Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS
September 29, 2016 12:02 AM - Season 5, Episode 23 - Subscribe

"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.

Satellite News - MST3K Wikia - Mighty Jack's MST3K Episode Review - War of the Colossal Fan Guide - Annotated (text)

Daddy-o's Drive-In Dirt - Rotten Tomatoes (Critics 0%, Viewers 22%) - Wikipedia
IMDB (1965, 3.3 stars)
"Delinquent teen-agers ingest a substance and grow thirty feet tall, then proceed to take over a small town."
Directed by Bert I. Gordon. Written by H.G. Wells (novel), Alan Caillou and Bert I. Gordon. Starring Tommy Kirk, Johnny Crawford, Beau Bridges and Ron Howards as "Genius."

Sometimes a viewer gets the sense of there being a kind of Shadow Hollywood, existing alongside the tremendous, successful, big-budget one. This parallel world is the one of the B Movies, of lower production values, of low-tier stardom, of making what money you can doing what you love. It is watching movies like this can give one a sense of fondness for the scene. Village of the Giants may not have won any awards, but it contains a bunch of people somehow getting paid for doing something that is, for the most part, fun. You really can't do much better than that.

Beau Brummels lead Sal Valentino is still alive, kicking and touring! Freddie Cannon's still active too!

So, it turns out, is Tommy Kirk, who's also in this movie. He gets a lot of ribbing from MSTies (myself included), but it looks like he moved on from being a Mousekateer and a teen star with drug problems to become a successful businessman for more than 20 years. He's quoted as knowing he was gay from an early age, and that can't have been easy for a teen heartthrob in the 60s surrounded by the terrible apparatus of the Disney Behemoth. More is on his Wikipedia page. Congrats on making it this long, Mr. Kirk!

It's not a lot of MST3K movies that have their very own fansite!

Of course the kid "Genius" in this movie is none other than Ron Howard, already working on building his extensive Hollywood contacts.

Here's a page on the Brains' fondness for Frank Zappa. The Brains centered this episode around TV's Frank partly as a way to fit in their musical tribute to him. Word is from the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, via Satellite News, that Zappa was a fan of the show, and had contacted the Brains about a collaboration, when he suddenly died. There is no stinger to this episode, just a memorial to Frank Zappa.
posted by JHarris (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the usual deal: MST3K Club is our weekly viewing of MST3K. It's at at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on Thursdays (today). This is a good episode, so I hope you can make it.
posted by JHarris at 11:31 AM on September 29, 2016

My recollection is that there's a title card early on claiming that the movie is based on HG Wells's 'Food of the Gods', and, when I saw it, I perked up a little, because I had read and enjoyed the book, and was curious as to how Burt I. Gordon would have adapted it for the big screen.

As it turned out, this involved taking Wells's complex socialist tale, and changing all of the plot elements, to turn it into a beach movie.

It would have been fun to see what he would have done with 'The Time Machine'. Burt I.'s still around, right? Maybe he could do a kickstarter?
posted by jwgh at 6:47 AM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Speechless: N-E--NEW A-I--AIDE...   |  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Te... Newer »

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