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.
Carl is a Serious Scientist who's been sent a parts catalog in the mail, but the parts are crazy-pants, and further the catalog describes how to build an "Interociter." which apparently can perform housework? and display video communications? Rather than returning that thing right back to Archie McPhee Carl decides to order the parts and build it. Amazingly, rather than being a hilarious practical joke at his expense, it presents the smiling face of Exeter, who invites him to join with other Human Scientists at their Laboratory. From there, let's just say the dominos have been set in motion, and a trip to space and a confrontation with Scrotor is inevitable. In the history of the show, this episode actually isn't the show, but MST: The Movie. It's been written up on Fanfare before, here. [more inside]
Rewatch! Commander Santa and aerobics witches! Slab Bulkhead and Back-From-The-Dead Susie! Apple II computer effects and stolen Battlestar Galactica footage! Calgon, take them away! Widely consider one of the best episodes, this South African production is hilariously strange. Previously
This is the public planning/suggestion thread for the Christmas Marathon. If you have any awesome examples of Yuletide Ridiculousness to suggest, you can do it here!
Rewatch! Nick is a high-school teacher with a secret--and no, that secret doesn't involve cooking meth. He's the inventor of a time machine! And its workings are an 8-bit microcomputer, who's have thought! It's really a shame that he turned to EvilCo for his first round of funding. I'm kind of surprised this episode placed so highly on the poll, I mean it's pretty good, but better than Manos? Soultaker? SCCTM? Hobgoblins? Time of the Apes? Master Ninja? A couple dozen other episodes? I mean, it tied with Starcrash! I guess it's one of those episodes that's grown in the years since first airing. Previously
Rewatch! Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell, a cop that doesn't play by the rules. For example, the rules about drinking on the job. The rules about sleeping with prostitutes. The rules about interacting with other human beings, especially kids. Certainly the rules about nutrition and hygiene. There is a story here about a drug dealer and his henchman who Mitchell seems like is almost trying to annoy into turning themselves in. In the end the lasting impression caused by this movie can be summed up in two words: BABY OIL. You'll know why when it appears on screen. (shudder) In the show's history this episode is especially notable for being Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously [more inside]
Resuffer! For Halloween this year, we've moved an episode up an week. Spend All Hallow's Eve with us, Torgo and the gang! Previously. And we've got a whole bunch more Halloween stuff before and after at MST Club this week!
Rewatch! A teen with a sad life finds a laser gun in the desert, which turns out to be a particularly bad influence on him. Fortunately the claymation lizard patrol is on the case. This was the last episode in the Comedy Central run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.
Rewatch! In a corporate-dominated dystopia, poor Aram Fingals gets caught "scrolling up cinemas" and so he's sent for "prophylactic rehab" to a wildlife refuge where his mind is "doppled" into a baboon (thankfully not an anteater!) because that's what is considered restorative recreation in THE FUTURE. The process is overseen by Apollonia Jones and... look, there's so much pointless jargon in this movie it's using up my supply of scare quotes so I'm going to stop the description there. Just scrounge up some creds for a bag of flavo-fibes and join us and the sadly late Raul Julia for OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK. Previously.
Rewatch! And of course we'll be rewatching it again when the Christmas thingy roll back around. There are now three Christmas movie episodes of MST3K; this is the one that's "classically" the worst, appearing on many lists of the worst of all time.I like the idea of it, the willingness to take an absurd premise seriously, and the energy (most of) the actors bring to it. But then there's Dropo.... Previously. [more inside]
Rewatch! Some doof is traveling across the country, in that way that loners in 70s shows often do, accompanied both by a hamster and a master ninja that is teaching him the ninja-ey arts along the way. The ninja, inexplicably, is played by Lee Van Cleef. The "movie" is actually two episodes of the show "The Master" strung together. The episode, of MST3K, is a good example of the kind of thing that made the show so popular. Previously.
A scientist made a death ray, insisting it's for peaceful purposes. He's been kidnapped, you say? Send in secret agent Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo to rescue him. Ba dup ba dup ba da dah? Ba dup ba dup ba da dah. Previously
Time for snausages! A man gets werewolved by touching old teeth, kills some people, sleeps "nose to anus," and eventually passes his condition to his girlfriend. Remember to inform romantic partner about possible STDs. A popular episode! Contains both a host segment song and the "Tusk!" gag over the closing credits. Previously.
Rewatch! Come along with us on a road trip to the lost city of Ziox. Don't mind that pesky cult in our way; we've got Troy the Kid and Zap the Rowsdower coming too! We can do a sing-along! We're getting to the really classic episodes now. Ilana let us know last year that the actor who played Rowsdower, Bruce K. Mitchell, passed away. Previously.
Rewatch! What awaits us after we die? If this movie is to be believed, we end up inside little rings such as the kind Sonic the Hedgehog collects, ferried back and forth through the afterlife by glorified deliverymen in black suits, overseen by the fearsomely-chinned Robert Z'Dar. A classic Season 10 episode, both for the ridiculous movie and for cameo appearances by both TV's Frank and Joel Hodgson, last seen in 624 and 512 respectively. Previously.
Rewatch! Like some mirror universe version of The Princess Bride, a grandfather tells stories to his grandson, but THIS grandfather is Ernest Borgnine, and THESE stories are horrible tales of soul-draining magic and deadly cursed monkeys, and THIS kid isn't getting any sleep tonight. A highlight of the Sci-Fi Channel run, we're closing in on the most popular episodes now.... Previously.
Rewatch! Up in the arctic, atomic tests run by Major Curley awaken a huge, slumbering giant from the deep... if you thought, "oh it's okay, it's just a big turtle," you might be surprised by the havoc it raises. Meanwhile, a sad sad kid in Japan is obsessed with his pet turtle, so his parents take it away from him, making him even more sad. Oh, how will their stories converge. First of the Gamera series. Other than perhaps Gamera vs. Barugon, the only Gamera without kids in it, this may be the one that plays it the straightest, without goofy enemy monsters, the Gamera theme song or other ridiculous elements. It's not terrible as a monster movie, but that subplot with Kenny pushes it over the edge into ludicrousness. Previously
Rewatch! Deep in the northwestern woods somewhere is a house in which lives a lonely boy with way too many pets. His newest pet, however, is from a species with serious aggression problems. Oh also there are poachers in the woods. Oh and there's some singers in town who are vacationing in those same woods. It stinks! Pod People, shown early in Season 3, is a hugely iconic episode of MST3K, and "It stinks!" quickly became one of the shows many, many catchphrases. And I think we can all agree: the pet alien from this movie would make a better president than our current one. Previously.
Rewatch! A young lady in California learns the oft-taught movie advice that, if she takes off her glasses and musses her hair a bit, men will be more attracted to her, and it only takes a trip to a dystopian underground civilization to learn it. This movie has a certain level of similarity to the Super Mario Bros. movie. This is a fan favorite episode, only the fourth episode P.M. (Post Mitchell), and back when it first aired it was the episode that really proved, after Joel left, that the show was going to be okay. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! Young women fight drug dealers in a tawdry production. Remember to shine your love! Previously
Rewatch! Considering the political reality of the USA right now, this movie's almost charming with how the villain is an evil Senator's brother, who runs a farm for stupid 70s people, clones of "important" folk, you know, like senators, to serve as living sources of spare body parts. Especially hilarious is the pseudo-Orwellian culture of the farm, which is like a sinister community college. Previously
Rewatch! Plush toys with the ability to make people's fantasies a reality encounter some teenagers with severe issues, and the result is supposed to be a comedy. You knew it was coming. Any list of the best MST episodes invariably covers most of the worst movies, meaning we're back here again, at the extremely 80s, extraordinarily tawdry film (in the sense of being an oily coating) known to those unfortunate enough to have experienced it as HOBGOBLINS. To watch it is to feel like your brain is floating in a tub of slime: enjoy! Previously
Rewatch! Silver is a rowdy young lady, committed to home for troubled teens Girls Town for a murder she didn't commit. The real culprit turns out to have done it in self-defense. Various people sing. Previously.
Rewatch! From the depths of OUTER SPACE comes a deadly shed containing two walking dirty carpets each festooned with vacuum cleaner attachments. Featuring the most ridiculous monsters in MST history, and that's saying something. What. A. Movie. This is the platonic ideal of a superbad z-grade monster movie. Terrible effects, horrible acting, a nonsensical script and nearly entirely dubbed dialogue. (muah) Exquisite! Previously.
Rewatch! We knew it was coming. Here, again, is one of the very worst movies MST ever did, most infamous of the Coleman Francis triad. A trio of criminals get involved in various adventures, go Cuba for a while, make it back to the states, do some nefarious things and die. As John Carradine says: "GRIFFIN. He went all the way to HELL." Between Cherokee Jack, Petey Plane, the "Sick Man" bit, the Dark Spectre of Food, and others, it's a classic episode, but, not for the weak of heart or quick to sleep. At least it's got a speech-and-posture short, unlikely savior it may be. Previously.
Rewatch! We're starting to get into the weird ones. Prince of Space is a hilarious episode of our favorite cowtown puppet show, with an inexplicable hero (the invulnerable Prince of Space, who works as a Tokyo bootblack), annoying kids (PoS' child sidekicks) and easily one of the top five most ridiculous villains in MSTdom in the form of the chickenish Phantom of Krankor. HAAA... Haaa... haaa... ha. Just, for the love of decency, don't stare at the Krankorian crotches.... Previously.
Rewatch! Second of the Gamera kaiju films, in which a spinning, jet-propelled turtle fights monsters and destroys buildings. This one was of the age where Gamera was still mostly feared, and it's the only Gamera movie without any kids in it! The monster he fights, with freezing tongue and rainbow destruction beam, is rather random. Previously.
Rewatch! Another movie about Japan's fiery spinning menace who's also the friend to children. This is the third Gamera movie, and the third that MST has done. This is the one where Gamera makes the transition from menace to hero, to protect Japan from space vampire Gaos (or "Gyaos" depending on transliteration). Not nearly as weird as Gamera vs. Guiron, it still generally works as a monster movie, and may be the best of the Gamera films. Previously.
Rewatch! It's the first of three Gamera movies in a row, out of MST's five. This is by far the silliest of the lot. Two kids are abducted by space ladies that want to eat their brains, but are rescued by Gamera after a fight with knife monster Guiron. There's so much in this episode: the Bike Song, "Cornjob," dancing go-go, giant turtle gymnastics, and, of course: The Gamera Song. He is filled with turtle meat! Previously.
Rewatch! No, they're not Beatniks. They're not even Boatniks. A young thug is content with a life of robbery until it turns out he can sing, but his grasping for fortune and respectability is held back by his jilted criminal buddies. It was directed and written by voice actor Paul "Boris Badenov" Frees! There's also a General Hospital soap opera short, which are unfortunately among the most boring shorts MST did, but does have their commercial for The Booze Council.
Rewatch! Sean Connery's brother sure can do a lot. Plastic surgery, hypnosis, martial arts and so on. His brother's taken time off to go to the future to worship a huge flying head, so Secret Agent Central Casting sent him instead. He's up against an evil organization that somehow convinced a flotilla of clothes-averse young women to work for them, in capacities ranging from showgirl distraction brigade to movie screen. M and Moneypenny are involved somehow. In case you couldn't tell, this is an extremely silly movie and fully deserving being thrown against a wall and mocked by joke-making machines.Previously.
Rewatch! The least porny of the four Deathstalker movies, here he's played with what's supposed to be a roguish glint, but comes across as intolerable smugness. The girl he's supposed to help dies very early, but fortunately she had a twin sister. There's also a sad wizard with problems (sad wizard problems) a mother and daughter who survive due to the existence of that miracle vegetable, the potato, evil sorcerer Troxartes and his evil consort, and a bunch of dead guys who've been brought back to life. The villain keeps their souls in a knickknack. Previously.
One of only six movies in Season 7, and thus one of the few episodes with Dr. Forrester and his mother, Pearl Forrester.
Rewatch! Santa sees, hears, knows all. Up at his workshop in a castle hovering above the north pole he keeps his helpers, children from every nation. There they work on toys, singing all day long. They can do naught else, lest the forces of hell gain the upper hand. Fortunately Santa has the aid of Merlin and his magical inventions. Kind of a spin-off of the (nearly defunct) Santa's Workshop chain of theme parks, and deeply, deeply insane. Previously.
Rewatch! Joe Don Baker is a Texas lawman who is sent to accompany a criminal being extradited to Malta. It's a fish out of water scenario, you see! Watch as our protagonist delivers illegal two-fisted American justice in a land wildly outside his jurisdiction with his belligerent catchphrase, "You think you can take me? Go 'head on." Something makes me think this movie didn't do very good business in overseas markets. Previously.
Rewatch! A young Slab Bulkhead is killed but revived by a Voodoo Lady to get revenge on his killers. Contains Adam West in one of his post-Batman, pre-self-referential roles, begging folk to kill him. Previously
Rewatch! MST3K has had a lot of goofy movies in its time. We watched one of the silliest, The Dead Talk Back, just last week. But in a field containing Robot Holocaust, Gamera vs. Guiron, Catalina Caper, Monster A-Go-Go, The Pumaman, Quest of the Delta Knights, Hobgoblins, Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, Cry Wilderness, Carnival Magic and Mac And Me, this may still, ultimately, be the silliest. A woman in lingerie organizes a bunch of other scantily clad young women to fight crime and play at being "synthetic vampires," while her nemesis, the dastardly Rat Fink, attempt to steal an atomic hearing aid, by using his irresistible dancing drug, created by his mad scientist cohort, and his minion Heathcliff, who... look, it's just too ridiculous. You can see it for yourself when we watch it Thursday night! Previously
Rewatch! One of the sillier movies in MST's rich history, this film was made in the 60s but unreleased until shortly before the episode aired. Krasker is a self-styled occultist with a hilariously dramatic speaking style. He lives in the basement of a boarding house with a collection of "supernatural" artifacts that are laugh-out-loud funny even without riffing. For some reason the police hang on this cut-rate Sherlock Holmes' every word, and consult with him on murder cases, a premises so ridiculous that it demonstrates just how stupid it is when investigatory seances happen in real life. But mostly the movie stalls until its sub-Scooby Doo twist ending. Previously.
Rewatch! What would Airplane! be if it weren't played for laughs, like, at ALL? It'd be a lot like San Francisco International, a pilot for a TV series heavily inspired by the movies that inspired Airplane!, like Zero Hour and the various Airports. So come back with us and linger in a place that most people want to pass through as quickly as possible. Previously.
The crew of Earth spaceship Bacchus III deals with various problems, culminating with showdowns with Ken's old girlfriend out of a murder vendetta against him, and the kabuki leader of the Star Wolves himself. Two-fisted Japanese pseudo-Star Wars space adventures with surprisingly great music that was edited into near incomprehensibility by Sandy Frank Productions. It's the sequel to Fugitive Alien, which was slightly more lucid. Previously.
Rewatch! What do you get when you cross a beach movie with a heist movie? Nothing good! It does contain a musical number by Little Richard. This movie marks the establishment of the rule that MST3K would avoid comedies, but it's still a fairly well-remembered episode from the show's classic era. With this film, we're back in Joel territory for a while! Previously
Rewatch! Super-thief Diabolik steals stuff in a series of wildly implausible heists, such is his hunger to have sex in, on, or in front of valuable things with his girlfriend Eva Kant (who seems to be misnamed). It's based on an Italian comic book. You know, in that country Donald Duck is a superhero. Italian comics are weird, is what I'm sayin'. Again, this was the last episode of the classic series. Previously.
Shocking terror! Hideous and ridiculous monsters crawl out of the sea! "It had ping-pong balls for eyes!" shrieked one overacting eyewitness! Another moaned unconvincingly, "Oh the carnage, the bad costumes, the poor cinematography!" Will no one put a stop to the atrocities committed by this director and his crew? In subplot news, Pearl and Brain Guy are in ancient Rome. Previously.
Rewatch! A small car cosplaying as a big big spider terrorizes a town as we continue through the best classic episodes as selected by poll. Previously.
aka Ator L'Invincible. Every legend has its beginning... even the very bad ones. Long ago barbarian lawyer/surgeon/hangglider enthusiast Ator, from way back in 301 THE CAVE DWELLERS, was born, hidden away from evil guys, and raised to fight the Spider Puppet God. Along the way he falls in love with his sister (WTF), makes nookie with an evil witch lady, finds a magic mirror shield, and suffers all the personal trauma that a primitive fantasy world can dish out. The conclusion to The Gauntlet sees Dr. Erhardt fulfilling Dr. Forrester's last wish, Jonah and the bots shipped to Earth to go on the "Deep Hurting" tour, and Kinga and Max falling into the trap that Jonah spent the past five episodes building. This is the end of Season 12 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and, unless more episodes are made, the series. [more inside]
"The adventure that drags you in, pulls you under and tears you apart!" How pleasant. Movies would have us believe there are two major natural threats to people in the water. This movie focuses on the second one. There is a plot involving stolen jewels, but there's a reason the movie's not called TREACHEROUS THIEVES. It's the next-to-last episode of The Gauntlet, and the subplot, involving a returned Dr. Erhardt's quest to have Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank's ashes scattered while playing Idiot Control Now (Joel and the Bots' song from way back in 303 POD PEOPLE), continues, as it turns out Kinga has all of Dr. F's old experiments backed up. This is about three times as much plot as MST usually has. Add in that Jonah is doing something mysterious to help get him and the Bots out of their situation.... [more inside]
"The World Became a Living Hell... When Past, Present and Future Collided...." It certainly did. I'm not even sure what's going on here. Some supernovas happen, and then a family sensibly living in the middle of the desert have crazy encounters with aliens, there's some kind of time-space shenanigans, and by the end you're not sure if they're all in the afterlife or on a journey to an alien city. Solar power may have had something to do with it. Kicking off the second half of (Kinga hand gesture) The Gauntlet, this may be the most challenging film of the sextet. The highlight is a surprise host segment visit from an old friend who, after over 200 episodes, is no longer "missing".... [more inside]
"The ultimate underwater adventure!" Under de sea... there's scary psychic stingray monsters that control people and turn them into goo! But hey, everything's better where it is wetter, right? Not a film to show to marine biology students. It's episode three of "The Gauntlet," and a weird movie. The SOL has issues with psychic sea monsters and Kinga and Max stage a morning talk show. For fun! Episode 1203 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
In a world that we are assured bears no relationship with anything created by Guillermo Del Toro, three pilots of experimental, implausibly humanoid giant robots fight against monsters from the ocean. Where do the monsters come from and why are they attacking now? Who knows! What's more important is that our heroes, Black Guy, Woman and Obnoxious Bro, fight the monsters to both the stern disapproval and enthusiastic approval of General Father Figure. At last the crew of the Satellite of Love come up against the fearsome work of The Asylum, makers of mockbusters extraordure. In subplot news, this is the second of the six movies of "The Gauntlet," Kinga's latest ratings stunt, a sequence of films shown to Jonah and the bots back-to-back. They hold up well, even though the movie is exceptionally tiresome. "Flush them the movie!" Episode 1202 is available on Netflix. [more inside]
A wheelchair-bound kid befriends an alien, and then careens off a cliff, goes to McDonalds, gets shot up by NASA, and witnesses the alien and his family become US citizens. MST is back baby, and off to a great start for the shortened Season 12! The premise is that, while you're free to watch the episodes whenever you want, Jonah and the 'bots are supposed subjected to these six movies back-to-back! The riffing and sketches are great in this one (yes, I started watching it within minutes of it premiering on Netflix). Episode 1201 can be seen on Netflix. First aired today, November 22, 2018. [more inside]
Rewatch! Welcome back to EAT. Enjoy our slightly clean bathrooms, looked after by our janitor Critter. Consult with our local teleporting drug dealer, Buz. And follow the journey of our starry-eyed waitperson Michele as she chases high-class dreams of being a go-go dancer in a big city nightclub The Haunted House. Will she be able to keep her pretty mind long enough to have Critter's varmint? Who can say? The sleaze just drips off this movie, bring sanitizer. Previously.
Rewatch! Of the four Russo-Finish movies MST did, Jack Frost was the only one to make it into our poll, and here it is. It's the story of a braggart young man who gets turned into a bear by Father Mushroom but gets better. It's the story of a young lady whose wicked stepmother makes constantly work and take back seat to her own spiteful daughter. It's the story of a bunch of bandits in the woods and their annual clubs. And it's the story of Father Christmas, who we presume is the titular Jack Frost, and his dangerous accessories. It's another crazy, but somewhat charming, journey through the asteroid belt of forklore and whimsy for the SOL and its crew. Previously.
Rewatch! There's a "counter-Earth" that's on the opposite side of the sun as the normal Earth, the same gimmick from Stranded in Space, but this one's not Authoritarian Dystopia (movie premise #218) so much as Burroughsian Otherworld Barbarian-Style Sword-and-Sorcery Made Possible Through MacGuffin (premise #245). Our many-man hero Cabot (Cabot? Cabot!) travels there through magic crackerjack prize, along with his unmanly-man professorial colleague, and must thwart the machinations of a slumming Jack Palance. Previously.
Rewatch! A ridiculous film where an ageless giant living in the California desert, lured out by a teenage girl, finds her creepy father, her annoying boyfriend, bad rock n roll, and policeman's bullets. Eegah have bad day. We're continuing on the episodes picked out by online poll. Previously. [more inside]
Rewatch! And...oh hell. We're back in Coleman Francis territory. The least interesting(!) of the three films he made that MST covered, I seem to remember it's about skydiving, marital strife and murder via parachute. Honestly, I have tons of trouble staying awake through this one. I recommend coffee over alcohol. At least one of the show's best shorts, Why Study Industrial Arts?, is also in this episode. Previously.
Rewatch! The last of the MST Gamera movies, in which an alien bowl of Trix invades the Earth and hypnotizes folk, but fortunately they can be revived just by getting in their face and shouting "Aaaa!" at them. Another of the films tied for 50th place in our poll. Previously.
This rewatch is dedicated to Uranus! Hercules (actually Maciste) tries to save the land from space owls. Source of the infamous "DEEP HURTING" and "Saaaandstorm" bits. Previously.
Rewatch! With short Mr. B Natural. This is a case where the short overwhelms the feature. How can the Mexican stereotype-laden continuation of Glenn Manning's tale of tragic bigness possibly compete with 20 minutes of a shrill psychotic ballerina-elf hawking band equipment to unsuspecting schoolkids? Anyway, this is continuing with our tour of the decided-by-poll favorite episodes of classic MST. Previously.
Our decided-by-poll most-popular showings continue with a rewatch of 414 TORMENTED, part of a big tie for 50th place. God, this supernatural horror story of a lover getting revenge from beyond the grave is depressing. Some good host segments in it though.
Rewatch! "When we get back to our home planet the high council may well sentence you to TOR-CHAA!" Previously. [more inside]
Former Republican Congressman Bob Dornan stars in this reprehensible promotional piece for both a terrible aircraft and the US Air Force. This is the episode that gave us the "poopy suit," the "song about stock footage," and the United Servo Academy Men's Chorus. This is the beginning of MST Club's encore run of the top 50+, determined by poll, of MST3K episodes. For more information, please click through. [more inside]
Rewatch! Guys go underground and meet dinosaurs. Kinga almost marries Jonah for ratings. At the moment, this is the last episode of the show, but Season 12 has been announced! Previously.