies are going to be huge!

    The comment Dr. F makes about ratings is the first of many worries about ratings over the years. Still I don’t know why Joel didn’t take him up on his offer to be crashed into the Indian Ocean. At least he’d be back on Earth.

    The Crow dream host segment is a fun little foreshadowing of the Last of the Wild Horses host segments.

    Trace sure must like the planet Uranus. Here we are years before the planetarium sketch and when the Japanese scientist is naming off planets and Crow is asking about Uranus.

    Favorite Riff:
    Tom: We’re racing for pink slips Gamera.


  3. Joseph Nebus says:

    Doesn’t Tom Servo’s head elevate some when he’s given his hated new voice, at the start of the second season? I think they might have been planning on having Servo able to … lift his head … for some reason, but never quite found reasons to do that.


  4. Alex says:

    I think I remember that same issue with Servo’s head happening in a theater segment in Phase IV.


  5. Creepygirl says:

    This is probably my favorite GAMERA episode from Season K. My copy has the intro by Joel & the Bots refering to this as an oncore presentation. Crow tells us it’s just a rerun.

    Is it just me or does the shadowrama effect look larger than in the last episodes? The dubbing and dialouge translation is rediculous! Akiro and friends don’t mention it once or twice but like SIX TIMES the fact that we will not understand the alien language or they ours. Come to find out everyone understands everyone just fine (scheeesh). There are a few funny early names for Cornjob, but alas not actually Cornjob.

    Like Helen’s preoccupation with Coke in last weeks movie, Akiro keeps mentioning along with war the worst thing on our planet is traffic accidents? This blows my mind. Also I guess this is not part of the Sandy Frank syndication package. His name is nowhere to be found and as Joel points out the opening credits are completely different from the other GAMERA movies.

    This episode was a lot of fun and I agree there had to be a little joke prep because there is no way this was all improv. They already had lyics to the GAMERA song including that he was really neat and full of turtle meat. Now on to a little shake up with PHASE IV next week. :grin:


  6. Alex says:

    By the way, apologies for going off topic, but I watched the original Japanese version of Gamera VS Barugon released by Shout! Factory yesterday, and MAN are the oppening credits trippy… :shock:


  7. Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Joel: “What’s wrong with this picture?”

    The English dubbing in this one is… the worst yet we’ve heard yet (for example: “Study or you will not enter… a good school”, “There’s no… air or water on the moon”). It seems to have been made with the international market in mind as it pairs a Western/Anglo character (Young Richard Burton) with a mostly Japanese cast. We also saw this last week in Gamera v. Zigra with the “white”-looking sisters whose presence in Japan was never explained. Joel addresses this here when he tells Tom Burton’s mother to go back to her own country.

    The seed planted in the earlier films (“Gamera is friend to children”) is in full flower here. Not only is the film geared towards children but it feels like is was written by them as well. It has the random stream-of-conscious plot kids would improvise while playing in their backyards, creating their own empowerment fantasy. The parents/scientists/military are ineffectual, as the entire plot centers on these two boys thwarting the alien invaders without adult supervision. In classic Wizard of Oz fashion, it’s fitting that the oppressive twin alien gals seems to be voiced by the same women who dub their mothers.

    According to IMDb, the lovable goofball traffic cop “Cornjob” is played by Kon Omura: Officer Kondo (AKA: ‘Kon-chan’). He prophetically threatens to shave the kids’ heads if they are naughty. Oddly, it also lists an early variation of the title as “Gamera vs. Guillon” which seems a little racist (if you get my drift).

    Joel: “He looks like Eeyore on acid.”
    I love Guiron’s design, looking like a vintage Jack Kirby monster. Dangerous, menacing, but somehow adorable. His comical butchering of “Space Gyaos” is an early highlight of the film.

    This is another one of these KTMA Gamera’s that I’d never watched all the way through before now, and I’m thankful for this site to get me to finally do it. With the sparser riffing, one really gets to appreciate the film itself. The increased role of the Mads in the host segments is slowly building up the series mythology. Also here Josh/Servo first mentions “mango juice” which will become his trademark fetish for awhile. Never understood it, but I find it very funny. The recurrent theme of the SOL crew dreaming ties in nicely with the surreal nature of the movie.

    Despite the mostly so-so riffing, I’ll give this a 3 star rating on the KTMA curve. The show’s elements are coming together and some big laughs are to be found. Crow audibly (and visibly) cracks up Joel with his, “Well, you gotta shave ’em” remark around the 58 minute mark. Good times…

    Akio: “Look, they’re just like my mother’s donuts.”
    What a weird line.


  8. mataglap says:

    This was the first KTMA that was consistently entertaining and had some laugh out loud lines. Plus the movie is just so way out there it nearly holds up on its own, between the bad dubbing and the sheer evilness of Guiron. My wife tried to watch this with me but couldn’t make it past Gaos’ untimely demise. For a kids movie this is pretty graphic, and right at the beginning too. And why doesn’t Gaos have any internal organs?

    The funniest KTMA line so far is when they first play the bicycle background music and Joel bursts out with “We’re having Beef-a-RO-neee!”.

    I missed the “mango juice” line, the Red Dwarf theme song makes a reference to mango juice, it would have already been out by the time this episode was made, but I don’t know if it had been shown in the US yet, could that be the connection?

    Glad to have the Gamera movies behind us, but this was probably the best one so at least the curve went upwards.


  9. pablum says:

    Can Gamera movies get any goofier than this? Not even Zigra had as much silliness as this one. Akio’s obsession with traffic accidents still makes me laugh.

    Don’t remember much of anything from the KTMA version other than the Mads being up on the SOL during Crow’s dream. Since I don’t feel slighted over it, I can only assume I felt this episode was average in quality. A decent early effort.


  10. Fart Bargo says:

    This is one of the silliest films I have ever seen. Rubber monsters, wires and models are the “special” effects. Script/Translation/Dubbing are precise as amusement park Bumper Cars. I am ashamed to admit it, but I always look forward the horizontal bar routine by Gamera that saves the day. It’s right behind Godzilla’s running drop kick in G vs Megulan. This movie stands on it’s own very well without riffing, so even though J&TB are picking up steam in this one, the movie can be viewed as is and still garner laughs.

    The space babes were pleasant enough but when they brought out the Space barber chair and razer, @ riff ‘Weasels rip my flesh’, I just lose it lmao. That razer and barber chair were very cool and I wish I could purchase them.

    Clearly, Gamera may be the friend of children but he can be one mean cat when he gets his motor going. The big ole can of whup-ass he opens up on Guiron at the end is extremely violent and humiliating, much like Space Gaos’s demise earlier. Sticking Guiron in the ground, blade first, and then stomping around him laughing while he helplessly struggles was about as surreal as it gets but then the boys come up with jamming a missile through his snout/CD port and blowing him up to wet chunks surprised even me. It’s like a bully giving an atomic wedgey after swirley.


  11. dad1153 says:

    Just finished watching this and WOW, even by non-existent English dub standards “Gamera Vs. Guiron” is unbelievably bad. Characters’ mouths were shut but you could hear them talking; zero personalities; no emotion whatsoever; non-sensical dialogue left and right (I also cracked-up with the ‘traffic accidents’ line, then laughed out loud when Gamera nodded in agreement! :mrgreen: ). They just didn’t care. ;-) You know a dub is bad when it makes you miss the professionalism of a Sandy Frank Production; the lack of SD’s ‘Ocean background’ for the opening credits (and phone calls too) made me pout like a sad little Pavlovian puppy! Now that I’ve seen all the KTMA Gamera experiments I can say that “Gamera Vs. Gaos” was my favorite (even without Crow the tag-teaming of Joel and ‘Mighty Voice’ Servo’s quips plus the villanous Gaos make the movie) but the gore and violence in “Gamera Vs. Guiron” was flipping eye-opening. I know they wanted to show just what a formidable opponent Gamera was up against but Jesus Christ, beheading the damn thing on-camera and showing the head bouncing around with its eyes blinking? Didn’t like to see this growing up watching my grandmother do it to chickens, and I certainly don’t want to see it on a children’s movie (even a Japanese one). Unlike the hot alien chick from “Gamera Vs. Zigra” we get two ‘meh’ alien girls that end up destroying each other by their own greed (how did they manage to live just the two of them without killing each other before the kids arrived?). The presence of ‘gaijin’ actors lets the Brains sneak some slightly racist jokes (like the little girl referring to Tom’s mom as ’round eyes’ :shock: ) but it’s all in jest. The riffing pace is picking steam (though you’re still basically watching the movie along with them 80% of the time), the Mads’ personalities are coming together nicely (neat ‘dream’ sequence from Crow foreshadowing the only episode in the national show when the Mads wound up in the SOL) and J&TB’s now getting better jabs in (favorite line: ‘It’s Bettie Davies!’ :razz: ). Guiron is a cool-looking monster that is both menacing but lovable; having grown up with Japanese cartoons (“Candy,” “Heidi: Girl of the Alps,” “Mazinger-Z,” etc.) it’s been surprisingly easy to slip back into childhood mode and adjust to the KTMA standards. And Sampo is right, if these guys are improvising the jokes as the movie plays along then I’m Zigra from the planet Zigra speaking to all of you on behast of Master Zigra.

    Good riddance Gamera flicks, hello non-Gamera KTMA!


  12. If you haven’t seen this episode check out my video review of it here:


  13. Spalanzani says:

    Agreed that this movie has what surely must be one of the worst dubs ever. For the record, the reason they keep referring to the alien planet, the Earth, and the other planets in the solar system as “stars” is because the Japanese word ?/hoshi can refer to both stars and planets. This is a holdover from the days before astronomy was too advanced, and any shiny thing in the sky besides the sun and moon was seen as being essentially the same sort of thing. In this context of course hoshi clearly means “planet”, but you’d be surprised how common it is for translations of Japanese movies, comics, and whatnot to translate it as “star” even when the object in question is an inhabited planet. We see this same thing elsewhere in MST3K with the Fugitive Alien movies. Ken’s home world is Varuna-sei, “Planet Valna” (sei being an alternate reading of ?, the character for star/planet), but in the Sandy Frank dub it is referred to as “Valna Star”.


  14. MiqelDotCom says:

    Finally … whew! The last Gamera!

    This is still in the early stages of defining the Mad’s characters, & JEEEZ, Josh’s evil scientist laugh is ultra-annoying in the first segment. Yeowch … laying it on waaay too thick.

    … and wow, it’s a non-Sandy Frank Gamera film, it starts with “The Daiei Company Presents” and the title sequences look exactly like the Film Ventures International releases (Cave Dwellers, Master Ninja, etc). Also in the CC edit I don’t remember the scene of Gamera using his fire-breath to weld the ufo for the kids near the end.

    This film is very very poorly translated, which makes the scientific lecture parts really hilarious!
    Reporter: “You mean people on solar are the same system planet?” Professor: “No that’s hard to say.”

    Best Riffs:
    I didn’t notice any memorable ones, but the commentary flows well enough to keep it entertaining.

    Funny Details: Crow’s dream with the “Satellite of Loathe” and the Mads stuck in space, kinda like the quantum switch-up in “Last of the Wild horses”

    Once again they are getting closer to the the lyrics they created for CC era Gamera movies, singing in this one “he’s the one that’s full of spicy meat, hes’ the one that’s really neat, It’s a small tutrle after all …”


  15. H says:

    Yeah, this is probably my favorite of the Gamera films they did. The movie’s pretty entertaining and so’s the riffing. The host segments are good, lots of fun.


  16. MiqelDotCom says:

    Here’s the Youtube link (the video quality of the first 30 seconds is bad, but it’s a-ok after that)

    Episode K08 – Part 1/10


  17. Brandon says:

    “Gameron”? Well, it’s been sort of a “Gamera Marathon”.

    I’m wondering if maybe “Gameron” was something coined during K03. Maybe Joel said something about there being a “Gameron”, the next several weeks. We won’t know until that full episode surfaces (if it ever does. Paging Jim Mallon).


  18. Drunken Fist says:

    Easily the best KTMA episode yet! IT helps that this is my favorite of the Gamera movies. The alien Japanese women with the dubbed southern accents just slay me! :lol:


  19. Sharktopus says:

    Nice observation about Guiron, “Critter.” There’s a very ’50s Marvel Jack Kirby vibe to the monster design that I didn’t quite pick up on til you pointed it out.

    As for Tom’s mango juice fixation, I assume it was a Red Dwarf reference, unless someone has a stronger theory. (Of course, I can’t even hear the words “mango juice” without thinking of the Red Dwarf closing credits song.)


  20. pablum says:

    PBS is known for airing British material so its quite likely Josh had seen Red Dwarf.


  21. mstgator says:

    Favorite moment is after Guiron nails Gamera in the arm with his… throwing stars? Gamera’s dance moves while trying in vain to remove them had me rolling. Joel’s belated riff of “He’s disco dancing” almost covers up Round-eye’s own observation “He’s dancing go-go”.


  22. Alex says:

    You know what I find interesting? According to Wikipedia, apparently there was an incomplete version of this episode going around on the fan circut until 1998.


  23. Another solid outing, particularly the mads, who are coming into their own.

    The “switcheroo” seems like such an obvious bit, it’s surprising it would take so long before they did it again.

    Here’s the LogBook entry:


  24. monoceros4 says:

    “You know a dub is bad when it makes you miss the professionalism of a Sandy Frank Production.” Good heavens, you’re right. I happen to think that Frank’s dubbing jobs are often reasonably competent, sometimes almost good. At least you get the sense that the voice actors are trying–trying too hard, maybe, but at least it’s entertaining. Gamera vs. Guiron sounds like they grabbed half a dozen people they found in line at the corner liquor store, bought them a Japanese phrase book from a department store to translate the scripts, and recorded the first take.

    “We see this same thing elsewhere in MST3K with the Fugitive Alien movies. Ken’s home world is Varuna-sei, ‘Planet Valna’ (sei being an alternate reading of ?, the character for star/planet), but in the Sandy Frank dub it is referred to as ‘Valna Star’.”

    This also partly explains one of the odder lines from The Prince of Space episode, when one of the kids (forget which one) asks Wally, “Do you really think the Prince came from a star?”


  25. Jeff Kapalka says:

    Gotta love us some Gamera! And this is the goofiest one yet!
    Let me go out on a limb, adjust my Criswell toupee, and say that if any of the KTMA eps ever get released, this’ll be the first one.
    Consider: SHOUT!Factory is currently currying favor with Daiei by releasing the entire Gamera series in pristine widescreen transfers in the original Japanese.
    Consider: Gamera Vs Guiron is the lone MST3K Turtle film NOT connected with the Sandy Frank organization.
    I PREDICT that we’ll see the third season iteration of Gamera Vs Guiron in an upcoming collection. IN ADDITION, since they’d already have the DVD rights, an AWESOME extra would be the KTMA version, coupled by an on-screen apology by Joel and the rest of the cast.
    OR, SHOUT! could issue the disc separately, as the initial entry of a Deja Viewed series. (If only Sandy Frank could be induced to play ball.)
    It’s a nice dream, a dream of a world with every MST3K episode on legal DVD, and no traffic accidents.


  26. Kouban says:

    I thought Gamera vs. Guiron *was* a Sandy Frank production. Upon today’s rewatch, I’ve come to the conclusion that this was either their first or one of their first dub jobs. Is there a chronology of Frank releases online anywhere?


  27. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    On my copy of this ep, it opens with an intro from Joel, Crow, & Servo making fun of mispronouncing the title of the movie. Joel introduces the movie as an “encore presentation” which Servo disagrees with and says “it’s a rerun” and then “watch it though, cause it’s HILarious” and then the opening theme and credits roll. Does anyone elses copy have this?

    As stated already, this is a pretty goofy movie and the dubbing is horrendous. Worst. Dub. Ever. But at least it’s our last Gamera movie. Yes!

    Riffs: early in the film, a bunch of scientists are sitting around looking at reel-to-reel tape while being filmed by some camera crew dudes, and Joel says “it’s fun to tape”. I think this is a forshadowing to the phenomenon of tape trading and the “keep circulating the tapes” mantra. Maybe I’m reading to much into it? At the very least, Joel was subliminally telling the audience to tape this show. Of this I’m sure.

    The Crow line “well, you gotta shave ’em” cracks both Josh and Joel up, but Joel comes out of it and delivers a riff while Josh is still snickering. I think the line is Crows first zinger.


  28. Gorn Captain says:

    I originally saw many of the Gamera flicks on tv in the ’70’s, and Akiro’s dark obsession with traffic accidents was burned into my memory. I also wanted to slap him when he starts into his “Let’s forget about space” spiel at the end too. Was somebody trying to slip an anti-space program sentiment in? Hopefully, a properly subtitled DVD from Shout will clear things up…

    And in a world where giant flying space turtles are normal, what are the moms smoking that they scoff at the notion of alien life and UFO’s?

    I can’t shake the feeling that the filmmakers have some weird fetishes involving monster blood, dismemberment, and Barbarella fugitives who like to eat brains. :shock:

    Crow’s torture of the mads, by making them watch the Planet of the Apes Christmas special, made me laugh my head off the first time I saw this episode!


  29. Kouban says:

    @gorn captain:
    Dismissing the UFO sightings as made-up makes especially little sense given that the previous movie, G vs. Viras (which was never on MST3K) was explicitly about aliens attacking earth.


  30. JJK says:

    My favorite Gamera movie of the ones they did. The space babes, knife-headed monster and Cornjob. What more do you want in badly dubbed rubber monster movie. Perfect for MST3K.


  31. Alex says:

    @ Jeff Kapalka

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Gamera episodes are unfortunetly off-limits, and it may remain that way permanently.

    The reason for that is because Kadokawa Pictures take their precious turtle very seriously and don’t want anyone poking at it. I’d imagine if Sandy Frank lost the rights to the Gamera films before 1991 and those versions reverted to Kadokawa, they wouldn’t have licensed their material to them in the first place.


  32. Gorn Captain says:

    Which begs the question of how Shout released the Movie Macabre version of Gamera Super Monster.
    Elvira was mocking turtles too!


  33. Zee says:

    nitpicky mode: It’s *611* – The Last of the Wild Horses!


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

    Although I’ve seen episodes of Red Dwarf, “mango juice” instead reminded me of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode “Kon Ducki.”

    Regarding traffic accidents, maybe that was part of a backstory that the writers made up for the kid.

    Or maybe he was originally saying something else entirely and the people dubbing it into English (wonder what that paid back then?) thought “traffic accidents” rang truer.


  35. Dan in WI says:

    The planned Gamera song: What I’m about to say here is pure speculation. When we look at the loose nature of this season (various cast members missing various episodes) I find it hard to believe that any scripting specific to the episode ever took place. When would these guys have ever had the time to sit down and do that scripting. Remember the pittance they got for doing this (after paying production costs) was not providing a living. So yes the Gamera song isn’t ad-libbed. That is obvious. But after marathoning a bunch of these movies, that is something they could work on without watching any one particular movie in advance. So long as the theme song is constant and without rewatching the movies to verify it, it seems to be this is something they could easily work on in their spare time. Heck, they could do the Rifftrax writing system and do it individually and then later just put their stuff together. But again I wouldn’t equate this to the scripting process that took place during the national show.


  36. Sitting Duck says:

    Finnias ‘Critter’ Jones #7: Oddly, it also lists an early variation of the title as “Gamera vs. Guillon” which seems a little racist (if you get my drift).

    I’m afraid I don’t. Could you elaborate?

    @ #13: The star/planet translation goof still happens. The most recent example I’ve encountered happened earlier this year in the anime series Nobunaga the Fool.


  37. snowdog says:

    It was nice of the Japanese to let the Americans in on their crappy movie. I came close to enjoying this ep. The children seem somehow less shrill. The riffing actually picks up a little steam occasionally and then settles back into the typical KTMA trickle. Crow makes some comment about one of the characters wanting out of the movie. This is the first time I noticed that, but it may have happened before. The final segment feels rushed and improvised. Once again, Josh (as Gypsy) says something that seems to catch Joel off-guard. I haven’t seen them all yet, but I suspect this is one of the better season 0 eps.


  38. jjk says:

    I think this was the best of the 5 Gamera movies they did. I know that’s not saying much considering the quality of these movies, but it was the most “entertaining” of the bunch.


  39. Goshzilla says:

    @Sitting Duck:

    It’s the Japanese R/L transposition, like Gojira becoming Godzilla). Racist may not be the best word.

    Somebody up there said the Gamera flicks would never ever be released on DVD. Funny how much can change in three or four years. We love you, Shout!


  40. Bruce Boxliker says:

    As for them constantly calling planets stars, the Japanese word for both star & planet is hoshi (actually, any celestial body, except for the earth, sun, & moon), so it’s just very poor translation on the dub team’s part. It’s like how you’ll often hear them refer to an ‘electronic brain’ instead of a computer (this isn’t limited to Japanese-English, either – I believe an Italian movie or two on MST3k had this as well).

    My theory on the traffic accidents: We never see Akiro’s father, so maybe he was killed in a traffic accident. Or Akiro’s just really into traffic safety.


  41. Bruce Boxliker says:

    Sorry, didn’t check on that – the kids name is actually Akio.


  42. GornCaptain says:

    And all these years later, the “Planet of the Apes Christmas” joke is as timely as ever. :-)


  43. Pulatso says:

    As far as Servo’s “mango juice” reference being a Red Dwarf allusion, it’s not impossible, but the dates are against it. Red Dwarf premiered Feb 88 on BBC 2, and this episode aired Jan 89. It’s certainly possible Josh saw the show, but I’m not sure BBC was syndicating shows to American PBS that quickly after initial airing.


  44. Cornjob says:

    Obviously I’m a fan of this film. It has such a delightful sense of goofy fun. Few movies have as much “You have got to be kidding me!” as this movie. Japanese brain eating astro-babes with Georgia accents and a pet giant knife monster that shoots ninja stars out his nose and laughs like an underwater toad with reverb knob are foiled by a giant atomic spinning turtle and his sidekicks: The Golden Child and tiny Richard Burton. Meanwhile on Earth Cornjob does what he can to keep order amidst panicking parents and clueless military and scientific authorities struggle with the worst dubbing in history. I think somebody commented that this movie feels like it wasn’t just made for children but by children. I love it and have had a blast going through these old Gamera’s again.

    And a shout out to the poor actor in the Guiron costume. I hope the neck/back/shoulder strain wasn’t permanent.


  45. Cornjob says:

    I understand the viewer demographics involved, but the transformation of both Godzilla and Gamera from potential destroyers of mankind to friends of children and saviors of the Earth is a little odd. Like if Jesus or Buddha started out as genocidal tyrants or serial killers before becoming holy men. I wonder how the friends and families of all the people Gamera deliberately roasted and squished in his first movie feel about the adulation heaped on him in later movies?


  46. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Cornjob will be blamed…

    Can’t watch this without hearing their song from season 3. The life and times of Richard Burton sketch was also one of my all time favorites.

    I noticed how Josh seemed the most versatile on the Cinematic Titanic outings. He really does shine (comparatively) on the minimally scripted KTMA season.


  47. jaybird3rd says:

    It’s been a long road through the Gamera movies, but for J&TB, what didn’t kill them made them stronger. This is the fifth Gamera episode in a row and only the eighth episode of the show, but during that short arc, all the characters have been introduced, their personalities have been (more or less) ironed out, and the overall format of the show has been established. A pretty impressive start for such an unusual series. Watching these early episodes, I have to sing Josh’s praises once again: I think he was instrumental in establishing the type of humor and the overall level of energy that made MST3K the great show that it was.

    Out of all the Gamera movies featured on MST3K, “Gamera vs. Guiron” is certainly the one that seems the most like a movie written by children rather than for them. The story is exactly like something out of the chaotic and violent mind of an eight-year-old boy who was given some goofy monster toys and left to play by himself for a few hours. (I was once an eight-year-old boy myself, and I had three younger brothers, so trust me on this!) That’s especially true of the weird scene in which Guiron kills the poor “Space Gaos” and then systematically chops him into pieces. The atrocious dubbing makes the whole experience even more bizarre; as Spalanzani said in the comments on the Season 3 version, it’s like hearing people reading aloud from a Google translation. August Ragone mentions in the Shout Factory DVD features that some of the Gamera dubs were commissioned by Daiei in Japan, and I suspect that this was one of them; it doesn’t sound like the same crew that dubbed the Sandy Frank films.

    I won’t claim that this one is “better” than any of the other Gamera movies, but it’s the one I enjoy the most. The lighter riffing in the KTMA version only gives us the chance to enjoy more of the movie’s unfiltered goofiness. J&TB provide lots of fun moments, too; they’re really starting to develop their riffing skills. Just to mention a few: shortly before the kids find the flying saucer, they are walking through the woods when they are startled by something rustling through the bushes (it turns out to be a cute little rabbit), and Crow says “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!” the moment the movie reveals what it is. Now that’s the Crow we all love! Then there’s his “Well, ya gotta shave ’em!” comment that sends Joel into hysterics, an example of the kind of spontaneous moment that makes the KTMA shows such a pleasure to revisit. I also like Joel’s little “Beefaroni” song, as well as his description of Guiron:

    Joel: “He looks like Eeyore on acid.”
    Servo: “Eeyore on Acid? By L.S.D. Milne?”

    This episode also has some pretty good lines from the Mads:

    Dr. Forrester: “Remember those troll dolls, and that foam stuff you had as a kid?”
    Dr. Erhardt: “Crazy Foam! And Smurfs! And Fuzzy Wuzzy, the soap that grew hair out of it! It was great!”
    Dr. Forrester: “Our soap always had hair on it …”
    Dr. Erhardt: “Ewwww!
    Dr. Forrester: “Did you ever take your sister’s Barbie dolls and go up to the attic and, uh …”
    Joel: “Excuse me, sirs???
    Dr. Forrester: “Don’t excuse me, you overinflated skin bag of chemicals and mostly water!”

    (I vaguely remember hearing a similar insult in a “Star Trek: TNG” episode, but I still thought it was pretty funny.)

    I’ve said before that these movies are much easier for me to sit through if there’s a cute actress in the cast, and in this film, my favorite is Reiko Kasahara. She played more benign characters in a few other Gamera movies (she was Eiichi’s big sister in “Gaos” and the kids’ babysitter in “Zigra”), and she’s fun to watch here in the more prominent role of the evil space babe Florbella. I have to laugh at the ludicrous voice she was given in the dubbing, though; as Crow says, “she sounds like she’s from Macon, Georgia!”


  48. jaybird3rd says:

    A random observation: Cambot zooms in pretty close on Crow when he gets knocked out, just before his “dream sequence”, and I was surprised to see that he’s already in pretty rough shape! He’s all scratched up and looks as if he’s covered with leftover dirt and fire extinguisher foam. I don’t remember him looking quite that bad in the later KTMA shows, so Joel must have given him a fresh paint job at some point. I know there are lots of bot builders among the community of MSTies, but I’d love to know if anyone has ever built a set of KTMA bots.

    I also just noticed a “breaking the fourth wall” moment from Servo, shortly after the space babes first appear:

    Crow: “I wonder if you can get HBO on that planet?”
    Servo: “No, but all it takes is a UHF antenna to pick up TV-23! (The big guys will like that!)”


  49. mnenoch says:

    I have to admit even being a big monster movie fan myself, slogging through 5 Gamera movies in a row is kind of tough. However, this movie is crazy insane and provides a lot of spark for Joel & the bots to make fun of. The riffing is up a notch in this one in my opinion and makes it easier to watch than the previous episodes.


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