Mystery Science Theater 3000: FINAL JUSTICE   Rewatch 
October 13, 2022 3:08 PM - Season 10, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Re-rewatch! Joe Don Baker plays a Texas policeman who brings his vaguely-legal brand of justice to Malta. Previously and again.
posted by JHarris (12 comments total)
It's approaching that time again, time for MST Club! Thursday nights at! Our schedule of shows is here (Google Calendar link).
posted by JHarris at 5:48 PM on October 13, 2022

posted by Servo5678 at 5:06 AM on October 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm going to need some Maalox if I'm going to watch this movie again. Or at least a tall glass of milk.

Go ahead on!
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:50 PM on October 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

For some reason, on prior passes through Final Justice, I missed out on them making fun of the outfits the strippers were wearing, basically their salute to the triangle. Just the whole ideas of triangles becoming an erotic focus is hilarious to me. Deltaphilia!
posted by JHarris at 11:27 PM on October 14, 2022

I read a story somewhere that word somehow got back to the MST3K crew that Joe Don Baker was pretty insulted by the way they mocked him in this and the Mitchell episode -- and to be fair, they rely on a lot of fat jokes, but on the other hand, his characters are sort of played up as gross slobs. Anyway, the story went on to say that Mike was at some convention or event or something, and when he found out that JDB was staying at the same hotel, he made sure to hide because he was afraid JDB would beat him up.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:52 AM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I remember the last time I saw this, I wondered out loud: "Was this filmed on Polaroid?".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:31 AM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Mitchell is played as a gross slob--enough so that I think the memory of that characterization bleeds into Final Justice. JDB does not actually appear overweight in other movies. We saw him in Joysticks a few weeks ago (a terrible movie BTW) and he was just a obnoxious businessman type of guy in it.

His character in Final Justice, on the other hand, is the sort of police officer that modern readings will recognize as the type who very willingly bends the rules in the name of "catching bad guys," and is not shy about shooting people who he thinks are criminals in cold blood. Mitchell is not actually that kind of cop-for how the movie plays up his grossness, he's much more by the book than Sheriff Geronimo. He's an honest cop, just a slovenly one, while Sheriff Geronimo is an outright thug.

BTW: his character in the movie claims it's pronounced "Hieronomo." Is this accurate? A cursory Googling doesn't suggest that it is.
posted by JHarris at 2:06 AM on October 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

I know that it is an older, European spelling, pronunciation -- see, for example, the 16th century English play The Spanish Tragedy, where the protagonist is a Spanish Knight named Hieronimo.

But I doubt that's what the screenwriter had in mind.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:31 AM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Maybe the movie is trying to distinguish his name from that of the Native American leader. But then, why even name the character something that would be confused?
posted by JHarris at 11:26 AM on October 16, 2022

Maybe he just doesn't play by ANY rules, including those of accepted pronunciation.

"Back in Texas, we got a saying: you don't wanna pronounce that 'g'? Well ho ahead on."
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah I'm still going on about Final Justice. It's not just that Geronimo (he's not a sheriff actually, just a deputy) is a thug, it's that the movie constructs a world around him that justifies his thuggery, and even exalts the man himself. They blow up the boat he's on, he survives by pure luck, and the movie tries to palm it off as somehow being some essential quality he's got, like "it'll take more than that to kill him." BITE ME screenwriters, it's not because this guy is some kind of superman, it's because you wrote that he survived it. He's not that great, he's not even any good.

That's not Joe Don Baker's fault directly, but it kind of is indirectly, for building his career off of playing cops, especially the kind that Aren't Gonna Take It No More.

According to FJ's Facebook page Geronimo's character is an Apache descendant, so I suppose the pronunciation is supposed to be native. I notice now, looking at Mitchell's Wikipedia page, that the character is supposed to be represented as having disdain for by-the-book policing, so shows what I know.
posted by JHarris at 12:27 AM on October 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

FJ's Wikipedia page, I meant. Not Facebook. Geez brain, why are you sabotaging me like this tonight?
posted by JHarris at 2:07 AM on October 17, 2022

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