Re-rewatch! In a fantasy realm there is this guy called Deathstalker, and he's kind of a hero? Previous movies make him seem a lot more unclothed and morally questionable, whereas here he's just a smug jerk with a sword. Anyway, here he enlists the aid of undead warriors against the villainous sorcerer "Troxartus" or something. Great riffing in this one. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON Rewatch Season 6, Ep 17
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.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OUTLAW Rewatch Season 5, Ep 19
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.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD Rewatch Season 5, Ep 5
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
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 22
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
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC SWORD Rewatch Season 4, Ep 11
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
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CAVE DWELLERS Rewatch Season 3, Ep 1
Rewatch! The first classic episode in a season of classic episodes, a dull old guy ("Akronos") living in a prehistoric time is attacked by a John Saxon-type ("Zor") over a "geometric nucleus," so he sends his daughter Mila, who wears a hubcap on her chest, to go fetch Ator and his faithful male companion ("Thong," really) to save him. Mila impresses Ator by demonstrating her knowledge of the chemistry of human filth. The titular cave dwellers are only a stop-off point halfway through the film, there's a snake puppet, and an unexpected appearance by a hang glider. The whole thing is ridiculous. It's indicative of how disjointed this movie is that, despite it being a classic episode and one of my favorites, I still had to look up the names of the old guy, the bad guy and the girl! This movie is actually the sequel to the movie used in the last episode of Season 12. Previously
Welcome back to crappy fantasy land, where our apes are bats, and our conquerors have Dad Bod. Previously - Also 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.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTA CLAUS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 21
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.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS Rewatch Season 9, Ep 13
Rewatch! It is not rare for stories and movies, from Howard to Tolkien, to use a generalized sort of "times of lore" setting for fantasy, which doesn't do too badly if you don't push it too hard. This movie pushes it too hard. What the hell is a "Mannerjay" supposed to be, anyway? This is the one where Pearl riffs in the theater for the first quarter of the movie. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATOR THE FIGHTING EAGLE Season 12, Ep 6
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]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MERLIN'S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS Season 10, Ep 3
"In a world where magic truly exists, anything can happen." What if... someone made a movie like The Princess Bride, except instead of Peter Falk he could only get Ernest Borgnine, and instead of a charming and witty tale he had two mediocre made-for-TV fantasy-horror movies, and the kid instead of going to sleep with dreams of high adventure and romance was instead left with nightmares of demonic familiars and cursed deadly toy monkeys? In a world where schlock truly exists anything can happen. I love this one, it's all so bizarre and inexplicable. It's easy to make fun of Ernest Borgnine (hell, I do it too) but he had a long career and seemed like a good guy. In subplot land Pearl performs an experiment on Mike and co. for the Mad Science accreditation board. Taste the rainbow of fruit pain! Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders is available on YouTube. Premiered September 12, 1999. By the way: this was the last new episode of MST3K to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, actually showing after the series conclusion. Ten episodes left. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS Season 9, Ep 13
"In an age of swords and sorcery, one young hero holds the key to infinite wisdom--and ultimate power." Not any sorcery, actually. Somewhere in the medieval nation of Europe, a young boy is sold as a slave but bought/rescued by "Baydool," who works for the "Delta Knights," against the villainous "Vultare," who works for "The Mannerjay." They're trying to find the lost treasure of Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci is with them--if you try to make sense of when or where this film happened you'll go crazy. Roll for initiative! This is an underrated episode I think. The movie's got a crazy premise, the settings seem like they came from a LARP, and it just opens itself to riffing, which is nice after a couple of numbing episodes. Host segments are also great, with the "Loaner AMC Crow," another of Servo's chorus performances, and Pearl doing the riffing for the first quarter of the episode. This is the end of Season Nine of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Assembled people and robots, we have entered the home stretch. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1998. 13 episodes left. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: JACK FROST Season 8, Ep 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]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM II Season 11, Ep 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]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WIZARDS OF THE LOST KINGDOM I Season 11, Ep 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]
"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]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON Season 6, Ep 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]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OUTLAW Season 5, Ep 19
aka "Outlaw of Gor," "Gor II." "The Adventure of a Thousand Lifetimes Continues!" "Fuera de la Ley de GOR" While John Carter fell asleep in a cave and woke up on Mars, one thing author John Norman's creation Gor has over Burroughs' Barsoom books is that at least Tarl Cabot has a magic ring to explain his ridiculous translocation to Barbarian Planet. You know Barbarian Planet, it's a world based on one of those oft-written-about fantasy times that never really existed historically, but all kinds of folk like to imagine, from Howard to Gygax. Well, at least this version has Jack Palance! When this episode aired, the movie was just four years old! I'm not sure it ever got a release in theaters in the US. Although he did it under a pseudonym, the main screenwriter is the same Harry Alan Towers who did the screenplay for 323 THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. Fortunately this movie is tons more watchable, thanks to massive amounts of flesh (both male and female, it's an equal opportunity exhibitor) and excellent riffing. One of the host segments refers to all the skin, one of the best sketches and songs MST ever did: Tubular Boobular Joy. Notes on Gor itself are after the break. Official YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered December 11, 1993. If you want to fill in the blanks with the movie this is a sequel to (may god have mercy on your soul), here it is! (1h30m) [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD Season 5, Ep 5
"All the Magic of 'Stone Flower' All the Power of 'Alexander Nevsky' All the Artistry of 'Grand Concert' Highly Recommended for Children" A strangely Russian Sinbad, upset with corruption in his home town of not-Bagdad, searches the world for happiness. This is the second of the Russo-Finish movies MST did, imports from the Soviet Union directed by genius filmmaker Alexandr Ptushko. Originally it was Sadko, a film production of an honest-to-goodness opera! One composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov! Vibrant, wonderous, astounding, and with music from the opera, this is much better fare than the SOL usually got. It is also a terrific episode, because the writing is the Brains at their best, and the movie, for all its wonders, is incredibly strange. Get your popcorn ready folks, this is one of the best. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed - Russian original Садко (Sadko) - With English subs - A performance of the opera Sadko (2h53m) [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC SWORD Season 4, Ep 11
"SEE the Green Fire Demons! SEE the 25-Foot Tall Ogre! SEE the Beautiful Vampire Woman! SEE the Boiling Crater of Death!" Lodac the Sorcerer has trouble finding a pet store that carries Dragon Chow, so he finds natural prey for it. Young George, a socially-awkward teen who's spent his whole life in a cave taken care of by witch Estelle Winwood, resolves to help protect the local princess population. The general consensus is that this is not a bad movie by MST standards. I concur; it's rather fun in a fairytale kind of way. Director Bert I. Gordon did good this time, and Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard helps to elevate things too. YouTube (1h33m). Premiered September 29, 1992. See comments for new information about our weekly showings.... [more inside]