krpalmer: (mst3k)
krpalmer ([personal profile] krpalmer) wrote2010-08-22 05:57 pm
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MST3K 308: Gamera vs. Gaos

I'm taking a bold step when it comes to rewatching Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. Even with "The Beast of Yucca Flats" left to see from the latest official collection, I've decided to wait until "Bride of the Monster" comes out in the next official collection and watch both as part of the "Tor Johnson and Coleman Francis cycle." To pass the time until then, I've gone on to other episodes, but I may have started in again on something I've thought of before as picking the "coconut candies" out of the box to save the ones I find more interesting for later...

"Gamera vs. Gaos" is the third Gamera movie shown on Mystery Science Theater as part of their third-season string of Japanese movies dubbed by Sandy Frank. Things start off with some sort of difficulty involving a road being built through a rural village, although I have to admit it's sort of hard for me to keep track of who's who in this subplot. Before too long, though, an enterprising cameraman has enlisted the help of a chubby Japanese boy who's either named "Ichi" or "Itchy" to investigate some mysterious occurances, including a model helicopter being blown up. These occurances just happen to be due to Gaos, who might even be a pterosaur monster if an utterly stiff one. The cameraman gets killed ("Welcome to this week's edition of Eat the Press."), but Itchy is saved by Gamera, showing up in good time. However, Gamera gets sliced up by the death ray Gaos can fire from his mouth, and has to retreat.

Things alternate between Gamera trying to battle Gaos and the futile efforts of humanity to do the same. After the Japanese Self Defence Force's best models have no effect ("Model tanks aren't working, Captain."), it's figured out that Gaos shrinks in the daylight, and given a declaration that he's attracted to human blood, a plan is worked out to set up a fountain of synthetic blood on top of a revolving restaurant to attract the monster, then crank the whole thing up to high speed and hold him dizzy in place until the sun rises. ("Operation Goofy now in effect.") As might be expected from the title, though, even this noble effort breaks down, but in the nick of time Gamera shows up, now using his shell to withstand the death ray. ("So he finally learned how to duck.") Gaos is chewed up ("Oh, yuck! He's spurting dishwashing liquid!" "It's Pepto-Bismol."), dragged up to a volcano, and dropped in. Then, to pad things out, we get scenes from "Gamera," this movie, and "Gamera vs. Barugon."

As this episode was getting under way, I had the sudden, pleased thought that the "riffing" seemed snappier than I can find myself thinking of third season episodes as, and yet in the same amiable spirit as the rest of that season... but as things wore on, that feeling did seem to wear down in some unfortunate fashion. Fortunately, it did seem to pick up near the end, and there were some entertaining "host segments" too, including Joel trying to tell us how to make our very own Gaos (as Crow tells us "mucilage tastes just like sweet honey") and a variety show sketch where Tom's arm (sort of) works.