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.

December 13

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SPACE CHILDREN  Season 9, Episode 6

Kids serve the telepathic bidding of a Blob from Space to sabotage military weapons. The twist: the Blob is a good guy! With short Century 21 Calling: At the Seattle World's Fair, everyone is excited about PHONES. You'll be able to record frequently-called numbers onto little plastic cards! An uncommonly ridiculous movie and short combo. Warning: contains Uncle Fester in shorts! This is another episode that's not on DVD, and probably never will be. Vimeo (1h32m) Premiered June 13, 1998. 20 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:19 PM - 3 comments

December 7

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY BEES  Season 9, Episode 5

"hives of horror! Excited by the smell of fear they inflict their fatal stings!" A British singer collapses on television and is sent to the countryside to recuperate. I guess she shouldn't have used AirB&B. Also apparently the British take forever to investigate anything. This episode is infamously unavailable commercially by any means, not YouTube, DVD, Video on Demand or streaming; it's one of those final few episodes where the copyright owners seem almost affronted at the temerity of that Midwest puppet show at making fun of their movie and have refused to license it for release. In subplot news, the other Observers are back and try to take Brain Guy away. Pearl and Bobo's attempts at getting him to stay is as close to touching as this deeply ridiculous show ever gets. Premiered May 9, 1998. 21 episodes left. (guy with bowler hat appears mysteriously, nods, and walks off into distance) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:18 AM - 11 comments

November 29

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF  Season 9, Episode 4

aka Arizona Werewolf. "Rest in... beast." Did you know you can contract werewolfism through improper handling of teeth? Yuri discovers this and infects Paul with Involuntary Furry Syndrome. He did this to make money exhibiting Paul-as-wolf, since as we all know sideshow exhibitions are so very lucrative. Paul escapes this fate through the application of a timely mauling and hooks up with his GF, who becomes a werewolf too. Now the two of them spend their nights terrorizing the townfolk; what a romantic ending! It's another fan favorite episode! When this episode was made, the movie was only three years old! This is the episode with the brilliant "Tusk!" bit over the movie's credits music. Satellite News subsite Ward E cataloged all the references, and this YouTube video overlays the MST versions with the originals (2m). YouTube (1h32m). Premiered April 18, 1998. 22 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:07 PM - 17 comments

November 16

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN  Season 9, Episode 3

AKA "L'uoma Puma." Donald Pleasence has stolen a mind-control mask, and it's up to The Pumaman to stop him! But we don't know who that is yet! So faithful priest Vadinho throws people out of windows until he finds the one guy who survives it: must be him. Watch him soar through the air with the opposite of grace! We are all surely doomed. This is a beloved episode, the riffing is terrific throughout. The great improbability that our hero could be an Anything Man makes the whole thing ridiculous on its face, but it keeps on stretching the premise further and further. In Castle Forrester, Pearl plans a ball but Brain Guy's party to watch the new episode of Sliders is more popular. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered April 4, 1998. 23 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 4:54 AM - 10 comments

November 8

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PHANTOM PLANET  Season 9, Episode 2

"Science Shocker of the Space Age!" "See!! A 6ft astronaut shrink to 6 inches before your very eyes! See!! The Moon Maidens! See!! The attack of the Fire People!" An astronaut is stranded on a planetoid that makes him small. There are other small people there, and he assimilates into their culture. Then they're destroyed and he's rescued. Film that for long enough and you have yourself a movie. You know, every year of my life I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and the best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if you just take the time to look at it. In Castle Forrester, Pearl gets her Mad Scientist kit. Promo YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 21, 1998. 24 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:06 PM - 11 comments

November 2

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PROJECTED MAN  Season 9, Episode 1

"Born a man... turned into a living laser beam by science's most gruesome experiment!" "A Billion Volts of Death in Every Finger!" Another dang fool scientist is inventing a teleporter, and again he's impatient for results so he tests it on himself and becomes a monster. Isn't it weird when a movie's hubristic Tampering In God's Domain amounts to moving somewhere? Hey here's a thought, why not just walk a few steps across the room and maybe not turn into a deformed horror? Lembeck is staying! The movie's okay but the thing about this episode is that the "endless chase" subplot is finally over, although it takes a season for the opening theme to catch up with this fact. Pearl and henchies finally arrive at and settle into ancestral family home Castle Forrester, the show's site until the end of the classic era. Pearl discovers a family history in which she finds out her family has been forcing bad art on hapless subjects for ages. In this, we find out that the female half of her family basically have the same first-naming conventions as the Crystal Gems, which could make for some really odd fanfiction if anyone wants to write it. (Kinga breaks that trend though.) YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 25 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:04 AM - 7 comments

October 26

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK  Season 8, Episode 22

"Caught in a future world, his only escape is back in time." Raul Julia is Aram Fingal, who lives in a future dystopia and gets in trouble by scrolling up Casablanca at his data entry job. So he's doppled into a baboon--thankfully, not an anteater--but an impish schoolkid loses his body, so he's then-doppled into the world-running computer for safe keeping. He pretends to be Rick from Casablanca, meets his dead mom of whom he asks, "My nuts?" and runs afoul of both computech Apollonia Jones and the CEO of Novicorp. Look, I've seen the movie several times and I'm just as lost as you are. This has gotta be the most nonsensical movie in MST3K's rich history of nonsense. Gloriously silly and yet seems not to even notice. Made for public television, it's another strong contender for Worst Movie They Riffed. It's filled with heaping helpings of made-up future jargon like a kind of sad Nadsat. Get ready everyone, it's Fingal time! In the host segments, Pearl decides to run her own pledge drive and rake in the dollars. This is the end of season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 22, 1997. 26 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:50 AM - 33 comments

October 18

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS  Season 8, Episode 21

aka Tangents. "His Mission is to Save the Future. But Time Waits For No Man...." A guy invents a time machine in his airplane, but a huge corporation plans on misusing it. Yeah, it's kind of like if Michael Moore made Back To The Future. Wow, evil corporations, huh? You can always turn to them when you need a good villain. I am not pointing this out to subvert it; they are a power for evil in our world, a blight upon the land. Anyway, this is a pretty darn decent episode. Thankfully all that Roman Times stuff is over with, and for the last couple of episodes of Season 8 the show was free to just drift out in space (well, that and a public television station, we'll get into that next week). Mike and Pearl have a nice little talk in the Widowmaker! It's nice to see neighbors get along, even when one of them is a mad scientist and the other is her hapless movie-watching victim. Also, in the movie segments, a couple of segments have the big brother of Mike (the character), Eddie, in the theater, played by Mike (the actor), who is rather less congenial than Mike (the character). Er, you understood that, right? Observer gets in a visual riff during the credits! And at the end there's a spare Crow hanging out in Minnesota who is never mentioned again. Next week is the last episode of Season 8. Episode 821 TIME CHASERS does not appear to be on YouTube. Premiered November 22, 1997. 27 episodes left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:55 AM - 11 comments

October 12

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY  Season 8, Episode 20

aka "Mutiny in Space" "There Is Nowhere to Hide from the Enemy Within!" On a colony ship sailing through the void of space, very very white people fight off a rebellion of equally-white mutineers. Titles provided by an Apple ][. This movie falls right in that zone of inept yet not abysmal, and the riffing is great. Not only do I think it's a terrific introductory episode, so does the A.V. Club. This is the episode where they keep making up names for the beefy guy ("David Ryder"). Slab Bulkhead! Fridge Largemeat! Punt Speedchunk! Here's a list of them! Here's a supercut! In subplot news, it's finally the last of the Roman Times episodes, preparing for the premise that would carry the series to the end of its original run. YouTube (warning: ad in annotations) Premiered November 7, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:19 AM - 17 comments

October 4

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN  Season 8, Episode 19

Non-threating, clunky robots from space invade Japan, and the country's only defense is a bunch of children and Space Chief. The robots turn into women, but their threat level does not increase measurably. Satellite News identifies this as another of the worst movies MST ever did, where a lot of the humor comes from the suffering of the riffers. There are a lot of little moments to watch for, like Tom Servo's "Song About Stock Footage," him saying "Just when I think I've seen the worst movie ever made, along comes the WORST movie EVER MADE!", Mike and Crow just wandering out of the theater at one point, and a number of excellent host segments including Noh Theater, Roji Panty Complex, the return of Krankor, and Crow's Letter To Japan. Oh, and the sudden and unexplained presence of the Hitler Building. Despite all of that, I'd say this one of tough going. In the subplot, an amnesiac Bobo is revealed to be the "Mad Goth," who gets his memory back just in time to get him, Pearl and Brain Guy captured at the end of the episode. YouTube Premiered October 11, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:42 PM - 9 comments

September 28

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEVIL DOLL  Season 8, Episode 18

"What is the strange terrifying evil secret of the dummy... and why is it locked in a case every night?" Some people create their own hell for themselves. Such a person is Dr. Vorelli, a man who hates puppets but has a successful ventriloquist act. His marionette Hugo has a dark secret, but it involves ham. And what is it about sinister hypnotist types who put the whammy on women that dooms them to stage performance? There appears to be a lot less money in Svengali-ing than you'd think. It turns out Rasputin's real trick was networking. This is an episode that tends to grow on people. During one's first viewing it's easy to get overwhelmed by the Vorelli's hatefulness and the overall aura of bad, but there are some great lines by Mike and co. And Pitch, a character from the Comedy Central era (a reference to Santa Claus), features in host segments! In the subplot, "Apearlo" and "Brainguyus" are still in Ancient Rome looking for Bobo. Promo - YouTube Premiered October 4, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:28 AM - 5 comments

September 20

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH  Season 8, Episode 17

"WEIRD Atomic Beasts Who Live Off Human BLOOD!!!" "The First Horror Monster Musical!" Suspeciously old teens gyrate while radioactive waste dumped off-shore creates mutant monsters, in what appear to be laughable costumes, that lumber ashore to eat straggers from their barely-clothed herd, until their special weakness is found: SODIUM. Another of those laughable 60s monster movies, with particularly ineffective monsters. In the subplot, the guys arrive in ancient Rome to spend a few episodes bumping around. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 6, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:33 PM - 6 comments

September 13

Mystery Science Theater 3000: PRINCE OF SPACE  Season 8, Episode 16

A guy working as a bootblack on the streets of Tokyo, who keeps a horde of kids with him also plying his trade, is secretly the interstellar hero Prince of Space! Defender of Earth from the dastardly chicken people of Krankor! Those who would invade us to obtain the athletic cup technology of which their own race is so woefully deficient! One of the most classic episodes of Season Eight, in terms all of riffing, of host segments, and of sublime movie weirdness. I like it very much! As for the show's "plot," all the guys go into a wormhole and strange things begin to happen.... Promo - YouTube (ih32m) Premiered August 16, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 10:27 PM - 9 comments

September 7

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AGENT FOR H.A.R.M.  Season 8, Episode 15

"A blast of blood-curdling terror from outer space!" "They used the world's deadliest weapons against this super-secret agent! Women! Women! Women!" A spy tries to stop the use of a flesh-decaying substance from being used for evil by commies. Generally a good episode I think, in the middle of a streak of good episodes. This is the one where Mike is put on cosmic trial for blowing up those planets. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered August 2, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:21 AM - 6 comments

August 31

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH  Season 8, Episode 14

"An Unforgettable Excursion Into Adventure." Two stories with little in common except that they deal with the adventures of a secret agent guy who can become invisible, stitched together from the 70s show Gemini Man. Why a guy who can become invisible is called Gemini Man escapes me. Another popular episode among fan reviewers, the most amazing thing about it is that TV's Frank wasn't on hand to select it. I like to think his spirit (having temporarily escaped his body) hovers over the episode. Lots of riffs on the actors (especially lead Ben Murphy) and their other roles. Sketches are weird but fun, including Mike as a teppanyaki chef and Crow as Turkey Volume Guessing Man. Promos - YouTube (1h30m) Premiered July 19, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:26 AM - 12 comments

August 24

Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST  Season 8, Episode 13

AKA "Morozko," or (stupidly) "Frosty." "All the magic of the winter-time wonder-maker to fascinate young and old!" A headstrong Russian guy gets into trouble with a mushroom sprite and his head's turned into that of a bear. Meanwhile a girl has parent issues and is abandoned in the woods. Can Father Frost get these two knuckleheads together? A throwback to the Russian movies of the Comedy Central era, it's another fairly good folktale adaptation made riffing fodder mostly through no fault of its own, the comedy coming from a dreamlike atmosphere, cultural barriers, and the fact that most folktales are pretty dang weird anyway. In the channel-mandated subplot, Pearl's still on her way back from dropping off the space children, leaving Brain Guy and Bobo to bond on Camping Planet. The word is that this movie is shown in some countries on TV around Christmastime, which may explain why it isn't on YouTube in entirety, although there is a 38-minute Best Of reel. If you can find it, it's a classic episode. Promo. Premiered July 12, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:39 AM - 10 comments

August 16

Mystery Science Theater 3000: INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING & BECAME MIXEDUP ZOMBIES  Season 8, Episode 12

(Note: title slightly condensed to fit in the form) "MONSTERS COME REAL! CRASH OUT OF SCREEN! INVADE AUDIENCE! ABDUCT GIRLS FROM THEIR SEATS! Not 3-D. Don't Miss It!" "SEE: The world's first monster musical!" Why do supposedly powerful magicians and sorceresses work at carnivals? Estrella tells fortunes, hypnotises people to make them kill her enemies, and keeps a small heard of mixed-up zombies, overseen by her employee Ortega. In between scenes, there are pointless musical numbers. This one's a full 10/10 for pain folks, beware! Some consider it to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it is the first such MST film of the Sci-Fi Channel era. It is extremely weird at the very least. In the subplot, Pearl takes the space children from last week to return them to their parents, and Observer has a very bad experience with Bobo. Promo - YouTube, Official, with Annotations! (1h32m) Premiered June 14, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:28 PM - 8 comments

August 10

Mystery Science Theater 3000: PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR  Season 8, Episode 11

"The only thing they don't use... is the scream" We know a remote farm in California, where Dick Sargent lives. Every July, dweebs grow there. One day a particularly upity dweeb decides to go see this "America" he's been told is so great and discovers he's a clone raised by a secretive organization to provide transplant organs for powerful people, in his case an important senator. Really. It's a stupid fate for a stupid guy in the stupid world of a stupid movie. The movie has the advantage of a higher budget than the average MST film, but that's more than offset by the great ridiculousnesses of the plot. We're expected to see the campus of the Clonus Project as a terrifying dystopia akin to The Village, but most of the time it ends up looking more like a resort for chowderheads. BTW, it has both Peter Graves and Keenan Wynn in it! In subplot news, Pearl and company find a group of runaway omnipotent space children and have to play babysitter. Bobo takes quite a bit of abuse. Trailer - Promo - YouTube (1h32m) Premiered June 7, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:46 AM - 9 comments

August 2

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION  Season 8, Episode 10

"Creeping!... Clawing!... Crushing!" Spider! He is our hero! Well it's not the hero of a small town in Wisconson, as it goes around eating residents, or it would be if he were actually a spider and not a poor special effect. Rioting and chaos are left in its wake. Guys, maybe it's friendly, and is trying to communicate by killing us? Okay maybe not. The movie this week is, once again, tough going. It's brought to us by MST All-Star Bill Rebane, who made... (wait for it)... MONSTER A-GO-GO. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! A film of the genre of people getting devoured by an otherworldly menace, in which way it is eventually poisoned by their accumulated awfulness. In Subplot Land, Pearl's group and the SOL are bothered by pod people. MRxL MRxL MRxL! GO PACKERS WHOOO YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered May 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:11 PM - 10 comments

July 27

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF  Season 8, Episode 9

"The Most Amazing Picture of Our Time!" A hypnotist gives Michael Landon a substance that turns him into a werewolf. Who gave this guy funding? What, another hypnotist? One of those was the villain last movie! Pearl and company are now on what the show's staff called "camping world." Meanwhile on the SOL, the show gets invaded by an alien. Y'know, again. At least the stingers are back! YouTube (1h32m) - Promo (17s) Premiered April 19, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:57 AM - 7 comments

July 20

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SHE-CREATURE  Season 8, Episode 8

"HYPNOTIZED! Reincarnated as a Monster from Hell!" "IT CAN AND DID HAPPEN! Based on authentic FACTS you've been reading about!" Facts eh? In this movie, an evil hypnotist tells a lady to SLEEP!, causing her to summon an ancient lobster woman from the sea, who goes on a rampage. Because all prospective licensed hypnotists learn about calling crustacean people on the first day of class. This is exactly why you shouldn't get your news of current events from movie posters. It's the last episode on Observer world and the last we see of the other Observers (well they do turn up again once later). YouTube (1h31m) Premiered April 5, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:20 AM - 5 comments

July 12

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000  Season 8, Episode 7

"From time unborn... a hideous she-thing!" Guy invents a machine that can send things to and from the future. One of the things that comes is a winsome young future girl who seeks a mate to save future humanity. Sounds good, right? Ha ha no it's a horrible radioactive hellscape and she wears a leotard with sparkly bits on it and kills people and must be stopped. At the end they wonder if they should have helped the future folk after all, and conclude they can do that by avoiding the nuclear apocalypse that created the bad future. Yeah, I'm sure that will happen. It's the last full episode on Observer World, and it's the last Observer-takeover stinger. Mike and the bots get up to some time travel adventures themselves. YouTube (1h32m) - Promo Premiered March 15, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:33 PM - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AT THE EARTH'S CORE  Season 11, Episode 14

"Take the Most Terrifying Journey of Your Life!" "4,000 miles to the center of the earth is a world within our world." We've already been to the Center of the Earth with Kathy Ireland in a Jules Verne adaptation, let's now make the trip with Edgar Rice Burroughs why not. This one's got less vaguely Austrialian dystopia and more dinosaurs and cavepeeps. The day of Kinga's ordained wedding (by Kinga) to Jonah for ratings has arrived and Max isn't too happy about it. We also visit with Pearl and company again, meet the Head Observer, through whom we learn you can hire Observers out to fill out crowds, which is pretty enterprising of the omniscient brainguys. And we meet Jonah's robot Growther and a "Reptilicus Metallicus." Also, cliffhanger ending! Creepy outro! Episode 1114, the final episode of Season 11, is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:03 PM - 10 comments

July 6

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE UNDEAD  Season 8, Episode 6

"Terror... That Screams from the Grave!" A confusing movie, actually introduced by Satan himself, about a hooker regressed into a past life where she was executed for witchcraft. Contains 5000% more Digger Smolken than the doctor recommended dose. Ah, finally the movie selection moves out from beneath Universal's oppressive thumb, meaning this episode is on YouTube (1h32m)! It's also directed--not Executive Produced--by Roger Corman, so prepare yourself for direct exposure to the Cor-Man. That bit in the beginning where Pearl stuffs her test paper in an Observer's brain dish? That's our Observer right there, and it's essentially the beginning of their storied (in fanfic at least) and yet strangely non-specific relationship. Premiered March 8, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:13 AM - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN'T  Season 11, Episode 13

aka "Il Natala Che Quasi Non Fu." Mr. Whipple (not the Charmin one) is a lawyer with a case that may have far-reaching consequences: he's defending Santa Claus from being evicted by his evil landlord. Wait, the North Pole is ownable property? Isn't it just an ice floe? The promised Christmas episode the Kickstarter funded. As the Mads note, most people will be watching this nowhere near Christmas. Like on July 6th or around then. In subplot news, events are rushing towards Kinga's wedding at the end of the season... next episode. Movie in the hole! Episode 1113 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:04 AM - 13 comments

June 28

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE  Season 8, Episode 5

"The Grave Can't Hold It... Nothing Human Can Stop it!" A psychic lady stumbles upon a Box of Evil on the ranch, evidently the cousin of SeƱor Wences' friend Pedro. It bends the very wills of the people there until it is reunited with its body... and then is instantly defeated, because apparently its demonic powers end at that moment. S'not alright! We just got done with The Beast of Hollow Mountain and now we've got another Weird Western! In subplot news, this is the episode that introduces the Observers, and one particular Observer as a regular character, played by Bill Corbitt. Episode 805 is unavailable on YouTube. Premiered March 3, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:51 PM - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CARNIVAL MAGIC  Season 11, Episode 12

"Elvin Feltner Presents..." A two-bit magician at a one-bit carnival turns out to have the one thing that could make his act quasi-bearable, a sorta-talking chimpanzee. If animals could talk what would they say? According to this movie, absolutely nothing of interest. Beware guys, this movie is the closest we come in Season 11 to the abysmal category, the realm of Manos, Hobgoblins and Monster A-Go-Go. The carnival itself puts out some serious Pirates World vibes. In subplot news, Kinga reveals her diabolical plan to increase her ratings by marrying Jonah. Oh, and there's a guest appearance by someone you may have heard of: Mark Hamill. Episode 1112 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:35 PM - 34 comments

June 21

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEADLY MANTIS  Season 8, Episode 4

"The Most Dangerous Monster That Ever Lived!" "Out Of a Million Years Ago... A Thousand Tons of Terror!" A big bug eats people and destroys things, until someone crashes a jet into it. Weak sauce! I'm just saying, the Giant Claw wouldn't have been undone by a simple jet crash. The episode's got a pretty good reputation! In this week's subplot watch, some bomb-worshipping mutants show up in Deep Ape. This results in the end of one theme (Deep Ape itself) and the beginning of another one (Mike seemingly being unable to keep himself from blowing up planets). Oh also, Pearl finally begins the chase of the S.O.L. promised in the theme song. Episode 804 doesn't appear to be on YouTube. Premiered February 22, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:14 PM - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II  Season 11, Episode 11

"Across the Sea of Dreams... behind the Curtain of Time... lies the land of ultimate fantasy." I bet you weren't looking forward to another visit to the world of last week's movie. Good news, other than the name and executive producer Roger Corman, this movie has nothing to do with the first one! A shepherd who's also a wizard tries to save the world from bad wizards blah blah Tolkien Eddings Brooks. A lot of people think Part 1 was a highlight of the season, but many also think this is a lowlight, so beware guys. A subplot begins in this episode, with Kinga deciding to marry Jonah. And we have another visit from Pearl! Episode 1111 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 7:45 PM - 18 comments

June 15

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MOLE PEOPLE  Season 8, Episode 3

"TERRIFYING Monsters From A Lost Age!" Archeologists discover an ancient subterrainian civilization beneath a volcano and, using the awesome power of their mighty FLASHLIGHT, free the titular mole people from their oppression. A weird movie. In the original screenplay the underground girl Adal was supposed to go off with Our Hero, but because that might be seen as an interracial relationship they had her get squashed under a pillar! There's a lot of MST veterans in this movie, particularly John Agar and Hugh Beaumont. This is the episode with The Load, a remarkably burdensome member of the heroic party who exists only to slow them, and the movie, down. YouTube (Official, with annotations! 1h32m) Premiered February 15, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:33 AM - 4 comments

June 14

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I  Season 11, Episode 10

"On The Far Edge Of Fantasy The Ultimate Conflict Is Drawing Near" Young wizard apprentice Simon is aided by an ambulatory hairball and Rowsdower the Conquerer in a bid to overthrow the evil wizard Sherpa. What, it's Sherka? Whatever. Lots of people have proclaimed this the best episode of Season 11, so get ready for some massive goofiness folks. In host segment news, a plot line develops that takes us to the end of the season. Yeah yeah, just don't let it get in the way of the riffing guys! Episode 1110 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:53 AM - 13 comments

June 7

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LEECH WOMAN  Season 8, Episode 2

"Forever Young! Forever Deadly!" "She Lived Off The Life Blood of Male Victims!" Africa! Source of endless 50s movie MacGuffins! All manner of bizarre plot-driving effect can be found there! Here the bizarre secret waiting to be found is that of eternal youth, at only the cost of having to kill people regularly to maintain it. It's all due to the wonders of the human pineal gland, itself the source of many plot-driving mysteries. BTW, the movie's view of the human race is unremittingly horrible. Mike and co. are still hovering above Deep Ape, which has become rather freer in its dress code. BTW: Jeeeeeeeeeed! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 8, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 10:13 PM - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP  Season 11, Episode 9

A monster movie from South Korea, in which a petroleum-eating monster awakened from the Middle East attacks Seoul. Whatever geopolitical metaphor is intended by this is obscured by the fact that, oh Gamera, we have another little kid protagonist. Yongary's death scene is rather protracted. Ah, another little kid monster movie! And not a Kenny kid either, this is a full-on obnoxious lil brat along the lines of Time Of The Apes' Johnny, or that kid from Godzilla Vs. Megalon. When we meet this kid, he's aiming his superscience itch ray at relatives driving by in their car! There's a lot of other crazy on display here too. Episode 1109 is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:57 PM - 14 comments

June 1

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REVENGE OF THE CREATURE  Season 8, Episode 1

(Originally in 3D) "MONSTER ESCAPES! City flees in TERROR!" "All new Thrills! Shock! Suspense!" Hoo boy. So once upon a time, living in a black lagoon, there was a Creature. Having survived the injuries and affonts to dignity from the ending to a previous movie, the "Gill Man" is captured by marine scientists and sent to an amusement park, I guess to replace Shamu. An incredibly dangerous beast that's killed people before kept by scientists in an amusement park. What do you THINK is gonna happen? John Hammond reads about the incident in the paper and has a wonderful idea. And so begins the last sixth era of the show, as it kicks off its three season run on SyFy The Sci-Fi Channel. The guys are 500 years in the future and APES RULE THE WORLD! Their new movie-sending tormentors are Professor Bobo and his assistant Dr. Peanut... and a mysterious, familiar figure. Wait, you already know it's Pearl Forrester. Stylistically there's a lot of differences, but less than a year passed between episodes 706 and 801. See notes for more. YouTube (1h32m) Sci-Fi Channel Promo. Premiered February 1, 1997. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:32 AM - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LOVES OF HERCULES  Season 11, Episode 8

aka Hercules Vs. The Hydra, Gli Amori de Ercole. Hercules' wife is murdered, but it's okay, he finds a new love days later. Then an Amazon queen decides to pursue him as well. It's a collision course with wackiness! Or maybe more murder! Given the number of girlfriends and wives Herc has had throughout these interminable movies, why would any woman stick around with him? It's a death sentence! We're now halfway into Season 11, the Kickstarter-funded revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pepla (singular peplum) provide for some of the most beloved classic episodes of MST (such as 408 HERCULES UNCHAINED and 410 HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN), but there are also some relatively boring ones. Fan reaction to this episode, at least, seems divided. Episode 1108 can be viewed on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:45 AM - 14 comments

May 24

Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST  Season 7, Episode 6

"Billy was a kid who got pushed around... Then he found the power" When a picked-on kid suddenly realizes he's not hopeless but finds "the power," what happens? Gamergate! Why he takes his new laser gun and, goes out on an explodey rampage, whoo! AN THEN THE CLAYMATION ALIENS ATTACKED..... We have arrived at the end of another age, the short Fifth Age of the show, that brief period Post-Frank yet Pre-SciFi. In a host segment, we have the joke... you know, that one. The one where they try to get beyond something. Also, Mike becomes Captain Janeway. Then, finally, the SOL reaches the end of the universe.... YouTube (1h32m) - Annotated - Promo (with Penn Jilette voiceover & promo for TV Wheel!) - Movie trailer [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:35 PM - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT  Season 11, Episode 7

"The Adventure You Will Never Forget!" A cramped German U-Boat (which nonethless houses a spacious captain's cabin and dining table!) in WWI sinks a passenger ship but the survivors make it aboard and take it over, then not. But the crewmen and survivors form a truce for survival when they find a mysterious land where live primitive men, dinosaurs, and volcanoes. An okay episode overall, but it does have the "Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch Dinosaur BBQ" sketch, and one where Crow frets about turning into a human. Episode 1107 can be viewed on Netflix. Unriffed, the movie is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:55 AM - 12 comments

May 17

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ESCAPE 2000  Season 7, Episode 5

AKA Escape From The Bronx, The Bronx Warriors 2. The people living in a ludicrously named hellscape called the "Bronx" (yeah, right), beloved by its remaining residents because at least its our hellscape, tries to keep out an evil, murderous construction company. Wikipedia notes that this is actually a sequel! I bet that leaves you fully sprinting to Wikipedia to discover Trash's backstory. The next show is the final Comedy Central episode. YouTube (1h33m) Promo Premiered March 2, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 7:01 PM - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH  Season 11, Episode 6

"From a vast and distant galaxy... a Space Adventure for all Time!" Clothes-adverse, redundantly-named smuggler Stella Star, her Magic Space Friend Akton, and Robo-Yosemite Sam are called by Emperor Plummer to his grand Starship Kitbash, to entrust them with the search for both a huge space weapon and his lost young Prince Hasselhoff, from among the haunted theme worlds of the colored-bulb cosmos. Some people really like this movie (Better than Star Wars?) but you can't deny it's remarkably ridiculous, even by this show's standards. It's even had its own MeFi post! Also unusual for MST3K is an exceptionally high-powered cameo, by Joel's friend Jerry Seinfeld, as investor Freak Masterstroke. And of considerable interest to MSTies is the fact that former Brains Bill Corbett, Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin helped write this one! Episode 1106 is available for viewing on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:49 PM - 25 comments

May 11

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN  Season 7, Episode 4

"The First New Horror Creature... Come Prepared!" An irradiated astronaut returns to Earth and, horribly deformed, starts killing people. 'I Can't Believe It's Not Monster A-Go-Go!' Satellite News informs us that the host segments in this one, depicting Dr. F and Pearl making a film out of Crow's screenplay Earth Vs. Soup, were them getting even with Hollywood types who were the source of much pain during the making of MST: The Movie, and that their performances call back to specific people they met. Fan consensus is this is a very good episode, but I'm not a fan of gore myself so I've not seen it much. Everyone take note: after this, there are only two Comedy Central episodes left, and thus only two episodes remaining with Trace Beaulieu. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered February 24, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:03 AM - 6 comments

May 10

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN  Season 11, Episode 5

We're in the Old West! The owner of Rancho Bonito, Jimmy, is losing cattle to the quicksand bog. The local claim an ancient legendary beast is behind the losses, but Jimmy suspects foul play on the part of evil rancher and black marketer Enrique, whose thugs have been bothering Jimmy for a while. Helping him is his partner Felipe, and recovering alcoholic and Mexican stereotype and his son Pancho and Panchito. Matters are pretty tense between Jimmy and Enrique, and it doesn't help when Enrique's girl Sarita takes a liking to Jimmy either, so the two have a dust-up in town. Jimmy decides to leave town in order to protect Sarita. We're two acts down and nearly two-thirds through the movie. We're right on schedule for a traditional third act cowboy movie showdown, right? AND THEN THE CLAYMATION DINOSAUR ATTACKS.... It is no joke, that is exactly what happens in the movie. It's like they really wanted to make a Western, but could only get funding for a monster movie. It is the most stunning, least-telegraphed sudden left turn I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm including Monster A-Go-Go's ending in this. There is a particularly bizarre host segment in this episode where the bots nearly make not just Jonah but even the Mads hysterical with their antics. Episode 1105 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:50 AM - 28 comments

May 4

Mystery Science Theater 3000: AVALANCHE  Season 11, Episode 4

"A winter wonderland becomes a nightmare of destruction!" A bunch of characters at a resort built by Rock Hudson's character fall victim to his hubris when his construction practices contribute to a disaster. Note that Hudson's character comes through the movie unharmed, because who cares about justice. Be on the lookout for a song from Neil Patrick Harris, singing with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt, and a list of made-up bad animal/disaster movie titles along the lines of Sharknado. Episode 1104 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:32 AM - 27 comments

May 3

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL  Season 7, Episode 3

"The Most Action-Packed Deathstalker Yet!" A smug sword guy roams a standard fantasy realm trying to overthrow an evil wizard or something. General consensus is this is a terrific episode. The movie is deeply cheesy and bad, and yet the others in its series are just as bad but also contain tons more nudity, so count yer blessings! Plus great riffing, classic movie lines like "Potatoes are what we eat!", and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references before they were cool. Host segments take on Renaissance festivals and romance novels. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 17, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:14 PM - 12 comments

April 26

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN  Season 7, Episode 2

"Towering NEW Terror! No woman safe from his crushing arms..." A guy with acromegaly is kiling people, but when he takes refuge from the police in a blind girl's house he finds himself moved to help her. He goes and steals to pay for an operation that could cure her, but also kills people because I guess old habits die hard. The police punch his ticket, but for some reason she gets the operation anyway. With short The Chicken of Tomorrow: The hazy future promises advances in the raising of chickens. Science marches on! Poor Rondo Hatton died shortly after this movie was made, from the very acromegaly that established him as "The Creeper." Although the short is great, this is one of the worse episodes of Season Seven unfortunately. Host segments are interesting though, with Pearl's date having to face off with a surprisingly protective Dr. Forrester. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 10, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:26 PM - 7 comments

April 24

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE TIME TRAVELERS  Season 11, Episode 3

"Step through 'The Time Portal' beyond the crack in Space and Time where the fantastic world of the Future will freeze your blood with its weird horrors!" Three smart scientists and a goofball travel forward in time and get stranded there, where a cadre of Eloi future scientists desperately ready a rocket to space to take them from a devistated Earth peopled with Morlocks murderous mutants. But then things go wrong.... This is a movie where the main force driving the plot is a Gilligan, a clueless klutz who, by walking through the time portal and forcing the others to follow to rescue him, messes it up for everyone. Way to go Danny. And he gets rewarded for his thoughtless act with multicolor time nookie! It's a pretty good episode. Episode 1103 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:48 PM - 32 comments

April 19

Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST  Season 7, Episode 1

"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:53 PM - 8 comments

April 15

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CRY WILDERNESS  Season 11, Episode 2

"Sometimes we find friends in the most unlikely places." A kid in a boarding school improbably knows Bigfoot, who appears to him in a magic vision and says his dad's in danger. So he runs home, finds his Dad, a Native American, every wild animal in North America, and a US Marshall with poor regard for the law. The guys are after an escaped circus tiger, but really the Marshall wants to kill Bigfoot, but fortunately a magic Native American and FOB (Friend Of Bigfoot) is around with an eye-gouging eagle. The kid is not traumatized by witnessing this. HAPPY END! I think this one's an early classic of the new season! The movie is just so ridiculous, it doesn't really have a plot, things just sort of happen, and everyone in it does at least one thing that is wildly irresponsible. And hey, a later host segment features a visit from Pearl, Bobo and Brain Guy, who are again tooling around the universe in the Widowmaker, going to space casinos. Pearl's attitude towards family is pretty much the same as it was around Dr. F, too, because some things never change. Episode 1102 is on Netflix. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:49 PM - 51 comments

April 14

Mystery Science Theater 3000: REPTILICUS  Season 11, Episode 1

"INVINCIBLE... INDESTRUCTABLE! What was this awesome BEAST born fifty million years out of time?" Miners find some leathery tissue deep in a mine which grows into a monster and attacks Copenhagen, not a city built to withstand monster attack, with deadly cartoon slime. Also, a goofy handyman in overalls sticks his hand in an electric eel tank apparently just so he could make faces to the camera. A fine example of cinema! MST3K is back! With it comes new mads (Kinga and Max), a new host (Jonah Ray), higher production values, fancy interstitials, a skeleton band, a remix of Mighty Science Theater and the Wild Rebels cereal song at the end, and a long listing of Kickstarter backers at the end which doesn't even get out of the As in this episode. Episode 1101 is on Netflix. Premiered TODAY, April 14th, 2017. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:50 AM - 106 comments

April 12

Movie: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:05 AM - 19 comments

April 5

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN  Season 6, Episode 24

SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN aka El Santo Contra las Mujeres Vampiros. "Solo un hombre de acero... de agilidad de pantera, es capaz de lucar contra las MUJERES VAMPIROS... y ese hombre es... SANTO!" Simply, in which a masked wrestler, who is a genius crime fighter too, struggles against the legions of Hell. This is probably the silliest premise of any MST movie (even Robot Monster's gorilla-with-fishbowl was obstensibly an evil space alien), but in Mexico there were over fifty El Santo movies, and they were wildly popular. El Santo himself was a tremendous figure, an actual wrestler, and even got an awesome pilot in 2010 for his own show on the Mexican version of Cartoon Network despite dying in 1984. But even these facts are overshadowed, to MSTies, by this being not only the end of Season Six, but also the final episode of the beloved "TV's" Frank Conniff. (Well, excepting a special appearance in one later show.) YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered March 25, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 9:46 PM - 8 comments

March 29

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN  Season 6, Episode 23

"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:30 PM - 12 comments

March 23

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE  Season 6, Episode 22

aka Angels' Brigade. "They're Blow You Away!" Seven young women in skintight clothes unconvincingly battle right-wing militia and neighborhood drug dealers. An obvious knockoff of Charlie's Angels, the slime just drips off this movie. In addition to Jim Backus (Misters Howell and Magoo), this movie also has Alan Hale Jr. (The Skipper!), a return appearance by Jack Palance, and also Pat "Mr. Haney" Buttram, Peter Lawford and Arthur Godfrey as himself. This one hurts. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered March 11, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 10:30 AM - 11 comments

March 15

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS  Season 6, Episode 21

"Special Guest Star playing a double Role TOR JOHNSON as the Beast" A Soviet scientist wanders the titular flats after getting subjected to moviedom's favorite evil-causing MacGuffin, radiation. Coleman Francis narrates most of his misadventures as he strangles his way through the wasteland while chased by policemen. At the end, dying, he caresses a rabbit. With two shorts: Money Talks, Because there's not a lot to do in the afterlife, the silhouetted ghost of Benjamin Franklin lectures a kid about saving and spending money wisely; and Progress Island U.S.A., Have you considered Puerto Rico? Because this short really, really thinks you should consider Puerto Rico. The last of the Coleman Francis trilogy. Although Paste Magazine's recent list (Metafilter) put this one near the bottom, both Satellite News and Mighty Jack think this is one of the best episodes. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 21, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 10:37 PM - 18 comments

March 9

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DANGER! DEATH RAY  Season 6, Episode 20

aka "Il Raggio Infernale" A scientist invents a death ray--purely for peaceful purposes of course--and wouldn't you know it, its inventor gets kidnapped. It's up to James Bond expy Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo) to rescue him, to the tune of an unusually catchy soundtrack. Ba dup ba dup ba da da! While not as silly as 504 SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON or 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007, that darn soundtrack, and the guys' fixation on it, help carry us through. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 7, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 8:22 AM - 7 comments

March 1

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RED ZONE CUBA  Season 6, Episode 19

aka "Night Train to Mundo Fine" Oh god, we're HERE. John Carradine tells us (and sings!) about Griffin, who "ran all the way to hell." Griffin is who we follow, with two accomplices, as they engage of a series of pointless adventures, including participating in the Bay of Pigs (which is only the middle of the movie) and trying to muscle into a lucrative tungsten mine. With short Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance: Think tall! Talk tall! Stand tall! Walk tall! This film, another of the absolute worst MST ever did, offers an almost physical level of pain. It should be watched by diehards only, who will love this episode. But don't introduce newbies to the show with this one, or you might scar them. Good luck everyone. Against my better judgement, here is the episode on YouTube. (1h31m) Premiered December 17, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM - 13 comments

February 23

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Season 6, Episode 18

"The Kid Who Showed the Big Time How!" A supposedly-intelligent high school student makes a series of progressively worse decisions that lead ultimately to the deaths or critical wounding of every major character. With short Out of This World: An angel and a devil each try to convince a bread deliveryman to join the light or dark sides, respectively, of bread delivery, leaving unexamined the incredible theological implications. Fan opinion of this Roger Corman movie varies widely, but I like it. The short is pretty good, one of those ridiculous industrials where supernatural entites take great interest in some poor dope's work-a-day life. This episode is not available on YouTube due to a copyright claim. Apparently the entity "BentPixels" is protective of their rights over either this secondary school film noir or the celestial battle for bread delivery to resort to legal solutions. The episode premiered December 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:02 AM - 8 comments

February 16

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON  Season 6, Episode 17

aka "Ilya Mourometz" (USSR) "Eye-Filling Spectacle! Man Against Monsters!" "A cast of 106,000! 11,000 horses!" Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets is a chair-bound farmer who gains both the power to walk and the magic sword Invincor, and uses both to drive off the evil Tugars that threaten his land -- whose number includes his son. For once the opening ad blurbs and descriptions of this film aren't sarcastic, for this is a genuinely great movie, the third both of MST's treatments of the output of Russian director Aleksandr Ptushko. (The other two were 422 THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE and 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD.) Yet, while the movie is terrific, it's also very strange, which makes it excellent riffing fodder. Wait until you see the wind demon. It all adds up to a rare episode where you can appreciate both the film and the jokes. Also contains a favorite host segment, the "Joke by Ingmar Bergman." YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:55 AM - 2 comments

February 12

Most Loathsome MST Movies

This question came up in the Racket Girls post: what are the most loathsome MST3K movies? That is, not just bad, but reprehensible in some way? Creepy? Grossly exploitative? Makes you feel bad about the people who made it? Suggestions made so far are Racket Girls, The Girl in Gold Boots, Hobgoblins and The Horror of Spider Island.
posted by JHarris at 7:18 PM - 10 comments

February 9

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RACKET GIRLS  Season 6, Episode 16

AKA Pin-Down Girls "The Strange LOVE-LIFE of a WRESTLING GAL!" "SEE...Intimate Scenes of Gorgeous Girl Wrestlers with the Naked Eye of the Camera!" Less a coherent narrative as an exhibition. Ladies wrestle. Their manager uses his business to launder money. But, primarily, ladies wrestle. With short Are You Ready For Marriage?: Two young lovers plan to drop out and get hitched, but a councilor warns them about the terrible possibility that they might BOING. I've heard it said that women wrestling is to this movie as jets refueling is to The Starfighters, which is a hell of a warning. By the way, there are just 14 Comedy Central episodes left in our tour. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 26, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 1:14 AM - 10 comments

February 2

Mystery Science Theater 3000: KITTEN WITH A WHIP  Season 6, Episode 15

"She's all out for kicks... and every inch of her spells EXCITEMENT!" A fairly stupid, but not unkind, Senate candidate gets accidentally mixed up with a girl and her thug friends. Most viewers seem to agree this is not a terrific episode, but some humor may be wrung out of the political angle. The movie itself may be one of the better ones to get sent to the S.O.L.: it's rated Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes! It's based on a novel by the same name. YouTube (Official, with annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered November 23, 1994 (Turkey Day). [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:59 AM - 5 comments