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Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SHE-CREATURE  Season 8, Ep 8

"HYPNOTIZED! Reincarnated as a Monster from Hell!" "IT CAN AND DID HAPPEN! Based on authentic FACTS you've been reading about!" Facts eh? In this movie, an evil hypnotist tells a lady to SLEEP!, causing her to summon an ancient lobster woman from the sea, who goes on a rampage. Because all prospective licensed hypnotists learn about calling crustacean people on the first day of class. This is exactly why you shouldn't get your news of current events from movie posters. It's the last episode on Observer world and the last we see of the other Observers (well they do turn up again once later). YouTube (1h31m) Premiered April 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 20, 2017 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000  Season 8, Ep 7

"From time unborn... a hideous she-thing!" Guy invents a machine that can send things to and from the future. One of the things that comes is a winsome young future girl who seeks a mate to save future humanity. Sounds good, right? Ha ha no it's a horrible radioactive hellscape and she wears a leotard with sparkly bits on it and kills people and must be stopped. At the end they wonder if they should have helped the future folk after all, and conclude they can do that by avoiding the nuclear apocalypse that created the bad future. Yeah, I'm sure that will happen. It's the last full episode on Observer World, and it's the last Observer-takeover stinger. Mike and the bots get up to some time travel adventures themselves. YouTube (1h32m) - Promo Premiered March 15, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 12, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE UNDEAD  Season 8, Ep 6

"Terror... That Screams from the Grave!" A confusing movie, actually introduced by Satan himself, about a hooker regressed into a past life where she was executed for witchcraft. Contains 5000% more Digger Smolken than the doctor recommended dose. Ah, finally the movie selection moves out from beneath Universal's oppressive thumb, meaning this episode is on YouTube (1h32m)! It's also directed--not Executive Produced--by Roger Corman, so prepare yourself for direct exposure to the Cor-Man. That bit in the beginning where Pearl stuffs her test paper in an Observer's brain dish? That's our Observer right there, and it's essentially the beginning of their storied (in fanfic at least) and yet strangely non-specific relationship. Premiered March 8, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 6, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE  Season 8, Ep 5

"The Grave Can't Hold It... Nothing Human Can Stop it!" A psychic lady stumbles upon a Box of Evil on the ranch, evidently the cousin of Señor Wences' friend Pedro. It bends the very wills of the people there until it is reunited with its body... and then is instantly defeated, because apparently its demonic powers end at that moment. S'not alright! We just got done with The Beast of Hollow Mountain and now we've got another Weird Western! In subplot news, this is the episode that introduces the Observers, and one particular Observer as a regular character, played by Bill Corbitt. Episode 805 is unavailable on YouTube. Premiered March 3, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 28, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY MANTIS  Season 8, Ep 4

"The Most Dangerous Monster That Ever Lived!" "Out Of a Million Years Ago... A Thousand Tons of Terror!" A big bug eats people and destroys things, until someone crashes a jet into it. Weak sauce! I'm just saying, the Giant Claw wouldn't have been undone by a simple jet crash. The episode's got a pretty good reputation! In this week's subplot watch, some bomb-worshipping mutants show up in Deep Ape. This results in the end of one theme (Deep Ape itself) and the beginning of another one (Mike seemingly being unable to keep himself from blowing up planets). Oh also, Pearl finally begins the chase of the S.O.L. promised in the theme song. Episode 804 doesn't appear to be on YouTube. Premiered February 22, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 21, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MOLE PEOPLE  Season 8, Ep 3

"TERRIFYING Monsters From A Lost Age!" Archeologists discover an ancient subterrainian civilization beneath a volcano and, using the awesome power of their mighty FLASHLIGHT, free the titular mole people from their oppression. A weird movie. In the original screenplay the underground girl Adal was supposed to go off with Our Hero, but because that might be seen as an interracial relationship they had her get squashed under a pillar! There's a lot of MST veterans in this movie, particularly John Agar and Hugh Beaumont. This is the episode with The Load, a remarkably burdensome member of the heroic party who exists only to slow them, and the movie, down. YouTube (Official, with annotations! 1h32m) Premiered February 15, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 15, 2017 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LEECH WOMAN  Season 8, Ep 2

"Forever Young! Forever Deadly!" "She Lived Off The Life Blood of Male Victims!" Africa! Source of endless 50s movie MacGuffins! All manner of bizarre plot-driving effect can be found there! Here the bizarre secret waiting to be found is that of eternal youth, at only the cost of having to kill people regularly to maintain it. It's all due to the wonders of the human pineal gland, itself the source of many plot-driving mysteries. BTW, the movie's view of the human race is unremittingly horrible. Mike and co. are still hovering above Deep Ape, which has become rather freer in its dress code. BTW: Jeeeeeeeeeed! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 8, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 7, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REVENGE OF THE CREATURE  Season 8, Ep 1

(Originally in 3D) "MONSTER ESCAPES! City flees in TERROR!" "All new Thrills! Shock! Suspense!" Hoo boy. So once upon a time, living in a black lagoon, there was a Creature. Having survived the injuries and affonts to dignity from the ending to a previous movie, the "Gill Man" is captured by marine scientists and sent to an amusement park, I guess to replace Shamu. An incredibly dangerous beast that's killed people before kept by scientists in an amusement park. What do you THINK is gonna happen? John Hammond reads about the incident in the paper and has a wonderful idea. And so begins the last sixth era of the show, as it kicks off its three season run on SyFy The Sci-Fi Channel. The guys are 500 years in the future and APES RULE THE WORLD! Their new movie-sending tormentors are Professor Bobo and his assistant Dr. Peanut... and a mysterious, familiar figure. Wait, you already know it's Pearl Forrester. Stylistically there's a lot of differences, but less than a year passed between episodes 706 and 801. See notes for more. YouTube (1h32m) Sci-Fi Channel Promo. Premiered February 1, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN  Season 7, Ep 2

"Towering NEW Terror! No woman safe from his crushing arms..." A guy with acromegaly is kiling people, but when he takes refuge from the police in a blind girl's house he finds himself moved to help her. He goes and steals to pay for an operation that could cure her, but also kills people because I guess old habits die hard. The police punch his ticket, but for some reason she gets the operation anyway. With short The Chicken of Tomorrow: The hazy future promises advances in the raising of chickens. Science marches on! Poor Rondo Hatton died shortly after this movie was made, from the very acromegaly that established him as "The Creeper." Although the short is great, this is one of the worse episodes of Season Seven unfortunately. Host segments are interesting though, with Pearl's date having to face off with a surprisingly protective Dr. Forrester. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 10, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 26, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST  Season 7, Ep 1

"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 19, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN  Season 6, Ep 23

"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 29, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RED ZONE CUBA  Season 6, Ep 19

aka "Night Train to Mundo Fine" Oh god, we're HERE. John Carradine tells us (and sings!) about Griffin, who "ran all the way to hell." Griffin is who we follow, with two accomplices, as they engage of a series of pointless adventures, including participating in the Bay of Pigs (which is only the middle of the movie) and trying to muscle into a lucrative tungsten mine. With short Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance: Think tall! Talk tall! Stand tall! Walk tall! This film, another of the absolute worst MST ever did, offers an almost physical level of pain. It should be watched by diehards only, who will love this episode. But don't introduce newbies to the show with this one, or you might scar them. Good luck everyone. Against my better judgement, here is the episode on YouTube. (1h31m) Premiered December 17, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 1, 2017 - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Season 6, Ep 18

"The Kid Who Showed the Big Time How!" A supposedly-intelligent high school student makes a series of progressively worse decisions that lead ultimately to the deaths or critical wounding of every major character. With short Out of This World: An angel and a devil each try to convince a bread deliveryman to join the light or dark sides, respectively, of bread delivery, leaving unexamined the incredible theological implications. Fan opinion of this Roger Corman movie varies widely, but I like it. The short is pretty good, one of those ridiculous industrials where supernatural entites take great interest in some poor dope's work-a-day life. This episode is not available on YouTube due to a copyright claim. Apparently the entity "BentPixels" is protective of their rights over either this secondary school film noir or the celestial battle for bread delivery to resort to legal solutions. The episode premiered December 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 23, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RACKET GIRLS  Season 6, Ep 16

AKA Pin-Down Girls "The Strange LOVE-LIFE of a WRESTLING GAL!" "SEE...Intimate Scenes of Gorgeous Girl Wrestlers with the Naked Eye of the Camera!" Less a coherent narrative as an exhibition. Ladies wrestle. Their manager uses his business to launder money. But, primarily, ladies wrestle. With short Are You Ready For Marriage?: Two young lovers plan to drop out and get hitched, but a councilor warns them about the terrible possibility that they might BOING. I've heard it said that women wrestling is to this movie as jets refueling is to The Starfighters, which is a hell of a warning. By the way, there are just 14 Comedy Central episodes left in our tour. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 26, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 9, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: KITTEN WITH A WHIP  Season 6, Ep 15

"She's all out for kicks... and every inch of her spells EXCITEMENT!" A fairly stupid, but not unkind, Senate candidate gets accidentally mixed up with a girl and her thug friends. Most viewers seem to agree this is not a terrific episode, but some humor may be wrung out of the political angle. The movie itself may be one of the better ones to get sent to the S.O.L.: it's rated Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes! It's based on a novel by the same name. YouTube (Official, with annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered November 23, 1994 (Turkey Day). [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 2, 2017 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SINISTER URGE  Season 6, Ep 13

aka The Young and Immoral. "Compulsive Killer Strikes Terror" "Frank... Daring... Shocking Realism" The police are trying to shut down a smutty picture racket while a killer, driven to insanity by pornographic nudity, preys on local women. With short Keeping Clean and Neat: An omniscient disembodied voice tells kids how to wash and perform hygiene. The movie is the last of Ed Wood's movies that Mystery Science Theater would cover. Reactions from the fanbase are mixed: Sampo of Satellite News thinks it's so-so, but some of the commenters, and Mighty Jack, love it. Wood made a softcore version of the movie the next year, and planned a sequel that was never made. YouTube (1h30m) Premiered November 5, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 19, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: LAST OF THE WILD HORSES  Season 6, Ep 11

"RIDIN' HIGH... WILD... and DARING!" "A Big Action Outdoor Spectacle" A flimsy, coincidence-driven plot drives what amounts to a cowboy clearing his name for murder. The last of the Robert L. Lippert-produced movies MST would do! Also, the last MST film with music by Albert Glasser! But both of these endings are overshadowed by the riffing and sketches in this episode, which parody the Star Trek alternate universe "Mirror, Mirror" episode, with two of everyone runnin' around, evil shenanigans afoot, and, for the first host segment at least, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank are riffing the movie! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 15, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 5, 2017 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE VIOLENT YEARS  Season 6, Ep 10

"Teenage Killers Fearing No Law! Taking Their Thrills Unashamed!" Ed Wood wrote this lurid tale of a gang of violent young women on a rampage. With short Young Man's Fancy: Produced by Jam Handy for Edison Electric, in this stealth promo for electric appliances, a "squishy" teen girl tries to attract the attention of a boy by making dinner by herself. Chris "Sampo" Cornell of Satellite News considers this his "desert island" episode. Judge for yourself! YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 8, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 29, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SKYDIVERS  Season 6, Ep 9

"Thrill Jumping Guys...Thrill Seeking Girls... Daring Death with Every Leap!" A woman gets revenge on her philandring, skydiving husband. Puts heavy emphasis on those skydiving scenes. Remarkably boring. With short Why Study Industrial Arts: A young man enthuses about his woodworking class. The short is great, let's get that out of the way. This movie though... it's the first of the three Coleman Francis movies they did in the sixth season. All three are in that lowest-of-the-low tier. Frank himself says "It's like 'Manos' without the lucid plot." Fan opinion of the episode is pretty high, but the movie is so bad. I'm not sure if I've ever stayed awake all the way through it! Good luck everyone. YouTube (1h32m) Promo (28s) Premiered August 27, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 14, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD  Season 6, Ep 8

"One Man Stands Between the Release of a Deadly Gas and the Fate of the World." Quinn Martin, producer of 16 thousand TV shows, tried to make it 16,001 with this pilot that didn't get picked up. NBC instead showed it as a movie-of-the-week. Basically, a spy tries to stop double-agent "Tree" from selling a deadly deadly gas to a foreign power. With short A Day at the Fair: Relieve the days when rural families enjoyed themselves by meeting for agricultural exhibits once a year. The incredible excitement explodes off the screen! The short's actually okay, but the movie is serious dullsville. Even the ad quote above came from a VHS box. It's very easy to forget this episode even exists. What was I talking about again? YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRLS TOWN  Season 6, Ep 1

Teen girls in a reform school run by nuns mix it up with gangs and each other! Contains Mamie Van Doren, Paul Anka and Mel Torme. And we're off on Season Six, the last full-length Comedy Central season. Some people really like this episode, but most seem to agree the riffing is better than the host segments. It's been a long time since the days when you couldn't get many eps on DVD, but this is one of the few remaining episodes you can still only get through those circulatin' tapes or their online equivilent. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 16, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 13, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON  Season 5, Ep 24

"Land on the moon with the intrepid first astronauts!" An international team of smarties haul themselves and cats up to the moon, where Gidney and Cloyd make ridiculous demands of them (they want the cats) before freezing North America. With short Design for Dreaming: One of the more bizarre things ever screened on the Satellite of Love. An annoying musical lady goes with her masked suitor to see GM cars on display, pausing in the middle to engage in Jane Jetson domesticity. If the premise to the movie sounds a bit familiar, it's got the same general idea (for the first half anyway) as 211 FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS. BTW, if you like the "many names of David Ryder" from 820 SPACE MUTINY, this episode has a good number of toughguy lunkhead names too! It also seems it shares some production elements with the movie in 902 THE PHANTOM PLANET. The short is a highlight of MST's entire run, and is a great introduction point. Also, this is the final episode of Season Five. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered February 5, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 5, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE CRIME WAVE  Season 5, Ep 22

"Out of the sidewalk jungle... the shocking drama of today's teenage terror!" Back then there were fewer people, so you only needed two teens to make a crime wave. These particular ones terrorize a farming family. They all go out for a fun day trip to the Griffith Park Observatory. I don't remember this one really well, but the word on the web is that it's kind of an underrated classic, possibly ignored because it only came out on DVD fairly recently. I also hear it's slow going for the first part. Contains the Mace Mousse and "Doughy Guy" sketches, and Frank dressed as Doughy Man at the end. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 15, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 22, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RADAR SECRET SERVICE  Season 5, Ep 20

Crooks don't stand a chance against the miracle science of RADAR, which can track down cars as long as they're moving. It's produced by demon prince Robert Lippert and directed by his archfiend Sam Newfield, so expect to be bored right to death. With short Last Clear Chance: Union Pacific wants you to be safe around their incredibly deadly, whisper-quiet trains, which, thirsty for blood, lurk at crossings, ready to strike. Why don't they look? Great short! The movie, however, is at true test of your MSTie endurance. The riffing is pretty good for most of it, about as good as you can expect from such a gray, static pile of film as this. It is a film that would lead aliens to conclude the planet Earth could hold no joy. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 18, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 25, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEGINNING OF THE END  Season 5, Ep 17

"The Screen's First Full-Length Science-Fiction Thriller with Real Live Creatures!" Peter Graves is a serious science man with an interesting discovery: a substance that makes vegetables grow king-size economy style right out of the ground. But what will happen when the local insect life discovers them? Bert I. Gordon, "Mr. Big" is back with a tale of grasshopers terrorizing a helpless postcard. Say what you want about these old sci-fi movies with questionable effects, they're still more fun than your standard contemporary Warner Bros. superhero flick, or so says me. By the way, did you know that Peter Graves went to the University of Minnesota? YouTube (Official, with annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered November 25, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 4, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE WILD WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN  Season 5, Ep 15

aka She Was a Hippy Vampire "Beyond Wildest Dreams!" "Her thrills rip forth in wide wild adventure!" Supervillain-in-a-wrestling-mask Ratfink (really) and his henchmen plan to steal an atomic hearing aid (really) and the only one that can stop her is Batwoman (not the DC Comics character!) and her mob of cultish, barely-clothed girls. Really. There's something of a surprise ending, but who cares make it stop im leaving With short Cheating: Teenager John is haunted by both the memory of his cheating on tests, and by his teacher Miss Granby's disembodied head, staring at him from the black void in which he lives. Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god. This is SUCH A TERRIBLE MOVIE, easily sortable with Robot Monster, Manos and Monster A-Go-Go in the WORST heap. It's not on many people's best-of lists but it's a favorite of mine. The movie wants to partly be a comedy, but is incredibly inept. Badness and wrongness drip from every inch of this film. The short is terrific, a legendary segment. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 13, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 20, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE STRANGLER  Season 5, Ep 14

aka "Terror in the Night." "A caress... an embrace... then DEFILEMENT AND DEATH!" "Budding young teenie-boppers were this Bluebeard's prey!" A serial killer is terrorizing the town, attacking teenage girls. Lt. Anderson thinks it's because parents are too lenient with their kids. Darn kids! With short Is This Love?: A young couple runs away to get married. This would be the first "normal" Mike episode, and fan buzz is that it's a pretty good one. Mike and company have a lot of fun at Mikey's expense. The character was played by John Humphries, who appeared at the first Conventio-Con, and filled us in on some info: few people who made this movie went to do any other movie, and the movie's featuring on MST3K caused a renewed interest in it in the town in Huntington, West Virginia, where it was made, where it got a 1994 theater showing. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 14, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE  Season 5, Ep 13

"Fantastic! Weird! Horrifying!" "Alive...Without A Body... Fed By An Unspeakable Horror From Hell!" How gifted does a doctor have to be that, when his GF is decapitated in a crash, his thought is, "I can fix this!" Two-for-two on a bad idea streak, he goes out and tries to kill attractive women so he can get her a new chassis. This movie teaches us that not only are free-standing heads capable of speech, they can communicate with horrible monsters. It's Mike Nelson's first episode as host, and boy, they change a lot of things with this episode, including updating the set and changing the door sequence! It's a pretty good episode riffing-wise, too. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 30, 1993. Did you know there is a stage musical based on the film, "Head: The Musical!" (Vimeo 1h40m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 6, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PAINTED HILLS  Season 5, Ep 10

"Packed with thrills!" Prospector Jonathan is murdered by his partner in an attempt to jump his claim, but the scoundrel didn't count on the valor of Jon's faithful collie, who is driven by VENGENCE! Vengence, and SNAUSAGES! With short Body Care and Grooming: A narrator reminds college students of the shame of not adjusting your appearance to social norms. Another good short, and the first Western MST did -- and the second is the very next episode. (No, I'm not counting the "space western" MOON ZERO TWO.) Furthermore, this is actually a Lassie movie; they took the famous meta-collie's name off the movie for some releases, which is just as well as the dog's name in the movie is actually Shep. Daddy-O informs us that Paul Kelly, the actor who played Jonathan, the victim in the movie, spent two years in prison for manslaughter! This episode contains the last short Joel riffed for MST3K, and there are only two other Joel episodes left.... YouTube (1h31m Premiered September 26, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 15, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE  Season 5, Ep 9

"Too young to know... to reckless to care..." A couple of dumb drifters drift into town. In the process they become attached to local girls, but eventually tragedy strikes. Watch out for the bummer ending to this one. Compared the the string of excellent episodes before it, this one's a bit of a sleeper, but there are still some great bits, including "Camera three get off the track," and the beloved MST song "What a Pleasant Journey!" There are just three Joel episodes left.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 18, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 8, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS  Season 5, Ep 7

Poster. A young man wins an essay contest about his loving family, but the truth is they neglect him. So, he runs off and gets involved with gangsters. I tell you, life is tough for us English majors. With short The Truck Farmer: Encyclopædia Britannica Films informs us of the process by which fresh vegetables are brought to our cities, which apparently doesn't involve exploited migrant labor very much at all. While the movie doesn't have the weirdness power of an Eegah or a Sinbad, this is another excellent episode, filled with great moments like Duck News with Hugh McQuacken, and the old guy and his hamburger. The host segments are terrific too. Oh, what could Jimmy's problem be? YouTube (1h32m) - Shout Factory TV - Unriffed Premiered September 4, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 26, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SWAMP DIAMONDS  Season 5, Ep 3

aka Swamp Women. "Branded Women! Notorious Women! Scarlet Women! SWAMP WOMEN!" "Deadlier Than the MALE!" An undercover policewoman helps other women escape from prison in the hopes they'll lead her to stolen loot. With short What to Do on a Date: A shy kid asks a girl out for a date, and they have the best time that could be depicted on-screen in 1950s America: they go to a "scavanger sale." Another of MST's best shorts, a case, like with Mr. B Natural and War of the Colossal Beast, where the short overwhelms the movie. One source claims Swamp Women was the first movie Roger Corman directed, but IMDB lists four movies he directed the year before. It's a fairly typical lurid early Corman movie, with lots of talking and padding. Corman himself is still alive and active, and although he hasn't directed in a while, he's still producing: he produced Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf just last year. YouTube (1h32m) - Rough cut - Unriffed - Trailer. Premiered July 31, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 28, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BRIDE OF THE MONSTER  Season 4, Ep 23

"The Screen's Master of the Weird... In His Newest and Most Daring Shocker!" The movie described is, in fact, one of notorious director Ed Wood's most infamous, and stars Bela Lugosi in his last speaking role. Some of the events of the making of the film, including the one where Lugosi thrashes around in rubber octopus tentacles, are depicted in Tim Burton's wonderful movie Ed Wood. With short, the first half of Hired!: an internal promotional and training film for Chevrolet, the 50s equivalent of that video they make new Wendy's employees watch. He tampered in God's domain! In addition to Wood as director and Lugosi as mad scientist, this film features the screen presence of Tor Johnson. BRIDE OF THE MONSTER is another example of a movie known for badness, but is at least watchable, which is more than you can say for Coleman Francis' work, or indeed the movie we're watching NEXT WEEK.... It seems the BotM got a sequel, Night of the Ghouls, that was finished four years later but didn't get released until 1987. YouTube (YouTube 1h32m) Premiered January 23, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 31, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE  Season 4, Ep 22

"Chilling Terror!" Don't believe the ad! This is actually a charming story from the Kalevala, the Finnish national myth, that was blatantly renamed by American International Pictures to try to trick people into seeing it who were expecting sci-fi. With short HERE COMES THE CIRCUS. The horrors of the Clyde Beatty circus, named after the animal tamer who appears here, are brought before us. After 421 MONSTER A-GO GO last week, this film is a breath of fresh air. Director Aleksander Ptushko was a genius who's not better known now only because his career took place entirely behind the Iron Curtain. His first movie, "The New Gulliver," was the first entirely stop-motion movie. Two other of his films, also excellent, are later covered by MST3K: 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD and 617 THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered January 16, 1993. You might be interested to know that the original version, "Sampo," is on YouTube in six parts, with subtitles! 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 24, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MONSTER A-GO GO  Season 4, Ep 21

"An Astronaut Went Up... A 'Guess What' Came Down!" "The Picture That Comes Complete with a 10-Foot Tall Monster to Give You the Wim-Wams!" "How did a 10-foot-tall monster get into that little bitty space capsule?" "You've Never Seen a Picture Like This--Thank Goodness!" It's never a good sign when the poster taglines themselves make fun of the movie. One of the absolute worst movies in MST history, and of all time. With short CIRCUS ON ICE: A newsreel report of the 40th Annual Carnival of the Toronto Skating Club. It's iceberg time again! You may think you know what a bad movie looks like. You may think you can handle bad movies. You may think badfilm is nothing to be afraid of. The punishment for your hubris takes the form of a viewing of MONSTER A-GO GO. If you're a fan or born MSTie this should not be missed, but it can be lethal if you haven't built up an immunity. One of a handful of the most terrible movies MST ever did, up there with the likes of Robot Monster and Red Zone Cuba. And don't relax yet, one its primary rivals is on the way in just three weeks.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 1, 1993. Trailer - Unriffed (DO NOT WATCH) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 16, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE REBEL SET  Season 4, Ep 19

"B-GUYS! (The beardnicks) Living and Loving for strange kicks! JET DOLLS! Ready and willing to go into orbit! KING OF BEATSVILLE! Master mind behind a million dollars worth of murder! THE 'WEIRDIES'! Nobody knows what makes them tick!" Man, dig that ridiculous ad copy! In this beatsploitation movie, the Chief from Get Smart is "Mr. T," and he masterminds an armored car robbery. With short Johnny at the Fair: a four-year-old boy wanders the Worlds Fair grounds randomly, having adventures, meeting stage stars and Joe Louis, running up future therapy bills. The short has Olsen and Johnson, the "Hellzapoppin' boys." They had a stage show that got turned into a movie, Hellzapoppin'. It's pretty crazy! BTW, despite the guys' comments, Merritt Stone is actually nowhere in this movie. YouTube (1h32m) - Hulu - Shout Factory [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 3, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE THE EYE CREATURES  Season 4, Ep 18

Badly-designed aliens invade a small town, and the adults won't believe the smoocher teens who seen 'em! It's up to them to save the world with the timely application of their car headlights. This movie is below-average in quality even by MST standards. The title, by the way, is not a typo, or at least it's not my typo. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 5, 1992. This movie is largely a shot-by-shot remake of Invasion of the Saucer Men! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 25, 2016 - 15 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CRASH OF MOONS  Season 4, Ep 17

"Classic Sci-Fi Advenure" Two moons are going to crash into each other, natch. It's our old friends Rocky Jones and Winky to save the people living on them! With short General Hospital #2: More scenes from very early episodes of the long-running soap opera. Deja-vu! One month ago we watched a short made of old General Hospital scenes matched with a movie made of old Rocky Jones, Space Ranger episodes. And lo, we have the same composition for this episode! This is the one where one role is played by John Banner, Sgt. Schultz himself, and the guys won't let you forget it. Satellite News points out that the title card of the movie leaves out the "The," so by their naming conventions the movie is not titled "Crash of the Moons," but just, "Crash of Moons." So, where did the "The" go? Tune in next week and find out.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 28, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 18, 2016 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE  Season 4, Ep 16

"Out of This World SHOCK SENSATION!" "SEE: The Strangest of All Rites in the Temple of Love!" Astronauts land on a hitherto unknown moon of Jupiter and discover lonely nubile maidens, our solar system's greatest resource. This episode is especially notable for containing the saga of "Timmy," an evil alien Crow that comes aboard the SOL. The Timmy puppet was actually one of the theater puppets; they're painted back to give them a better silhouette. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered November 26, 1992 (Turkey Day marathon). [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 11, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEATNIKS  Season 4, Ep 15

"Living by their code of REBELLION and MUTINY! Intimite secrets of the Beat Generation!" A singer has dreams of stardom, but his hipster friends keep him down. The movie was both directed and written by connsumate cartoon voice actor Paul Frees. Boris Badenov himself! But as we're reminded frequently, they're not beatniks. Servo: "They're not even Boatniks!" With short General Hospital #2: More scenes from the early days of the long-running soap. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 25, 1992. (Turkey Day '92) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 4, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TORMENTED  Season 4, Ep 14

"A Ghost-Woman Owned Him Body and Soul!" "Her lips, cold as a tomb! Her caress, a naked chill!" Tom's former lover Vi threatens to reveal herself to his bride-to-be, so he lets her fall to her death, but that is only the beginning of her now-ghostly campaign against him. Another outing from the most prolific director of MST movies, Bert I. "Mr BIG" Gordon. It's a good episode, and it's not really that bad of a movie! Thanks again, Bert. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1992. Without riffing at the Internet Archive (1h16m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 28, 2016 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANHUNT IN SPACE  Season 4, Ep 13

Stitched-together episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, a space show from the 50s like Commander Video. He fights space pirates. While popular at the time, the show's production values put it way over budget and it only lasted one season. Co-pilot Winky was played by Scotty Beckett, former child star who was one of the original Our Gang kids, but was replaced in the cast after 26 episodes while serving jail time for carrying a concealed weapon. A troubled sort, he committed suicide at age 38. With short General Hospital #1: An old collection of scenes from what may be the very first year of long-running soap opera General Hospital. Dr. Steve Hardy was played by John Beradino, who was a baseball player for 13 years, and appeared as his GH character for 33 until his death. Not a man to give up a good gig. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 19, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 21, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN  Season 4, Ep 9

"Inhuman! Invincible! Inescapable!" Lon Cheney Jr. lumbers around the screen as a criminal executed by, then revived by, magic fairies electricity, and in the process somehow made "indestructable," demonstrating the principle that, in movies, anything even vaguely scientific can attain infinite potency, given the right circumstances. With short Undersea Kingdom, Part 2: Our heroes continue to gad about Atlantis. While the series went to 12 chapters in theaters, this is the last we see of it on MST3K. Great host segments highlight a pretty good episode. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 15, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 9, 2015 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE KILLER SHREWS, with short JUNIOR RODEO DAREDEVILS  Season 4, Ep 7

"They had to eat 3 times their body weight each day... or starve!" Some people are trapped on an island with friendly dogs poisonous shrews. Not a high point in the annals of cinema. With short Junior Rodeo Daredevils: To stop kids from bothering his horses, Old Timer Billy Slater arranges an incredibly dangerous competition for the local youth. The looping music in the short is like the soundtrack to the Ozark region of Hell. The dogs' killer shrew getup in the movie is particularly laughable. YouTube (1h32m) Unriffed (Internet Archive) Premiered July 25, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 19, 2015 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, with short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, part one  Season 4, Ep 6

"Crawling Horror...Rising from the Depths of Hell to Kill and Conquer!" Rednecks are disappearing and the sheriff won't listen that they've been caught giant leeches living in caves beneath the swamp. Oh well, it isn't anything a bunch of dynamite can't handle. With short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, Part 1: In this first episode of a 1936 serial, "Crash" Corrigan and friends (including a Professor, a Kid, and a Woman) dive beneath the sea in their rocket sub to the lost city of Atlantis. Everyday-wear in Atlantis is, shall we say, flamboyant. The short is the oldest thing ever riffed by MST3K. I find the conclusion of the movie particularly hilarious. Although they know that the leeches may be keeping their victims alive in underswamp caverns, the "good guys" still throw in bundles of explosive, killing leeches and victims alike. The movie was remade in 2008! Executive Produced by Roger Corman, and Regular Produced by his brother Gene. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered July 18, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 12, 2015 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE  Season 4, Ep 4

"Teenage Hoodlums from Another World on a Horrendous Ray-Gun Rampage!" "Before...A Beautiful Girl. One Moment Later...A Skeleton!" Despite the ad lines, the titular teenagers number only two, and one of them is the milquetoast "Derek." Their mission: to prepare Earth for the coming of their lifestock, which naturally take the form of gigantic lobsters. It's a good episode! This is the movie that gives us the infamous "TORCHAA!!" catchphrase, beloved of MSTies everywhere. It's also Mary Jo Pehl's first episode writing! YouTube (1h33m) Premiered June 27, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 29, 2015 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT GILA MONSTER  Season 4, Ep 2

"Only Hell Could Breed Such An Enormous Beast...Only God Could Destroy It!" A giant lizard attacks cars in the countryside, and the sheriff is too inept to do anything about it. No, it's not up to got God, but a local teenager with an exploding car to resolve the problem. This movie was released in theaters as a double-bill with THE KILLER SHREWS, riffed in episode 407. The two movies were both directed by Ray Kellogg, and the movies have many similarities, including the same opening narrator and frequent use of "leg up" blocking. As episodes go, this is a standard 50s-era sci-fi flick, but the riffing's pretty sharp on this one! This kind of movie is a natural for the show. YouTube (1h34m) Premiered June 6, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 15, 2015 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE UNEARTHLY  Season 3, Ep 20

"Lured! to the house of monsters." "Guaranteed to FRIGHTEN!" John Carradine is a mad scientist convinced he has the key to eternal life, namely a gland transplant. It turns his test subjects into mutants, but you know what they say about omelets and eggs, right? With shorts Posture Pals and Appreciating Our Parents. The first short has kids learning about posture in school and bying to become Posture Royalty. The second is an oppressive piece devoted to killing any joy and spontaneity a kid might have in the name of parental obedience. The movie's kind of a slog (even though it contains our first exposure to Tor Johnson!), but the shorts are both iconic, and the host segments are pretty good. YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 14, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 2, 2015 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST  Season 3, Ep 19

"The Towering Terror From Hell!" "SEE a Sixty Foot Giant Destroyed...in Color!" When we last saw Col. Glenn Manning, he was 60 feet tall and had fallen into the Colorado River, where we might presume his corpse would have stopped its flow at some point, or at least provided free sustenance for weeks to its aquatic wildlife. But they never found his amazing colossal body! Well that's because he survived, somehow, improbably, even though he was supposed to be close to death from his untimely embiggening. His sister (the first movie said he had no family but no matter) is determined to find out what happened to him. With the short MR. B NATURAL: A magical pixie that gives off mixed gender signals comes to visit a confused young boy and tries to sell him band equipment. The movie's another Bert I. Gordon monsterpiece, and a sequel to the movie featured in episode 309, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN. It's a black and white movie, but it's color for the very VERY end so they could say that ad up above wasn't a lie. The episode's okay, but tends to languish in the shadow of the short which, in terms of concentrated riffing power, might be the funniest thing the Brains ever did. YouTube (1h37m) BONUS: A real rarity, Mr. B Natural (26m) on YouTube, un-MSTed! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 27, 2015 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT  Season 3, Ep 17

Full title: The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. "The Raw Courage of Women Without Men Lost in a Fantastic Hell-on-Earth!" Its spear-throwing, long-boating, suspeciously well-coiffed heroines do take charge and go out to rescue their men from captivity, but the sea serpent is not exactly a prominent figure. With short The Home Economics Story: Iowa State College tries to sell young women on a major in home economics. This is the second of five Roger Corman movies the guys would get over the show's run. That fake-blond male stowaway on the ship is Jonathan Haze, who was in every single Corman movie the Brains riffed, and is also the actor who's been in the most MST movies. Crow's bit as "Willie the Wonderful Wisecracking Waffle" is actually a direct reference to A Case Of Spring Fever, a short they wouldn't actually riff until Season 10! All the host segments here have to do with waffles, by the way. YouTube (2h) Premiered October 26, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 13, 2015 - 7 comments

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