Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-three - MST3K: Gamera, "KEENNNNYYYYY!"

So, yeah... got sent home early due to flooding in the high desert. Seems Mother Nature decided to give our little mesa town its entire allotment of moisture for the year in a single day. The break let me take a long nap and still have time for an evening Couchbound with Netflix.

Tonight, I definitely felt in the mood for quick laughs at the expense of terrible science fiction... and I got it in the form of Joel and the Bots taking on the DAIEI Studios Godzilla-ripoff, Gamera. The giant turtle kaiju who is the subject of a series of monster films in Japan, Gamera jets across the planet going everywhere, eating the heat off the flames of destruction he wreaks upon the various cities of the world.

It's your typical setup... nuclear explosions wake up the giant monster, who basically destroys everything it can save for an annoying little Japanese boy with a tortoise fetish named Kenny. It's hilarious, they manage to keep the Japanese surnames of everyone involved (particularly the film's genius zoologist, Dr. Hidaka), but everyone gets an anglo first name to make it easier on the American voice actors.

Anyways, the scientists throw darts at an idea board to try and stop Gamera's rampage while the Japanese army takes its orders from a lowly zoologist and his daughter (who still calls him Doctor every chance she gets). Kenny manages to sneak into army bases, oil refineries, and even super-secret multinational rocket facilities, all so he can catch another glimpse of his best friend... the 60-meter tall turtle from hell.

Joel and the Bots are in fine form for this episode, throwing out wise cracks about everything from the Exxon Valdez to Kissinger to Kentucky Fried Chicken (as there's a scientist who quite literally could double as the Japanese Colonel Sanders). As usual, most of the inbetweeners are dumb, but there's a nice little bit where Mike Nelson visits the hexfield screen as Gamera, himself.

Usually Joel episodes have a tendency to put me to sleep, but that's not the case here. Just about every comment is pithy and spot on, and those that only make glancing blows are still worth a smile at the very least.

Quick shout out to Japanese character actor Bokuzen Hidari, who was Farmer Yohei in Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. It's always good to see him as he has such a wonderful panic face.

While I really wish Godzilla vs. Megalon was available on Netflix (or DVD) as an episode of MST3K, I realize that the rights issues are a problem as always, Toho films guarding their properties zealously. Seriously, if anybody has a DVD of that one from the 1st edition Vol. 10 set, let me know.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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