krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
My efforts to fill in one-episode gaps in my list of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes commented on continues. Moving to the ninth season, I've selected a British movie (although, having already commented on two more-or-less British movies from this season, I now have one left in between to also watch...) "Gorgo" ("The vice president's unimaginative campaign slogan!") just happens to have that extra touch of absurdity of being a British version of movies better known from Japan involving giant monsters wading through major city centres. Given when the episode was made, I somehow keep thinking of the American version of "Godzilla" made right around then as well; however, it's not commented on in the episode. In any case, it's easy enough to imagine that the "riffing" on "Gorgo" is funnier for not attacking something made recently.

Things open with two Americans on a battered old freighter involved in some scuba diving off the coast of Ireland. A sudden volcanic eruption almost capsizes their ship ("The HMS Over Easy."), but then everything is fine again and they head past strange dead fish ("A coelacanth death cult or something? I dunno.") for a quaint Irish seaside village to resupply. There's some sort of subplot involving a harbourmaster who tries to shoo them away because of a vague treasure-hunting scheme ("May your corned beef not pickle properly."), but soon enough a giant monster awakened by the eruption is wading ashore. Fortunately, it gets driven out to sea through the hurling of flaming logs at it, and the two Americans resolve to capture it. One goes down in a diving bell ("Mm. Canned guy!"), and despite some temporary difficulties ("Uh... did we develop a step two yet?") they soon have the monster entangled in their nets and pulled aboard. A little Irish boy manages to stow aboard, though, more or less filling a role familiar from "Gamera" of the kid who takes the side of the poor destructive monster.

Once in London, "Gorgo" is sold to Dorkin's Circus, and as you can imagine vast fun is had with the name. We get our dose of thought-provoking content as, even after Gorgo has almost broken free while being put in an almost dry swimming pool ("Oh, they have to clean up after Mighty Joe Young first."), vast audiences show up to gawk. ("Come see Gorgo; he'll kill your family. Come get killed by Gorgo!") One of the Americans, played by William Sylvester (who, beyond his role as the original Heywood Floyd in 2001, also appeared in two movies previously featured on Mystery Science Theater itself), is starting to have guilt pangs about all of this. Soon enough, though, scientists have determined that Gorgo is a juvenile, and a much larger monster is wading ashore at the quaint Irish village, managing to crush the harbourmaster in the process...

The Royal Navy's best stock footage is deployed (although the footage of jets taking off from an aircraft carrier seems pretty much US Navy stock footage) to no avail ("Movie much longer than it would have been without us, sir."), and then the British Army and Royal Air Force's stock footage is thrown in too to no further effect ("Ah, the Queen Mum is brought out to fight the beast.") as big Gorgo smashes down Tower Bridge and Big Ben and assorted other buildings. ("Oh, maybe he just hates Georgian architecture.") Panicked throngs stampede through the streets as William Sylvester's character manages to retrieve the little Irish boy. Finally, all of London's power is fed into the wires surrounding little Gorgo's swimming pool ("Ah, they got the new Puddingmaster 5000."), and that doesn't work either... but with little Gorgo retrieved, big Gorgo heads back into the Thames and the movie comes to an end.

The "host segments" feature a guest star, as Pearl Forrester (changed back to her travelling clothes from the eigth season) heads to meet Leonard Maltin, who provides her with the movie itself. Perhaps with memories of "Laserblast," he seems properly enthusiastic about her nasty schemes despite her never quite remembering his name, and also plugs his movie guide.

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