Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEAD TALK BACK Rewatch Season 6, Ep 3
Re-rewatch! It's the third time we've shown this manifestly absurd film, about a parapsychologist with a Kermit-the-Frog voice who assumes that he has gravitas, and everyone else in the movie seems to believe it too. He lives in the basement of a boarding house with a collection of pseudo-supernatural trinkets, where he awaits the call of Law Enforcement when they need his, um, special talents. Sadly a lot of the movie is talking. Comes with a short, The Selling Wizard, in which a narrator and a mute pizza dominatrix jointly attempt to sell the audience on commercial freezer units. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: INVASION U.S.A. Rewatch Season 6, Ep 2
Rewatch! One of a long line of propagandist movies intended to rile up the public against the USSR. It's easy to get this one mixed up with Rocket Attack USA, made under a similar zeitgeist. That was a Joel episode with spies going to the USSR and failing to stop a missile attack against New York City, a lady spy seducing a Russian general for secrets, and a blind man walking during an immanent nuclear attack telling the camera, "Help me!" This is a Mike episode where a two-bit hypnotist zaps a bar full of people into experiencing a vivid hallucination of a Soviet military attack on their city. (Hypnosis was another overblown fear at the time, but didn't have as much of a concerted push to make people afraid of it.) With the short A Date With Your Family, starring Hugh Beaumont, it's a very fifties worldview on display. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRLS TOWN Rewatch Season 6, Ep 1
Re-rewatch! Unexpectedly popular for yet another black-and-white teen anger movie. This is the one with nuns. Also has Mamie Van Doren (still alive and on Twitter!), Paul Anka, Mel Torme and Dick Contino. In MST history, this is the first episode of Season Six, the one that introduced the Umbilicus, a space pipe that connects Deep 13 with the SOL. Previously and again. Notes on shows inside-- [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON Rewatch Season 5, Ep 24
Rewatch! At least I think it is, this is one of those movies it's easy to forget exists for some reason. This is another of those movies where half of the time amounts to: "Gee whiz! Space!" There's a lot of preparing and rocketry and interviews with intrepid scientists and getting ready to let's all go to space. With cats. Then we get to space and meet aliens. Who want our cats. The short, however, is Design for Dreaming, and it's terrific, just completely crazy, bonkers, nutso, a highlight of the show's entire run. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE CRIME WAVE Rewatch Season 5, Ep 22
Rewatch! This one's kind of a sleeper. Some teens break out of jail (where teens come from) and menace a farm family. Teens only get more dangerous with age, folks, and these are at least 30. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: RADAR SECRET SERVICE Rewatch Season 5, Ep 20
Rewatch! The new space-age miracle science of RADAR will solve all problems, including that of catching criminals. The movie is a drag, but riffing on the short, Last Clear Chance, about a policeman who ominously shows up at a family home to issue dire warnings about traffic safety around railroad tracks, is terrific. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE ATOMIC BRAIN Rewatch Season 5, Ep 18
Rewatch! An old rich lady decides to use her considerable resources, including her own mad scientist and a nuclear reactor in her basement (wow, really?), to have her brain swapped into the body of one of three younger women. The eventual result? Let's just say she better hope she can develop a taste for Meow Mix. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEGINNING OF THE END Rewatch Season 5, Ep 17
Rewatch! On of the more entertaining of the episodes featuring the 50s monster attack genre of movie. Huge grasshoppers attack (a postcard of) Chicago while the army is helpless against the giant insect menace. Directed by Bert I. Gordon, Mr. BIG himself. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE WILD WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN Rewatch Season 5, Ep 15
Re-rewatch! One of the most bizarre movies MST3K ever did. An opening scene in which three young women hold a strangely officious rite in which they induct a new member into being a "synthetic vampire," which in this world means being part of a crime-fighting organization headed by Batwoman (no relation to any DC Comics characters). But that's only the start of this deeply nonsensical movie, which involves an "atomic hearing air," a seance involving a spirit speaking offensive mock Chinese, and a weird hunchback named Heathcliff. Great riffing, but some people find it difficult to survive this one. Fortunately it comes with one of the show's best shorts, Cheating! Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE STRANGLER Rewatch Season 5, Ep 14
Rewatch! Someone's strangling teen girls and the blame falls on members a local gang. This is the movie with Mikey, the object of some scorn by the space-trapped human and his automated mocking machines. Has the short "Is This Love?", and you can just imagine how they treat that one. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE Rewatch Season 5, Ep 13
Rewatch! A brilliant scientist is thought of as "mad," and only because he saves his girlfriend's severed head when she is killed in a car crash, then keeps it alive by setting it in Neck Juice (TM), allowing her to befriend the terrible monster he keeps in his basement while he goes out trying to murder women to provide her with a donor body. But really, is that "mad?" Okay. Yeah, on further reflection I guess it is. Oh, and he has an assistant with his own weird issues. This is Mike Nelson's first episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE Rewatch Season 5, Ep 9
Ah, rewatch! Drifting seems a fine use of your time, right? That's what a couple of guys just roaming around, Danny and Bix, think. But then they go to a town and they break the Drifter Code: they get involved with local girls. And then a pointlessly stupid tragedy occurs that makes you question why you even cared about the story in the first place. Previously. There is some Club news inside. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 7
Re-re-re-watch! One additional "re" because this episode appeared during Turkey Day 2020! Is it a bit surprising that this episode is so beloved by fans? There's no malevolent stuffed toys, no Snuffleupigan aliens, no thrilling zamboni chases, no Mitchell, no Rowsdower, no giant turtle, no Torgo, no Ken, or Ken. Just the lying kid of a couple of rich drunk parents who turns to a life... of crime. The moment that makes this one for me is when Joel and the bots have built a mobile representing all the various contributing factors to Jimmy's problems, one of them is just the huge word STUPID floating by right in front of the camera. There's also the short The Truck Farmer, which, surprise, has little to do with trucks. Previousy, and again. This is the last MST Club episode show before the holidays--more info inside. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SWAMP DIAMONDS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 3
Rewatch! Lady cop goes undercover in a prison and helps a number of prisoners break out in the hopes they'll lead her to stolen loot. Okay movie, but the short, What To Do On A Date, is excellent riffing. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: BRIDE OF THE MONSTER Rewatch Season 4, Ep 23
Rewatch! An Ed Wood movie with Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson that isn't Plan 9 From Outer Space, it's still quite, quite awful. This episode also has part 1 of "Hired!", the Chevrolet/Jam Handy short. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE REBEL SET Rewatch Season 4, Ep 19
Rewatch! At our accelerated pace we're careening through the history of the show, and already we're nearing the end of Joel's last full (pre-revival) season. This is the one where the Chief from Get Smart (Edward Platt) tries to rob a train. There is a short, Johnny at the Fair, where a kid explores a World's Fair and meets Joe Louis and "the Hellzapoppin' boys," and is narrated by Lorne Greene, apparently! Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CRASH OF MOONS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 17
Rewatch! As I mentioned the previous time this episode has come up, the title of this is reported in the episode as "Crash of THE Moons," but on the title card of the movie it's "Crash of Moons." It's the other compilation of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger TV episodes repackaged as a movie; the first was 413 MANHUNT IN SPACE. This is the one with John Banner, Sgt. Schultz himself as a jovial space guy. There's a General Hospital clip included as a short as well. Bit of a content warning, the TV show was made at a time in which the G-word, for Romani (and shared as a name with the show's big purple robot), was more commonly used, and the guys on the show make reference to it often. In MST3K's most recent incarnation (the stage show), it should be noted, this character has been rechristened G.P.T. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 16
Rewatch! Astronauts land on a planet of lonely women, refugees from Atlantis. They have a problem with a monster, but the manly explorers from Earth take care of it. This is the episode with "Timmy," an evil alien Crow who causes problems during host segments. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEATNIKS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 15
Re-rewatch! Written and directed by Paul Frees (the voice of Boris Badenov), these characters are not really beatniks, they're more young criminals. But one of them can sing, and that gives him the worth to be lifted up out of his life of crime. There's a General Hospital clip before the movie too. A somewhat popular episode, but not many people's favorite? Previously, and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TORMENTED Rewatch Season 4, Ep 14
Re-rewatch! Tom Stewart's about to get married, but girlfriend Vi throws a fuss. But then he refuses to save her when she falls off a lighthouse, and now she's a ghost causing big problems for Tom. Tom becomes less and less relatable as he kills people to protect his secret. A weird and creepy movie, not really that bad but easy for robotic mockery to sink its geared teeth into. Another movie from Bert I. Gordon. Previously, and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANHUNT IN SPACE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 13
Rewatch! Another repackaging of TV shows as a "movie," but this time of the old space craze adventure show Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. It doesn't hold up too well. As a short, we have an episode from what may be the first season of the soap opera General Hospital. I think this episode is kind of a sleeper, personally. It's not the last Rocky Jones compilation movie MST would do. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN Rewatch Season 4, Ep 9
Rewatch! Consider the vast field of scientific endeavor, viewed through the eyes of a B movie screen writer, or those of a blockbuster screenwriter for that matter. If you don't understand it, you figure, no one else does either. In this way, such things as electricity, radiation, DNA, evolution, robotics and anything else dealing with computers are used as stand-ins for whatever effect the writer wants, regardless of how possible it may be in actual life. That's how Lon Chaney Jr's character is brought back to life by electricity in this movie. This episode also contains the second episode of the short Undersea Kingdom, which would be the last episode of it, and the last theater serial, MST would do. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE KILLER SHREWS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 7
Rewatch! A group of people are trapped on an island during a hurricane, and if that's not enough dogs with rugs draped over them, that the scientist seems to think are "killer shrews," are desperately trying to consume the three times their body weight in food daily they need to survive. Before the movie there's the short Junior Rodeo Daredevils, with reckless child endangerment sponsored by Ol' Timer Billy Slater. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES Rewatch Season 4, Ep 6
Rewatch! Huge, possibly intelligent leeches survive by abducting rednecks, storing them in an air pocket at the bottom of a lake and sucking away their fluids. How will the authorities remedy this situation? Why, with the use of explosives. There's a short too, the first episode of the Crash Corrigan serial Undersea Kingdom, the oldest thing ever riffed by the show. https://fanfare.metafilter.com/5061/Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-ATTACK-OF-THE-GIANT-LEECHES-with-short-UNDERSEA-KINGDOM-part-one
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 4
Re-rewatch! Say it with me now: When we get back to our home planet the high council may well sentence you to TORCHAA! It's tough being a space teenager. The astro-acne. The jet-fueled mood swings. Discovering your sexual and species identity. Bullshit restrictions from your culture's high rullng overuberpatriarch. And not agreeing with your expeditions genocidal mission to wipe out the population of a planet (Earth) because you need land to graze your giant food lobsters. Previously one and two
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT GILA MONSTER Rewatch Season 4, Ep 2
Rewatch! A huge lizard terrorizes a town in the fifties, and it falls to a teenager, his hot-rod, and a bunch of nitroglycerin to destroy it. You sing whenever you sing whenever you sing. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE UNEARTHLY Rewatch Season 3, Ep 20
Rewatch! John Carradine knows One Weird Trick to prolong life in humans: change out their pineal glands! But as a side effect it turns the subjects into mutants. Contains Tor Johnson, who know what time it for. Has shorts devoted to the subjects of posture and parental obedience. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST Rewatch Season 3, Ep 19
Re-rewatch! The sequel to Bert I. Gordon's Amazing Colossal Man, shown in episode 309. The episode would probably be regarded as a sleeper if it wasn't for the short before it: MR. B NATURAL. Previously, first time - Second time [more inside]
Rewatch! Roger Corman movie about viking women who go looking for their captive husbands. The sea serpent in the title is not a huge presence. Also contains a short about home economics. But in host segment terms, this episode is about one thing: waffles. I'd like to remind you that "TV's" Frank Conniff would go on to be a writer on Invader Zim, which also featured a prominent waffle episode.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEENAGE CAVEMAN Rewatch Season 3, Ep 15
Rewatch! Post a little late this time... a caveteen disagrees with the dogma and taboos of his tribe and ventures into the forbidden zone to discover a the Secret Twist Ending! With the short Aquatic Wizards. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: EARTH VS. THE SPIDER Rewatch Season 3, Ep 13
Rewatch! In this corner: weighing in at 5.97 sextillion tons, the source and home of all life in the universe, the planet Earth! In the other corner, weighing in at a respectable one ton for its phyla, "the" Spider! Fight! It's one of those 50s black-and-white sci-fi monster movies, this time involving teens and a sadly eaten father. Also has the short Speech: Using Your Voice. Remember: you must be heard, you must be understood, and you must be pleasing! Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: IT CONQUERED THE WORLD Rewatch Season 3, Ep 11
Rewatch! Peter Graves tries to convince Lee Van Cleef not to help an evil carrot from Venus to take over the minds of our authority figures, turning them against us. Hm. Has anyone checked the White House for diabolical vegetables? Previously "He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature…" [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN Rewatch Season 3, Ep 9
Rewatch! Thursday-- A film from the most prolific director of MST3K movies, Bert I. Gordon. Glenn Manning is a man with a big problem, getting bigger: he was exposed to an experimental weapon that makes him grow and grow and grow. A better movie than its sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, but often in it shadow because WotCB contains perhaps the most popular short in MST's history. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. GAOS Rewatch Season 3, Ep 8
Re-rewatch! On Sunday: like Godzilla, Gamera progressed through his career from being a force of destruction to being a protector of humanity, defending Japanese cities against other kaiju. Gaos (alternately spelled Gyaos) may be the most iconic and effective of Gamera's foes, being a sort of giant vampire bat thing with laser eyes. Sadly, the annoying kid Gamerafriends are back after their absence from Gamera vs. Barugon. Previously - Also previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: DADDY-O Rewatch Season 3, Ep 7
Rewatch! A guy is forced off the road by a lady, so naturally they decide to drag race. Things progress in the natural manner, so he ends up going undercover in a nightclub to find out who killed his friend, and the lady, who's kind of sweet on him despite everything, helps. Has the short Alphabet Antics, the first of the show's many educational shorts. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. BARUGON Rewatch Season 3, Ep 4
Re-rewatch! A gigantic sort of allegator-dog attacks Japan, and in a twist (whaaa?) the previously aggressive monster turtle Gamera is the only thing that can stop it. At least there's no obnoxious kid this time. Previously one and Previously two
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA Rewatch Season 3, Ep 2
Re-rewatch! A giant turtle terrorizes Japan while a sad little kid is told he can't keep his pet turtle. Their paths cross, and now the military tries to save Japan from kaiju destruction while the kid helps as a kind of giant turtle expert. It's pretty ridiculous, but it's only the beginning of a series of Gamera movies. MST would eventually do five of them, and they're some of the show's most iconic episodes. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: KING DINOSAUR Rewatch Season 2, Ep 10
Rewatch! The first of eight MST movies directed by Bert I. Gordon, who certainly had a prolific career. In this one, space explorer land on Planet Nova and bring "civilization" to it by obliterating its native population of awesome dinosaurs with a nuclear weapon. Hey, it was the fifties. There's an automobile safety short that's kind of goofy too. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: LOST CONTINENT Rewatch Season 2, Ep 8
Rewatch! On Thursday: an airplace with important experiments crashes on a strange mountain plateau, and science types have to go up there and get them. While there's dinosaurs up there that cause them trouble, minute for minute, the true experience of this movie can be summed up in two words: ROCK CLIMBING. So much tedium that getting through it turns into a joke in itself. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: RING OF TERROR Rewatch Season 2, Ep 6
Rewatch! On Thursday: Puma? Puma! An unflappable med student so irks his prospective fraternity brothers that they arrange for an initiation where he must get the ring off the hand of a corpse. John Carradine thinks back on the event and laaaaughs. Most of the episode is just lead up, making for a pretty boring experience. Fortunately we have three wisecracking intermediaries to help make the film watchable. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROCKET ATTACK USA Rewatch Season 2, Ep 5
Rewatch! On Sunday: There are two parts to this. The first part follows spies deep in the Soviet Union trying to gain information on and prevent a nuclear attack on New York. That fails, leading to the second part, which is about New York getting hit by a nuclear missile. A transparently fearmongering piece of propaganda, this is one of those films that's not just terrible but made the world a worse place just by existing. Fortunately, it makes for a pretty good riff target, if you can get past how upsetting the story is. There's no happy ending here, folks. Previously. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: JUNGLE GODDESS Rewatch Season 2, Ep 3
Rewatch! On Sunday: Some white guys search Africa for a lost heiress, who it turns out reigns over a native tribe as their goddess, apparently only because she's white. Get ready for the kinds of stereotypes that make making fun of the movie seem almost a duty. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROCKETSHIP X-M Rewatch Season 2, Ep 1
Rewatch! Operator error sends the Earth's first ship to the moon, 828 thousand miles away, instead to Mars, which is at best 33.9 million miles away and usually much further. That's some error; some scientists would give multiple limbs to be able to make errors like that. It's the first episode of Season Two, considered the point where Mystery Science Theater 3000 started to become really good, although the movie here is kind of dull. Next time.... Previously. Remember: for the time being we're also doing Sunday shows, so if you want to watch this one you'll want to show up tonight. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BLACK SCORPION Rewatch Season 1, Ep 13
Rewatch! Big critters from out of a volcano attack the lands south of the border. It's the last episode of Season One. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: UNTAMED YOUTH Rewatch Season 1, Ep 12
Rewatch! On Sunday [4/19]: A home for troubled teens is actually a work farm run by unscrupulous adults. Starring MST3K favorite Mamie Van Doren, who is still alive and kicking as of this writing! This movie marks the show's beginning to branch out to other genres of cinema, here, the teensploitation movie. The bad guy's surname is Tropp; having a name that ends with a doubled hard consonant is one of those sure-fire signs of cinema evil. Previously. Two more episodes in Season One.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PROJECT MOONBASE Rewatch Season 1, Ep 9
Rewatch! Poor Commander Brietis has the misfortune to be a women space officer in a man's (specifically, Robert Heinlein's) world. Her peers all casually call her "Bright Eyes," and her commanding officer actually threatens to spank her at one point. But in the end she and a fellow astronaut get stranded together on the moon, and Madame President (whose existence I guess was supposed to make up for how badly Brietis is treated) demands that they be married to avoid a scandal, which they agree to because they're sweet on each other. A disheartening movie, which make wisecracks from an orbiting human and his automated mocking machines all the more welcome. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SLIME PEOPLE Rewatch Season 1, Ep 8
Rewatch! It's like a zombie movie but not, and from before that became a genre! You might consider it ahead of its time, or you might consider that zombie movies were never all that to begin with. It's another first season episode, when the guys and robots were still finding their feet and/or hoverskirts. Previously. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROBOT MONSTER Rewatch Season 1, Ep 7
Rewatch! We're baaaack.... A alien invader (guy in a gorilla suit with a fishbowl on his head) called Ro-Man destroys everyone on Earth except for a family that lives in walking distance of his cave (which has a bubble machine in front of it). The family tries to thwart Ro-Man's attempt to wipe them out, until Ro-Man gets a crush on the family's teenage daughter. At what point on the graph do "must" and "cannot" meet? In the end it's all a dream had by a comic-addled young boy. Up until this point MST had shown bad movies, but this was the first truly transcendent example they did. Some have called it the worst movie ever made. Enjoy! Also has two Radar Men From the Moon shorts. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CRAWLING HAND Rewatch Season 1, Ep 6
Rewatch! An astronaut crashes to earth and dies, all except for his hand (or hand and forearm, depending on the shot). It strangles people then hooks up with a teen to do more stranglin'. In the end it gets eaten by a cat, saving the world. Good kitty! This is an important episode in that it's the first one that sets up the "style" of the show in almost all later episodes, the opening going directly into the theater tunnel, and Joel explains the premise, really for the first time on cable. Also, the movie features the song Surfin' Bird. Previously. ----- In other news, for the extent of the pandemic, the MST Club video room will be open between shows with a playlist of as-broadcast MST episodes, funny YouTube finds, and other special appearances, for bored social distancers dropping-in. "Enjoy!"
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAD MONSTER Rewatch Season 1, Ep 3
Rewatch! An amiable handyman is turned into a furred killer by virtue of a syringe of Wolf Juice, in service to that diabolical process called science. When it is proclaimed of our our somewhat-hairy, yet still humanoid, victim that he has "become a wolf," it is a profoundly silly moment. Comes with Pt. 2 of Radar Men From The Moon. Previously [more inside]