212. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

optiMSTie argued Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is “the first true masterpiece of the show’s run”. Speed Racer, Jennifer Beals, Jack Nicholson, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The nods cover so much and the level of pop culture references engulf you like the monsters. This won me as a teenager and hasn’t lost anything. Rex Dart, The Jet Jaguar Song, Orvile Redenbacher and his Grandson’s Journey Into Night. Is it as good as ever? The start of MST’s Golden Age?

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denzelwashingtonguarantee

“I stand behind it, I GUARANTEE IT.”

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That’s not a slam against anything from Season 1 or anything else from Season 2.

But for my money, Godzilla Vs. Megalon represented such a quantum leap forward in its realization of the promise of what MST3K was capable of. The whole episode is chock full of great riffing material: the two bachelor pals, the foppish Seatopians, the ridiculous Jet Jaguar, AND THAT FANTASTIC TAG-TEAM FINAL BATTLE ROYALE.

I think what you’ve got here is the perfect nexus of amazing riffs AND a colorful, watchable, non-hateable movie. It’s the total package when it comes to the theater segments. The movie’s not repellent and keeps you invested (hell, it’s GODZILLA, how could the movie not?), and the riff writing is SHARP here. I hate to go all broken record here, but there’s so much referential magic in that final fight.

And that barrage of references doesn’t feel lazy or half-hearted or superficial, as it is with Disaster Movie or other parody movies along those lines, where the alleged humor comes from “oh hey did you recognize this” and “do you remember this, of course you do” referential material. It’s about a level of comedy writing that plays with AND ENGAGES WITH what we see onscreen. As was mentioned in that opening comment, that Butch Cassidy reference, for one, is something that’s fun AND adds a neat layer to the Godzilla/Jet Jaguar duo teamwork (that is, Joel uttering “Listen, next time you say we go to Bolivia, we go to Bolivia” as Godzilla and Jet Jaguar are surrounded by flames).

And don’t get me started on that pro wrestling commentary.

But yeah, it still holds up rather well. And more importantly, sure, I have to think that this episode raised the bar and got the ball rolling on MST3K’s Golden Age. Season 3’s Cave Dwellers and Pod People are next level, but I have to believe that you don’t get to those heights without the launching point of Godzilla Vs. Megalon.

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Joel’s first episode with the maroon jumpsuit and that is, to me, the signal of MST’s Modern Era.

So much to love here! As as I said earlier, this a great option for newcomers!

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Like all fine art, it is enhanced by its rarity.

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True. Especially these days.

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I don’t argue with what most people have said here.

But I will note a friend of mine in Germany who recently got in the show 1)Still cringed a bit at the “German Air Show” joke they did and 2)REALLY didn’t get the Popcorn Host Segment (at least until I showed him the commercials they were referencing).

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Invention Exchange.

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The Jet Jaguar Song.

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It’s one I haven’t seen in a long time, but I remember it being one of the best.

I’ll have to check it out again.

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I’m lucky enough to have gotten a copy on DVD during that brief window they somehow, magically managed to sneak it in. No - I did not destroy it and I never will because Godzilla vs. Megalon is one of my top 10 MST episodes of all time and to destroy it would be like destroying the Mona Lisa.

This episode is when the show really started hitting its stride. The riffing is absolutely top notch material from start to finish. The movie itself is the height of the Toho era’s shift into the absurd and it contains so many rich targets that its impossible to not make fun of it as it goes along. The host segments are good. The episode is a solid 9 out of 10 and definitely belongs in the top-5 episodes of all time to the point where it is a movie that I suggest to newbies as a “Watch this episode first” option (along with Cave Dwellers, Mitchell, and Danger Death Ray).

It’s sad that this episode isn’t generally available because it represents some of the best MST has to offer. So catch it on YouTube when it sneaks on the platform if you aren’t lucky like me and have the DVD.

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It’s out there – archive.org and apparently DailyMotion, and who knows what more obscure platforms. If you want to download a copy, don’t delay! Ep 213 also.

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The Tojo era? I think you meant to say Showa era (1926-1989 in terms of Hirohito’s rule, but 1954-1975 in Godzilla terms), but your brain maybe conflated in Toho studio or mis-activated some neurons and got Tojo, which is the name of the brutal, fascist WWII era prime minister, who we rightfully strung up after the war.

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Not confusion. A typo.

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No, no not a joke, a sales campaign

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Orville Redenbacher and Eugene O’Neill.

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So what was with the weird dolphin thing Kenny or Timmy or whatever his name is was riding at the beginning? How did they expect to get him out of the water in a non-emergency?

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It came with the rocket.

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Too bad it didn’t fling the little brat into the ocean and assume the role of third team member.

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