Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROCKETSHIP X-M
January 5, 2015 9:39 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

(1950, B&W, Sci-Fi, Space) A freak accident sends Man's first mission to the Moon, instead, to Mars, somehow. "The Screen's First Story of Man's First Conquest of Space!" "GASP at the Daring Courage of Four Men and a Girl as They Thunder Between Planets on a Runaway Rocket!" At last! It's the beginning of the glory days of Mystery Science Theater, the first episode of Season Two. The ship's been redecorated, Servo's voice is different, and Dr. Erhardt is "missing." In his place, though, is the lovable TV's Frank (Frank Conniff), and taking over performing for Josh Weinstein's Tom Servo is Kevin Murphy. YouTube (1h38m) First aired September 22, 1990.

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

IMDB (4.9 stars)
"An astronaut crew of 4 men and one woman on their way to the Moon, are unexpectedly propelled by gravitational forces and end up on Mars instead."
Directed by Kurt Neumann. Written by Kurt Neumann, Orville H. Hampton and Dalton Trumbo. Starring Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen and John Emery.
posted by JHarris (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Michael Weldon's entry on the film in The Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film is longer than most:
When United Artists and George Pal announced that Destination Moon was about to be shot, Robert Lippert's company quickly made Rocketship X-M (Expedition Moon) and got it out first, making it the first serious postwar science-fiction movie. The plot is simple--four men and one woman take off to the Moon, run into a meteor shower, and are knocked off course. They land on Mars (which is tinted pink), a planet decastated by atomic warfare and populated by deadly radiation-scarred mutants. All the astronauts die. The special effects team of Jack Rabin and Irving Block went on to other '50s hits like Captive Women and Flight to Mars. Cinematographer Karl Strauss worked on Island of Lost Souls and many Neumann films. The music by Ferde Grofe (who wrote the "Grand Canyon Suite") was orchestrated by Albert Glasser and features a theremin, which was soon to be overused in other features. A sound-track album is available through Starlog magazine. The astronauts are Lloyd (Sea Hunt) Bridges, Osa Massen, Hugh (Wyatt Earp) O'Brian, John Emery, and Noah Beery, Jr. Morris Ankrum stays home. In 1978 Wade Williams shot new special effects scenes (in color) and added them to the restored original print. The long shots include actors dressed to look like the original cast. The "special edition" is available on videocassette; the original still plays on local television stations.
In the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, Kevin Murphy wrote:
Boy, if ever there was a template for an MST movie, this is it. Big strapping white men, one sexy but cold woman scientist, melodramatic plot, an expedition that hopelessly screws up, everybody dies, and yet somehow it's okay. Add in Lloyd Bridges, Hugh O'Brian, and Noah Beery, Jr., and hey! You couldn't make a film more perfect for us. One of the most beloved and requested episodes of Season Two.
This show introduced the Hexfield Viewscreen, which at the time did not have the sophisticated iris mechanism it has now, just a hardware store-bought window shade. Mike had to work it himself; then at the end of his "transmission" he had to stand real still and we turned off the lights and dollied past him and kind of pretended he wasn't there anymore. As anyone who has watched this and future shows will tell you, we got a whole lot better at this.
Frank Conniff's first ACEG piece is written for this movie. His piece finishes with:
So I tip my heart to Rocketship X-M. Because it was my first MST3K experiment, because it was better than most MST3K movies, and because it is bitter and because it is my heart.
Host Segments:
Pre: Joel unveils the new bridge of the SOL, Servo's new voice, we meet TV's Frank.
Invention Exchange: Joel unveils his exoskeletal drum machine, the BGC 1-9. Frank unveils his direct copy, gets punished by Dr. Forrester.
1: The reporters of Rocketship X-M, who naturally are willing to clam up about any secret stuff the space agency asks them to.
2: Things that are funny, or not funny, floating.
3: Valeria, from Robot Holocaust, visits the ship on the Hexfield Viewscreen. Hey wait, who's that playing Val? It's Mike Nelson in his first on-camera role!
Post: There's nothing worse than being trapped in a capsule, being forced to watch movie about people dying in a capsule. "Why didn't you just show us Marooned?" "We couldn't get it!" (Note: eventually, they would get it!)
posted by JHarris at 10:03 PM on January 5, 2015

The plans for our MST Club showing this week: Thursday at 7 PM EST, URL to be posted here that afternoon. Hope to see you there.
posted by JHarris at 10:05 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by valkane at 4:38 AM on January 6, 2015

By this time, my lungs were aching for air.
posted by valkane at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Here's the room:

Preroll is going now showing shorts including Undersea Kingdom and some Rifftrax Best-Of reels scavenged off of YouTube. Again, the main show is at 7 PM Eastern. Hope to see you there!
posted by JHarris at 2:44 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nothing 'cued up' at that address (it even tried to make ME 'owner of the room'; I don't WANT that much responsibility...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:01 PM on January 8, 2015

oneswellfoop just turned on unrifftracked Battlefield Earth. Truly history's worst monster.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2015

oneswellfoop just turned on unrifftracked Battlefield Earth. Truly history's worst monster.
posted by Drinky Die

So funny. Why don't you show up at the viewing and be so clever? That would be jaw-dropping. Oh, too late! See you next week?
posted by valkane at 7:45 PM on January 8, 2015

It's weird being able to compare S2 with the previous seasons and see this as a reboot of the series and see it progress. A lot of the rough edges are worn down.
posted by hellojed at 10:02 PM on January 8, 2015

So funny. Why don't you show up at the viewing and be so clever? That would be jaw-dropping. Oh, too late! See you next week?

Was all pregaming to, but a family member and good friend is in town and I got invited to hangout. Next week!
posted by Drinky Die at 6:53 AM on January 9, 2015

Got up to five people at most last night. In my prewatch this time, I got to liking Rocketship X-M more than I had in the past, which I always thought it was just another of those gray, boring 50s sci-fi movies. This time however I tooks its faults more personaly, and Joel and the bots' jabs seemed to strike harder.

Next week it's a true classic episode, our reward for making it through season one: 202 THE SIDEHACKERS! Watch one of the most pointlessly ridiculous motorcycle sports of all fall apart in a tragic circle of violence and vengeance. It's a seriously great episode guys, one of the ones that made me a MSTie, and one of those that fans of the show quote from. "That was a number five!!"
posted by JHarris at 8:19 AM on January 9, 2015

Ahh yeah, what a weird one Sidehackers that is. Notable for the accidental choosing of a movie with a scene too disturbing for them to riff on leading to some real awkwardness since they had to cut it out. And also for being just a completely weird ass movie.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:30 AM on January 9, 2015

Sidehackin's the thing to do! And it doesn't hurt to have a low I.Q.!
posted by JHarris at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

“Rocketship X-M” is actually one of my go-to comfort episodes of MST3K. It's got just the right balance of memorable riffs and not-quite-terrible movie for me.

"Here in Peenemunde zee rockets are assembled und vunce they go up who cares where zey come down?"
posted by ob1quixote at 11:45 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

"At this point, the rocket becomes engorged with astronauts..."
posted by usonian at 7:02 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was rewatching this one tonight, and I realized it has one of the great, under appreciated riffs. Eckstrom says, "Now, your calculations, Doctor," to Van Horn. Before she can answer, Joel chimes in with, "Dog ate 'em," in this really flat, bored tone like a boy who habitually doesn't turn in his homework. It's really just perfect.

I guess that's also part of an answer to my question about why little kids were such big fans of the show. Especially in these season two episodes there were a lot of riffs that kids could identify with like the above, "Assembly? That means no class today. Hurray!"
posted by ob1quixote at 1:25 AM on June 3, 2016

« Older Transparent: Why Do We Cover t...   |  Steven Universe: So Many Birth... Newer »

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