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Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST  Season 7, Ep 6

"Billy was a kid who got pushed around... Then he found the power" When a picked-on kid suddenly realizes he's not hopeless but finds "the power," what happens? Gamergate! Why he takes his new laser gun and, goes out on an explodey rampage, whoo! AN THEN THE CLAYMATION ALIENS ATTACKED..... We have arrived at the end of another age, the short Fifth Age of the show, that brief period Post-Frank yet Pre-SciFi. In a host segment, we have the joke... you know, that one. The one where they try to get beyond something. Also, Mike becomes Captain Janeway. Then, finally, the SOL reaches the end of the universe.... YouTube (1h32m) - Annotated - Promo (with Penn Jilette voiceover & promo for TV Wheel!) - Movie trailer [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 24, 2017 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT  Season 11, Ep 7

"The Adventure You Will Never Forget!" A cramped German U-Boat (which nonethless houses a spacious captain's cabin and dining table!) in WWI sinks a passenger ship but the survivors make it aboard and take it over, then not. But the crewmen and survivors form a truce for survival when they find a mysterious land where live primitive men, dinosaurs, and volcanoes. An okay episode overall, but it does have the "Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch Dinosaur BBQ" sketch, and one where Crow frets about turning into a human. Episode 1107 can be viewed on Netflix. Unriffed, the movie is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 24, 2017 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ESCAPE 2000  Season 7, Ep 5

AKA Escape From The Bronx, The Bronx Warriors 2. The people living in a ludicrously named hellscape called the "Bronx" (yeah, right), beloved by its remaining residents because at least its our hellscape, tries to keep out an evil, murderous construction company. Wikipedia notes that this is actually a sequel! I bet that leaves you fully sprinting to Wikipedia to discover Trash's backstory. The next show is the final Comedy Central episode. YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered March 2, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH  Season 11, Ep 6

"From a vast and distant galaxy... a Space Adventure for all Time!" Clothes-adverse, redundantly-named smuggler Stella Star, her Magic Space Friend Akton, and Robo-Yosemite Sam are called by Emperor Plummer to his grand Starship Kitbash, to entrust them with the search for both a huge space weapon and his lost young Prince Hasselhoff, from among the haunted theme worlds of the colored-bulb cosmos. Some people really like this movie (Better than Star Wars?) but you can't deny it's remarkably ridiculous, even by this show's standards. It's even had its own MeFi post! Also unusual for MST3K is an exceptionally high-powered cameo, by Joel's friend Jerry Seinfeld, as investor Freak Masterstroke. And of considerable interest to MSTies is the fact that former Brains Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin helped write this one! Episode 1106 is available for viewing on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 17, 2017 - 25 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN  Season 7, Ep 4

"The First New Horror Creature... Come Prepared!" An irradiated astronaut returns to Earth and, horribly deformed, starts killing people. 'I Can't Believe It's Not Monster A-Go-Go!' Satellite News informs us that the host segments in this one, depicting Dr. F and Pearl making a film out of Crow's screenplay Earth Vs. Soup, were them getting even with Hollywood types who were the source of much pain during the making of MST: The Movie, and that their performances call back to specific people they met. Fan consensus is this is a very good episode, but I'm not a fan of gore myself so I've not seen it much. Everyone take note: after this, there are only two Comedy Central episodes left, and thus only two episodes remaining with Trace Beaulieu. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 24, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN  Season 11, Ep 5

We're in the Old West! The owner of Rancho Bonito, Jimmy, is losing cattle to the quicksand bog. The local claim an ancient legendary beast is behind the losses, but Jimmy suspects foul play on the part of evil rancher and black marketer Enrique, whose thugs have been bothering Jimmy for a while. Helping him is his partner Felipe, and recovering alcoholic and Mexican stereotype and his son Pancho and Panchito. Matters are pretty tense between Jimmy and Enrique, and it doesn't help when Enrique's girl Sarita takes a liking to Jimmy either, so the two have a dust-up in town. Jimmy decides to leave town in order to protect Sarita. We're two acts down and nearly two-thirds through the movie. We're right on schedule for a traditional third act cowboy movie showdown, right? AND THEN THE CLAYMATION DINOSAUR ATTACKS.... It is no joke, that is exactly what happens in the movie. It's like they really wanted to make a Western, but could only get funding for a monster movie. It is the most stunning, least-telegraphed sudden left turn I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm including Monster A-Go-Go's ending in this. There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics. Episode 1105 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 10, 2017 - 27 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AVALANCHE  Season 11, Ep 4

"A winter wonderland becomes a nightmare of destruction!" A bunch of characters at a resort built by Rock Hudson's character fall victim to his hubris when his construction practices contribute to a disaster. Note that Hudson's character comes through the movie unharmed, because who cares about justice. Be on the lookout for a song from Neil Patrick Harris, singing with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, and a list of made-up bad animal/disaster movie titles along the lines of Sharknado. Episode 1104 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2017 - 27 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL  Season 7, Ep 3

"The Most Action-Packed Deathstalker Yet!" A smug sword guy roams a standard fantasy realm trying to overthrow an evil wizard or something. General consensus is this is a terrific episode. The movie is deeply cheesy and bad, and yet the others in its series are just as bad but also contain tons more nudity, so count yer blessings! Plus great riffing, classic movie lines like "Potatoes are what we eat!", and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references before they were cool. Host segments take on Renaissance festivals and romance novels. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 17, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 3, 2017 - 12 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: THE TIME TRAVELERS  Season 11, Ep 3

"Step through 'The Time Portal' beyond the crack in Space and Time where the fantastic world of the Future will freeze your blood with its weird horrors!" Three smart scientists and a goofball travel forward in time and get stranded there, where a cadre of Eloi future scientists desperately ready a rocket to space to take them from a devistated Earth peopled with Morlocks murderous mutants. But then things go wrong.... This is a movie where the main force driving the plot is a Gilligan, a clueless klutz who, by walking through the time portal and forcing the others to follow to rescue him, messes it up for everyone. Way to go Danny. And he gets rewarded for his thoughtless act with multicolor time nookie! It's a pretty good episode. Episode 1103 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 24, 2017 - 32 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: CRY WILDERNESS  Season 11, Ep 2

"Sometimes we find friends in the most unlikely places." A kid in a boarding school improbably knows Bigfoot, who appears to him in a magic vision and says his dad's in danger. So he runs home, finds his Dad, a Native American, every wild animal in North America, and a US Marshall with poor regard for the law. The guys are after an escaped circus tiger, but really the Marshall wants to kill Bigfoot, but fortunately a magic Native American and FOB (Friend Of Bigfoot) is around with an eye-gouging eagle. The kid is not traumatized by witnessing this. HAPPY END! I think this one's an early classic of the new season! The movie is just so ridiculous, it doesn't really have a plot, things just sort of happen, and everyone in it does at least one thing that is wildly irresponsible. And hey, a later host segment features a visit from Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy, who are again tooling around the universe in the Widowmaker, going to space casinos. Pearl's attitude towards family is pretty much the same as it was around Dr. F, too, because some things never change. Episode 1102 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 15, 2017 - 51 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REPTILICUS  Season 11, Ep 1

"INVINCIBLE... INDESTRUCTABLE! What was this awesome BEAST born fifty million years out of time?" Miners find some leathery tissue deep in a mine which grows into a monster and attacks Copenhagen, not a city built to withstand monster attack, with deadly cartoon slime. Also, a goofy handyman in overalls sticks his hand in an electric eel tank apparently just so he could make faces to the camera. A fine example of cinema! MST3K is back! With it comes new mads (Kinga and Max), a new host (Jonah Ray), higher production values, fancy interstitials, a skeleton band, a remix of Mighty Science Theater and the Wild Rebels cereal song at the end, and a long listing of Kickstarter backers at the end which doesn't even get out of the As in this episode. Episode 1101 is on Netflix. Premiered TODAY, April 14th, 2017. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 14, 2017 - 105 comments

Movie: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 12, 2017 - 19 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN  Season 6, Ep 24

SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN aka El Santo Contra las Mujeres Vampiros. "Solo un hombre de acero... de agilidad de pantera, es capaz de lucar contra las MUJERES VAMPIROS... y ese hombre es... SANTO!" Simply, in which a masked wrestler, who is a genius crime fighter too, struggles against the legions of Hell. This is probably the silliest premise of any MST movie (even Robot Monster's gorilla-with-fishbowl was obstensibly an evil space alien), but in Mexico there were over fifty El Santo movies, and they were wildly popular. El Santo himself was a tremendous figure, an actual wrestler, and even got an awesome pilot in 2010 for his own show on the Mexican version of Cartoon Network despite dying in 1984. But even these facts are overshadowed, to MSTies, by this being not only the end of Season Six, but also the final episode of the beloved "TV's" Frank Conniff. (Well, excepting a special appearance in one later show.) YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered March 25, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 5, 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: 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 - 10 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: 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 - 6 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

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