Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE
March 24, 2016 9:02 AM - Season 4, Episode 22 - Subscribe

"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

Episode 422
Satellite News - MST3K Wikia - Mighty Jack's MST3K Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide

Short, "Here Comes the Circus"
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt
IMDB (3.0 stars)
"Watch and enjoy the large variety of acts in an old-fashioned circus!"
With Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty and Betty Rich.

Movie, "The Day the Earth Froze"
Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt - Wikipedia (as "Sampo")
The Kalevala on Wikipedia
IMDB (3.3 stars)
"Based on Finnish mythology, this movie traces the exploits of Lemminkainen as he woos the fair Annikki and battles the evil witch Louhi."
Directed by Aleksandr Ptushko. Written by Viktor Vitkovich, Grigori Yagdfeld and Väinö Kaukonen, adapted from folk tales compiled by Elias Lönnrot. Starring Urho Somersalmi, Anna Orochko, Ivan Voronov, Andris Oshin and Eve Kivi.

Eve Kivi, who played Lemminkäinen's betrothed Annikki, is particularly noteworthy. Her biography makes for interesting reading -- she was quite the sex symbol in her day despite living behind the Iron Curtain, has appeared in Playboy twice, and is still going now even approaching her 80s.
posted by JHarris (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The show is tonight at 9 PM ET, at:

Here is the (somewhat outdated) Club FAQ.
posted by JHarris at 9:07 AM on March 24, 2016


the original version, "Sampo," is on YouTube

...well. Carry on, then.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:39 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

"If you think you know what a sampo is, write it down on a piece of paper, throw it away and try not to think about it. You'll be glad you did. "
posted by Chrysostom at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

For the record, a sampo is a magical mill that can produce grain, salt and gold. Illmarinen is the only smith skilled enough to make one. I'm not aware of why he doesn't just make another one, though, when it gets broken and lost at sea.

The story presented in the movie is a kind of warped and mashed together version of several different stories from the Kalevala. You can get a general run-down of its progress from the Wikipedia article in the post. Of interest, the old guy at the end, the one who comes up with the plan to cause Louhi's forces to fall asleep with music, appears to be Väinämöinen, the first man according to the saga's creation myth.
posted by JHarris at 12:33 PM on March 24, 2016

See, if Wikipedia had existed when they were creating MST3k, we would have lost all of the funny bits about Sampo.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:41 PM on March 24, 2016

There's a town near my hometown named Kaleva with street names based from the saga. And yes there is a Sampo street, and yes, I did take my wife to see it and get a picture of the street sign.
posted by stevis23 at 1:01 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

%n: "For the record, a sampo is a magical mill that can produce grain, salt and gold. Illmarinen is the only smith skilled enough to make one. I'm not aware of why he doesn't just make another one, though, when it gets broken and lost at sea."

Maybe he puts some piece of his soul/power into it, like the One Ring? I feel like there are a lot of traditional stories where a guy can make something amazing *once*. "I have completed it, I will never make its equal!"
posted by Chrysostom at 1:49 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is the MST3K I remember best from my childhood. I'm not sure if it's because it made a strong impression or because I for some reason saw it a bunch of times, but there's a lot of imagery from it that stuck with me to adulthood.
posted by town of cats at 2:50 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Crow: "Ma'am?"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:56 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Hey! The light meter, Joel!"

I've seen this bit dozens of times. Maybe more than a hundred. I laugh every single time.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:08 PM on November 19, 2018

The Gypsy one-woman show is maybe my favorite interstitial skit from all of MST3K.
posted by duffell at 7:03 PM on June 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

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