Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BLACK SCORPION
December 17, 2014 9:37 PM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

(B&W, Monster, Horror, Mexico, Volcano, Education) Giant scorpions come out of a volcano and attack Mexico. A large number of educated people try to stop them. "BLACK... so you can't see him until he's ready to get you! BLOODLESS... that's why he wants you!" "NOTE: The management reserves the right to put on the lights any time the audience becomes too emotionally disturbed!" We're here. We have made it to the end of the first season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's also the end of the early history of MST, and the swan song of Josh "J. Elvis" Weinstein as Dr. Lawrence Erhardt and original voice and performer of Tom Servo. To Weinstein may I just say: "THAAANK YOOOU!" Unavailable on YouTube. First aired February 3, 1990.

The Black Scorpion is not available on DVD, but Shout Factory sells it as a digital download.

Satellite News - MST3K Wikia - Annotated MST - Daddy-O - Club MST3K

IMDB (5.1 stars)
"Volcanic activity frees giant scorpions from the earth who wreak havoc in the rural countryside and eventually threaten Mexico City."
Directed by Edward Ludwig.
Written by David Duncan, Robert Blees and Paul Yawitz
Starring Richard Denning, Mara Corday and Carlos Rivas.
posted by JHarris (13 comments total)
My writeup of this one's going to be rather perfunctory. Even though this one's not on YouTube, the showing is still on for tomorrow. I think I've found a solution, it's imperfect but should allow us to get a viewing in. The system I've worked out is iffy, so please try to be in the sync-video room by the start time of 7 PM ET (note: different!) for best results. I'll post the URL tomorrow early afternoon, as usual.
posted by JHarris at 9:41 PM on December 17, 2014

The system I've worked out is iffy,

Whoa, sounds ominous. Who could say no to that?
posted by valkane at 4:09 AM on December 18, 2014

If I mix the chemicals in the wrong order, I end up with a showing of Battlefield Earth.
posted by JHarris at 6:17 AM on December 18, 2014

So you're saying there's an erlenmeyer flask of Dutch angles involved, yes?

I knew it.
posted by valkane at 6:27 AM on December 18, 2014

In the inestimable Psychotronic Guide to Film, Michael Weldon writes:
"A low-budget feature shot in Mexico that includes excellent stop-motion animation effects (done in a rush) by Willis O'Brien and Peter Peterson. The terrifying huge scorpions make the monsters in most other films look pathetic. Hoping to cash in on the previous year's Tarantula, its star Mara Corday is on hand with perennial hero Richard Denning as a geologist. A scorpion battles a helicopter and a train, and other animated wonders appear, like a spider and a worm with claws.
In the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, Kevin Murphy writes:
A volcano in Mexico spews forth a passel of thirty- to one-hundred-foot scorpions, and local authorities use every trick in the bag to wrangle the minatory arachnids. Meantime, a white blond American man becomes the ad hoc boss of the Mexican Army, the local government, and the whole movie; plus he gets the prettiest woman and everything. We learn that nobody in Mexico City eats dinner before midnight.
Host segments:
Pre: The 'bots throw Joel a party.
Invention Exchange: Joel presents a man-sized party noisemaker. The Mads, a salve to cure their unfortunate facial problem.
1: Joel and the 'Bots talk about the movie in fake Spanish, with with subtitles provided by Cambot.
2: Crow and Servo talk about weird humans are. Gypsy, dressed as a scorpion, eats Tom.
3: Joel presents a biography of SFX guy Willis O'Brien.
Post: Letters.

Sattelite News notices the commonly-heard gag in this movie, whenever one of the many academics is introduced, of the guys providing applause sound effects. It happens a lot.

This is the final episode of the first season... unless you count 104 WOMEN OF THE PREHISTORIC PLANET, which was actually produced last, but we already covered.
posted by JHarris at 7:45 AM on December 18, 2014

Looking ahead, will you be doing a showing New Year's Day?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:25 AM on December 18, 2014

New Year's Day: yes, probably. More on that later.

The room is up: This time the room is private, not visible from sync-video's room list. I had to set something up a little weird to do it this time, will explain in the room. There's a chance it won't work too well, but I'm giving it a shot.
posted by JHarris at 2:04 PM on December 18, 2014

Remember, the showing is at 7 PM ET tonight. You can arrive earlier, I'll have the standard rotation of shorts and stuff going.
posted by JHarris at 2:05 PM on December 18, 2014

Bad movie, great watch on synch. What's this I hear about a Christmas marathon?
posted by valkane at 7:17 PM on December 18, 2014

We are considering doing an all-day stream, starting some time on Christmas Eve and going entirely through Christmas Day, so anyone who wants to drop by can. There is a slight problem though, it's not really part of the FanFare MST showings, even though it contains two episodes, I'd rather not write them up out of order, so I don't know where to post the link. Maybe in FanFare Talk, maybe in Metatalk.

Tonight we tested out a system of streaming video that's not on YouTube. While it's still best to go with YouTube episodes when possible, I'd say, the system we used tonight proved adequate, provided enough advance warning, so we'll try that next week. We'll be showing a messy bundle of Christmas riffing and weirdness, so be sure to join us.

The following week we'll launch into the second season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with episode 201 ROCKETSHIP X-M, featuring the beginning of the tenure of "TV's Frank," Frank Conniff, and the beginning of the show most of us love.

Please, please remember to turn down your lights (where applicable).
posted by JHarris at 3:03 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Chrysostom at 5:37 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Hi Keeba!
posted by valkane at 8:08 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Loved the deep, serious critical analysis of Crow in the letter at the end.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:59 AM on December 29, 2014

« Older Person of Interest: The Cold W...   |  Movie: Go... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments