Tuesday, January 05, 2010

0004: Gamera Vs. Barugon

Well then, folks... What with the new poems every Monday, I have come up with a plan. Starting at the beginning, I am going to watch one(1) Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode every day, four days out of each week... and then write a little blogue entry about each episode. For those of you who want the specifics, I will watch the show Mondays through Thursdays, with the write-up the following days, ie. Tuesdays through Fridays... leaving the weekends free to frolic and play.

So here we go...

MST3k, Experiment #0004

A quick summary of Season Zero(0), or "The KTMA Season", the show originally started in 1988 on a cable access channel in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. A few things of note about this season are as follows: The theme song had no backup vocals (as in the famous "la la la"s), Tom Servo's voice changed a couple times throughout the season, and the jokes were more thin... making the show much more about the movies than about the jokes.

The first three episodes are essentially "lost" ... I am sure someone (Jim Mallon) probably has them, but they have yet to see the light of day in the form of bootlegs. Because of this, I started off at episode four(4), Gamera Vs. Barugon.

Here's a quick synopsis of the movie itself:

After a treacherous expedition to retrieve a giant opal, disaster strikes as the opal reveals itself to be an egg which spawns Barugon, demon dog from Hell! Armed with a deadly tongue and cold beams, Barugon wreaks havoc on Japan. Gamera comes to save the day.

Alright, so this movie is so horribly and incredibly stupid... I love Gamera films!!! There are honestly lines like "He will die by his own rainbow." in this movie. If that doesn't make you smack your head a few times already, try watching this stinker. The "deadly tongue" is more like a really long stick that comes out of the giant lizard's mouth, and sprays white mist that deep freezes anything or anyone it's aimed at... and there's a wonderful plan involving mirrors by the humans that ultimately fails.

This is the earliest available episode, and all of the host segments generally focus on listening to voice-mail from viewers. One in particular stated that he enjoyed the movies, but disliked them talking over it... and hoped that they don't continue the show in that fashion. I wonder what he thought once the show became famous.

Another of the callers, who I am sure caught the first three(3) episodes, stated that the show needed more "chapstick," prompting Joel and the bots to go on and on about chapstick through the rest of the show. I am pretty sure he said or meant "slapstick" but hey, whatever brings the jokes.

All-in-all, the show got off to a pretty good start. It was very obviously cable-access and low-budget... and not even remotely as funny as later seasons, but the movie itself was so laughable on its own that you didn't need many jokes.

Just a few quick things of note: Servo's voice was VERY "PeeWee Herman-esque" in this episode, having not found his "mighty voice" the character is better know for. The "Mads" have yet to appear, leaving only Joel and the bots with nobody visibly forcing the movies on them. Also, this episode has the first of many M*A*S*H jokes that still continue to this day in Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic... and this episode contains the note-worthy line "Never put anything in your ear larger than a pirate!"

A great start to what will hopefully be a fun project, and I hit the ground running... running very quickly away from Barugon's deadly rainbows!!!