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.
Rewatch! Flag on the moon. How'd it get there? It's the last of the three Coleman Francis movies, every one of them a vision into the dark heart of humankind, but this one also has Tor Johnson! Francis himself doesn't act in it, but he does narrate the entire movie. Come for the musings on technology ("Push a button. Things happen. A man becomes a monster."), stay to feed soda pop to the hungry pigs. Good freaking luck. A lot of your enjoyment of this episode comes from your investment in the MST3K premise. If you sit in front of the screen with your arms folded and say, "I'm here TV. Entertain me!", you will DIE. But if you want to see just how bad a movie can be, and a person trapped in space make fun of it with his automated mocking machines, this is some fine viewin'.Previously.
Re-rewatch! Swave spy-guy Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo) hunts people who've kidnapped the inventor of a death ray in an episode whose stature has grown over the years. Ding! Ba-dup-ba-dup-ba-da-dah da dah. Previously and again. With this, we have ten Comedy Central episodes left.
Re-rewatch! Welcome back to Cuba, for the middle section of the movie that takes place there! Our protagonists are criminal at best, murderous at worst. Written, directed and starring Coleman Francis, whose vision of bleak despair and dark ennui practically sloughs off the screen. With great riffing, but a terrible movie, this is one of those episodes that really puts the show's premise, watching a bad movie but having what fun you can with it, to the ever loving test. There is a short beforehand, Platform Posture and Appearance. Previously and again.
Rewatch! A smart high school student makes terrible decisions, decides to help crooks steal "a million bucks!" out of a safe, and causes the death of several people. Roger Corman executive produces. This episode also has the short titled Out Of This World, which obviously given the name is about a bread delivery man being tempted to slack off at his job. His work ethic is the subject of a bet between an angel and a devil, as written of in the book of Sara Lee. Previously.
Rewatch! One of the four Russo-Finnish movies MST has done, and the third and last of the three Aleksandr Ptushko films. Actually a pretty great movie, with high production values, but also some very strange goings on. Kind of an underrated episode if you ask me. Previously.
Rewatch! Girls wrestle and wrestle and wrestle and wrestle. There's a plot about money laundering. But mostly, girls wrestle. It's pretty skeevy. Since the last time we did this movie, I've learned that it's actually kind of the second in a trilogy, of a set of movies connected by having the character of Umberto Scalli, played by Timothy Farrell. The lady wrestlers are played by real lady wrestlers. Has the short Are You Ready For Marriage, containing 100% more BOING than the standard short! Previously.
Rewatch! A straight-laced political candidate gets mixed up with a troubled young lady, who threatens to make him look bad if he doesn't acquiesce to her whims. Oh, won't anyone think of the problems of the rich and powerful? Kevin Murphy dresses as a cat in a host segment, so there is that. Previously.
Re-rewatch! (wait, really?) A fairly bog-standard pilot for a TV show from 1970, about the people and events at a major airport. This one did make it to series, but with an almost entirely different cast. File this under Seventies-tastic. This is the third time MST Club has done this one, since it somehow made it into the best-of poll we did a few years back. Previously and again.
Rewatch! Ed Wood is the only one who can teach us about the dangers, the EVILS of pornography. Because Ed Wood is so pure and noble in that regard. Also there's a short, Keeping Clean and Neat, to teach kids about hygiene, so gather 'round kids, rather 'round the laptop! Previously. [more inside]
Re-rewatch! Soar along at Mach 2 in one of the most notoriously dangerous aircraft ever made! Basically a promotional piece for the US Air Force and the F-104 Starfighter jet, we follow the brain-killing career of a bright young pilot tragically burdened with the fate of being played by Bob Dornan, as he fights his Congressman father's rather reasonable wishes that he be transferred to a job where he doesn't put his life on the line frequently through the act of just flying an airplane. Come for the copious in-flight refueling, stay for the poopie suit party! A difficult movie, but great to watch subjected to the attentions of a spaceborne guy and his automated mocking devices. Previously and again. Also, this movie has an entire post on the blue about it.
Rewatch! A cowboy is framed for murder, although judging by most westerns, everyone is killing everyone else constantly, so why would anyone ever have to be framed for it? This was MST3K's final Robert Lippert-produced movie, and last Albert Glasser-scored one. This is also the episode where mirror-universe Dr. F and Frank riff the film for the first segment. Previously.
Rewatch! Some young women go on a rampage directed by Ed Wood. There's also a short, Young Man's Fancy, about a girl with "squishy" feelings making a dinner, but is actually about how great General Electric appliances are. This is the episode with the "Turn you crank to Frank!" radio station jokes, which were a riff on Minneapolis country station WBOB, their slogan: "Turn your knob to BOB!" A fun episode in general. Previously.
Re-rewatch! Coleman Francis wrote and directed three movies and MST3K did them all. It's telling that he made three films that he poured his sweat and soul into--and that all three are barely watchable, and among the worst of all movies. Bring lots of coffee! Also has the short Why Study Industrial Arts, so also bring along lots of fresh sawdust. Previously and again.
Re-rewatch! This episode is more popular than I suspected, partly on the strength, perhaps, of its short, A Day at the Fair. The movie itself is a spy-themed made-for-TV thing, made by Quinn Martin, originally intended as an NBC series pilot. The plot has to do with a couple of people trying to protect a deadly gas that can kill people on contact, which is indeed pretty deadly. It sounds impossible to work with. The host segments spotlight MST3K's least-considered regular character: Magic Voice. Previously and again.
Rewatch! In which we find out, for a hunter, the most thrilling prey of all is Mike Brady (Robert Reed). Also has the short Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm! Also, the first episode with Pearl Forrester, long before the became an official Mad! And the fiddle player in the square dance scene, off-screen, is reputed to be Maria Bamford! There, I think that's all the interesting points. Riff away. Previously.
Re-rewatch! Time to watch a carpet eat half a small town again! The great thing about this movie is nothing. The great thing about this episode is that the movie is so goofy and nonsensical that it's watchable on its own just to try to figure out whatever the hell is coming next. The riffs add onto that. This is unquestionably in the worst-of-the-worst pile, a bona-fide cinematic un-chievement. Previously and again.
Rewatch! No one named Colossus is in this movie, instead it has My Cheesesteak Maciste, beating people up as he is wont to do. One of the less popular pepla the MST crew did, perhaps because it doesn't have captive women or moon men in the title. This is the one with Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter, and the song regarding same. Previously.
Re-rewatch! A relatively recent movie, but extra disjointed, with no less than two unexplained prologues before the real story. Ultimately a Magic Lady brings a buff young man back to life to avenge his death and bring justice to a crooked cop played by Adam West. It does contain "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead on its soundtrack, but it's also heavily edited for television. Previously and again.
Re-rewatch! It's the third time we've shown this manifestly absurd film, about a parapsychologist with a Kermit-the-Frog voice who assumes that he has gravitas, and everyone else in the movie seems to believe it too. He lives in the basement of a boarding house with a collection of pseudo-supernatural trinkets, where he awaits the call of Law Enforcement when they need his, um, special talents. Sadly a lot of the movie is talking. Comes with a short, The Selling Wizard, in which a narrator and a mute pizza dominatrix jointly attempt to sell the audience on commercial freezer units. Previously and again.
Rewatch! One of a long line of propagandist movies intended to rile up the public against the USSR. It's easy to get this one mixed up with Rocket Attack USA, made under a similar zeitgeist. That was a Joel episode with spies going to the USSR and failing to stop a missile attack against New York City, a lady spy seducing a Russian general for secrets, and a blind man walking during an immanent nuclear attack telling the camera, "Help me!" This is a Mike episode where a two-bit hypnotist zaps a bar full of people into experiencing a vivid hallucination of a Soviet military attack on their city. (Hypnosis was another overblown fear at the time, but didn't have as much of a concerted push to make people afraid of it.) With the short A Date With Your Family, starring Hugh Beaumont, it's a very fifties worldview on display. Previously.
Re-rewatch! Unexpectedly popular for yet another black-and-white teen anger movie. This is the one with nuns. Also has Mamie Van Doren (still alive and on Twitter!), Paul Anka, Mel Torme and Dick Contino. In MST history, this is the first episode of Season Six, the one that introduced the Umbilicus, a space pipe that connects Deep 13 with the SOL. Previously and again. Notes on shows inside-- [more inside]
Rewatch! At least I think it is, this is one of those movies it's easy to forget exists for some reason. This is another of those movies where half of the time amounts to: "Gee whiz! Space!" There's a lot of preparing and rocketry and interviews with intrepid scientists and getting ready to let's all go to space. With cats. Then we get to space and meet aliens. Who want our cats. The short, however, is Design for Dreaming, and it's terrific, just completely crazy, bonkers, nutso, a highlight of the show's entire run. Previously.
Rewatch! Little Ronnie Howard invents a growth "goo" that the angry teens in town get into and cause problems. The last Bert I. Gordon movie MST would cover (as of pre-Season 13). Previously.
Rewatch! This one's kind of a sleeper. Some teens break out of jail (where teens come from) and menace a farm family. Teens only get more dangerous with age, folks, and these are at least 30. Previously
Rewatch! The new space-age miracle science of RADAR will solve all problems, including that of catching criminals. The movie is a drag, but riffing on the short, Last Clear Chance, about a policeman who ominously shows up at a family home to issue dire warnings about traffic safety around railroad tracks, is terrific. Previously.
Re-rewatch! Gor is a desert planet where few people wear much clothes, and our hero Tarl Cabot ("Cabot? Cabot!") travels there from Earth via mystic jewelry, although he doesn't encounter their famous houseplants. Watch our for Jack Palance crapping bigger than any of us. Verily it is a toobular boobular joy! Previously and again.
Rewatch! An old rich lady decides to use her considerable resources, including her own mad scientist and a nuclear reactor in her basement (wow, really?), to have her brain swapped into the body of one of three younger women. The eventual result? Let's just say she better hope she can develop a taste for Meow Mix. Previously.
Rewatch! On of the more entertaining of the episodes featuring the 50s monster attack genre of movie. Huge grasshoppers attack (a postcard of) Chicago while the army is helpless against the giant insect menace. Directed by Bert I. Gordon, Mr. BIG himself. Previously.
Re-rewatch! At the center of the earth lies, apparently, a lost colony of Australians, living, also apparently, in a half-baked version of the techno-dystopia from the Super Mario Bros movie. Into this falls Wanda Saknussemm, played by supermodel Kathy Ireland, here cast as a high-pitched nerd girl. You know those movies where all a young woman has to do to be popular is lose the spectacles and wear a swimsuit? That's the story here, although it also involves falling down a "bottomless pit," running for her life from an oppressive government and their fiendish "Lotto," and a person with three-inch eyelashes. Also: the movie has a sequel, it turns out! Previously, and again.
Re-rewatch! One of the most bizarre movies MST3K ever did. An opening scene in which three young women hold a strangely officious rite in which they induct a new member into being a "synthetic vampire," which in this world means being part of a crime-fighting organization headed by Batwoman (no relation to any DC Comics characters). But that's only the start of this deeply nonsensical movie, which involves an "atomic hearing air," a seance involving a spirit speaking offensive mock Chinese, and a weird hunchback named Heathcliff. Great riffing, but some people find it difficult to survive this one. Fortunately it comes with one of the show's best shorts, Cheating! Previously and again.
Rewatch! Someone's strangling teen girls and the blame falls on members a local gang. This is the movie with Mikey, the object of some scorn by the space-trapped human and his automated mocking machines. Has the short "Is This Love?", and you can just imagine how they treat that one. Previously.
Rewatch! A brilliant scientist is thought of as "mad," and only because he saves his girlfriend's severed head when she is killed in a car crash, then keeps it alive by setting it in Neck Juice (TM), allowing her to befriend the terrible monster he keeps in his basement while he goes out trying to murder women to provide her with a donor body. But really, is that "mad?" Okay. Yeah, on further reflection I guess it is. Oh, and he has an assistant with his own weird issues. This is Mike Nelson's first episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.
Re-rewatch! Mitchell is a dull, stupid, unlikable cop. I mean, the movie even says that. The movie seems to be making the point that, all the smart cops would naturally be on the take, so we need dumb ones, and Mitchell, he's just the dumb cop we need. Then it goes and shows us the implications of that by following Mitchell around, like it's trying to tell us, "don't look away, this is necessary!" You could get a really dim view of human nature watching Mitchell. It makes for fine riffing though! This is also Joel's last episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously and again.
Rewatch! While the name of Roger Corman is often derided on the show, it seems most of the time he produced rather than directed. Well, he directs this one. It's not a bad story I think, about a women whose husband is gunned down, so she becomes sheriff. Um, is that how it works? Alas, she falls in love with a gun hired to kill her. This is Joel's penultimate episode as host, meaning next week: it's Mitchell time. Previously.
Rewatch! Go get your snausages, it's time to watch MST3K's one and only Lassie movie! Although in this one her name is "Shep," and she's more of a menacing presence than the friendly, loyal and English-understanding collie of TV. Her prospector owner is killed by someone trying to steal his claim, and she wants nothing of it. Ask not for whom the dog growls.... Also has Body Care and Grooming, a short, the last short Joel riffed during his tenure as host. Previously
Ah, rewatch! Drifting seems a fine use of your time, right? That's what a couple of guys just roaming around, Danny and Bix, think. But then they go to a town and they break the Drifter Code: they get involved with local girls. And then a pointlessly stupid tragedy occurs that makes you question why you even cared about the story in the first place. Previously. There is some Club news inside. [more inside]
Re-rewatch! When James Bond is busy, who you gonna call? Neil Connery, Sean's brother, in this hugely weird Italian spy movie with a bad guy who employs a platoon of evil women, and a hero who's kind of a jerk, although pretty much an invincible one. Previously and again. We're nearing the end of Joel's tenure as host again.
Re-rewatch! As any child knows, Santa Claus lives in a castle in the sky high above the North Pole, the center of a surveillance network that spans the globe. Living with him is Merlin and an international horde of kids who sing and help him make toys. But the forces of darkness no like this, and so Satan sends his lieutenant Pitch to thwart his gift-giving journey, threatening the lactose-intolerant demon with eating ice cream should he fail. If you think that sounds crazy, it's only the beginning of this profoundly strange movie. Previously and again
Re-rewatch! One of MST3K's three (to date) Christmas movies, and one of their weirdest subjects overall. Martians, upset that their children are becoming joyless drones, come to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus to try to make them jolly again. Opposed to this is the villainous Martian Voldar, who doesn't want happy Martian children becoming a nuisance. And then there's Dropo.... Previously and again
Re-re-re-watch! One additional "re" because this episode appeared during Turkey Day 2020! Is it a bit surprising that this episode is so beloved by fans? There's no malevolent stuffed toys, no Snuffleupigan aliens, no thrilling zamboni chases, no Mitchell, no Rowsdower, no giant turtle, no Torgo, no Ken, or Ken. Just the lying kid of a couple of rich drunk parents who turns to a life... of crime. The moment that makes this one for me is when Joel and the bots have built a mobile representing all the various contributing factors to Jimmy's problems, one of them is just the huge word STUPID floating by right in front of the camera. There's also the short The Truck Farmer, which, surprise, has little to do with trucks. Previousy, and again. This is the last MST Club episode show before the holidays--more info inside. [more inside]
Rewatch! What secrets lie, unknown, in the depths of the California desert? Apparently a caveman, given long life by sulfur water. He falls for a 60s teen, paws at her while her watching father makes sarcastic comments, licks shaving cream with his tongue, and eventually is shot by police and ends up dead in a pool. Remember, now, always, and forever, watch out for snakes. Previously and again
Rewatch! As multiple observers note, "That's not Sinbad!" It isn't. It's Sadko, a movie production of what was originally an opera, although there are no songs here. The main character was renamed Sinbad because he had better name recognition. All the same, this is an excellent episode of our favorite cowtown puppet show. Previously
Rewatch! The secret-agentish MST movie that doesn't have Neil Connery, Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo), an international superthief or was made for TV. It doesn't involve James Bond, but it was made in Italy. Previously
Rewatch! Lady cop goes undercover in a prison and helps a number of prisoners break out in the hopes they'll lead her to stolen loot. Okay movie, but the short, What To Do On A Date, is excellent riffing. Previously
Rewatch! Back to Greece, with the original Hercules, starring Steve Reeves! Don't step on all the pecs laying around everywhere! Previously
Rewatch! A sullen, mumbly, anti-social, anti-heroic loaner (played by That Paper Chase Guy) in a post-apocalyptic world turns out to be the only hope for the future of humanity. It's a whole distasteful genre (Waterworld is a prominent example), but this one contains an extremely irritating talking motorcycle. But at least it's got Donald Pleasence in it. It's the beginning of Season 5 of MST3K, Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously
Re-rewatch! It's been only a little more than a year since the last time we hit this, the movie most identified with Mystery Science Theater 3000, as part of the "best of" sequence we did. It's still one of the very worst movies they riffed, although it's a lot better known now than it was when they first aired this episode in 1993. Previously and again
Rewatch! An Ed Wood movie with Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson that isn't Plan 9 From Outer Space, it's still quite, quite awful. This episode also has part 1 of "Hired!", the Chevrolet/Jam Handy short. Previously
Rewatch! For a change a fairly charming, fairy-tale-like Russo-Finnish production, a story from the Kalevala having to do with the SAMPO. Still a pretty riffable movie though! Previously
Rewatch! EHT! NAMUH! SROTACILPUD! Richard Kiel is an evil space guy who is making duplicates of world leaders in preparation to take over the world. His character here is pretty evil, but Kiel himself was a real sweetheart. Previously
Rewatch! At our accelerated pace we're careening through the history of the show, and already we're nearing the end of Joel's last full (pre-revival) season. This is the one where the Chief from Get Smart (Edward Platt) tries to rob a train. There is a short, Johnny at the Fair, where a kid explores a World's Fair and meets Joe Louis and "the Hellzapoppin' boys," and is narrated by Lorne Greene, apparently! Previously
As the repeated "THE" in the title should warn you, this is an exceptionally bad movie, perhaps one of the worst. The premise is, aliens are attacking and the only ones who know are the local teens, who take it upon themselves to destroy the sinister threat from outer space by turning on their cars' high beams. There's a subplot(?) about a couple of army guys watching things via surveillance, and another concerning a pair of roommates. This is the episode that gave us the line, "You see folks, they just didn't care." Previously. BTW, tonight is MST Club's Halloween show!
Rewatch! As I mentioned the previous time this episode has come up, the title of this is reported in the episode as "Crash of THE Moons," but on the title card of the movie it's "Crash of Moons." It's the other compilation of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger TV episodes repackaged as a movie; the first was 413 MANHUNT IN SPACE. This is the one with John Banner, Sgt. Schultz himself as a jovial space guy. There's a General Hospital clip included as a short as well. Bit of a content warning, the TV show was made at a time in which the G-word, for Romani (and shared as a name with the show's big purple robot), was more commonly used, and the guys on the show make reference to it often. In MST3K's most recent incarnation (the stage show), it should be noted, this character has been rechristened G.P.T. Previously
Rewatch! Astronauts land on a planet of lonely women, refugees from Atlantis. They have a problem with a monster, but the manly explorers from Earth take care of it. This is the episode with "Timmy," an evil alien Crow who causes problems during host segments. Previously
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