6 posts tagged with fantasy and mikenelson.
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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]
posted by JHarris on Feb 28, 2018 - 7 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Feb 7, 2018 - 7 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Aug 24, 2017 - 10 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL  Season 7, Ep 3

"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]
posted by JHarris on May 3, 2017 - 12 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Feb 16, 2017 - 2 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Aug 17, 2016 - 6 comments

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