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Gamera vs Zigra

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316 - Gamera vs Zigra
Air Date October 19, 1991
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
Movie Director Noriaki Yuasa
Year 1971
Cast Koji Kujiyama, Daigo Inoue, Reiko Kasahara
Preceded by 315 - Teenage Cave Man
Followed by 317 - The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent

“Fish Argument Theater will be right back, but first, a scene from Plot Convenience Playhouse.”

The Movie



Without warning, an alien spaceship attacks a Japanese moon base. Back on Earth, young Kenichi Ishikawa; his father, Dr. Yosuke Ishikawa; his friend Helen; and her father, Dr. Tom Wallace, witness the spaceship descending into the ocean. They go to investigate but are soon captured by a teleportation beam that brings them aboard the spaceship. Inside the spaceship, a human-looking woman appears to them and reveals that she is of a race called Zigra. By way of demonstrating Zigran technological prowess, she creates a gigantic earthquake that wreaks havoc in Japan. She previously caused two other earthquakes, one in Peru and the other in Arabia. She then tells her prisoners of Zigra's history and its great scientific advances—which, unfortunately, have resulted in the destruction of the planet; but in searching for a new home, Zigra has found Earth. The woman contacts authorities on Earth and orders them to surrender or she will kill her prisoners. Tom declares that the Zigran woman is insane, and, in anger, she sends the two men into a hypnotic trance. Kenny and Helen take action, successfully using the ship's control console to escape. Enraged, the Zigran overlord—a strange, shark-like being—orders the woman to go to Earth and kill the children. She says it would be simpler to kill all the people of Japan, but the great Zigra tells her that humans must be preserved so they can be used for food. Now, Gamera, intent on discovering the identity of the alien interloper, flies in to save the day and rescues the children and their fathers. The UN authorities, after questioning Kenichi and Helen, resolve to attack Zigra. The Defense Force jets scramble, but the Zigran spaceship makes short work of them with its powerful lasers. The alien woman, disguised as a normal human, arrives on earth and begins her search for Kenny and Helen. She hitches a ride with the Sea World dolphin trainer back to the facility, which the military is now using as its center of operations. She finds the two children, but before she can catch them, they call out for Gamera, who obediently appears.


"The Maidenform Woman. You never know where she'll turn up."

Gamera begins an underwater assault on the Zigran spaceship—which, when hit with Gamera's flamethrower, transforms into the giant shark-like monster. Zigra grows larger and larger, and finally halts the heroic turtle with a ray that suspends its cell activity. Enervated, Gamera sinks into the sea. Zigra then makes contact with the people of earth, saying that they should give up and surrender all the seas to him. Back at Sea World, the dolphin trainer and the facility's scientists discover a way to break the alien's hypnotic control with sonic waves. Thus, they manage to disable the Zigra woman, only to learn that she is actually a woman named Lora Lee(Chikako Sugawara in the Japanese version), who had been in a moon rover during the initial lunar attack and was captured and used by Zigra. Drs. Wallace and Ishikawa employ a bathyscaph in an attempt to wake Gamera, only to find that Kenichi and Helen have stowed away on board. Zigra suddenly attacks them and again demands the immediate surrender of the earth or he will destroy the bathyscaph. The UN commander reluctantly agrees to the alien's terms.


An electrical storm approaches the bay, and a bolt of lightning revives Gamera, who snatches the bathyscaph from Zigra and returns it to the surface. Gamera and Zigra face off a final time, and Zigra, using its superior versatility underwater, slices Gamera's chest with its blade-like dorsal fin. Gamera takes hold of Zigra, flies into the air, and then drops at high speed, slamming the alien monster against the earth. Gamera further incapacitates Zigra by jamming a boulder over its nose, pinning it to the ground. Gamera grabs another boulder and uses it, like a hammer on a xylophone, to play the Gamera theme on Zigra's dorsal fins. Finally, Gamera ends Zigra's existence by setting its body on fire, reducing it to ash in a massive conflagration.[1]


See Episode K07

  • Zigra in full shark mode resembles a Goblin shark, a rare species of deep sea shark found most commonly near Japan
  • Gamera vs. Zigra was the only classic Gamera film not released in the U.S. until the advent of home video. All the previous films had been picked up for theatrical distribution or for television. Gamera vs. Zigra first appeared in the U.S. in 1987 via video tape, long after it's Japanese release.

The Episode

Host Segments


Root Beer kegger

Prologue: Joel and the Bots throw a root beer kegger. Magic Voice gets drunk.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Mads: The Three Stooges Guns, offensive and defensive; Joel and the Bots: Crow T. Shish-ka-bob.

Segment Two: The Bots show Joel their dimensional model that explains how Gamera works.

Segment Three: Shoebox dioramas depicting the Gamera movies.


Segment Four: Kenny and Helen, the children from the movie, visit the SOL. They're feeling really good!

Segment Five: Variations of the Gamera theme song.

Stinger: Fish Argument Theater comes to a climax.

Other Notes

Guest Stars


  • Bridget Jones' first appearance on the show
  • Tom again does an impression of Dr. Erhardt saying “Enjoy!”


Obscure References

  • "He directed 'The Return of the Secaucus Seven Samurai'!"

Return of the Secaucus 7 was a 1980 film about a group of aging former '60s radicals, directed by John Sayles. The Seven Samurai was a 1954 classic film by Akira Kurosawa.

  • "Meanwhile, at Dollyworld(sic)!"

Dollywood is a theme park in eastern Tennessee owned by Dolly Parton.

  • "It's..."

When the children come across the old man on the beach, Servo makes a reference to Monty Python's Flying Circus - specifically the decrepit man, played by Michael Palin, who usually opened the show with the single word "It's".

  • "Hey, it's Hot L Tokyo!"

Hot L Baltimore was an off-Broadway play that inspired a short-lived sitcom in 1975.

  • "Lorelei, let's live together!"

A reference to the Styx song "Lorelei".

MST3K 316 Promo00:34

MST3K 316 Promo

  • "These Clare Prophet seminars are all the same!"

Elizabeth Clare Prophet is the leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant, a religious movement that has been widely denounced as a cult.

  • "Squirtin' a little KC Masterpiece on there!"

KC Masterpiece is a brand of barbecue sauce.

  • "Hell is for children!"

A reference to the Pat Benatar song "Hell is for Children".

  • "On the bottom of the ocean!"

A reference to the Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime".

Video Release


Commercially released on DVD by Shout Factory in August 2011 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: MST3K vs Gamera box sex, a 5-DVD set with Gamera vs Barugon, Gamera vs Gaos, Gamera vs Guiron, and Gamera.

As of now, Shout! Factory lost the rights to the gamera episodes, so the MST3K Vs Gamera box set is out-of-print

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