316. Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)

Joel’s fifth and final Gamera. “Closing time, one last call for Gamera…” “So, finish your carnage and and fear…” “Closing time, Joel won’t watch another, but the new guy WILL!!!” “I know Jonah’s gonna take him home!!!” “I know Jonah’s gonna take him HOME!!!” “I know Jonah’s gonna to take him home!!!” “Take him HOME!!!” Root Beer Kegger, Three Stooges Guns, Crow-ka-bob, Gamera Dimensional Model, Shoebox Dioramas, Kenny and Helen, Variations of the Gamera Theme Song. “Do not bring your evil here”, “Kicuchi, Kicuchi, Kicuchi”, “Both Zoellner sisters in one film? Oh wow!” “Was that necessary?” or “You have got to be kidding me”?

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Note: This is technically the tenth Joel Gamera MST. The five Gameras were riffed twice. Once during KTMA and again on Season 3.

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Kenny and Helen.

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Shoebox Dioramas.

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A Look Inside of Gamera.

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Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) Trailer.

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316 Promo.

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Gamera Plays Own Theme Song.

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Gamera Under The Sea.

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Gamera caught a tuna.

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Oh Gamera, how you have fallen. It’s bad enough you associate here with a couple of snot-nosed brats that are near equal to Kenny in their ability to be annoying (oddly enough, one of them is named Kenny). But they also have the survival instincts of Juanito from The Black Scorpion. I know you’re a Friend of All Children but having standards doesn’t hurt.

The heel kaiju this time around is a giant beaked fish thing from outer space or something. Apparently, his homeworld from four hundred light years away was destroyed. Somehow, it was because of humanity’s ecological carelessness. Yeah, I don’t follow that line of reasoning either. Now this all could be the result of the translators performing their job with indifference. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time. Still, there are plenty of signs that the Gamera franchise is in an advanced state of decay. One particularly bizarre sequence involves a hotel manager and a Sea World flunky arguing over who gets to purchase a meager catch of fish. It’s pointless and inane, yet the movie seems to expect us to care. It’s not surprising that the production studio went bankrupt shortly thereafter.

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Zigra Speaks.

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Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) King Features Entertainment Spots.

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@optiMSTie The last of the Joel Gameras. I think you rated this second in your rating of the MST Gameras. How close is it to Gamera vs. Guiron (1969) in the wow factor?

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Adam West and Mamie Van Doren setup Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) on Turkey Day 94.

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I have to say my perceptive towards the one has changed quite a bit since we finally got to see the previous Gamera chapter!

With that said, this one is pretty good! It’s not as zany as Gamera vs. Gurion, but there still plenty of quirky stuff happening here (the nemesis can talk!).

Shoutout to that bizarre Fish Debate!

Great riffing and fun host segments (love the adorable and wholesome diorama host segment!) closes out the Vintage MST Gamera run in style!

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Where I would rank them:

1: Gamera vs. Gurion
2: Gamera
3: Gamera vs. Zigra
4: Gamera vs. Gaos
5: Gamera vs. Barugon

Still not quite sure where I would slot Gamera vs. Jiger, but it would definitly be somewhere in the upper half!

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It’s not that far off, actually!

Compare with Barugon: this one has a much breezier, much lighter tone that makes it easier to digest. That seems to be a thing, you know? My top of the top of the top MST3K episodes are usually ones with movies that don’t go hard. The Sidehackers? That hits a bit too hard to keep it out of the top tier. The Day the Earth Froze? Super-easy going and a beloved favorite.

Barugon? It gets a bit too serious with that jazz about opal thieves who keep backstabbing each other. Zigra? It’s hard to take serious with that silly-as-hell fish guy (the “YES YES” noises the riffers make as the fish guy smiles are HILARIOUS, and Crow’s “Fish Argument Theater will be back, but first, a scene from Plot Convenience Playhouse” drives home how absurd it all is), the Sea World antics, Helen and Kenny up to shenanigans (Joel: “Oh, now she wants the Terminator-sized cup of Coke”) and so on.

That doesn’t even get into the ridiculous kaiju action! No, we don’t have Gamera doing a gymnastics routine like in Guiron, but the way he plays xylophone on a downed Zigra? HELL YES.

It’s all a blast. The wow factor is definitely there, even if it doesn’t quite reach the ludicrous heights of Guiron.

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MST3K can be full of zingers, witticisms, snark, and one-liners, but it also has a lot of heart. That was driven home by the host segment where Joel has the Bots depict their favorite scenes from the Gamera series in shoebox diorama form.

It ends with Joel’s diorama (pictured above), where he says that his favorite thing about the Gamera series was enjoying it all together as a family. Love that. That’s the show’s heart.

All the host segments here are out of sight, whether it’s the root beer kegger to celebrate the last Gamera movie of the classic series (Magic Voice getting ridiculously drunk will never not be hilarious), the better understanding of Gamera’s insides, Kenny and Helen stopping by for a visit (MIKE AND BRIDGET :smiley: ), and of course, the closing segment where everyone, including the Mads, offers up their own take on the Gamera theme song.

For me, it’s all worth it for the SOL crew’s barbershop quartet rendition. Again, there’s the heart of the show, beating loudly for all to hear.

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Submarine Stealing.

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