Mystery Science Theater 3000: INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN
October 4, 2017 9:42 PM - Season 8, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Non-threating, clunky robots from space invade Japan, and the country's only defense is a bunch of children and Space Chief. The robots turn into women, but their threat level does not increase measurably. Satellite News identifies this as another of the worst movies MST ever did, where a lot of the humor comes from the suffering of the riffers. There are a lot of little moments to watch for, like Tom Servo's "Song About Stock Footage," him saying "Just when I think I've seen the worst movie ever made, along comes the WORST movie EVER MADE!", Mike and Crow just wandering out of the theater at one point, and a number of excellent host segments including Noh Theater, Roji Panty Complex, the return of Krankor, and Crow's Letter To Japan. Oh, and the sudden and unexplained presence of the Hitler Building. Despite all of that, I'd say this one of tough going. In the subplot, an amnesiac Bobo is revealed to be the "Mad Goth," who gets his memory back just in time to get him, Pearl and Brain Guy captured at the end of the episode. YouTube Premiered October 11, 1997.

Episode 819 INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN
Satellite News - Mighty Jack's Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - Annotated MST3K - TVTropes

Kevin Murphy wrote the entry for the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, here are his recollections from that link:
I have walked this earth scarcely two score years. And rife as I may be with the callow demagogic wisdom of middle age, quick am I to call up the genuine horrors of my youth, when evil was real and palpable, and to look upon a thing which tore at the sinews of my fledgling soul and look away without pause was to name its maker, the antithesis of joy and love, the teller of dark lies, the beast.
But enough about Batman and Robin.
Suffice it to say that the reprehensible nature of Invasion of the Neptune Men is embodied in the filmmaker's choice to use actual WWII file footage in what is ostensibly a children's film. To glibly summon the darkest shadows of our century because one has run out of models to blow up is to stoop to Schumacherian levels of banality. Though we as a rule cut only for time, we also cut for violent content, and we very clearly considered arial bombardment footage of Japan to be of a violent nature.
Nuff said. ...can you tell I hated this film?
Movie
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt
Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Viewers 0%!) - Wikipedia - TVTropes
IMDB (1961, 2.0 stars)
"Clumsy invaders from Neptune are thwarted by hero Space Chief and a nondescript group of microshort-wearing Japanese kids."
Directed by Kôji Ohta. Written by Shin Morita and Akihiro Watanabe. Starring Shin'ichi "Sonny" Chiba, Ryûko Minakami and Mitsue Komiya.

Notes
That's Sonny Chiba as our hero Space Chief ("Iron-Sharp" in the original movie).

This film is one of the long-standing tokusatsu genre of transforming heroes. Unlike Prince of Space, it is not assembled from TV episodes. Sadly, it was made all of one piece, intentionally by its creators.
posted by JHarris (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not comfortable with this one. The anti-Japan jokes are, I think, completely over the top, and verge on racist.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:09 PM on October 4


It's been a while since I've watched IotNM (and I've never made it through completely awake), but I seem to remember that those kinds of comments were more common in the old days, like their making fun of Japanese names in the credits of, I think it was, Time of the Apes.

Most of the jokes I remember in this one come down to national differences (cram school, anime), which I consider are only race-related because Japan as a country is so strongly identified with race. So, I look at it like the Canada Song from 910 FINAL SACRIFICE. YMMV though, that's just my take.
posted by JHarris at 1:24 AM on October 5


Chief chef?
posted by wittgenstein at 5:55 AM on October 5


Sadly, it was made all of one piece, intentionally by its creators.

I refuse to believe this is true.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:40 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know they've gone to the "standard Japan jokes" a few times before. Time of the Apes, as you mention, Prince of Space. And that's fine. But here it is *relentless*. I re-watched it just last weekend, because I thought maybe I had been unfair, and I don't think I am.

Mike seems to have a cruel streak that comes out in the late seasons. The "must conceal our hate joke" in the Canada Song skit is a little Freudian, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:49 AM on October 5


You may be on to something Chrysostom. We'll be on the lookout during the episode tonight.

Speaking of which... tonight's showing is the usual time (9 PM ET/6 PM PT) at the usual place (https://cytu.be/r/Metafilter_MST3KClub). Anyone who can make it, come on out!
posted by JHarris at 3:55 PM on October 5


In the not-too-distant future,
Each Thursday night at 9,
JHarris and his chat-bot friends
Gather for Movie Sign.
In a viewing room at cytu-dot-be,
They watch the cream of the 1990s,
Every episode of MST3K
It's a wacky weekly ritual they can't look away.
They watch those cheesy movies
In the order they were aired
And while the guys and the bots do their riffing
The MeFites text their share
Now keep in mind they can't control
Which show they do each week
But they try to keep their sanity
On a long-running losing streak
CHATBOT ROLL CALL...

If you're wondering how they get the tapes
From YouTube or Shout Factory
Just remind yourself this is all Fair Use
So forget your C&D...
It's MST3K Club for MeFites
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:58 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Aaah that one was difficult. Next week though it's a great one, 820 SPACE MUTINY! Should make up entirely for that one, I hope.
posted by JHarris at 8:16 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Thanks for those lyrics BTW, foop. The only thing I'd suggest is changing the "can't" in line eight to "cannot," I think it fits the meter better?
posted by JHarris at 2:06 AM on October 6


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