120 posts tagged with mysterysciencetheater.
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE  Season 6, Ep 22

aka Angels' Brigade. "They're Blow You Away!" Seven young women in skintight clothes unconvincingly battle right-wing militia and neighborhood drug dealers. An obvious knockoff of Charlie's Angels, the slime just drips off this movie. In addition to Jim Backus (Misters Howell and Magoo), this movie also has Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper!), a return appearance by Jack Palance, and also Pat "Mr. Haney" Buttram, Peter Lawford and Arthur Godfrey as himself. This one hurts. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 11, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 23, 2017 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS  Season 6, Ep 21

"Special Guest Star playing a double Role TOR JOHNSON as the Beast" A Soviet scientist wanders the titular flats after getting subjected to moviedom's favorite evil-causing MacGuffin, radiation. Coleman Francis narrates most of his misadventures as he strangles his way through the wasteland while chased by policemen. At the end, dying, he caresses a rabbit. With two shorts: Money Talks, Because there's not a lot to do in the afterlife, the silhouetted ghost of Benjamin Franklin lectures a kid about saving and spending money wisely; and Progress Island U.S.A., Have you considered Puerto Rico? Because this short really, really thinks you should consider Puerto Rico. The last of the Coleman Francis trilogy. Although Paste Magazine's recent list (Metafilter) put this one near the bottom, both Satellite News and Mighty Jack think this is one of the best episodes. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 21, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DANGER! DEATH RAY  Season 6, Ep 20

aka "Il Raggio Infernale" A scientist invents a death ray--purely for peaceful purposes of course--and wouldn't you know it, its inventor gets kidnapped. It's up to James Bond expy Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo) to rescue him, to the tune of an unusually catchy soundtrack. Ba dup ba dup ba da da! While not as silly as 504 SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON or 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007, that darn soundtrack, and the guys' fixation on it, help carry us through. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 7, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 9, 2017 - 7 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: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON  Season 6, Ep 17

aka "Ilya Mourometz" (USSR) "Eye-Filling Spectacle! Man Against Monsters!" "A cast of 106,000! 11,000 horses!" Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets is a chair-bound farmer who gains both the power to walk and the magic sword Invincor, and uses both to drive off the evil Tugars that threaten his land -- whose number includes his son. For once the opening ad blurbs and descriptions of this film aren't sarcastic, for this is a genuinely great movie, the third both of MST's treatments of the output of Russian director Aleksandr Ptushko. (The other two were 422 THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE and 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.) Yet, while the movie is terrific, it's also very strange, which makes it excellent riffing fodder. Wait until you see the wind demon. It all adds up to a rare episode where you can appreciate both the film and the jokes. Also contains a favorite host segment, the "Joke by Ingmar Bergman." YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 16, 2017 - 2 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: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL  Season 6, Ep 14

"Jet Packed Drama at a Giant Air Terminal!" Pilot for a TV show featuring the wacky shenanigans dramatic occurrences at... (spins the Wheel of Television) ...a major airport. A staple of MST3K is the failed TV pilot that never went to series. Well ha ha, this one did make it to series, minus its whole cast except for Clu Galuger, whose name sounds like it should be sung by Huckleberry Hound. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered November 19, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 26, 2017 - 9 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 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE STARFIGHTERS  Season 6, Ep 12

"THE BLAZING ADVENTURE of the men and planes who rocket to the very edge of OUTER SPACE!" A young Air Force cadet, who is Actual Bob Dornan and manifestly unlikeable even then, learns to fly a new jet, but forget about that. Get ready for tons of hott thicc triple-X refueling action! Oooh god. This episode has gotten something of a legendary reputation because of its great inanity (you wouldn't BELIEVE how much refueling can be in a movie), and the pointless late-film introduction of the "poopie suit," and the riffing is pretty great. The host segments have some great moments too, with the highlight being the United Servo Academy Men's Chorus. But the movie BITES, much more than the average. YouTube (1h32m) Promo (They're playing Doom!) Premiered October 29, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 12, 2017 - 12 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: BLOODLUST!  Season 6, Ep 7

"The Foulest Passion of Them All!" Mike Brady is among the prey in The Most Tedious Game, hunted for sport by a rich guy. With short Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm: A whimsical fantasy in which a couple of city kids go to stay on their uncle's farm and don't claw their eyes out with boredom. The short's great, but the movie's kinda dull. This episode features a fateful introduction... it's the first appearance of Mary Jo Pehl as Pearl "Mother" Forrester! The fiddle player during the square dance sequence is not one of the main cast. It's someone you might have heard of! Check the episode notes for details. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 1, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CREEPING TERROR  Season 6, Ep 6

aka (somehow) "Dangerous Charter" A mobile home crashes to Earth containing two malevolent, ambulatory carpets with vacuum cleaner hoses attached to them. One roams the countryside at about the speed of a common sloth, its hunger for human flesh fortitutiously sated by all the people who willingly crawl inside its tiny maw. We're back into Manos territory! This is unquestionably one of the worst movies MST ever did. Wait until you see the gym scene. How did this ever get made? Wikipedia has the sordid details. There's even a movie made about the making of it, "The Creep Behind The Camera" (2014, reviewed here)! Anyway, it's one of my favorite episodes. YouTube(1h32m) Premiered September 17, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 13, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS  Season 6, Ep 5

aka Maciste Vs. The Headhunters. "In a Time of Titans, Colossus Towered Above All!!!" Overexposed Italian muscleman everybeef Maciste fights... (spins the wheel of antagonists) ...evil island tribesmen. Whoever the heck Colossus is, he's not in the movie. It's probably only an inability to shoehorn this into Greek myth that's the reason translators didn't try to turn this into another Hercules movie. This is the episode with Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter. Promos (1m) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 20, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 10, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE  Season 6, Ep 4

"Her Power Goes Beyond Life.... His Rage Survives Even Death!" A voodoo priestess revives a zombie. Okay forget that. A guy is knifed by thugs. Now forget that too. Years later, his way-too-beefy son thwarts robbers of a convenience store. It's when he exits the store that the movie really begins, as he's hit by a car driven by unruly teens. He's dead! But thanks to Ms. Voodoo, he can live again as a zombie and track down his killers, while three ineffectual policemen trace him, one of them sounding like Jim Baccus with a slow leak, and another being Actual Adam West. Oh, and Motorhead's "Ace of Spaces" is in there. The multiple prologues confused the heck out of me. Servo's Adam West impression sounds more like Shatner to me. YouTube (1h33m) Promo. Premiered November 24, 1994 (Thanksgiving Day). [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 2, 2016 - 23 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEAD TALK BACK  Season 6, Ep 3

Meet Krasker! He's a lunatic who lives in the basement of a boarding house with his occult toy collection. For some reason the police admire and respect him, and want him help in their murder investigation. They enlist his radio that supposedly can speak with the dead to finger the killer. Even with the TWIST ENDING!!, no judge would allow this evidence. With short The Selling Wizard: Being a few minutes of footage of a pizza dominatrix pretty girl to affix the gaze of a presumably male audience while a narrator tries to sell them Anheuser-Busch grocery freezers. This is a remarkably bad film, maybe even in Manos territory. The movie was made in the 50s but not released until the advent of home video decades later. Krasker's a self-important weirdo who thinks the world revolves around him and his ridiculous collection of occult "artifacts," and in this movie that world is stupidly eager to oblige him. Fans are split about the worth of the episode, but I like it. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 30, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 26, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INVASION U.S.A.  Season 6, Ep 2

"It will scare the pants off you!" "SEE New York toppled! SEE San Francisco in flames! SEE Boulder Dam destroyed!" Oh PLEASE. A dime-store Svengali hypnotises a bunch of bar patrons that World War III has just occured, all because they didn't fear the Commies enough. Oops, spoilers! With short A Date With Your Family: Hugh Beaumont explains why a family should eat dinner together, literally telling us to pretend to enjoy each others' company. The short is terrific, another great introductory piece. The movie itself shouldn't be confused with the 1985 movie with Chuck Norris. People tend to either really like the movie portion or find it a snoozefest. I actually like it, but it's got a ton of time-filling stock footage. The host segments are mostly great throughout, and include the one time the late Mike Dodge appeared on camera, as the A-Bomb visiting on the Hexfield. BTW, this is another episode that's just not available on official VHS or DVD. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered on July 23, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 19, 2016 - 5 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: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS  Season 5, Ep 23

"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2016 - 2 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: SANTA CLAUS  Season 5, Ep 21

"An Enchanting World of Make-Believe!" All the aspects of Santa Claus that have enchanted kids for centuries are here: his floating palace high above the North Pole, his working relationship with Merlin the Wizard, his magical surveillance equipment, the many kids he holds captive in his singing work-dungeon, and his unending battle against the forces of hell. Merry Christmas! The second of the two MST3K Christmas episodes, and if anything even better than the first one. Santa Claus, made to give Mexican children their own version of the myth, is a truly disturbing movie. I say it does have its merits: the story of poor Lupita and her family is saddening. But don't worry, there's plenty of madness on display too, and the riffing is excellent. One of the best episodes. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered Christmas Eve, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 8, 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: OUTLAW  Season 5, Ep 19

aka "Outlaw of Gor," "Gor II." "The Adventure of a Thousand Lifetimes Continues!" "Fuera de la Ley de GOR" While John Carter fell asleep in a cave and woke up on Mars, one thing author John Norman's creation Gor has over Burroughs' Barsoom books is that at least Tarl Cabot has a magic ring to explain his ridiculous translocation to Barbarian Planet. You know Barbarian Planet, it's a world based on one of those oft-written-about fantasy times that never really existed historically, but all kinds of folk like to imagine, from Howard to Gygax. Well, at least this version has Jack Palance! When this episode aired, the movie was just four years old! I'm not sure it ever got a release in theaters in the US. Although he did it under a pseudonym, the main screenwriter is the same Harry Alan Towers who did the screenplay for 323 THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. Fortunately this movie is tons more watchable, thanks to massive amounts of flesh (both male and female, it's an equal opportunity exhibitor) and excellent riffing. One of the host segments refers to all the skin, one of the best sketches and songs MST ever did: Tubular Boobular Joy. Notes on Gor itself are after the break. Official YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered December 11, 1993. If you want to fill in the blanks with the movie this is a sequel to (may god have mercy on your soul), here it is! (1h30m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 17, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE ATOMIC BRAIN  Season 5, Ep 18

aka Monstrosity. "Chained... to the Devil's Love Lab!" An old woman hired three beautiful women in order to have a mad scientist exchange one of their brains with hers. One of them gets put into a cat because brain swappery isn't an exact science. With short What About Juvenile Delinquency?: A teen has a change of heart when the gang he runs with mugs his own father. Great short, weird movie. That narrator, the focus of one of the host segments, is a dirty, leering sort. Commercial lead-in! - YouTube (1h31m) - Unriffed Premiered December 4, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 11, 2016 - 2 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: ALIEN FROM L.A.  Season 5, Ep 16

aka Odeon. "The people at the center of the earth are about to get a visitor." Wanda Saknussemm (Kathy Ireland) is a supposedly-geeky young woman whose archeologist father disappears down a deep hole. She goes to look for him and falls down same hole. On the other end is one of those "center of the earth" kinds of places, but instead of finding dinosaurs and prehistoric tribes it's full of Austrialians, living in a weird dystopia! The weirdness from there only escalates. Her improbable adventures cause her to lose the glasses and wear a bikini, making this the most laughable coming-out-of-her-shell story in memory. Another classic outing, with one of the most recent films they ever did. Alien From L.A. was made in 1988, produced by Cannon Group, stomping grounds of Israli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. For those who don't know, "Saknussmm" is the name of the guy from Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, indicating this movie was intended as an homage, though it really doesn't have a lot to do with it. The host segments in this one are particularly great. Dull surprise! Promo! YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered November 20, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 27, 2016 - 3 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: MITCHELL  Season 5, Ep 12

"Brute Force With a Badge" "Joe Don Baker IS 'MITCHELL'!" Our lead is not so much an anti-hero as an un-hero. Police Detective (really?) Mitchell has little social skill, no friends besides his beer, and a disdain for the rules some would call incompetence. But sometimes, a man like Mitchell is just the cop we need to drunkenly stumble through the case. One of the funniest episodes of the show. Our hero is hilariously inept, but ends up being heroic mostly because, the movie seems to suggest, he's too stupid to be corrupt. Joel and the bots are at the top of their game here. This is show creator Joel Hodgson's final episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube, with annotations (1h32m). Premiered October 23, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 27, 2016 - 23 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GUNSLINGER  Season 5, Ep 11

"Hired to kill the woman he loved!" A woman's husband is shot and, through line of succession, she is hired as the new sheriff. When she tells a local whorehouse to close at night, its proprietor hires a gunman to kill her. But he falls in love with her! How will this wacky situation end? In blood, natch. Corman alert! He uses one of his main actresses, Beverly Garland, who we saw in 503 SWAMP DIAMONDS, to lead this one. Daddy-O tells us this was his last Western. A couple of weird continuity issues are the subject of much mockery from Joel and the bots, especially in one of the later host segments. Speaking of whom, we approach the end of the Joel Hodgson era--the next episode is his last. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 9, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 22, 2016 - 7 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

MST3K Club FAQ 2.0

This revised post (original) describes how to join our weekly MST3K Club showings of Mystery Science Theater 3000, technical details of the show, and some minor related bits of weirdness. tl;dr: Watch the show at https://cytu.be/r/Metafilter_MST3KClub, at 9 P.M. Eastern/6 P.M. Pacific Thursday nights. Other topics covered involve technical details, preshow material, viewer controls and powers, and whimsical lore. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2016 - 0 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OPERATION DOUBLE 007  Season 5, Ep 8

aka Operation Kid Brother, aka O.K. Connery. "NEIL CONNERY IS TOO MUCH" "Such close friends. Such beautiful enemies." The evil organization Thanatos, staffed primarily by a horde of young scantily-clad women who for some reason follow a middle-aged bald guy, threatens the world with their machine-breaking superweapon. It's just another Thursday at Secret Spy HQ, which by the way is staffed by a number of familiar faces. But the usual secret agent sent to solve these issues, you know the one, can't make it, so they recruit his plastic surgeon brother, to save the world. Fortunately, he's pretty much omnipotent. This movie is overflowing with weirdness, and it's another great episode. Example 1: it's scored partly by Ennio Morricone! Example 2: they got M (Bernard Lee) and Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) from the Bond movies to play similar roles with different names! Example 3: The Thanatos girls. I mean, have some self respect ladies. This episode has one of my personal favorite host segments, Joel's "I Know" sketch. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered September 11, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2016 - 6 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: EEGAH  Season 5, Ep 6

"The name written in blood!" "The Crazed Love of a Prehistoric Giant for a Ravishing Teen-Age Girl!" Somewhere in the California desert, in defiance of all known anthropology, lives, in a cave, a caveman, played by a cave-Kiel, who's been given unnaturally long life by sulfur water. He comes into contact with 60s youth culture, and ends up face-down in a swimming pool, dead. Shtemlo! It's a popular episode, with pointless dune buggy scenes, whimsical editing, and much oddness to be spied. Note: in one scene Kiel laps up shaving cream with his gigantic tongue, so you may not want to watch on a full stomach. And remember, watch out for snakes! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 28, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 18, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD  Season 5, Ep 5

"All the Magic of 'Stone Flower' All the Power of 'Alexander Nevsky' All the Artistry of 'Grand Concert' Highly Recommended for Children" A strangely Russian Sinbad, upset with corruption in his home town of not-Bagdad, searches the world for happiness. This is the second of the Russo-Finish movies MST did, imports from the Soviet Union directed by genius filmmaker Alexandr Ptushko. Originally it was Sadko, a film production of an honest-to-goodness opera! One composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov! Vibrant, wonderous, astounding, and with music from the opera, this is much better fare than the SOL usually got. It is also a terrific episode, because the writing is the Brains at their best, and the movie, for all its wonders, is incredibly strange. Get your popcorn ready folks, this is one of the best. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed - Russian original Садко (Sadko) - With English subs - A performance of the opera Sadko (2h53m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON  Season 5, Ep 4

"Beautiful Women! Silver-Masked Men! Deadly Windmills! Karate Killings! Lethal Oriental Vases!" A secret agent from America goes abroad to investigate drugged chewing gum. Oh for the days when secret agents were regularly asked to look into ridiculous things. Why not leave it for the FDA? It's the first "Eurospy" movie MST would cover, a funky little genre that grew out of the huge popularity of James Bond. General consensus is this is an above-average episode, although it doesn't have the sheer stupid-power as the upcoming 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007. YouTube (1h32m) - Trailer. Premiered August 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2016 - 4 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: HERCULES  Season 5, Ep 2

aka Le fatiche di Ercole "SEE the heroic Hercules rip down the Age of Orgy's lavish palace of lustful pleasure! SEE the Mightiest of Men fight the Mightiest of Beasts, the killer Cretan Bull! SEE Hercules fight off the savage love-starved Amazon women!" Joseph E. Levine brings us Hercules, big buttery Hercules, who engages in various adventures in antiquity. Don't come here looking for fidelity to myth. While based loosely on Argonautica, Herc plays a much larger role in this movie. The Brains cut up the movie to fit it in the run time unfortunately, so the story is pretty hard to follow. This is the episode with the wonderful "Hamilton, Joe, Frank, and Reynolds" and Match Game sketches, and has the first on-screen appearance of Mary Jo Pehl as a Minnesota Amazon. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed (1h44m) Premiered July 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 20, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD  Season 5, Ep 1

In the future Donand Pleasance has taken over the world as we all knew he would, and it's up to a gravelly-voice drifter and THE MOST ANNOYING TALKING MOTORCYCLE to save it, because the world sucks. Story is that director David Worth was shown the poster art and told to make a movie to go with it. This is the first of two appearances by Donald Pleasance on MST; the second is 903 THE PUMAMAN. This is the episode with "the Paper Chase guy," the Robitussin riff, Servo/Kevin Murphy's riffing on every face in a rapid pan of extras, and the inimitable Megaweapon, voiced of course by Mike. Many fans divide the show into "Joel era" and "Mike era" episodes, but I think the show is as usefully divided at this episode, where that Mike-era feel starts to appear. There are just 12 Joel episodes left. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 24, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 13, 2016 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: "MANOS" THE HANDS OF FATE  Season 4, Ep 24

"IT'S SHOCKING! It's Beyond Your Imagination!" "A cult of weird, horrible people who gather beautiful women only to deface them with a burning hand!" A family of three on vacation in the desert stumble upon a lodge run by the misshapen Torgo. Oh, what improbable secrets does the place hold? With short Hired!, part 2: The second half of the Chevrolet training short shown last week. ☠☠☠! Oh god! It's here! If it's not the worst movie they ever showed (a matter of some debate) it's a strong contender. It is not recommended that you make this your first episode of MST3K, or it may well be your last. The first eight minutes of this movie are just driving. The movie pushes Joel and company to the brink. The mad scientists apologize for the movie. Twice. YouTube (1h32m) - and here's the whole thing annotated, from the official MST3K YouTube channel! - And for sadists... ☠☠☠ UNRIFFED ☠☠☠ (1h9m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 6, 2016 - 16 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

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