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Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE VIOLENT YEARS  Season 6, Ep 10

"Teenage Killers Fearing No Law! Taking Their Thrills Unashamed!" Ed Wood wrote this lurid tale of a gang of violent young women on a rampage. With short Young Man's Fancy: Produced by Jam Handy for Edison Electric, in this stealth promo for electric appliances, a "squishy" teen girl tries to attract the attention of a boy by making dinner by herself. Chris "Sampo" Cornell of Satellite News considers this his "desert island" episode. Judge for yourself! YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 8, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 29, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SKYDIVERS  Season 6, Ep 9

"Thrill Jumping Guys...Thrill Seeking Girls... Daring Death with Every Leap!" A woman gets revenge on her philandring, skydiving husband. Puts heavy emphasis on those skydiving scenes. Remarkably boring. With short Why Study Industrial Arts: A young man enthuses about his woodworking class. The short is great, let's get that out of the way. This movie though... it's the first of the three Coleman Francis movies they did in the sixth season. All three are in that lowest-of-the-low tier. Frank himself says "It's like 'Manos' without the lucid plot." Fan opinion of the episode is pretty high, but the movie is so bad. I'm not sure if I've ever stayed awake all the way through it! Good luck everyone. YouTube (1h32m) Promo (28s) Premiered August 27, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 14, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD  Season 6, Ep 8

"One Man Stands Between the Release of a Deadly Gas and the Fate of the World." Quinn Martin, producer of 16 thousand TV shows, tried to make it 16,001 with this pilot that didn't get picked up. NBC instead showed it as a movie-of-the-week. Basically, a spy tries to stop double-agent "Tree" from selling a deadly deadly gas to a foreign power. With short A Day at the Fair: Relieve the days when rural families enjoyed themselves by meeting for agricultural exhibits once a year. The incredible excitement explodes off the screen! The short's actually okay, but the movie is serious dullsville. Even the ad quote above came from a VHS box. It's very easy to forget this episode even exists. What was I talking about again? YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 7, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRLS TOWN  Season 6, Ep 1

Teen girls in a reform school run by nuns mix it up with gangs and each other! Contains Mamie Van Doren, Paul Anka and Mel Torme. And we're off on Season Six, the last full-length Comedy Central season. Some people really like this episode, but most seem to agree the riffing is better than the host segments. It's been a long time since the days when you couldn't get many eps on DVD, but this is one of the few remaining episodes you can still only get through those circulatin' tapes or their online equivilent. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 16, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 13, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON  Season 5, Ep 24

"Land on the moon with the intrepid first astronauts!" An international team of smarties haul themselves and cats up to the moon, where Gidney and Cloyd make ridiculous demands of them (they want the cats) before freezing North America. With short Design for Dreaming: One of the more bizarre things ever screened on the Satellite of Love. An annoying musical lady goes with her masked suitor to see GM cars on display, pausing in the middle to engage in Jane Jetson domesticity. If the premise to the movie sounds a bit familiar, it's got the same general idea (for the first half anyway) as 211 FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS. BTW, if you like the "many names of David Ryder" from 820 SPACE MUTINY, this episode has a good number of toughguy lunkhead names too! It also seems it shares some production elements with the movie in 902 THE PHANTOM PLANET. The short is a highlight of MST's entire run, and is a great introduction point. Also, this is the final episode of Season Five. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered February 5, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 5, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE CRIME WAVE  Season 5, Ep 22

"Out of the sidewalk jungle... the shocking drama of today's teenage terror!" Back then there were fewer people, so you only needed two teens to make a crime wave. These particular ones terrorize a farming family. They all go out for a fun day trip to the Griffith Park Observatory. I don't remember this one really well, but the word on the web is that it's kind of an underrated classic, possibly ignored because it only came out on DVD fairly recently. I also hear it's slow going for the first part. Contains the Mace Mousse and "Doughy Guy" sketches, and Frank dressed as Doughy Man at the end. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 15, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 22, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RADAR SECRET SERVICE  Season 5, Ep 20

Crooks don't stand a chance against the miracle science of RADAR, which can track down cars as long as they're moving. It's produced by demon prince Robert Lippert and directed by his archfiend Sam Newfield, so expect to be bored right to death. With short Last Clear Chance: Union Pacific wants you to be safe around their incredibly deadly, whisper-quiet trains, which, thirsty for blood, lurk at crossings, ready to strike. Why don't they look? Great short! The movie, however, is at true test of your MSTie endurance. The riffing is pretty good for most of it, about as good as you can expect from such a gray, static pile of film as this. It is a film that would lead aliens to conclude the planet Earth could hold no joy. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 18, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 25, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEGINNING OF THE END  Season 5, Ep 17

"The Screen's First Full-Length Science-Fiction Thriller with Real Live Creatures!" Peter Graves is a serious science man with an interesting discovery: a substance that makes vegetables grow king-size economy style right out of the ground. But what will happen when the local insect life discovers them? Bert I. Gordon, "Mr. Big" is back with a tale of grasshopers terrorizing a helpless postcard. Say what you want about these old sci-fi movies with questionable effects, they're still more fun than your standard contemporary Warner Bros. superhero flick, or so says me. By the way, did you know that Peter Graves went to the University of Minnesota? YouTube (Official, with annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered November 25, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 4, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE WILD WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN  Season 5, Ep 15

aka She Was a Hippy Vampire "Beyond Wildest Dreams!" "Her thrills rip forth in wide wild adventure!" Supervillain-in-a-wrestling-mask Ratfink (really) and his henchmen plan to steal an atomic hearing aid (really) and the only one that can stop her is Batwoman (not the DC Comics character!) and her mob of cultish, barely-clothed girls. Really. There's something of a surprise ending, but who cares make it stop im leaving With short Cheating: Teenager John is haunted by both the memory of his cheating on tests, and by his teacher Miss Granby's disembodied head, staring at him from the black void in which he lives. Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god. This is SUCH A TERRIBLE MOVIE, easily sortable with Robot Monster, Manos and Monster A-Go-Go in the WORST heap. It's not on many people's best-of lists but it's a favorite of mine. The movie wants to partly be a comedy, but is incredibly inept. Badness and wrongness drip from every inch of this film. The short is terrific, a legendary segment. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 13, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 20, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE STRANGLER  Season 5, Ep 14

aka "Terror in the Night." "A caress... an embrace... then DEFILEMENT AND DEATH!" "Budding young teenie-boppers were this Bluebeard's prey!" A serial killer is terrorizing the town, attacking teenage girls. Lt. Anderson thinks it's because parents are too lenient with their kids. Darn kids! With short Is This Love?: A young couple runs away to get married. This would be the first "normal" Mike episode, and fan buzz is that it's a pretty good one. Mike and company have a lot of fun at Mikey's expense. The character was played by John Humphries, who appeared at the first Conventio-Con, and filled us in on some info: few people who made this movie went to do any other movie, and the movie's featuring on MST3K caused a renewed interest in it in the town in Huntington, West Virginia, where it was made, where it got a 1994 theater showing. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 14, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE  Season 5, Ep 13

"Fantastic! Weird! Horrifying!" "Alive...Without A Body... Fed By An Unspeakable Horror From Hell!" How gifted does a doctor have to be that, when his GF is decapitated in a crash, his thought is, "I can fix this!" Two-for-two on a bad idea streak, he goes out and tries to kill attractive women so he can get her a new chassis. This movie teaches us that not only are free-standing heads capable of speech, they can communicate with horrible monsters. It's Mike Nelson's first episode as host, and boy, they change a lot of things with this episode, including updating the set and changing the door sequence! It's a pretty good episode riffing-wise, too. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 30, 1993. Did you know there is a stage musical based on the film, "Head: The Musical!" (Vimeo 1h40m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 6, 2016 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PAINTED HILLS  Season 5, Ep 10

"Packed with thrills!" Prospector Jonathan is murdered by his partner in an attempt to jump his claim, but the scoundrel didn't count on the valor of Jon's faithful collie, who is driven by VENGENCE! Vengence, and SNAUSAGES! With short Body Care and Grooming: A narrator reminds college students of the shame of not adjusting your appearance to social norms. Another good short, and the first Western MST did -- and the second is the very next episode. (No, I'm not counting the "space western" MOON ZERO TWO.) Furthermore, this is actually a Lassie movie; they took the famous meta-collie's name off the movie for some releases, which is just as well as the dog's name in the movie is actually Shep. Daddy-O informs us that Paul Kelly, the actor who played Jonathan, the victim in the movie, spent two years in prison for manslaughter! This episode contains the last short Joel riffed for MST3K, and there are only two other Joel episodes left.... YouTube (1h31m Premiered September 26, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 15, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIRL IN LOVERS LANE  Season 5, Ep 9

"Too young to know... to reckless to care..." A couple of dumb drifters drift into town. In the process they become attached to local girls, but eventually tragedy strikes. Watch out for the bummer ending to this one. Compared the the string of excellent episodes before it, this one's a bit of a sleeper, but there are still some great bits, including "Camera three get off the track," and the beloved MST song "What a Pleasant Journey!" There are just three Joel episodes left.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 18, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 8, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS  Season 5, Ep 7

Poster. A young man wins an essay contest about his loving family, but the truth is they neglect him. So, he runs off and gets involved with gangsters. I tell you, life is tough for us English majors. With short The Truck Farmer: Encyclopædia Britannica Films informs us of the process by which fresh vegetables are brought to our cities, which apparently doesn't involve exploited migrant labor very much at all. While the movie doesn't have the weirdness power of an Eegah or a Sinbad, this is another excellent episode, filled with great moments like Duck News with Hugh McQuacken, and the old guy and his hamburger. The host segments are terrific too. Oh, what could Jimmy's problem be? YouTube (1h32m) - Shout Factory TV - Unriffed Premiered September 4, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 26, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SWAMP DIAMONDS  Season 5, Ep 3

aka Swamp Women. "Branded Women! Notorious Women! Scarlet Women! SWAMP WOMEN!" "Deadlier Than the MALE!" An undercover policewoman helps other women escape from prison in the hopes they'll lead her to stolen loot. With short What to Do on a Date: A shy kid asks a girl out for a date, and they have the best time that could be depicted on-screen in 1950s America: they go to a "scavanger sale." Another of MST's best shorts, a case, like with Mr. B Natural and War of the Colossal Beast, where the short overwhelms the movie. One source claims Swamp Women was the first movie Roger Corman directed, but IMDB lists four movies he directed the year before. It's a fairly typical lurid early Corman movie, with lots of talking and padding. Corman himself is still alive and active, and although he hasn't directed in a while, he's still producing: he produced Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf just last year. YouTube (1h32m) - Rough cut - Unriffed - Trailer. Premiered July 31, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 28, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BRIDE OF THE MONSTER  Season 4, Ep 23

"The Screen's Master of the Weird... In His Newest and Most Daring Shocker!" The movie described is, in fact, one of notorious director Ed Wood's most infamous, and stars Bela Lugosi in his last speaking role. Some of the events of the making of the film, including the one where Lugosi thrashes around in rubber octopus tentacles, are depicted in Tim Burton's wonderful movie Ed Wood. With short, the first half of Hired!: an internal promotional and training film for Chevrolet, the 50s equivalent of that video they make new Wendy's employees watch. He tampered in God's domain! In addition to Wood as director and Lugosi as mad scientist, this film features the screen presence of Tor Johnson. BRIDE OF THE MONSTER is another example of a movie known for badness, but is at least watchable, which is more than you can say for Coleman Francis' work, or indeed the movie we're watching NEXT WEEK.... It seems the BotM got a sequel, Night of the Ghouls, that was finished four years later but didn't get released until 1987. YouTube (YouTube 1h32m) Premiered January 23, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 31, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE  Season 4, Ep 22

"Chilling Terror!" Don't believe the ad! This is actually a charming story from the Kalevala, the Finnish national myth, that was blatantly renamed by American International Pictures to try to trick people into seeing it who were expecting sci-fi. With short HERE COMES THE CIRCUS. The horrors of the Clyde Beatty circus, named after the animal tamer who appears here, are brought before us. After 421 MONSTER A-GO GO last week, this film is a breath of fresh air. Director Aleksander Ptushko was a genius who's not better known now only because his career took place entirely behind the Iron Curtain. His first movie, "The New Gulliver," was the first entirely stop-motion movie. Two other of his films, also excellent, are later covered by MST3K: 505 THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD and 617 THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered January 16, 1993. You might be interested to know that the original version, "Sampo," is on YouTube in six parts, with subtitles! 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 24, 2016 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MONSTER A-GO GO  Season 4, Ep 21

"An Astronaut Went Up... A 'Guess What' Came Down!" "The Picture That Comes Complete with a 10-Foot Tall Monster to Give You the Wim-Wams!" "How did a 10-foot-tall monster get into that little bitty space capsule?" "You've Never Seen a Picture Like This--Thank Goodness!" It's never a good sign when the poster taglines themselves make fun of the movie. One of the absolute worst movies in MST history, and of all time. With short CIRCUS ON ICE: A newsreel report of the 40th Annual Carnival of the Toronto Skating Club. It's iceberg time again! You may think you know what a bad movie looks like. You may think you can handle bad movies. You may think badfilm is nothing to be afraid of. The punishment for your hubris takes the form of a viewing of MONSTER A-GO GO. If you're a fan or born MSTie this should not be missed, but it can be lethal if you haven't built up an immunity. One of a handful of the most terrible movies MST ever did, up there with the likes of Robot Monster and Red Zone Cuba. And don't relax yet, one its primary rivals is on the way in just three weeks.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 1, 1993. Trailer - Unriffed (DO NOT WATCH) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 16, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE REBEL SET  Season 4, Ep 19

"B-GUYS! (The beardnicks) Living and Loving for strange kicks! JET DOLLS! Ready and willing to go into orbit! KING OF BEATSVILLE! Master mind behind a million dollars worth of murder! THE 'WEIRDIES'! Nobody knows what makes them tick!" Man, dig that ridiculous ad copy! In this beatsploitation movie, the Chief from Get Smart is "Mr. T," and he masterminds an armored car robbery. With short Johnny at the Fair: a four-year-old boy wanders the Worlds Fair grounds randomly, having adventures, meeting stage stars and Joe Louis, running up future therapy bills. The short has Olsen and Johnson, the "Hellzapoppin' boys." They had a stage show that got turned into a movie, Hellzapoppin'. It's pretty crazy! BTW, despite the guys' comments, Merritt Stone is actually nowhere in this movie. YouTube (1h32m) - Hulu - Shout Factory [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 3, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE THE EYE CREATURES  Season 4, Ep 18

Badly-designed aliens invade a small town, and the adults won't believe the smoocher teens who seen 'em! It's up to them to save the world with the timely application of their car headlights. This movie is below-average in quality even by MST standards. The title, by the way, is not a typo, or at least it's not my typo. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 5, 1992. This movie is largely a shot-by-shot remake of Invasion of the Saucer Men! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 25, 2016 - 15 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CRASH OF MOONS  Season 4, Ep 17

"Classic Sci-Fi Advenure" Two moons are going to crash into each other, natch. It's our old friends Rocky Jones and Winky to save the people living on them! With short General Hospital #2: More scenes from very early episodes of the long-running soap opera. Deja-vu! One month ago we watched a short made of old General Hospital scenes matched with a movie made of old Rocky Jones, Space Ranger episodes. And lo, we have the same composition for this episode! This is the one where one role is played by John Banner, Sgt. Schultz himself, and the guys won't let you forget it. Satellite News points out that the title card of the movie leaves out the "The," so by their naming conventions the movie is not titled "Crash of the Moons," but just, "Crash of Moons." So, where did the "The" go? Tune in next week and find out.... YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 28, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 18, 2016 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: FIRE MAIDENS OF OUTER SPACE  Season 4, Ep 16

"Out of This World SHOCK SENSATION!" "SEE: The Strangest of All Rites in the Temple of Love!" Astronauts land on a hitherto unknown moon of Jupiter and discover lonely nubile maidens, our solar system's greatest resource. This episode is especially notable for containing the saga of "Timmy," an evil alien Crow that comes aboard the SOL. The Timmy puppet was actually one of the theater puppets; they're painted back to give them a better silhouette. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered November 26, 1992 (Turkey Day marathon). [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 11, 2016 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEATNIKS  Season 4, Ep 15

"Living by their code of REBELLION and MUTINY! Intimite secrets of the Beat Generation!" A singer has dreams of stardom, but his hipster friends keep him down. The movie was both directed and written by connsumate cartoon voice actor Paul Frees. Boris Badenov himself! But as we're reminded frequently, they're not beatniks. Servo: "They're not even Boatniks!" With short General Hospital #2: More scenes from the early days of the long-running soap. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered November 25, 1992. (Turkey Day '92) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 4, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TORMENTED  Season 4, Ep 14

"A Ghost-Woman Owned Him Body and Soul!" "Her lips, cold as a tomb! Her caress, a naked chill!" Tom's former lover Vi threatens to reveal herself to his bride-to-be, so he lets her fall to her death, but that is only the beginning of her now-ghostly campaign against him. Another outing from the most prolific director of MST movies, Bert I. "Mr BIG" Gordon. It's a good episode, and it's not really that bad of a movie! Thanks again, Bert. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 26, 1992. Without riffing at the Internet Archive (1h16m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 28, 2016 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANHUNT IN SPACE  Season 4, Ep 13

Stitched-together episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, a space show from the 50s like Commander Video. He fights space pirates. While popular at the time, the show's production values put it way over budget and it only lasted one season. Co-pilot Winky was played by Scotty Beckett, former child star who was one of the original Our Gang kids, but was replaced in the cast after 26 episodes while serving jail time for carrying a concealed weapon. A troubled sort, he committed suicide at age 38. With short General Hospital #1: An old collection of scenes from what may be the very first year of long-running soap opera General Hospital. Dr. Steve Hardy was played by John Beradino, who was a baseball player for 13 years, and appeared as his GH character for 33 until his death. Not a man to give up a good gig. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 19, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 21, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN  Season 4, Ep 9

"Inhuman! Invincible! Inescapable!" Lon Cheney Jr. lumbers around the screen as a criminal executed by, then revived by, magic fairies electricity, and in the process somehow made "indestructable," demonstrating the principle that, in movies, anything even vaguely scientific can attain infinite potency, given the right circumstances. With short Undersea Kingdom, Part 2: Our heroes continue to gad about Atlantis. While the series went to 12 chapters in theaters, this is the last we see of it on MST3K. Great host segments highlight a pretty good episode. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 15, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 9, 2015 - 12 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE KILLER SHREWS, with short JUNIOR RODEO DAREDEVILS  Season 4, Ep 7

"They had to eat 3 times their body weight each day... or starve!" Some people are trapped on an island with friendly dogs poisonous shrews. Not a high point in the annals of cinema. With short Junior Rodeo Daredevils: To stop kids from bothering his horses, Old Timer Billy Slater arranges an incredibly dangerous competition for the local youth. The looping music in the short is like the soundtrack to the Ozark region of Hell. The dogs' killer shrew getup in the movie is particularly laughable. YouTube (1h32m) Unriffed (Internet Archive) Premiered July 25, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 19, 2015 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, with short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, part one  Season 4, Ep 6

"Crawling Horror...Rising from the Depths of Hell to Kill and Conquer!" Rednecks are disappearing and the sheriff won't listen that they've been caught giant leeches living in caves beneath the swamp. Oh well, it isn't anything a bunch of dynamite can't handle. With short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, Part 1: In this first episode of a 1936 serial, "Crash" Corrigan and friends (including a Professor, a Kid, and a Woman) dive beneath the sea in their rocket sub to the lost city of Atlantis. Everyday-wear in Atlantis is, shall we say, flamboyant. The short is the oldest thing ever riffed by MST3K. I find the conclusion of the movie particularly hilarious. Although they know that the leeches may be keeping their victims alive in underswamp caverns, the "good guys" still throw in bundles of explosive, killing leeches and victims alike. The movie was remade in 2008! Executive Produced by Roger Corman, and Regular Produced by his brother Gene. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered July 18, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 12, 2015 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE  Season 4, Ep 4

"Teenage Hoodlums from Another World on a Horrendous Ray-Gun Rampage!" "Before...A Beautiful Girl. One Moment Later...A Skeleton!" Despite the ad lines, the titular teenagers number only two, and one of them is the milquetoast "Derek." Their mission: to prepare Earth for the coming of their lifestock, which naturally take the form of gigantic lobsters. It's a good episode! This is the movie that gives us the infamous "TORCHAA!!" catchphrase, beloved of MSTies everywhere. It's also Mary Jo Pehl's first episode writing! YouTube (1h33m) Premiered June 27, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 29, 2015 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT GILA MONSTER  Season 4, Ep 2

"Only Hell Could Breed Such An Enormous Beast...Only God Could Destroy It!" A giant lizard attacks cars in the countryside, and the sheriff is too inept to do anything about it. No, it's not up to got God, but a local teenager with an exploding car to resolve the problem. This movie was released in theaters as a double-bill with THE KILLER SHREWS, riffed in episode 407. The two movies were both directed by Ray Kellogg, and the movies have many similarities, including the same opening narrator and frequent use of "leg up" blocking. As episodes go, this is a standard 50s-era sci-fi flick, but the riffing's pretty sharp on this one! This kind of movie is a natural for the show. YouTube (1h34m) Premiered June 6, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 15, 2015 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE UNEARTHLY  Season 3, Ep 20

"Lured! to the house of monsters." "Guaranteed to FRIGHTEN!" John Carradine is a mad scientist convinced he has the key to eternal life, namely a gland transplant. It turns his test subjects into mutants, but you know what they say about omelets and eggs, right? With shorts Posture Pals and Appreciating Our Parents. The first short has kids learning about posture in school and bying to become Posture Royalty. The second is an oppressive piece devoted to killing any joy and spontaneity a kid might have in the name of parental obedience. The movie's kind of a slog (even though it contains our first exposure to Tor Johnson!), but the shorts are both iconic, and the host segments are pretty good. YouTube (1h37m) Premiered December 14, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 2, 2015 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST  Season 3, Ep 19

"The Towering Terror From Hell!" "SEE a Sixty Foot Giant Destroyed...in Color!" When we last saw Col. Glenn Manning, he was 60 feet tall and had fallen into the Colorado River, where we might presume his corpse would have stopped its flow at some point, or at least provided free sustenance for weeks to its aquatic wildlife. But they never found his amazing colossal body! Well that's because he survived, somehow, improbably, even though he was supposed to be close to death from his untimely embiggening. His sister (the first movie said he had no family but no matter) is determined to find out what happened to him. With the short MR. B NATURAL: A magical pixie that gives off mixed gender signals comes to visit a confused young boy and tries to sell him band equipment. The movie's another Bert I. Gordon monsterpiece, and a sequel to the movie featured in episode 309, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN. It's a black and white movie, but it's color for the very VERY end so they could say that ad up above wasn't a lie. The episode's okay, but tends to languish in the shadow of the short which, in terms of concentrated riffing power, might be the funniest thing the Brains ever did. YouTube (1h37m) BONUS: A real rarity, Mr. B Natural (26m) on YouTube, un-MSTed! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 27, 2015 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT  Season 3, Ep 17

Full title: The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. "The Raw Courage of Women Without Men Lost in a Fantastic Hell-on-Earth!" Its spear-throwing, long-boating, suspeciously well-coiffed heroines do take charge and go out to rescue their men from captivity, but the sea serpent is not exactly a prominent figure. With short The Home Economics Story: Iowa State College tries to sell young women on a major in home economics. This is the second of five Roger Corman movies the guys would get over the show's run. That fake-blond male stowaway on the ship is Jonathan Haze, who was in every single Corman movie the Brains riffed, and is also the actor who's been in the most MST movies. Crow's bit as "Willie the Wonderful Wisecracking Waffle" is actually a direct reference to A Case Of Spring Fever, a short they wouldn't actually riff until Season 10! All the host segments here have to do with waffles, by the way. YouTube (2h) Premiered October 26, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 13, 2015 - 7 comments

Announcement: Old Timey Film Club!

Come join the Old Timey Film Club for black-and-white film discussion! [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 12, 2015 - 23 comments

Movie: Lolita

"How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?" asked the film's notorious promotional material, as its young star peers out over the top of her cherry-red, heart-shaped glasses. An excellent question! Stanley Kubrick's 1962 take on Vladimir Nabokov's novel became an iconic film; by turns intimate, sardonic, comical, and tragic. By comparison, Adrian Lyne's 1997 version promised to be truer to the source material, but in spite of praiseworthy performances by its leads, it imploded at the box office. [more inside]
posted by churl on Jul 13, 2015 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: IT CONQUERED THE WORLD  Season 3, Ep 11

(1956, Black & White, Sci-Fi, Venus, Carrot Monster, Roger Corman) "Every Man Its Prisoner... Every Woman Its Slave!" A carrot from Venus enlists the aid of scientist Lee Van Cleef in order to save mankind, through the strategm of attacking them with string-borne, mind-controlling bats. Hero Peter Graves reminds us at the end that Van Cleef learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature.... With the short Snow Thrills, about winter sports. Shields up, red alert! In addition to containing Peter Graves, Lee Van Cleef, and the most insufferable ending monologue in MST3K's history, it's the first movie we've gotten from our heroes' long-recurring nemesis Roger Corman! YouTube (1h37m) First shown August 8, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 2, 2015 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. GAOS  Season 3, Ep 8

aka Daikaijû kûchûsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu (1967, Black & White, Gamera, Kaiju, Monster, Japanese) It's the last of the "serious" Gamera movies, and the second where he teams up with a little boy, cementing Gamera's "friend to children" status. Gaos (sometimes "Gyaos") is probably the most iconic of Gamera's foes. This is probably the best classic Gamera movie; Gaos is a credible threat to the Twirling Terrapin, and the weirdness that infests later Gamera films hasn't hit yet. Prepare yourselves: the next one is very strange.... YouTube ( 1h37m) First aired July 27, 1991. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 10, 2015 - 14 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: KING DINOSAUR, with X MARKS THE SPOT  Season 2, Ep 10

(1955, B&W, Sci-fi, Short, Gordon, Lippert) "See a Prehistoric World of Fantastic Adventure Come to Life!" Said world is teeming with lizards dinosaurs, but it's nothing a good ol' atom bomb won't take care of. With the short X Marks The Spot, which poses the question: what if Judgement Day is a traffic court? We've already had a number of films produced by Robert Lippert (a watchword for pain if ever there was one), but this is the first of eight movies directed by our old fiend Bert I. Gordon, aka "B.I.G.!" But let's not get too down on the guy, he's still alive and has a web site! Rock on Bert, we'll celebrate your name better when we get to The Magic Sword. YouTube (1h37m) First aired December 22, 1990. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 11, 2015 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CORPSE VANISHES, with RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON part 3  Season 1, Ep 5

(1942, B&W, Horror) -- Young brides are spontaneously dying at the altar, deaths engineered by the mad scientist Dr. Lorenz, who then steals the bodies to extract youth juice to inject into his aged wife. YouTube A Bela Lugosi "classic," and one of the oldest movies MST ever did. Riffing quality level isn't as high as 104, but is improved over 103. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 11, 2014 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAD MONSTER, with ROCKET MEN FROM THE MOON part 2  Season 1, Ep 3

The Mad Monster (1942, B&W, Sci-fi, Horror, Wolfman) - Dr. Cameron wishes ill on his former colleagues for throwing him out of Science, and so gives his simple-minded handyman a wolf transfusion in order to get REVENGE. Also: Radar Men From The Moon, Part 2 - On the Moon, Cody and colleagues try to steal an atomic ray from Retik's base. YouTube - Amazon (Volume 14) If you think Dr. Cameron's plan for revenge is kind of stupid, well, they don't call him a mad scientist for nothing. First season warning, yadda yadda. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 26, 2014 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY, with RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON, part 1  Season 1, Ep 2

The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy - (1958, B&W, Mexican, Sci-Fi, Horror) It turns out this is actually the third Aztec Mummy movie. All are originally from Mexico. Mad scientist Dr. Krupp builds a robot to defeat a tomb's mummy guardian so he can steal its treasure. Also: Radar Men From The Moon, Part 1: AKA Commando Cody. A classic serial in which moon people come to Earth and team up with organized crime to sabotage Earth civilization. The MST treatment of the Cody shorts overall are pretty good, but the movie is a struggle. Again, this is a first season episode, not for new guests of the Satellite Of Love. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 21, 2014 - 16 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CRAWLING EYE  Season 1, Ep 1

1958, B&W, Horror, Sci-Fi. A thick fog engulfs the side of a mountain, containing big puffy eyes with tentacles that control people's minds. The first cable episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 features many of the elements that would make the show a success: lots of jokes, whimsical performances, and a movie bad enough to peel paint. But as with most of the first season, it's really not the guys at their best. For devoted fans only. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 14, 2014 - 29 comments

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