Film watched: Gamera vs. Guiron
This is one of the nine Sandy Frank Japanese films originally used for a KTMA episode that was riffed again a few years later on Comedy Central.
The KTMA Segments:Segment 1
- Joel is called by the Mads and he asks when the streak of Gamera movies will end. At first it seems like they ran out and are going to start showing good movies, but they dash Joel's hopes by finding yet another Gamera movie lying around their control room.
- Crow takes a hit to the head from Gypsy and gets knocked out. He dreams that he's running the experiment, with the Mads as his test subjects.
- Crow explains his dream to the crew, but Joel insists that robots are incapable of having dreams. Servo and Crow try to suggest otherwise by citing more "dreams" they've had.
- Joel tells the 'Bots about some of the dreams he's had. Gypsy simply says that she dreams of Joel.
- Joel and the bots sing the Lou Reed song "Satellite of Love". He closes out the show with a hopeful promise that the next movie won't be about Gamera.
The Comedy Central Segments:Prologue
- Crow and Tom, while playing School, compare the lunches their mothers and/or fathers packed in their lunchboxes. An embarrassed Tom has a note that his mother loves him. He breaks down when Crow points out he doesn't have a mother.
Segment 1/Invention Exchange
- The Mads present "racy" Rorschach tests to include as centerfolds in psychology magazines, which disturbs Frank when he sees one as his (hot) mother. Joel shows an eco-friendly collapsing trashcan, but he's working on a port-a-potty with the same premise.
- You know it... You love it... It's the Gamera Song!
- Joel dabbles in stage magic, using a knife-headed Tom to cut Crow in half. Sadly, the real Crow walks in and ruins the ending.
- One of the children in the film looks like Richard Burton, so the SOL crew present a pageant in Richard's honor.
- The Gamera Song gets a much more celebratory encore. Michael Feinstein has a piano gig in Deep 13 with some amusing anecdotes to share, and Dr. Forrester is so charmed that he kills him then and there.
The KTMA version provides examples of:
- Swapped Roles: While knocked out, Crow dreams that he is the one in control of "The Satellite of Loathe", where he has Dr. Forrester and Dr. Erhardt trapped inside and made to watch A Planet of the Apes Christmas over and over again.
- Take That!: When the crew is talking about dreams, Servo tells Joel that he once had a dream about how "a stupid young inexperienced bumbling senator from Indiana gained access to the White House just because of his rugged good looks". Joel calls that "a nightmare".
The Comedy Central version provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: TV's Frank and Clayton admire Michael Feinstein's piano skills — then decide which one of them will kill him just as affably.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Kon-chan's antics have the crew's opinion of him veering between One of the Kids and Memetic Molester.
- Comedic Shotacon: There are quite a few jokes about Tom and Akio having the hots for Florbella and Barbella and the space babes planning on going on dates with them.
- Curse Cut Short: After the kids visit Dr. Shiga, who is frowning:Joel: Ohh, for fu— [Dr. Shiga crackes a smile, Joel laughs] I can't help but love them.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Invoked by Joel when the aliens are viewing Akio's thoughts, and the screen shows doughnuts after he's told to think of the food he wants most.Joel: Oh, no, he's a cop, they're busted!
- Eating the Eye Candy: As usual with the bots.Elsa: When he comes back, I'll spank Tom. Twice even.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: A full-on Hurricane of Puns from Crow.[Guiron chops one of Gaos' arm-wings off.]
Crow: All he's got is a wing and a prayer. He's really going out on a limb! He's winging it!
- In the Style of...: Michael Feinstein (played by Michael J. Nelson) treats us to a Cole Porter-esque piano version of Gamera's theme music at the end.
- Insistent Terminology: Tom gets more and more frustrated that they keep calling the planet that they're standing on a star. As mentioned on the movie recap page, this was because Sandy Frank couldn't be bothered to copyedit the script, which was a direct and slavish translation from the Japanese. In Japanese, "star" and "planet" are the same word.
- Lampshade The Obscure Reference: At one point, Tom says "Stop her, she stole Mike's keyboard!" Crow is puzzled, and Tom admits it's an obscure reference. (As explained in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, this is referring to staff writer and future host Mike Nelson's girlfriend breaking up with him and stealing his keyboard.)
- Lip Lock: The scientist in the opening scene pauses awkwardly every few words. Joel and the 'bots unsuccessfully urge him to just get on with it.note Scientist: Assuming... they come from... Proxima Centauri which is nearest to us... how long, will it take Apollo... one of the newest, space ships as you know...
Crow: Oh, no, story problems. I hate 'em.
Scientist: How long will it take us to get there, do you think?
Crow: As long as it takes you to finish a sentence!
- Memetic Mutation: Invoked. Gamera's gymnastics became a part of MST3K's opening credits.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: In-universe, as according to the crew, Officer Cornjob is a "twisted lonely guy", but the With Lyrics version of the theme music for the kids says he'll be blamed when the kids "disappear into the woods", not that he did it.
- Mondegreen: Officer Kondo is One of the Kids, so they call him Kon-chan; Joel and the 'bots mishear this as "Cornjob", which becomes their name for him for the rest of the movie.
- Mood Whiplash: Dr. Forrester and Frank are charmed by Michael Feinstein, but then Forrester abruptly tells Frank, "Kill him."
- Oh, Crap!: When Gamera jams a missile into Guiron's head and sets it on fire.[closeup of Guiron's face]
Crow: Oh, damn.
- Overused Running Gag: The crew sing along with the repetitive score until they're sick of it:Crow: Why must we sing this stupid song?
It's getting really a-nnoy-ing
We apologize for its le-eength
All: We are filled with shame.
Joel: [irritably, still in rhythm] And now back to our show!
- Running Gag:
- It's repeatedly noted that Tom from the film resembles a young Richard Burton, including referencing less-than-illustrious works from his filmography such as Bluebeard, and they also imply that Burton had a fondness for alcohol.
- Gamera's resemblance to Karl Malden (especially his nose) is a Running Gag throughout all the Gamera episodes.
- "Hello! Thank you!" Joel and the 'Bots hit the ground running with that infamous scene. (Thank you!), and the jokes continue all the way through to the Gamera Vs Zigra episode. (Hello!) Bonus points for the riff of the end of the scene, when Tomoko appears in the back seat while Tom's mother is driving away. Once again, this is due to the English translation not being adjusted to match the syllable count of the original; if you listen carefully, you'll see that "Thank you!" is actually part of Elsa's next line: "Hello!" "Thank you [beat] for taking care of Tom!"
- "What is the fascination with traffic accidents?!"
- The crew gets a lot of mileage out of the aliens in a Japanese film having a thick Texan accent. "Shee sownds like shee's fr'm Eendee-aynuh!" note
- Self-Deprecation: They joke that for the starfield in the film, they just strung Christmas lights against a wall and that nobody would believe that. In the opening credits, the starfield behind the Satellite of Love is the same.
- Take That!: Servo calls Superboy "the crummiest show ever in first run syndication".
- Translation Train Wreck: This dub's slavishly literal translation from Japanese leads to a lot of awkward lines, which Joel and the 'bots thoroughly mock.Reporter: Does that mean that people on Solar, are the same system planet?
Scientist: That's hard to say.
Joel: Seems like it's pretty hard to dub, too.
- With Lyrics:
- The catchy leitmotif for the kids goes on long enough for several verses: "We're gonna ride our bicycles / We're gonna go and have some fun..."
- "Cheeeeeeesy / special effects..."