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 CORPSE VANISHES Rewatch Season 1, Ep 5
Rewatch! Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist who extracts brain juice from young brides to keep his wife young, because that's a thing that works. Come on, if it did Trump would be trying to suck it out of people's heads with a drinking straw. Both this and the previous movie are among the oldest films MST ever did, made in 1942. There's another Commando Cody short too, and some classic sketches, such as the robots saying bedtime prayers and the haircut bit. Previously
Rewatch! Space people crash on a planet, and leave behind a man and woman. The departing commander names the planet Earth, making the left-behinds Adam and Eve. Except since this is obviously before any terrestrial languages how did that name come down to us? And there are neanderthals on the planet too. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, is what I'm saying. At least it's in color. This is actually the last episode made of the first season, so it's not as quiet as some other 1st season episodes. This is the episode that gives MST its most popular catchphrase, Hikeeba! Previously [more inside]
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]
Rewatch! Evil Dr. Krupp, aka "The Bat" continues his plans to steal a treasure from the body of an Aztec mummy. This time he builds a robot to do it for him, which, why? Sell the robot, get more money than the treasure is worth! No matter. He's opposed by the virtuous Dr. Almada and the mummy, Popoca, itself. Also riffed is the first part of Commando Cody serial Radar Men From The Moon. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CRAWLING EYE Rewatch Season 1, Ep 1
Rewatch! Ambulatory eyeballs with tentacles descend from space and menace the inhabitants of a mountain town. It's the first cable episode again, and as before, it's kind of a tough row to hoe. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: STARCRASH Rewatch Season 11, Ep 6
Re-rewatch! Stella Starr and her platonic space wizard friend Akton are on the run from the space police, until they aren't, given a reprieve if they go find Space Emperor Christopher Plummer's son, David Hasselhoff. Along the way they meet a robot with a Texas accent, space amazons and their giant lady robot guardian, stop motion androids, a frozen planet, a traitorous crewman, space cavemen, trooper-carrying space torpedoes, and the evil Count Zarth Arn. An imfamously silly movie, but still fun, there's always something going on. Previously - Also previously [more inside]
One of the highlights of Season 11, Cry Wilderness makes even less sense than the standard Mystery Science movie. Paul is a kid living in a boarding school... but he's friends with Bigfoot... and his teacher doesn't believe in it and is angry with Paul except for when he isn't... and Bigfoot comes to Paul in a vision that his father is in danger... so he hitchhikes... and there's racoons... and a US Marshall with poor eating habits... and a couple of Native Americans, but one is dead... and he has an eagle... and there's an escaped circus tiger... it all makes absolutely no sense. Enjoy!
Coming in unexpectedly high among the episodes of Season 11 in the poll is Carnival Magic, a talking ape movie with a very low opinion of both traditional apes and the ones known as men. Particularly hard to watch, but the riffs lessen the pain... somewhat. Could be considered the Manos of the revival. Good luck with this one. Previously - Also Previously
A lot of 70s actors try to survive an avalanche caused by one actor's self-sighted building project. Some do, some don't. The audience certainly won't. Previously - Also previously
Welcome back to crappy fantasy land, where our apes are bats, and our conquerors have Dad Bod. Previously - Also Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE PUMAMAN Rewatch Season 9, Ep 3
#1 from our internet poll of most beloved Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes! A nebbishy white guy in London turns out to be the secret heir to a fantastic Incan/alien legacy of power. Yes, he, somehow, is THE PUMAMAN, as detected, by the much-more-appropriate Vadinho, by dint of throwing him out of a tall building and him surviving. The Pumaman's powers are needed because of the evil plot of the malevolent Dr. Kobras, played by Donald Pleasence, who, always a professional, does his best with a bad role. Let's all sing the theme song! "When, you want, the flavor of ba-con in a dip...." Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 7
Jimmy is a high-school student who writes essays about how great his family is, but in fact his home life is terrible. So, he goes right out and gets in trouble with the mob. Remember parents, if you don't throw your kid a birthday party they'll go out and crime it up, and lie about literally every. thing. Fortunately hamburgers dispensed by kindly diner owners are the cure for all moral lapses. Thank you cows, for being our huge lowing Jesuses! Previously Next week is the last episode in our poll tour. See inside for more information on MST Club.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THIS ISLAND EARTH Rewatch Season 7, Ep 7
Carl is a Serious Scientist who's been sent a parts catalog in the mail, but the parts are crazy-pants, and further the catalog describes how to build an "Interociter." which apparently can perform housework? and display video communications? Rather than returning that thing right back to Archie McPhee Carl decides to order the parts and build it. Amazingly, rather than being a hilarious practical joke at his expense, it presents the smiling face of Exeter, who invites him to join with other Human Scientists at their Laboratory. From there, let's just say the dominos have been set in motion, and a trip to space and a confrontation with Scrotor is inevitable. In the history of the show, this episode actually isn't the show, but MST: The Movie. It's been written up on Fanfare before, here. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY Rewatch Season 8, Ep 20
Rewatch! Commander Santa and aerobics witches! Slab Bulkhead and Back-From-The-Dead Susie! Apple II computer effects and stolen Battlestar Galactica footage! Calgon, take them away! Widely consider one of the best episodes, this South African production is hilariously strange. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS Rewatch Season 8, Ep 21
Rewatch! Nick is a high-school teacher with a secret--and no, that secret doesn't involve cooking meth. He's the inventor of a time machine! And its workings are an 8-bit microcomputer, who's have thought! It's really a shame that he turned to EvilCo for his first round of funding. I'm kind of surprised this episode placed so highly on the poll, I mean it's pretty good, but better than Manos? Soultaker? SCCTM? Hobgoblins? Time of the Apes? Master Ninja? A couple dozen other episodes? I mean, it tied with Starcrash! I guess it's one of those episodes that's grown in the years since first airing. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MITCHELL Rewatch Season 5, Ep 12
Rewatch! Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell, a cop that doesn't play by the rules. For example, the rules about drinking on the job. The rules about sleeping with prostitutes. The rules about interacting with other human beings, especially kids. Certainly the rules about nutrition and hygiene. There is a story here about a drug dealer and his henchman who Mitchell seems like is almost trying to annoy into turning themselves in. In the end the lasting impression caused by this movie can be summed up in two words: BABY OIL. You'll know why when it appears on screen. (shudder) In the show's history this episode is especially notable for being Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE Rewatch Season 4, Ep 24
Resuffer! For Halloween this year, we've moved an episode up an week. Spend All Hallow's Eve with us, Torgo and the gang! Previously. And we've got a whole bunch more Halloween stuff before and after at MST Club this week!
Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST Rewatch Season 7, Ep 6
Rewatch! A teen with a sad life finds a laser gun in the desert, which turns out to be a particularly bad influence on him. Fortunately the claymation lizard patrol is on the case. This was the last episode in the Comedy Central run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK Rewatch Season 8, Ep 22
Rewatch! In a corporate-dominated dystopia, poor Aram Fingals gets caught "scrolling up cinemas" and so he's sent for "prophylactic rehab" to a wildlife refuge where his mind is "doppled" into a baboon (thankfully not an anteater!) because that's what is considered restorative recreation in THE FUTURE. The process is overseen by Apollonia Jones and... look, there's so much pointless jargon in this movie it's using up my supply of scare quotes so I'm going to stop the description there. Just scrounge up some creds for a bag of flavo-fibes and join us and the sadly late Raul Julia for OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK. Previously.
Rewatch! And of course we'll be rewatching it again when the Christmas thingy roll back around. There are now three Christmas movie episodes of MST3K; this is the one that's "classically" the worst, appearing on many lists of the worst of all time.I like the idea of it, the willingness to take an absurd premise seriously, and the energy (most of) the actors bring to it. But then there's Dropo.... Previously. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MASTER NINJA I Rewatch Season 3, Ep 22
Rewatch! Some doof is traveling across the country, in that way that loners in 70s shows often do, accompanied both by a hamster and a master ninja that is teaching him the ninja-ey arts along the way. The ninja, inexplicably, is played by Lee Van Cleef. The "movie" is actually two episodes of the show "The Master" strung together. The episode, of MST3K, is a good example of the kind of thing that made the show so popular. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: DANGER! DEATH RAY Rewatch Season 6, Ep 20
A scientist made a death ray, insisting it's for peaceful purposes. He's been kidnapped, you say? Send in secret agent Bart Fargo Bart Fargo Bart Fargo to rescue him. Ba dup ba dup ba da dah? Ba dup ba dup ba da dah. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: WEREWOLF Rewatch Season 9, Ep 4
Time for snausages! A man gets werewolved by touching old teeth, kills some people, sleeps "nose to anus," and eventually passes his condition to his girlfriend. Remember to inform romantic partner about possible STDs. A popular episode! Contains both a host segment song and the "Tusk!" gag over the closing credits. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE FINAL SACRIFICE Rewatch Season 9, Ep 10
Rewatch! Come along with us on a road trip to the lost city of Ziox. Don't mind that pesky cult in our way; we've got Troy the Kid and Zap the Rowsdower coming too! We can do a sing-along! We're getting to the really classic episodes now. Ilana let us know last year that the actor who played Rowsdower, Bruce K. Mitchell, passed away. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SOULTAKER Rewatch Season 10, Ep 1
Rewatch! What awaits us after we die? If this movie is to be believed, we end up inside little rings such as the kind Sonic the Hedgehog collects, ferried back and forth through the afterlife by glorified deliverymen in black suits, overseen by the fearsomely-chinned Robert Z'Dar. A classic Season 10 episode, both for the ridiculous movie and for cameo appearances by both TV's Frank and Joel Hodgson, last seen in 624 and 512 respectively. Previously.
Rewatch! Like some mirror universe version of The Princess Bride, a grandfather tells stories to his grandson, but THIS grandfather is Ernest Borgnine, and THESE stories are horrible tales of soul-draining magic and deadly cursed monkeys, and THIS kid isn't getting any sleep tonight. A highlight of the Sci-Fi Channel run, we're closing in on the most popular episodes now.... Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA Rewatch Season 3, Ep 2
Rewatch! Up in the arctic, atomic tests run by Major Curley awaken a huge, slumbering giant from the deep... if you thought, "oh it's okay, it's just a big turtle," you might be surprised by the havoc it raises. Meanwhile, a sad sad kid in Japan is obsessed with his pet turtle, so his parents take it away from him, making him even more sad. Oh, how will their stories converge. First of the Gamera series. Other than perhaps Gamera vs. Barugon, the only Gamera without kids in it, this may be the one that plays it the straightest, without goofy enemy monsters, the Gamera theme song or other ridiculous elements. It's not terrible as a monster movie, but that subplot with Kenny pushes it over the edge into ludicrousness. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: POD PEOPLE Rewatch Season 3, Ep 3
Rewatch! Deep in the northwestern woods somewhere is a house in which lives a lonely boy with way too many pets. His newest pet, however, is from a species with serious aggression problems. Oh also there are poachers in the woods. Oh and there's some singers in town who are vacationing in those same woods. It stinks! Pod People, shown early in Season 3, is a hugely iconic episode of MST3K, and "It stinks!" quickly became one of the shows many, many catchphrases. And I think we can all agree: the pet alien from this movie would make a better president than our current one. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ALIEN FROM L.A. Rewatch Season 5, Ep 16
Rewatch! A young lady in California learns the oft-taught movie advice that, if she takes off her glasses and musses her hair a bit, men will be more attracted to her, and it only takes a trip to a dystopian underground civilization to learn it. This movie has a certain level of similarity to the Super Mario Bros. movie. This is a fan favorite episode, only the fourth episode P.M. (Post Mitchell), and back when it first aired it was the episode that really proved, after Joel left, that the show was going to be okay. Previously [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ANGELS REVENGE Rewatch Season 6, Ep 22
Rewatch! Young women fight drug dealers in a tawdry production. Remember to shine your love! Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR Rewatch Season 8, Ep 11
Rewatch! Considering the political reality of the USA right now, this movie's almost charming with how the villain is an evil Senator's brother, who runs a farm for stupid 70s people, clones of "important" folk, you know, like senators, to serve as living sources of spare body parts. Especially hilarious is the pseudo-Orwellian culture of the farm, which is like a sinister community college. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: HOBGOBLINS Rewatch Season 9, Ep 7
Rewatch! Plush toys with the ability to make people's fantasies a reality encounter some teenagers with severe issues, and the result is supposed to be a comedy. You knew it was coming. Any list of the best MST episodes invariably covers most of the worst movies, meaning we're back here again, at the extremely 80s, extraordinarily tawdry film (in the sense of being an oily coating) known to those unfortunate enough to have experienced it as HOBGOBLINS. To watch it is to feel like your brain is floating in a tub of slime: enjoy! Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GIRLS TOWN Rewatch Season 6, Ep 1
Rewatch! Silver is a rowdy young lady, committed to home for troubled teens Girls Town for a murder she didn't commit. The real culprit turns out to have done it in self-defense. Various people sing. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE CREEPING TERROR Rewatch Season 6, Ep 6
Rewatch! From the depths of OUTER SPACE comes a deadly shed containing two walking dirty carpets each festooned with vacuum cleaner attachments. Featuring the most ridiculous monsters in MST history, and that's saying something. What. A. Movie. This is the platonic ideal of a superbad z-grade monster movie. Terrible effects, horrible acting, a nonsensical script and nearly entirely dubbed dialogue. (muah) Exquisite! Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: RED ZONE CUBA Rewatch Season 6, Ep 19
Rewatch! We knew it was coming. Here, again, is one of the very worst movies MST ever did, most infamous of the Coleman Francis triad. A trio of criminals get involved in various adventures, go Cuba for a while, make it back to the states, do some nefarious things and die. As John Carradine says: "GRIFFIN. He went all the way to HELL." Between Cherokee Jack, Petey Plane, the "Sick Man" bit, the Dark Spectre of Food, and others, it's a classic episode, but, not for the weak of heart or quick to sleep. At least it's got a speech-and-posture short, unlikely savior it may be. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PRINCE OF SPACE Rewatch Season 8, Ep 16
Rewatch! We're starting to get into the weird ones. Prince of Space is a hilarious episode of our favorite cowtown puppet show, with an inexplicable hero (the invulnerable Prince of Space, who works as a Tokyo bootblack), annoying kids (PoS' child sidekicks) and easily one of the top five most ridiculous villains in MSTdom in the form of the chickenish Phantom of Krankor. HAAA... Haaa... haaa... ha. Just, for the love of decency, don't stare at the Krankorian crotches.... Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. BARUGON Rewatch Season 3, Ep 4
Rewatch! Second of the Gamera kaiju films, in which a spinning, jet-propelled turtle fights monsters and destroys buildings. This one was of the age where Gamera was still mostly feared, and it's the only Gamera movie without any kids in it! The monster he fights, with freezing tongue and rainbow destruction beam, is rather random. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. GAOS Rewatch Season 3, Ep 8
Rewatch! Another movie about Japan's fiery spinning menace who's also the friend to children. This is the third Gamera movie, and the third that MST has done. This is the one where Gamera makes the transition from menace to hero, to protect Japan from space vampire Gaos (or "Gyaos" depending on transliteration). Not nearly as weird as Gamera vs. Guiron, it still generally works as a monster movie, and may be the best of the Gamera films. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: GAMERA VS. GUIRON Rewatch Season 3, Ep 12
Rewatch! It's the first of three Gamera movies in a row, out of MST's five. This is by far the silliest of the lot. Two kids are abducted by space ladies that want to eat their brains, but are rescued by Gamera after a fight with knife monster Guiron. There's so much in this episode: the Bike Song, "Cornjob," dancing go-go, giant turtle gymnastics, and, of course: The Gamera Song. He is filled with turtle meat! Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEATNIKS Rewatch Season 4, Ep 15
Rewatch! No, they're not Beatniks. They're not even Boatniks. A young thug is content with a life of robbery until it turns out he can sing, but his grasping for fortune and respectability is held back by his jilted criminal buddies. It was directed and written by voice actor Paul "Boris Badenov" Frees! There's also a General Hospital soap opera short, which are unfortunately among the most boring shorts MST did, but does have their commercial for The Booze Council.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OPERATION DOUBLE 007 Rewatch Season 5, Ep 8
Rewatch! Sean Connery's brother sure can do a lot. Plastic surgery, hypnosis, martial arts and so on. His brother's taken time off to go to the future to worship a huge flying head, so Secret Agent Central Casting sent him instead. He's up against an evil organization that somehow convinced a flotilla of clothes-averse young women to work for them, in capacities ranging from showgirl distraction brigade to movie screen. M and Moneypenny are involved somehow. In case you couldn't tell, this is an extremely silly movie and fully deserving being thrown against a wall and mocked by joke-making machines.Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH Rewatch Season 8, Ep 14
Rewatch! It's another packaging of two TV show episodes (of Gemini Man) into a single "movie," such as with Master Ninja and Fugitive Alien. This one's about a Ben Murphy who can become invisible and is a spy, kind of, and a race driver. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD Rewatch Season 6, Ep 8
I have some issues with the internet popularity poll I made that decided the "top 50" episodes of MST3K to watch. This is one of the biggest of those issues. I'm not sure how Code Name: Diamond Head (an actual Quinn Martin, made-for-TV production) got as many votes as it did. I guess some people just like it. It's got the short A Day At The Fair, at least. Anyway, enjoy this failed pilot for a kind of spy series. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTA CLAUS Rewatch Season 5, Ep 21
Rewatch! Santa sees, hears, knows all. Up at his workshop in a castle hovering above the north pole he keeps his helpers, children from every nation. There they work on toys, singing all day long. They can do naught else, lest the forces of hell gain the upper hand. Fortunately Santa has the aid of Merlin and his magical inventions. Kind of a spin-off of the (nearly defunct) Santa's Workshop chain of theme parks, and deeply, deeply insane. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: QUEST OF THE DELTA KNIGHTS Rewatch Season 9, Ep 13
Rewatch! It is not rare for stories and movies, from Howard to Tolkien, to use a generalized sort of "times of lore" setting for fantasy, which doesn't do too badly if you don't push it too hard. This movie pushes it too hard. What the hell is a "Mannerjay" supposed to be, anyway? This is the one where Pearl riffs in the theater for the first quarter of the movie. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: FINAL JUSTICE Rewatch Season 10, Ep 8
Rewatch! Joe Don Baker is a Texas lawman who is sent to accompany a criminal being extradited to Malta. It's a fish out of water scenario, you see! Watch as our protagonist delivers illegal two-fisted American justice in a land wildly outside his jurisdiction with his belligerent catchphrase, "You think you can take me? Go 'head on." Something makes me think this movie didn't do very good business in overseas markets. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE WILD WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN Rewatch Season 5, Ep 15
Rewatch! MST3K has had a lot of goofy movies in its time. We watched one of the silliest, The Dead Talk Back, just last week. But in a field containing Robot Holocaust, Gamera vs. Guiron, Catalina Caper, Monster A-Go-Go, The Pumaman, Quest of the Delta Knights, Hobgoblins, Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, Cry Wilderness, Carnival Magic and Mac And Me, this may still, ultimately, be the silliest. A woman in lingerie organizes a bunch of other scantily clad young women to fight crime and play at being "synthetic vampires," while her nemesis, the dastardly Rat Fink, attempt to steal an atomic hearing aid, by using his irresistible dancing drug, created by his mad scientist cohort, and his minion Heathcliff, who... look, it's just too ridiculous. You can see it for yourself when we watch it Thursday night! Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEAD TALK BACK Rewatch Season 6, Ep 3
Rewatch! One of the sillier movies in MST's rich history, this film was made in the 60s but unreleased until shortly before the episode aired. Krasker is a self-styled occultist with a hilariously dramatic speaking style. He lives in the basement of a boarding house with a collection of "supernatural" artifacts that are laugh-out-loud funny even without riffing. For some reason the police hang on this cut-rate Sherlock Holmes' every word, and consult with him on murder cases, a premises so ridiculous that it demonstrates just how stupid it is when investigatory seances happen in real life. But mostly the movie stalls until its sub-Scooby Doo twist ending. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL Rewatch Season 6, Ep 14
Rewatch! What would Airplane! be if it weren't played for laughs, like, at ALL? It'd be a lot like San Francisco International, a pilot for a TV series heavily inspired by the movies that inspired Airplane!, like Zero Hour and the various Airports. So come back with us and linger in a place that most people want to pass through as quickly as possible. Previously.