‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ review: ‘Yongary’

Season 11, Episode 9
Available on Netflix

When you think “Kaiju”, you don’t think of the UK or Denmark…hell, even South Korea seems unlikely because North Korea would just launch a bunch of missiles at the ocean in retaliation. But, we got “Gorgo” from the UK and “Reptillicus” from Denmark…and, now, “Yongary” from South Korea. It’s the answer to “What would happen if you mixed Gamera with Godzilla and then made him as lazy as a hipster on Spring Break?” Marvel as the requisite Monster Child uses an “Itch Gun” on his best friends before using it on Yongary to make him dance like a goofball! Thrill as Monster Child betrays his monster friend and works in close contact with the military to order a full strike behind his back! Stand there bewildered as Monster Child spends five minutes answering press questions about the murdering of his best friend while grinning like a madman! Yongary is good, clean Asian Monster Cinema for the whole family!

Mystery Science Theater 3000

There’s always something so comfortable about watching a giant monster flick on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the feel of it: the stilted dubbing, the hushed audio, the silly musical scoring, the sound of the Monster Children yapping at the monster in the film…everything about giant monster films is just so silly that it melds incredibly well with everything MST3K is. Both are made on the cheap and have conviction in their campy attitude. They’re like brethren, two sides of the same coin where the only difference is that one takes itself semi-seriously and the other has dropped all pretense about being serious. It’s just “home” to me. “Yongary” is everything that was great about MST3K’s treatment of the Sandy Frank films and it’s the best episode of the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to date. If the monster didn’t already give Jonah and the Bots plenty of ammunition, Icho, the Monster Child, does in spades. From aggravating newlyweds with an “itching gun” (yes, this is a thing that exists in this movie) to shaming single adults into not being married, Icho is this season’s “Johnny” from “Time of the Apes”: he just doesn’t care. There’s also a running riff using popular songs from nearly every decade which just shows the range of intelligence of the writers when it comes to pop culture.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

The sketches are mostly fun with some real gems: Jonah and the Bots invent “Tiny Desks”, the desk you can flip over in anger without fear of damaging or ruining workplace or personal property while Kinga and Max have teamed with “Todd Hitler” to make “Hitler Coffee”, an attempt to finally do away with the whole “Hitler stigma”…except that it leaves a Hitler mustache on whomever drinks it. There also a solid ending sketch with Jonah and the Bots singing about their anguish at having witnesses the bloody death of Yongary, causing Kinga and Max to belt out an accompanying tune about their regret at having caused such anguish…but, of course, that doesn’t last. It’s nicely accentuated with a slight punchline wherein Max attempts to restart the musical finish after Kinga tells him to push the button — only to stop, mid-verse when Kinga glares a hole in his head. Great stuff. Honorable mention goes out to Servo promoting “Yongary Nights”, a night club that “mixes the sexy fun of a nightclub with the end-of-days feel of a monster attack”. The rest (Jonah and the Bots share dream journals; discussing hanging out with monsters; astronaut musical tastes) are a mixed bag but don’t make the episode any less funny.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

“Yongary” is a nice recovery from the incredibly dull “The Loves of Hercules”. It’s incredibly fun to watch and extremely funny both in and out of the theater. The film provides for so many laughs, it forces you to pause the movie so you can recover and see what you missed while you were laughing and the sketches, thankfully, are void of gratuitous, forced celebrity cameos where the jokes mostly fall flat, giving us a hilarious invention exchange and an incredibly funny close. The only thing the show needs to work on are the middle sketches which are hit and miss due to uneven allowances of time which makes the execution of said sketches fall flat. Aside from this, however, “Yongary” is, easily, the best Mystery Science Theater 3000 has had to offer so far.

And, now…this week’s gems:

SUNA: Why do scientists act as though the only important work in the world is what they’re up to? All he ever talks to me about is his stupid work, and I must say, I don’t get half of it! I think he makes it up on his own.
SERVO (as SUNA): “I mean, what’s an ‘iPad’?”

ILO: Now, come here…
(ILO leads ICHO to a set of toy robots on his desk.)
SERVO (as ILO): “These used to be boys, like you…”
Look, you can please with these instead.
(ILO turns on the toy robots for ICHO. The robots start moving around much to ICHO’s delight.)
Hey! Those are terrific!
CROW (as robots): “Kill all humans! KILL ALL HUMANS!”
(ICHO giggles with glee.)
JONAH: So, toy robots and shooting family members with an experimental weapon are equally entertaining to this kid? Good to know…psychopath…

(OH-NA dresses up in really elaborately tame lingerie for her sleeping husband.)
CROW (as OH-NA): “Mm, nothing gets a guy going like layers!”
(OH-NA throws on another layer on top of the two layers she already has on and walks to check over to the living room to check on her sleeping husband.)
JONAH (as OH-NA): “Ok…you got this. Deep breath…and showtime!”
(OH-NA slowly creeps up on her sleeping husband.)
SERVO (as OH-NA): “Guess who’s dressed like your grandmaaaa?”
(OH-NA puts her hands up in the air as if she’s going to do something sinister.)
(OH-NA pinches her husband’s nose. He wakes, startled.)
JONAH (as HUSBAND): “Whoa! Uh, how was I? Was it good for you?”
Huh…I must’ve dozed.
SERVO: This is all part of his elaborate love play.
(HUSBAND yawns and stretches his arms.)
Boy…I’m really tired tonight.
(OH-NA walks away, facing the other direction.)
You can sleep afterwards!
CROW: After WHAT, Jonah?
JONAH: Uh…don’t worry about it.

HUSBAND: You’re not going to be a nagging wife now, are you, my dear?
SERVO (as HUSBAND): “That’s not what I’m INTO…”
OH-NA: I bore you already. Looks like our marriage is doomed.
JONAH (as HUSBAND): “Yes…”
HUSBAND: That happens whenever I get married.
JONAH: “Whenever”?!
HUSBAND: I get tense…
OH-NA: You were smiling. And really, I don’t know how you can be tense and smile all at one time.
CROW (as OH-NA): “Like Ryan Seacrest.”
HUSBAND: Oh, it’s easy at weddings…especially when marrying the world’s loveliest girl.
SERVO (as HUSBAND): “…in the world’s loveliest ribbon.”
OH-NA: Let’s not talk politics now.
(OH-NA walks away to the couch.)
Oh, now sweetheart…
(HUSBAND walks after her and sits down on the couch beside her.)
JONAH (as HUSBAND): “Hey, you think we can tell each other our names now?”
If that subject doesn’t interest you…this might.
(HUSBAND grabs OH-NA and full on makes out with her.)
(SERVO imitates the sound of a plane crashing.)
CROW (as HUSBAND, muffled from kissing): “Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right like this?”
SERVO (as OH-NA, muffled from kissing): “Try closer to my mouth!”
(A device starts beeping. The couple stops kissing.)
JONAH (as OH-NA): “We triggered the sex alarm!”
That’s just my father in the control center. I’m sure he thinks he’s funny.
SERVO (as HUSBAND): “Let’s put him ON!”
(OH-NA goes for another make-out session but HUSBAND pulls away.)
CROW (as HUSBAND): “But, I have to answer…it could be that radio contest I entered!”
(HUSBAND gets up off the couch and walks into parlor room.)
(HUSBAND goes and unpacks a small suitcase.)
SERVO: Well, they did pack LIGHT…
(HUSBAND raises the radio antenna.)
CROW (as other end of radio): “Billy, it’s Timmy! Did you get to first base yet? Over!”

BRIDE’S FATHER: We’ll need you here within an hour.
HUSBAND: Very well, sir.
(OH-NA grabs the radio from HUSBAND.)
Please get someone else, can’t you?
SERVO (as OH-NA): “For ME?”
He’s supposed to be HERE tonight!
I’m sorry, dear.
CROW (as FATHER): “He’s got the keys to the rocket.”
It’s a pity. He’s the only one who can handle it. It’ll last two days. We’ll get him…
JONAH (as FATHER): “…sheet cake.”
…a two-week vacation when he returns. All right?
OH-NA: I guess so…there’s apparently no choice.
(OH-NA lowers the radio antenna.)
(SERVO imitates slide whistle downward.)
CROW (as OH-NA): “That’s a metaphor for our honeymoon!”

(Several cars drive to the capsule landing site. This goes on for at least a minute.)
JONAH: Thank god they’re showing this, or else we’d have to assume they all teleported to where ever they’re going.

(HUSBAND steps out of space capsule, grinning.)
JONAH (as CHARLTON HESTON from PLANET OF THE APES): “YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT ALL UP! GOD DAMN YOU–JK, everything’s fine! What’s up, everybody?”

(KOREAN TROOPS enter war room with a bloody photographer.)
Sir, we found this man three miles from the earthquake center.
CROW (as BLOODY PHOTOGRAPHER): “I tried to photograph Alec Baldwin and look what happened!”

(POLICE patrol Korean highways.)
JONAH: Highway Patrol?! That seems like an odd choice for a first response to a Kaiju.
SERVO (as PATROLMAN): “Yongary! Pull over! You’re under arrest for driving while Yongary!”
JONAH: I think that’s it. I think we’ve gone through all our motorcycle material.
SERVO: Uh, no…wait, I got something — uh…the CHiPs theme…
CROW: Do you KNOW the CHiPs theme?
SERVO: I know it HAD a theme. You know, you guys expect too much sometimes.
JONAH: Ok, uh, what about this: uh…”Get your motor running! Get out on the highway!”
SERVO: “Lookin’ for adventure!”
CROW: “BORN TO BE…mild…”

(There’s an explosion coming from a distant hillside beyond a stone wall.)
JONAH: “That’s just North Korea. They do that…A LOT.”

WOMAN: Please don’t go, Ilo!
ILO: Don’t you worry. I have to go. I’ll be all right.
ICHO: I’ll go, too.
JONAH (as ICHO): “Death and destruction are my jam! Whee!”

(YONGARY destroys another building.)
CROW: Luckily, that was a Radio Shack, so no one was in there.

(YONGARY continues to destroy South Korea.)
JONAH: You know, whereas GODZILLA was a parable about the ravages of nuclear war, YONGARY is a parable about copyright infringement.

(YONGARY hunches over and begins slowly limping away.)
JONAH: Isn’t this the part of the James Brown show where they bring out the cape and try to lead him off-stage?

(ILO and his family show up and speak with KOREAN SOLDIERS.)
Hello, I’m Professor Ilo Nami. I’ve got to get a closer look at Yongary. Will you please let me in?
SOLIDER: You got here a bit too late.
CROW (as SOLDIER): “He’s dead. Movie’s over.”
They’re going to hit Yongary any minute.
SERVO (as SOLDIER): “We’re just waiting for the shockwave.”
SOLDIER: They’ll be using guided missiles.
JONAH: Sergeant Loose-Lips right here…
SOLDIER: You better go.
SERVO (as ILO): “Um…we’re not going…”
SOLIDER: They’re going to hit Yongary any minute.
CROW: Did they hit a glitch in the Matrix?
SOLIDER: They’ll be using guided missiles.
JONAH (as SOLDIER): “Go! I’m out of dialogue!”
SOLDIER: You better go.
SUNA: Missiles? Really?
ILO: They’ll be no use.
SOLDIER: Well, let’s hope they are. Anyway, I have my orders.
CROW (as ILO): “Say, you think they have missiles?”
ILO: Then I guess we better go to headquarters!
(ILO and his family turn and run back to the truck.)

(Rain pours all over the place. Lightning crashes.)
CROW: Now even GOD is trying to end this movie.

(Everyone in the chemical room has fallen asleep. ICHO, however, is awake and sneaks over to a desk where the Itch Ray sits.)
JONAH: Oh, let me guess: he’s gonna steal the itch ray again.
CROW: Ugh! This movie’s more repetitive than a Ramones song.

(ICHO dances around and YONGARY dances along with him. Suddenly, the military comes in and grabs ICHO, pulling him to safety.)
JONAH: I guess dancing’s forbidden in the Republic of Footloose.

(YONGARY breathes fire at a Korean pilot wearing an orange jumpsuit and white helmet. The pilot dies.)
JONAH: Porkins! NO!

(YONGARY is beginning to die. He spins and flails and destroys a nearby bridge.)
JONAH: You know, this was the original ending to “Bridge on the River Kwai”.
CROW: Really?
JONAH: Yeah, yeah. Then David Lean decided to take out all the monster stuff. He felt it pulled focus from the human drama.

(ICHO’s big sister has a look of disdain on her face.)
SERVO: You can tell his sister’s gonna be a real bridezilla.
CROW: You mean bride-GARY?

1:13:36 – Bridge on the River Kwai

Matt Perri
Matt Perrihttp://mattperri.wordpress.com
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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