Mystery Science Theater Club
A place to talk about our quest to group-watch, over the Internet, the entire 198-episode cable run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Bad movies with good friends! MST3K episodes on FanFare.
Posts for this club should be tagged: mysterysciencetheater_club.
Re-rewatch! Written and directed by Paul Frees (the voice of Boris Badenov), these characters are not really beatniks, they're more young criminals. But one of them can sing, and that gives him the worth to be lifted up out of his life of crime. There's a General Hospital clip before the movie too. A somewhat popular episode, but not many people's favorite? Previously, and again
Re-rewatch! Tom Stewart's about to get married, but girlfriend Vi throws a fuss. But then he refuses to save her when she falls off a lighthouse, and now she's a ghost causing big problems for Tom. Tom becomes less and less relatable as he kills people to protect his secret. A weird and creepy movie, not really that bad but easy for robotic mockery to sink its geared teeth into. Another movie from Bert I. Gordon. Previously, and again
Rewatch! Another repackaging of TV shows as a "movie," but this time of the old space craze adventure show Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. It doesn't hold up too well. As a short, we have an episode from what may be the first season of the soap opera General Hospital. I think this episode is kind of a sleeper, personally. It's not the last Rocky Jones compilation movie MST would do. Previously
Rewatch! This is the last peplum (plural pepla, those swords-and-sandals movies with big muscle-bound guys in miniskirts throwing rocks around, usually starring Herules or Maciste) MST3K would do for a while. Unlike what they say at the end, it's not the last Hercules movie they would do. I will now read off the scroll of heroic deeds and minor trivia attributable to Hercules in this head-scratching addition to his mythology: he has a son, Hylas, and a friend, Androcles, who between them kidnaps him away from home life so he can have adventures, he finds Atlantis, kills the god Proteus (who can turn into animals), and rescues its princess but this means according to prophecy that Atlantis will be destroyed. Uh-oh! This is the movie from which the phrase dedicated to Uranus comes from. Previously
Rewatch! One of Bert I. Gordon's better efforts, a fairy-tale-like story involving Basil Rathbone as an evil wizard, Estelle Winwood as a friendly witch, and a prince trying to rescue a princess from a dragon, and a traitorous knight, and curses and swords and stuff. Roll for initiative! Previously
Re-rewatch! It's a Maciste ("my cheesesteak") movie rebranding the main character into Hercules for US distribution. Imagine TV's Frank saying, in his freaked-out voice from Joel's invention exchange, "HERCULES... against the MOON MEN!" Prepare yourself for DEEP HURTING. Previously and again
Rewatch! Consider the vast field of scientific endeavor, viewed through the eyes of a B movie screen writer, or those of a blockbuster screenwriter for that matter. If you don't understand it, you figure, no one else does either. In this way, such things as electricity, radiation, DNA, evolution, robotics and anything else dealing with computers are used as stand-ins for whatever effect the writer wants, regardless of how possible it may be in actual life. That's how Lon Chaney Jr's character is brought back to life by electricity in this movie. This episode also contains the second episode of the short Undersea Kingdom, which would be the last episode of it, and the last theater serial, MST would do. Previously
Rewatch! The first of MST3K's series of pepla (singular: peplum, a name for these kinds of half-naked muscleman, sword-and-sandal movies). This one has Steve Reeves, and the story concerns the "waters of forgetfulness." I mentioned several common features of many of these movies in the post previously. Suffice to say, there's a lot of skin and scanty garments worn by male or female alike, but it's a terrible source for anything like Greek or Roman myth.
Rewatch! A group of people are trapped on an island during a hurricane, and if that's not enough dogs with rugs draped over them, that the scientist seems to think are "killer shrews," are desperately trying to consume the three times their body weight in food daily they need to survive. Before the movie there's the short Junior Rodeo Daredevils, with reckless child endangerment sponsored by Ol' Timer Billy Slater. Previously
Rewatch! Huge, possibly intelligent leeches survive by abducting rednecks, storing them in an air pocket at the bottom of a lake and sucking away their fluids. How will the authorities remedy this situation? Why, with the use of explosives. There's a short too, the first episode of the Crash Corrigan serial Undersea Kingdom, the oldest thing ever riffed by the show. https://fanfare.metafilter.com/5061/Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-ATTACK-OF-THE-GIANT-LEECHES-with-short-UNDERSEA-KINGDOM-part-one
Rewatch! This episode is something of a sleeper, its subject is a Film Ventures International film (so, weird, irrelevant opening and closing sequences) in which it turns out an alien is buried in a mummy's tomb that causes people to rot when it touches them, and the alien is trying to get back its magic space jewel that someone stole from it. Previously
Re-rewatch! Say it with me now: When we get back to our home planet the high council may well sentence you to TORCHAA! It's tough being a space teenager. The astro-acne. The jet-fueled mood swings. Discovering your sexual and species identity. Bullshit restrictions from your culture's high rullng overuberpatriarch. And not agreeing with your expeditions genocidal mission to wipe out the population of a planet (Earth) because you need land to graze your giant food lobsters. Previously one and two
Now here's a koan for you. What is a movie named? Is it what it was released and promoted as, or what the dang thing actually says its title is right there on the screen? This movie, called Circle of Iron in theaters, on posters and in the IMDB, is everywhere within it titled "The Silent Flute." This movie, which was attached to Bruce Lee for a while, is a silly pseudo-intellectual fighting/wandering/picaresque/D&D quest kind of thing, about a shirtless guy named "Cord," (Jeff Cooper) traveling the shirtless wilderness searching for "Zeetan," (Christopher Lee) a guy who supposedly has a book of knowledge, while guided and opposed by various people all played by David Carradine. While it definitely has its problematic aspects, it's still MST Club approved! [more inside]
Rewatch! Another of those post-apocalyptic movies, back before we knew the end of civilization would be a big social media fiasco. There are multiple sub-genres of the type: Fallout, Mad Max, zombies, robot overlords, and the one this movie belongs to, themed teen gangs. Has James Earl Jones in it, and also Kim Cattrall. When City Limits first aired it was one of the most recent movies MST had done, but there's been plenty of newer movies since. The movie is more goofy-bad than boring-bad or incompetent-bad, so it's a good episode for MST newbies and casuals. Previously
Rewatch! A huge lizard terrorizes a town in the fifties, and it falls to a teenager, his hot-rod, and a bunch of nitroglycerin to destroy it. You sing whenever you sing whenever you sing. Previously
Rewatch! Some astronauts are in space and they're trying to get back to the ground, but there are problems. This is the 70s Gene Hackman sci-fi vehicle Marooned as re-edited by Film Ventures International. Previously
Rewatch! Timothy Van Patten, former Eight is Enough and White Shadow star and current bigwig TV director in Hollywood, and Lee Van Cleef, former 50s and 60s western star and current dead person, appear in a movie made from an 80s TV show in which they improbably play ninja trainee and master. One of the episodes has the two help protect a fledgling union, the other is stunt cast to pair him with a former western co-star of Van Cleef's. It was a weird show. Previously - Previously on Metafilter about The Master
Rewatch! Megalomaniacal, stereotypical Fu Manchu, played as an inscrutable pillar of evil by Christopher Lee, schemes to freeze the world's oceans, because that's the kind of thing a powerful Chinese person does in a movie adapted from a Sax Rohmer book. This is not one of the best episodes, to be blunt: the movie drags like a lead weight. Good luck everyone. Previously
Re-rewatch! Timothy Van Patten and Lee Van Cleef are the most unlikely ninjas in Japanese exoticism history. They travel the country in typical 70s TV show fashion, which fits because this is actually two episodes of The Master. There's a hamster, they live in a van, they solve the problems of the people they meet. It's not very realistic. Previously and again. Not the episode you expected? Look inside for the reason for that. [more inside]
Rewatch! John Carradine knows One Weird Trick to prolong life in humans: change out their pineal glands! But as a side effect it turns the subjects into mutants. Contains Tor Johnson, who know what time it for. Has shorts devoted to the subjects of posture and parental obedience. Previously
Re-rewatch! The sequel to Bert I. Gordon's Amazing Colossal Man, shown in episode 309. The episode would probably be regarded as a sleeper if it wasn't for the short before it: MR. B NATURAL. Previously, first time - Second time [more inside]
Re-rewatch! Tonight (Sunday).... Get your forklifts warmed up, it's the further adventures of Ken, Captain Joe, Rocky (again!) and Tammy, in the last of MST3K's nine Sandy Frank movies. Previously, and again
Rewatch! Roger Corman movie about viking women who go looking for their captive husbands. The sea serpent in the title is not a huge presence. Also contains a short about home economics. But in host segment terms, this episode is about one thing: waffles. I'd like to remind you that "TV's" Frank Conniff would go on to be a writer on Invader Zim, which also featured a prominent waffle episode.
Re-rewatch! Evil alien. Colorful Trix cereal spaceship. Mind controlled lady villain. Shouting "AAA!" at people. Shark monster. Last MST Gamera movie. 8th of 9 Sandy Frank films. Pretty silly. Previously - More Recently
Rewatch! Post a little late this time... a caveteen disagrees with the dogma and taboos of his tribe and ventures into the forbidden zone to discover a the Secret Twist Ending! With the short Aquatic Wizards. Previously
Rewatch! Whatever this movie is about, it has sort of spies fighting "the organization known as Q" the leader of which has a cat and there's a flying thing and a base in an iceberg and a torture trap involving shining really bright lights at someone and it's really a mess. Sandy Frank sent a lot of crappy movies at Joel and the 'bots, but this is probably the crappiest. Good luck understanding it. Previously
Rewatch! In this corner: weighing in at 5.97 sextillion tons, the source and home of all life in the universe, the planet Earth! In the other corner, weighing in at a respectable one ton for its phyla, "the" Spider! Fight! It's one of those 50s black-and-white sci-fi monster movies, this time involving teens and a sadly eaten father. Also has the short Speech: Using Your Voice. Remember: you must be heard, you must be understood, and you must be pleasing! Previously
Re-rewatch! A really big turtle that can fly and breathe fire fights a similarly-sized knife monster on an alien planet, in order to save two kids from space ladies with US southern accents wearing leotards that want to eat their brains. If you think that sounds crazy, well, it's not even the half of it. Probably the goofiest of the Gamera movies, and the one that brought us the Gamera theme song and much attendant riffing joy. Previously and again
Rewatch! Peter Graves tries to convince Lee Van Cleef not to help an evil carrot from Venus to take over the minds of our authority figures, turning them against us. Hm. Has anyone checked the White House for diabolical vegetables? Previously "He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature…" [more inside]
Rewatch! Sunday-- Ken is a Star Wolf, a member of a ruthless band of space raiders from the planet Valna, who unexpectedly develops a conscience and saves an Earth woman and sun from a comrade. He is labeled a traitor and is force to team up with hard-drinking earthling Captain Joe and his crew on the old spaceship Bacchus III. I love this episode. The movie is goofy but watchable (and as Joel and co note in the sequel, the music legitimately rocks), the jokes are funny and on-point, and in a series filled to overflowing with memorable moments, gives us several great ones, culminating in the classic lyric: "HE TRIIIED TO KILL ME WITH A FORKLIFT!" Olé! Previously Below the fold, some comments about the movie. [more inside]
A sequel to 1966's Manos: The Hands of Fate. Streaming on Amazon Prime, Manos Returns features several cast members from the first film, which was made famous (largely by its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000) as arguably the worst film ever made. [more inside]
Rewatch! Thursday-- A film from the most prolific director of MST3K movies, Bert I. Gordon. Glenn Manning is a man with a big problem, getting bigger: he was exposed to an experimental weapon that makes him grow and grow and grow. A better movie than its sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, but often in it shadow because WotCB contains perhaps the most popular short in MST's history. Previously
Re-rewatch! On Sunday: like Godzilla, Gamera progressed through his career from being a force of destruction to being a protector of humanity, defending Japanese cities against other kaiju. Gaos (alternately spelled Gyaos) may be the most iconic and effective of Gamera's foes, being a sort of giant vampire bat thing with laser eyes. Sadly, the annoying kid Gamerafriends are back after their absence from Gamera vs. Barugon. Previously - Also previously
Rewatch! A guy is forced off the road by a lady, so naturally they decide to drag race. Things progress in the natural manner, so he ends up going undercover in a nightclub to find out who killed his friend, and the lady, who's kind of sweet on him despite everything, helps. Has the short Alphabet Antics, the first of the show's many educational shorts. Previously
Rewatch! Tonight: another classic early episode, in this movie (really episodes of a Japanese show stitched together by Sandy Frank), a couple of Japanese kids visit their uncle in their high-tech monkey freezing compound. Then an earthquake hits, and the two and a lab assistant seek refuge in a freezing chamber. They're flash-frozen and wake up in a future where APES RULE THE WORRRLD. But there's also a ton of other stuff going on: human Godo the survivalist, Pepe the friendly monkeyperson, vengeful ape Gaybar(?), the stern but ultimately helpful leader ape, and the deus ex machina-ish "UECOM" ("Yukon?") that hovers in the sky. Completely bonkers. Previously
Rewatch! An astronaut survives a crash, but on waking up Earth doesn't seem to be as he remembers it... it turns out he's on "Terra," on the other side of the sun from Earth, which is a lot like Earth in a lot of ways (lots of Chryslers, for example), but is being run by one of those dystopian states that everyone was afraid of before we realized the fall of civilization would take the form of a social media meltdown. Previously
Re-rewatch! A gigantic sort of allegator-dog attacks Japan, and in a twist (whaaa?) the previously aggressive monster turtle Gamera is the only thing that can stop it. At least there's no obnoxious kid this time. Previously one and Previously two
Re-rewatch! Four different subplots kind of meander into orbit with each other in this dubbed French/Spanish movie. Movie A: poachers in the woods encounter and break the eggs of an unworldly creature. Movie B: singers on a trip in the woods have a deadly run-in with that creature. Movie C: a lonely young boy befriends another creature of the same species. Movie D: the boy's father noisily conflicts with the lead singer from Movie B. It's another episode from a time in the show's history when almost every episode became a classic. But as for the movie itself... (O.K. sign) It stinks! It's as disjointed as it was because originally it was supposed to just be a horror movie, but then when ET came out a hasty story adjustment was made to try to get some of those cute alien movie dollars. Previously and also previously
Re-rewatch! A giant turtle terrorizes Japan while a sad little kid is told he can't keep his pet turtle. Their paths cross, and now the military tries to save Japan from kaiju destruction while the kid helps as a kind of giant turtle expert. It's pretty ridiculous, but it's only the beginning of a series of Gamera movies. MST would eventually do five of them, and they're some of the show's most iconic episodes. Previously
Rewatch! The first classic episode in a season of classic episodes, a dull old guy ("Akronos") living in a prehistoric time is attacked by a John Saxon-type ("Zor") over a "geometric nucleus," so he sends his daughter Mila, who wears a hubcap on her chest, to go fetch Ator and his faithful male companion ("Thong," really) to save him. Mila impresses Ator by demonstrating her knowledge of the chemistry of human filth. The titular cave dwellers are only a stop-off point halfway through the film, there's a snake puppet, and an unexpected appearance by a hang glider. The whole thing is ridiculous. It's indicative of how disjointed this movie is that, despite it being a classic episode and one of my favorites, I still had to look up the names of the old guy, the bad guy and the girl! This movie is actually the sequel to the movie used in the last episode of Season 12. Previously
Rewatch! On Sunday: Godzilla has to share screen time in this one with terrorists and natives and Mothra. Compared to the excellent and bonkers Godzilla vs Megalon this one's so-so, I think at least. Previously
Rewatch! On Thursday (today!): A truly crazy movie, the underground kingdom of "Seatopia?" Which is run by... Dorf? is upset at nuclear tests, so calls upon their giant monster Megalon to attack the surface world. They also target a couple of... scientists? Who make... water toys? For a... kid? That they raise? I mean that's great sure, but it's not really defined what's going on. And a humidifier? hangs from the ceiling by a chain? in their... lab? Anyway they make the robot Jet Jaguar who goes and gets Godzilla so they can have a fite that's the real movie. It's batshit crazy, but a great episode! Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! There are few MST movies that are as full of ridiculous crap as this one, it's kind of amazing. On Earth a space message is recovered from Venus to which scientists affix the catchy name the "cosmic document." They don't know what it says yet, but they decide to bring it along with them on a trip to its home planet to meet its makers. Along the way we meet a team of people with the huge letter 'A' on their uniforms, an international team of weirdos, a chess playing robot that can't handle losing, a vaguely oppressive sleep computer, the oppressive crib mobile of Venus, a flood of killer goop and alien architecture straight out of Dr. Seuss. In the end the cosmic document gets decoded and turns out to be plans to destroy the world, so, that's nice. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! The first of eight MST movies directed by Bert I. Gordon, who certainly had a prolific career. In this one, space explorer land on Planet Nova and bring "civilization" to it by obliterating its native population of awesome dinosaurs with a nuclear weapon. Hey, it was the fifties. There's an automobile safety short that's kind of goofy too. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! On Sunday: A kind of counterpart to The Sidehackers, directed both by its director Gus Trikonis and starring Ross Hagan, who played Rommel. Also, produced by Anthony Cardoza, who produced the Coleman Francis movies! A weird film, and the most biker-y of MST's three biker movies. Previously
Rewatch! On Thursday: an airplace with important experiments crashes on a strange mountain plateau, and science types have to go up there and get them. While there's dinosaurs up there that cause them trouble, minute for minute, the true experience of this movie can be summed up in two words: ROCK CLIMBING. So much tedium that getting through it turns into a joke in itself. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! On Sunday: They were reckless violent killers before it was cool, and they did it for the kicks! Three biker thugs and a lady, calling themselves "Satan's Angels," see what they did there, decide to rob the prestigious Bank of Citrusville, and the only one who can stop them is a former stock car racer who they perhaps unwisely approached to drive the getaway vehicle. One of those movies where no one is likable. Previously
Rewatch! On Thursday: Puma? Puma! An unflappable med student so irks his prospective fraternity brothers that they arrange for an initiation where he must get the ring off the hand of a corpse. John Carradine thinks back on the event and laaaaughs. Most of the episode is just lead up, making for a pretty boring experience. Fortunately we have three wisecracking intermediaries to help make the film watchable. Previously
Rewatch! On Sunday: There are two parts to this. The first part follows spies deep in the Soviet Union trying to gain information on and prevent a nuclear attack on New York. That fails, leading to the second part, which is about New York getting hit by a nuclear missile. A transparently fearmongering piece of propaganda, this is one of those films that's not just terrible but made the world a worse place just by existing. Fortunately, it makes for a pretty good riff target, if you can get past how upsetting the story is. There's no happy ending here, folks. Previously. [more inside]
Re-rewatch! On Thursday: A bunch of teens vacationing in Catalina engage in whimsical frolics, foil the playfully larcenous behavior of one of the teen's parents, and writhe rhythmically to music. The only teenage comedy MST ever did, and rather a classic episode because of it. Previously and previously. [more inside]
Rewatch! On Sunday: Some white guys search Africa for a lost heiress, who it turns out reigns over a native tribe as their goddess, apparently only because she's white. Get ready for the kinds of stereotypes that make making fun of the movie seem almost a duty. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! On Thursday: Rommel is a mechanic who participates in weird motorcycle races in his off time. He introduces the unstable J.C. and his gang to his sport, but events take a violent turn. A grimy and depressing take of shattered love and revenge. How did this episode become one of Mystery Science Theater 3000's earliest beloved classics? A lot of it has to do with the sport of sidehacking depicted in the movie, which is two-person motorcycling on a dirt track, with a driver and a rider who leans their butt way out on a sidehack to balance the bike out on sharp turns. An obviously extremely dangerous sport that's the subject of some hilarious extended riff runs. Previously.
Rewatch! Operator error sends the Earth's first ship to the moon, 828 thousand miles away, instead to Mars, which is at best 33.9 million miles away and usually much further. That's some error; some scientists would give multiple limbs to be able to make errors like that. It's the first episode of Season Two, considered the point where Mystery Science Theater 3000 started to become really good, although the movie here is kind of dull. Next time.... Previously. Remember: for the time being we're also doing Sunday shows, so if you want to watch this one you'll want to show up tonight. [more inside]
Rewatch! Big critters from out of a volcano attack the lands south of the border. It's the last episode of Season One. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! On Sunday [4/19]: A home for troubled teens is actually a work farm run by unscrupulous adults. Starring MST3K favorite Mamie Van Doren, who is still alive and kicking as of this writing! This movie marks the show's beginning to branch out to other genres of cinema, here, the teensploitation movie. The bad guy's surname is Tropp; having a name that ends with a doubled hard consonant is one of those sure-fire signs of cinema evil. Previously. Two more episodes in Season One.
Rewatch! On Thursday [4/16]: It's class warfare on the moon! A working-day moon savager is hired by rich-guy "Hundred Percent" Hubbard to help them crash a meteor made of gemstone on the moon. Problem is, the plot on which they crash is already claimed by a miner, Wild West style. Nefarious schemes are afoot up there in no-atmosphere zero-G. An okay movie made ridiculous by things like scantily-clad moon dancers and a board game called (groan) "Moonopoly." It's still Season One, but the riffing has improved a lot by this point. Three more episodes until Season Two! Previously.
Rewatch! One of the best season one episodes, and at the time/for a while the newest movie MST had done (the turnaround time was but three years), a bunch of people in goofy costumes traipse around a city park somewhere on a journey to the power station ruled by the eeevil Dark One and his second-in-command Valeria, who speaks her Rs as Ws like Elmer Fudd and the Homestar Runner. An amazingly silly movie, released directly to VHS. Previously. This episode will be a Sunday show. MST Club news inside-- [more inside]
Rewatch! Poor Commander Brietis has the misfortune to be a women space officer in a man's (specifically, Robert Heinlein's) world. Her peers all casually call her "Bright Eyes," and her commanding officer actually threatens to spank her at one point. But in the end she and a fellow astronaut get stranded together on the moon, and Madame President (whose existence I guess was supposed to make up for how badly Brietis is treated) demands that they be married to avoid a scandal, which they agree to because they're sweet on each other. A disheartening movie, which make wisecracks from an orbiting human and his automated mocking machines all the more welcome. Previously.
Rewatch! It's like a zombie movie but not, and from before that became a genre! You might consider it ahead of its time, or you might consider that zombie movies were never all that to begin with. It's another first season episode, when the guys and robots were still finding their feet and/or hoverskirts. Previously. [more inside]
Rewatch! We're baaaack.... A alien invader (guy in a gorilla suit with a fishbowl on his head) called Ro-Man destroys everyone on Earth except for a family that lives in walking distance of his cave (which has a bubble machine in front of it). The family tries to thwart Ro-Man's attempt to wipe them out, until Ro-Man gets a crush on the family's teenage daughter. At what point on the graph do "must" and "cannot" meet? In the end it's all a dream had by a comic-addled young boy. Up until this point MST had shown bad movies, but this was the first truly transcendent example they did. Some have called it the worst movie ever made. Enjoy! Also has two Radar Men From the Moon shorts. Previously [more inside]