MST3K Review: Gamera vs. Guiron (312)
By Matt Jones Friday, 2 Nov 2007

The Movie: GOOD

Ahhh nothing I love better than a good, cheesy Japanese giant animal movie. Gamera, second cousin and knock off of Godzilla, is a beloved movie character from Japan who has been in many, many movies. This is one of them! Gamera is set apart from Godzilla in that he is considered “the friend of children.” Now, how you’re going to convince me that a giant turtle who took apart Tokyo brick by brick in his first movie (appropriately called “Gamera” and also riffed by MST3K in episode 302), then appeared in a movie without a single child actor of any major role (“Gamera vs. Barugon”, episode 304) is the friend of all children baffles me, but apparently the Japanese just take the creator’s word for it.

In this thrilling installment of Gamera’s adventures, Gamera doesn’t show up until about 20 minutes in. Apparently, radio waves from outer space have come in and the world is abuzz about it. Two boys, Akio (who is called Akira in the credits for some unknown reason) and Tom, have taken a great interest in these waves, and while looking through a telescope, happen to see a spaceship land. After Akio’s mom scolds them for staying up, they agree to go to the ship in the morning. Along the way, Akio’s sister looks cute and they are harassed by Officer Kondo, also known as “Kon-chan”, which gets misheard as Cornjob. They find the spaceship, and it automatically takes off with Tom and Akio aboard. They almost crash into a rock but are saved by Gamera. The spaceship then speeds ahead of Gamera and lands on a strange planet. Turns out it’s a twin “star”, as Akio calls it, of Earth. There, they meet two space creatures, who are women that want to eat their brains for information, and Guiron, a kind of dog monster with a knife for a nose. High hilarity ensues as the boys find out the plan, Guiron fights Gamera, and everyone makes it home in time to have a good laugh at Cornjob’s expense.

The dubbing is cheesy, the movie is hilarious, and there is even a scene where Gamera looks like he is on the high bars. All in all, a perfect movie to riff.

Note for Upright Citizens Brigade Fans:The little boy Akio in this movie dreams of a planet “without wars or traffic accidents”. This leads to his interest in space. That is why in the Mogomra or whatever that cowboy lobster was, they had the badly dubbed thing at the end about no traffic accidents. They either had seen this movie or this episode of MST3K.

The Host Segments:

Very strong episode all around, starting with great host segments. It begins with the Bots playing school lunch. Tom has a note from his mother saying that she loves him and is very proud of him, embarassing him. Then Crow reminds him he doesn’t have a mother. He begins to cry.

Satellite of Love Invention: Collapsing garbage can for those who go camping. Saves the planet. Joel’s working on a port-a-potty on the same concept. Everyone is disgusted, but it’s funny.

Deep 13 Invention: The “Racy Rorshach” for Psychologist Monthly. Frank’s mom turns out to be in one of them. It’s pretty humorous for just ink blots. Great back and forth between Frank and Forrestor.

First Host Segment: Joel and the Bots do the Gamera theme song, but change the words. It’s really good stuff, especially with Joel dancing all weirdly. He’s a goofball, that one.

Second Host Segment: Joel does a magic trick, sawing Crow in half by using Tom Servo, playing Guiron, as a sword. It’s great because Joel used to be a magician and he used to do prop comedy that was very toned down and not over the top. This time, he totally hams it up to great hilarity, poking fun at magicians and all that. Crow ruins the reveal while in a towel.

Third Host Segment: Crow does the voice over of Richard Burton, because one of the kids kind of looks like Richard Burton. It’s a great segment because Trace is fantastic at impersonations, and because it’s just ridiculous. The kid doesn’t look THAT much like Richard Burton (who was one of Elizabeth Taylor’s many husbands, by the way, and an actor.)

Final Host Segment: Joel and the Bots do the Gamera thing song again, this time, just trying to speak Japanese and failing miserably. Not as bad as the Sci Fi episode jokes at the expense of the Japanese, but rather un-PC regardless.

Mike Nelson absolutely kills this one though as Michael Feinstein in Deep 13. He shows off his prowess with the piano and is absolutely hilarious. Forrestor kills him as Frank pushes the button.

The Riffing:

Pure goodness. This is one of the strongest episodes in the best season, making it a definite standout throughout the series. The movie is ample fodder for jokes, and Joel and the Bots dive in head first. But this one is special again, like Mighty Jack, because the movie is cheesy enough that they focus all their jokes on the movie. It isn’t just a chance for the guys to rip on the Japanese, like they do in later episodes. It is genuinely funny and not cruel. This might just be a feeling of mine, but I think that Joel and Trace actually really enjoyed these movies, because they don’t seem to be bitter at the movie. They have fun with it, which makes it fun for those watching. Just kind of a trend with Joel and Trace.

Final word: Watch this episode any way you can. It is one of the few that I think are pitch perfect throughout.


3 Responses to “MST3K Review: Gamera vs. Guiron (312)”

  1. Andrew Raub Says:

    The UCB episode you mention is “Mogomra Vs. The Fart Monster” from the recently released Season 2.

    Mogomra is a country lobster with a country hat, summoned by a boy who is ridiculed at school. The boy tries a throwing star massacre and attempts to be a sumo, but fails, so he summons Mogomra.

    The episode also features a new trend called “Japanoistretching”, which incorporates Japanese noise punk bands and aerobic stretching. Pat Morita is referenced a lot as well, with lines like “Ninjas don’t kill people, Pat Morita playing ninjas kills people.” There is also a man who puts his love for sushi above all else.

    Season 2 references Japanese culture a lot (especially throwing stars), but this episode is the pinnacle of it.

  2. Zach Patterson Says:

    skip, just curious, do you have these on DVD or via other means?

  3. Matt Jones Says:

    Most of the ones I review I have downloaded. I got them through the Digital Archive Project (www.dapcentral.org). These encodes are the basis of most YouTubes or Video Googles of these episodes. You can go to the DAP and download them yourself, either as .avi or .mpg, or possibly even as ISOs that you can make into “DAP-DVDs” of the episode. The people that run the DAP have quite the bitter wit, though, so user beware.

    Note: the way the DAP works is that they had pretty much encoded every episode back in 2003 or so, outside of the episodes released by Rhino on VHS or DVD. As Rhino releases new episodes onto DVD, the DAP removes those episodes from their downloadable list. They only allow downloads for episodes you cannot buy, keeping them out of legal trouble with Rhino and Best Brains. Best Brains, actually, probably never cared. Don’t forget, they did have “Keep Circulating the Tapes” at the end of Season 2-4 episodes (if not more).

    If you don’t want to download them because of file size, you can pretty much watch any episode of MST3K on YouTube or Video Google, so check them out.

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