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: THE MOLE PEOPLE Season 8, Ep 3
"TERRIFYING Monsters From A Lost Age!" Archeologists discover an ancient subterrainian civilization beneath a volcano and, using the awesome power of their mighty FLASHLIGHT, free the titular mole people from their oppression. A weird movie. In the original screenplay the underground girl Adal was supposed to go off with Our Hero, but because that might be seen as an interracial relationship they had her get squashed under a pillar! There's a lot of MST veterans in this movie, particularly John Agar and Hugh Beaumont. This is the episode with The Load, a remarkably burdensome member of the heroic party who exists only to slow them, and the movie, down. YouTube (Official, with annotations! 1h32m) Premiered February 15, 1997. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: INVASION U.S.A. Season 6, Ep 2
"It will scare the pants off you!" "SEE New York toppled! SEE San Francisco in flames! SEE Boulder Dam destroyed!" Oh PLEASE. A dime-store Svengali hypnotises a bunch of bar patrons that World War III has just occured, all because they didn't fear the Commies enough. Oops, spoilers! With short A Date With Your Family: Hugh Beaumont explains why a family should eat dinner together, literally telling us to pretend to enjoy each others' company. The short is terrific, another great introductory piece. The movie itself shouldn't be confused with the 1985 movie with Chuck Norris. People tend to either really like the movie portion or find it a snoozefest. I actually like it, but it's got a ton of time-filling stock footage. The host segments are mostly great throughout, and include the one time the late Mike Dodge appeared on camera, as the A-Bomb visiting on the Hexfield. BTW, this is another episode that's just not available on official VHS or DVD. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered on July 23, 1994. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS Season 4, Ep 20
"Made to Kill or Love on Command!!!" The first of a total of three movies starring Richard Kiel, best known as "Jaws" from the James Bond franchise. Here he's an alien who comes to earth to duplicate prominent people and replace them to pave the way for a space invasion. EHT NAMUH SROTACILPUD! There was an outpouring on the Blue a couple of years ago when Richard Kiel died. Regardless of the quality of movies he was usually in, he seemed to be genuine good guy. Len shared a particularly fun memory of Kiel. Extra bit of trivia for you, this was Hugh Beaumont's final screen role. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered December 26, 1992. [more inside]