The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE Rewatch Season 6, Ep 22
Re-rewatch! Welcome back to the seventies, where a bunch of women in sheer garments could single-handedly take on militias and drug dealers and the only casualty they suffer would be their teenage girl member, and who would just be knocked out, not die or anything. A large amount of low-level star power in this one, including the likes of Jim Backus, Alan Hale Jr. and Pat Buttram. 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: THE STARFIGHTERS Rewatch Season 6, Ep 12
Re-rewatch! Soar along at Mach 2 in one of the most notoriously dangerous aircraft ever made! Basically a promotional piece for the US Air Force and the F-104 Starfighter jet, we follow the brain-killing career of a bright young pilot tragically burdened with the fate of being played by Bob Dornan, as he fights his Congressman father's rather reasonable wishes that he be transferred to a job where he doesn't put his life on the line frequently through the act of just flying an airplane. Come for the copious in-flight refueling, stay for the poopie suit party! A difficult movie, but great to watch subjected to the attentions of a spaceborne guy and his automated mocking devices. Previously and again. Also, this movie has an entire post on the blue about it.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD Rewatch Season 6, Ep 8
Re-rewatch! This episode is more popular than I suspected, partly on the strength, perhaps, of its short, A Day at the Fair. The movie itself is a spy-themed made-for-TV thing, made by Quinn Martin, originally intended as an NBC series pilot. The plot has to do with a couple of people trying to protect a deadly gas that can kill people on contact, which is indeed pretty deadly. It sounds impossible to work with. The host segments spotlight MST3K's least-considered regular character: Magic Voice. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE Rewatch Season 6, Ep 4
Re-rewatch! A relatively recent movie, but extra disjointed, with no less than two unexplained prologues before the real story. Ultimately a Magic Lady brings a buff young man back to life to avenge his death and bring justice to a crooked cop played by Adam West. It does contain "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead on its soundtrack, but it's also heavily edited for television. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 23
Rewatch! Little Ronnie Howard invents a growth "goo" that the angry teens in town get into and cause problems. The last Bert I. Gordon movie MST would cover (as of pre-Season 13). 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: ALIEN FROM L.A. Rewatch Season 5, Ep 16
Re-rewatch! At the center of the earth lies, apparently, a lost colony of Australians, living, also apparently, in a half-baked version of the techno-dystopia from the Super Mario Bros movie. Into this falls Wanda Saknussemm, played by supermodel Kathy Ireland, here cast as a high-pitched nerd girl. You know those movies where all a young woman has to do to be popular is lose the spectacles and wear a swimsuit? That's the story here, although it also involves falling down a "bottomless pit," running for her life from an oppressive government and their fiendish "Lotto," and a person with three-inch eyelashes. Also: the movie has a sequel, it turns out! Previously, and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MITCHELL Rewatch Season 5, Ep 12
Re-rewatch! Mitchell is a dull, stupid, unlikable cop. I mean, the movie even says that. The movie seems to be making the point that, all the smart cops would naturally be on the take, so we need dumb ones, and Mitchell, he's just the dumb cop we need. Then it goes and shows us the implications of that by following Mitchell around, like it's trying to tell us, "don't look away, this is necessary!" You could get a really dim view of human nature watching Mitchell. It makes for fine riffing though! This is also Joel's last episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GUNSLINGER Rewatch Season 5, Ep 11
Rewatch! While the name of Roger Corman is often derided on the show, it seems most of the time he produced rather than directed. Well, he directs this one. It's not a bad story I think, about a women whose husband is gunned down, so she becomes sheriff. Um, is that how it works? Alas, she falls in love with a gun hired to kill her. This is Joel's penultimate episode as host, meaning next week: it's Mitchell time. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PAINTED HILLS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 10
Rewatch! Go get your snausages, it's time to watch MST3K's one and only Lassie movie! Although in this one her name is "Shep," and she's more of a menacing presence than the friendly, loyal and English-understanding collie of TV. Her prospector owner is killed by someone trying to steal his claim, and she wants nothing of it. Ask not for whom the dog growls.... Also has Body Care and Grooming, a short, the last short Joel riffed during his tenure as host. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OPERATION DOUBLE 007 Rewatch Season 5, Ep 8
Re-rewatch! When James Bond is busy, who you gonna call? Neil Connery, Sean's brother, in this hugely weird Italian spy movie with a bad guy who employs a platoon of evil women, and a hero who's kind of a jerk, although pretty much an invincible one. Previously and again. We're nearing the end of Joel's tenure as host again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTA CLAUS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 21
Re-rewatch! As any child knows, Santa Claus lives in a castle in the sky high above the North Pole, the center of a surveillance network that spans the globe. Living with him is Merlin and an international horde of kids who sing and help him make toys. But the forces of darkness no like this, and so Satan sends his lieutenant Pitch to thwart his gift-giving journey, threatening the lactose-intolerant demon with eating ice cream should he fail. If you think that sounds crazy, it's only the beginning of this profoundly strange movie. Previously and again
Re-rewatch! One of MST3K's three (to date) Christmas movies, and one of their weirdest subjects overall. Martians, upset that their children are becoming joyless drones, come to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus to try to make them jolly again. Opposed to this is the villainous Martian Voldar, who doesn't want happy Martian children becoming a nuisance. And then there's Dropo.... Previously and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: EEGAH Rewatch Season 5, Ep 6
Rewatch! What secrets lie, unknown, in the depths of the California desert? Apparently a caveman, given long life by sulfur water. He falls for a 60s teen, paws at her while her watching father makes sarcastic comments, licks shaving cream with his tongue, and eventually is shot by police and ends up dead in a pool. Remember, now, always, and forever, watch out for snakes. 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: SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON Rewatch Season 5, Ep 4
Rewatch! The secret-agentish MST movie that doesn't have Neil Connery, Bart Fargo (Bart Fargo Bart Fargo), an international superthief or was made for TV. It doesn't involve James Bond, but it was made in Italy. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD Rewatch Season 5, Ep 1
Rewatch! A sullen, mumbly, anti-social, anti-heroic loaner (played by That Paper Chase Guy) in a post-apocalyptic world turns out to be the only hope for the future of humanity. It's a whole distasteful genre (Waterworld is a prominent example), but this one contains an extremely irritating talking motorcycle. But at least it's got Donald Pleasence in it. It's the beginning of Season 5 of MST3K, Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 24
Re-rewatch! It's been only a little more than a year since the last time we hit this, the movie most identified with Mystery Science Theater 3000, as part of the "best of" sequence we did. It's still one of the very worst movies they riffed, although it's a lot better known now than it was when they first aired this episode in 1993. Previously and again
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 HUMAN DUPLICATORS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 20
Rewatch! EHT! NAMUH! SROTACILPUD! Richard Kiel is an evil space guy who is making duplicates of world leaders in preparation to take over the world. His character here is pretty evil, but Kiel himself was a real sweetheart. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN Rewatch Season 4, Ep 12
Rewatch! This is the last peplum (plural pepla, those swords-and-sandals movies with big muscle-bound guys in miniskirts throwing rocks around, usually starring Herules or Maciste) MST3K would do for a while. Unlike what they say at the end, it's not the last Hercules movie they would do. I will now read off the scroll of heroic deeds and minor trivia attributable to Hercules in this head-scratching addition to his mythology: he has a son, Hylas, and a friend, Androcles, who between them kidnaps him away from home life so he can have adventures, he finds Atlantis, kills the god Proteus (who can turn into animals), and rescues its princess but this means according to prophecy that Atlantis will be destroyed. Uh-oh! This is the movie from which the phrase dedicated to Uranus comes from. 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: HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN Rewatch Season 4, Ep 10
Re-rewatch! It's a Maciste ("my cheesesteak") movie rebranding the main character into Hercules for US distribution. Imagine TV's Frank saying, in his freaked-out voice from Joel's invention exchange, "HERCULES... against the MOON MEN!" Prepare yourself for DEEP HURTING. Previously and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: HERCULES UNCHAINED Rewatch Season 4, Ep 8
Rewatch! The first of MST3K's series of pepla (singular: peplum, a name for these kinds of half-naked muscleman, sword-and-sandal movies). This one has Steve Reeves, and the story concerns the "waters of forgetfulness." I mentioned several common features of many of these movies in the post previously. Suffice to say, there's a lot of skin and scanty garments worn by male or female alike, but it's a terrible source for anything like Greek or Roman myth.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET Rewatch Season 4, Ep 5
Rewatch! This episode is something of a sleeper, its subject is a Film Ventures International film (so, weird, irrelevant opening and closing sequences) in which it turns out an alien is buried in a mummy's tomb that causes people to rot when it touches them, and the alien is trying to get back its magic space jewel that someone stole from it. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CITY LIMITS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 3
Rewatch! Another of those post-apocalyptic movies, back before we knew the end of civilization would be a big social media fiasco. There are multiple sub-genres of the type: Fallout, Mad Max, zombies, robot overlords, and the one this movie belongs to, themed teen gangs. Has James Earl Jones in it, and also Kim Cattrall. When City Limits first aired it was one of the most recent movies MST had done, but there's been plenty of newer movies since. The movie is more goofy-bad than boring-bad or incompetent-bad, so it's a good episode for MST newbies and casuals. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE TRAVELLERS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 1
Rewatch! Some astronauts are in space and they're trying to get back to the ground, but there are problems. This is the 70s Gene Hackman sci-fi vehicle Marooned as re-edited by Film Ventures International. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MASTER NINJA II Rewatch Season 3, Ep 24
Rewatch! Timothy Van Patten, former Eight is Enough and White Shadow star and current bigwig TV director in Hollywood, and Lee Van Cleef, former 50s and 60s western star and current dead person, appear in a movie made from an 80s TV show in which they improbably play ninja trainee and master. One of the episodes has the two help protect a fledgling union, the other is stunt cast to pair him with a former western co-star of Van Cleef's. It was a weird show. Previously - Previously on Metafilter about The Master
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU Rewatch Season 3, Ep 23
Rewatch! Megalomaniacal, stereotypical Fu Manchu, played as an inscrutable pillar of evil by Christopher Lee, schemes to freeze the world's oceans, because that's the kind of thing a powerful Chinese person does in a movie adapted from a Sax Rohmer book. This is not one of the best episodes, to be blunt: the movie drags like a lead weight. Good luck everyone. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MASTER NINJA I Rewatch Season 3, Ep 22
Re-rewatch! Timothy Van Patten and Lee Van Cleef are the most unlikely ninjas in Japanese exoticism history. They travel the country in typical 70s TV show fashion, which fits because this is actually two episodes of The Master. There's a hamster, they live in a van, they solve the problems of the people they meet. It's not very realistic. Previously and again. Not the episode you expected? Look inside for the reason for that. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: STAR FORCE: FUGITIVE ALIEN II Rewatch Season 3, Ep 18
Re-rewatch! Tonight (Sunday).... Get your forklifts warmed up, it's the further adventures of Ken, Captain Joe, Rocky (again!) and Tammy, in the last of MST3K's nine Sandy Frank movies. Previously, and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. ZIGRA Rewatch Season 3, Ep 16
Re-rewatch! Evil alien. Colorful Trix cereal spaceship. Mind controlled lady villain. Shouting "AAA!" at people. Shark monster. Last MST Gamera movie. 8th of 9 Sandy Frank films. Pretty silly. Previously - More Recently
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MIGHTY JACK Rewatch Season 3, Ep 14
Rewatch! Whatever this movie is about, it has sort of spies fighting "the organization known as Q" the leader of which has a cat and there's a flying thing and a base in an iceberg and a torture trap involving shining really bright lights at someone and it's really a mess. Sandy Frank sent a lot of crappy movies at Joel and the 'bots, but this is probably the crappiest. Good luck understanding it. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. GUIRON Rewatch Season 3, Ep 12
Re-rewatch! A really big turtle that can fly and breathe fire fights a similarly-sized knife monster on an alien planet, in order to save two kids from space ladies with US southern accents wearing leotards that want to eat their brains. If you think that sounds crazy, well, it's not even the half of it. Probably the goofiest of the Gamera movies, and the one that brought us the Gamera theme song and much attendant riffing joy. Previously and again
Mystery Science Theater 3000: FUGITIVE ALIEN Rewatch Season 3, Ep 10
Rewatch! Sunday-- Ken is a Star Wolf, a member of a ruthless band of space raiders from the planet Valna, who unexpectedly develops a conscience and saves an Earth woman and sun from a comrade. He is labeled a traitor and is force to team up with hard-drinking earthling Captain Joe and his crew on the old spaceship Bacchus III. I love this episode. The movie is goofy but watchable (and as Joel and co note in the sequel, the music legitimately rocks), the jokes are funny and on-point, and in a series filled to overflowing with memorable moments, gives us several great ones, culminating in the classic lyric: "HE TRIIIED TO KILL ME WITH A FORKLIFT!" Olé! Previously Below the fold, some comments about the movie. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME OF THE APES Rewatch Season 3, Ep 6
Rewatch! Tonight: another classic early episode, in this movie (really episodes of a Japanese show stitched together by Sandy Frank), a couple of Japanese kids visit their uncle in their high-tech monkey freezing compound. Then an earthquake hits, and the two and a lab assistant seek refuge in a freezing chamber. They're flash-frozen and wake up in a future where APES RULE THE WORRRLD. But there's also a ton of other stuff going on: human Godo the survivalist, Pepe the friendly monkeyperson, vengeful ape Gaybar(?), the stern but ultimately helpful leader ape, and the deus ex machina-ish "UECOM" ("Yukon?") that hovers in the sky. Completely bonkers. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: STRANDED IN SPACE Rewatch Season 3, Ep 5
Rewatch! An astronaut survives a crash, but on waking up Earth doesn't seem to be as he remembers it... it turns out he's on "Terra," on the other side of the sun from Earth, which is a lot like Earth in a lot of ways (lots of Chryslers, for example), but is being run by one of those dystopian states that everyone was afraid of before we realized the fall of civilization would take the form of a social media meltdown. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: POD PEOPLE Rewatch Season 3, Ep 3
Re-rewatch! Four different subplots kind of meander into orbit with each other in this dubbed French/Spanish movie. Movie A: poachers in the woods encounter and break the eggs of an unworldly creature. Movie B: singers on a trip in the woods have a deadly run-in with that creature. Movie C: a lonely young boy befriends another creature of the same species. Movie D: the boy's father noisily conflicts with the lead singer from Movie B. It's another episode from a time in the show's history when almost every episode became a classic. But as for the movie itself... (O.K. sign) It stinks! It's as disjointed as it was because originally it was supposed to just be a horror movie, but then when ET came out a hasty story adjustment was made to try to get some of those cute alien movie dollars. Previously and also 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
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER Season 2, Ep 13
Rewatch! On Sunday: Godzilla has to share screen time in this one with terrorists and natives and Mothra. Compared to the excellent and bonkers Godzilla vs Megalon this one's so-so, I think at least. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GODZILLA VS. MEGALON Rewatch Season 2, Ep 12
Rewatch! On Thursday (today!): A truly crazy movie, the underground kingdom of "Seatopia?" Which is run by... Dorf? is upset at nuclear tests, so calls upon their giant monster Megalon to attack the surface world. They also target a couple of... scientists? Who make... water toys? For a... kid? That they raise? I mean that's great sure, but it's not really defined what's going on. And a humidifier? hangs from the ceiling by a chain? in their... lab? Anyway they make the robot Jet Jaguar who goes and gets Godzilla so they can have a fite that's the real movie. It's batshit crazy, but a great episode! Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS Rewatch Season 2, Ep 11
Rewatch! There are few MST movies that are as full of ridiculous crap as this one, it's kind of amazing. On Earth a space message is recovered from Venus to which scientists affix the catchy name the "cosmic document." They don't know what it says yet, but they decide to bring it along with them on a trip to its home planet to meet its makers. Along the way we meet a team of people with the huge letter 'A' on their uniforms, an international team of weirdos, a chess playing robot that can't handle losing, a vaguely oppressive sleep computer, the oppressive crib mobile of Venus, a flood of killer goop and alien architecture straight out of Dr. Seuss. In the end the cosmic document gets decoded and turns out to be plans to destroy the world, so, that's nice. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE HELLCATS Rewatch Season 2, Ep 9
Rewatch! On Sunday: A kind of counterpart to The Sidehackers, directed both by its director Gus Trikonis and starring Ross Hagan, who played Rommel. Also, produced by Anthony Cardoza, who produced the Coleman Francis movies! A weird film, and the most biker-y of MST's three biker movies. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WILD REBELS Rewatch Season 2, Ep 7
Rewatch! On Sunday: They were reckless violent killers before it was cool, and they did it for the kicks! Three biker thugs and a lady, calling themselves "Satan's Angels," see what they did there, decide to rob the prestigious Bank of Citrusville, and the only one who can stop them is a former stock car racer who they perhaps unwisely approached to drive the getaway vehicle. One of those movies where no one is likable. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CATALINA CAPER Rewatch Season 2, Ep 4
Re-rewatch! On Thursday: A bunch of teens vacationing in Catalina engage in whimsical frolics, foil the playfully larcenous behavior of one of the teen's parents, and writhe rhythmically to music. The only teenage comedy MST ever did, and rather a classic episode because of it. Previously and previously. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SIDEHACKERS Rewatch Season 2, Ep 2
Rewatch! On Thursday: Rommel is a mechanic who participates in weird motorcycle races in his off time. He introduces the unstable J.C. and his gang to his sport, but events take a violent turn. A grimy and depressing take of shattered love and revenge. How did this episode become one of Mystery Science Theater 3000's earliest beloved classics? A lot of it has to do with the sport of sidehacking depicted in the movie, which is two-person motorcycling on a dirt track, with a driver and a rider who leans their butt way out on a sidehack to balance the bike out on sharp turns. An obviously extremely dangerous sport that's the subject of some hilarious extended riff runs. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MOON ZERO TWO Rewatch Season 1, Ep 11
Rewatch! On Thursday [4/16]: It's class warfare on the moon! A working-day moon savager is hired by rich-guy "Hundred Percent" Hubbard to help them crash a meteor made of gemstone on the moon. Problem is, the plot on which they crash is already claimed by a miner, Wild West style. Nefarious schemes are afoot up there in no-atmosphere zero-G. An okay movie made ridiculous by things like scantily-clad moon dancers and a board game called (groan) "Moonopoly." It's still Season One, but the riffing has improved a lot by this point. Three more episodes until Season Two! Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ROBOT HOLOCAUST Rewatch Season 1, Ep 10
Rewatch! One of the best season one episodes, and at the time/for a while the newest movie MST had done (the turnaround time was but three years), a bunch of people in goofy costumes traipse around a city park somewhere on a journey to the power station ruled by the eeevil Dark One and his second-in-command Valeria, who speaks her Rs as Ws like Elmer Fudd and the Homestar Runner. An amazingly silly movie, released directly to VHS. Previously. This episode will be a Sunday show. MST Club news inside-- [more inside]