254 posts tagged with mst3k.
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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: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS  Season 5, Ep 23

"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2016 - 2 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: SANTA CLAUS  Season 5, Ep 21

"An Enchanting World of Make-Believe!" All the aspects of Santa Claus that have enchanted kids for centuries are here: his floating palace high above the North Pole, his working relationship with Merlin the Wizard, his magical surveillance equipment, the many kids he holds captive in his singing work-dungeon, and his unending battle against the forces of hell. Merry Christmas! The second of the two MST3K Christmas episodes, and if anything even better than the first one. Santa Claus, made to give Mexican children their own version of the myth, is a truly disturbing movie. I say it does have its merits: the story of poor Lupita and her family is saddening. But don't worry, there's plenty of madness on display too, and the riffing is excellent. One of the best episodes. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered Christmas Eve, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 8, 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: 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

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE ATOMIC BRAIN  Season 5, Ep 18

aka Monstrosity. "Chained... to the Devil's Love Lab!" An old woman hired three beautiful women in order to have a mad scientist exchange one of their brains with hers. One of them gets put into a cat because brain swappery isn't an exact science. With short What About Juvenile Delinquency?: A teen has a change of heart when the gang he runs with mugs his own father. Great short, weird movie. That narrator, the focus of one of the host segments, is a dirty, leering sort. Commercial lead-in! - YouTube (1h31m) - Unriffed Premiered December 4, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 11, 2016 - 2 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: ALIEN FROM L.A.  Season 5, Ep 16

aka Odeon. "The people at the center of the earth are about to get a visitor." Wanda Saknussemm (Kathy Ireland) is a supposedly-geeky young woman whose archeologist father disappears down a deep hole. She goes to look for him and falls down same hole. On the other end is one of those "center of the earth" kinds of places, but instead of finding dinosaurs and prehistoric tribes it's full of Austrialians, living in a weird dystopia! The weirdness from there only escalates. Her improbable adventures cause her to lose the glasses and wear a bikini, making this the most laughable coming-out-of-her-shell story in memory. Another classic outing, with one of the most recent films they ever did. Alien From L.A. was made in 1988, produced by Cannon Group, stomping grounds of Israli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. For those who don't know, "Saknussmm" is the name of the guy from Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, indicating this movie was intended as an homage, though it really doesn't have a lot to do with it. The host segments in this one are particularly great. Dull surprise! Promo! YouTube, with annotations! (1h32m) Premiered November 20, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 27, 2016 - 3 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: MITCHELL  Season 5, Ep 12

"Brute Force With a Badge" "Joe Don Baker IS 'MITCHELL'!" Our lead is not so much an anti-hero as an un-hero. Police Detective (really?) Mitchell has little social skill, no friends besides his beer, and a disdain for the rules some would call incompetence. But sometimes, a man like Mitchell is just the cop we need to drunkenly stumble through the case. One of the funniest episodes of the show. Our hero is hilariously inept, but ends up being heroic mostly because, the movie seems to suggest, he's too stupid to be corrupt. Joel and the bots are at the top of their game here. This is show creator Joel Hodgson's final episode as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. YouTube, with annotations (1h32m). Premiered October 23, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 27, 2016 - 23 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: GUNSLINGER  Season 5, Ep 11

"Hired to kill the woman he loved!" A woman's husband is shot and, through line of succession, she is hired as the new sheriff. When she tells a local whorehouse to close at night, its proprietor hires a gunman to kill her. But he falls in love with her! How will this wacky situation end? In blood, natch. Corman alert! He uses one of his main actresses, Beverly Garland, who we saw in 503 SWAMP DIAMONDS, to lead this one. Daddy-O tells us this was his last Western. A couple of weird continuity issues are the subject of much mockery from Joel and the bots, especially in one of the later host segments. Speaking of whom, we approach the end of the Joel Hodgson era--the next episode is his last. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered October 9, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 22, 2016 - 7 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

MST3K Club FAQ 2.0

This revised post (original) describes how to join our weekly MST3K Club showings of Mystery Science Theater 3000, technical details of the show, and some minor related bits of weirdness. tl;dr: Watch the show at https://cytu.be/r/Metafilter_MST3KClub, at 9 P.M. Eastern/6 P.M. Pacific Thursday nights. Other topics covered involve technical details, preshow material, viewer controls and powers, and whimsical lore. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2016 - 0 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: OPERATION DOUBLE 007  Season 5, Ep 8

aka Operation Kid Brother, aka O.K. Connery. "NEIL CONNERY IS TOO MUCH" "Such close friends. Such beautiful enemies." The evil organization Thanatos, staffed primarily by a horde of young scantily-clad women who for some reason follow a middle-aged bald guy, threatens the world with their machine-breaking superweapon. It's just another Thursday at Secret Spy HQ, which by the way is staffed by a number of familiar faces. But the usual secret agent sent to solve these issues, you know the one, can't make it, so they recruit his plastic surgeon brother, to save the world. Fortunately, he's pretty much omnipotent. This movie is overflowing with weirdness, and it's another great episode. Example 1: it's scored partly by Ennio Morricone! Example 2: they got M (Bernard Lee) and Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) from the Bond movies to play similar roles with different names! Example 3: The Thanatos girls. I mean, have some self respect ladies. This episode has one of my personal favorite host segments, Joel's "I Know" sketch. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered September 11, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 1, 2016 - 6 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: EEGAH  Season 5, Ep 6

"The name written in blood!" "The Crazed Love of a Prehistoric Giant for a Ravishing Teen-Age Girl!" Somewhere in the California desert, in defiance of all known anthropology, lives, in a cave, a caveman, played by a cave-Kiel, who's been given unnaturally long life by sulfur water. He comes into contact with 60s youth culture, and ends up face-down in a swimming pool, dead. Shtemlo! It's a popular episode, with pointless dune buggy scenes, whimsical editing, and much oddness to be spied. Note: in one scene Kiel laps up shaving cream with his gigantic tongue, so you may not want to watch on a full stomach. And remember, watch out for snakes! YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 28, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 18, 2016 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD  Season 5, Ep 5

"All the Magic of 'Stone Flower' All the Power of 'Alexander Nevsky' All the Artistry of 'Grand Concert' Highly Recommended for Children" A strangely Russian Sinbad, upset with corruption in his home town of not-Bagdad, searches the world for happiness. This is the second of the Russo-Finish movies MST did, imports from the Soviet Union directed by genius filmmaker Alexandr Ptushko. Originally it was Sadko, a film production of an honest-to-goodness opera! One composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov! Vibrant, wonderous, astounding, and with music from the opera, this is much better fare than the SOL usually got. It is also a terrific episode, because the writing is the Brains at their best, and the movie, for all its wonders, is incredibly strange. Get your popcorn ready folks, this is one of the best. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed - Russian original Садко (Sadko) - With English subs - A performance of the opera Sadko (2h53m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2016 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON  Season 5, Ep 4

"Beautiful Women! Silver-Masked Men! Deadly Windmills! Karate Killings! Lethal Oriental Vases!" A secret agent from America goes abroad to investigate drugged chewing gum. Oh for the days when secret agents were regularly asked to look into ridiculous things. Why not leave it for the FDA? It's the first "Eurospy" movie MST would cover, a funky little genre that grew out of the huge popularity of James Bond. General consensus is this is an above-average episode, although it doesn't have the sheer stupid-power as the upcoming 508 OPERATION DOUBLE 007. YouTube (1h32m) - Trailer. Premiered August 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2016 - 4 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: HERCULES  Season 5, Ep 2

aka Le fatiche di Ercole "SEE the heroic Hercules rip down the Age of Orgy's lavish palace of lustful pleasure! SEE the Mightiest of Men fight the Mightiest of Beasts, the killer Cretan Bull! SEE Hercules fight off the savage love-starved Amazon women!" Joseph E. Levine brings us Hercules, big buttery Hercules, who engages in various adventures in antiquity. Don't come here looking for fidelity to myth. While based loosely on Argonautica, Herc plays a much larger role in this movie. The Brains cut up the movie to fit it in the run time unfortunately, so the story is pretty hard to follow. This is the episode with the wonderful "Hamilton, Joe, Frank, and Reynolds" and Match Game sketches, and has the first on-screen appearance of Mary Jo Pehl as a Minnesota Amazon. YouTube (1h32m) - Unriffed (1h44m) Premiered July 7, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 20, 2016 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD  Season 5, Ep 1

In the future Donand Pleasance has taken over the world as we all knew he would, and it's up to a gravelly-voice drifter and THE MOST ANNOYING TALKING MOTORCYCLE to save it, because the world sucks. Story is that director David Worth was shown the poster art and told to make a movie to go with it. This is the first of two appearances by Donald Pleasance on MST; the second is 903 THE PUMAMAN. This is the episode with "the Paper Chase guy," the Robitussin riff, Servo/Kevin Murphy's riffing on every face in a rapid pan of extras, and the inimitable Megaweapon, voiced of course by Mike. Many fans divide the show into "Joel era" and "Mike era" episodes, but I think the show is as usefully divided at this episode, where that Mike-era feel starts to appear. There are just 12 Joel episodes left. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 24, 1993. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 13, 2016 - 11 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: "MANOS" THE HANDS OF FATE  Season 4, Ep 24

"IT'S SHOCKING! It's Beyond Your Imagination!" "A cult of weird, horrible people who gather beautiful women only to deface them with a burning hand!" A family of three on vacation in the desert stumble upon a lodge run by the misshapen Torgo. Oh, what improbable secrets does the place hold? With short Hired!, part 2: The second half of the Chevrolet training short shown last week. ☠☠☠! Oh god! It's here! If it's not the worst movie they ever showed (a matter of some debate) it's a strong contender. It is not recommended that you make this your first episode of MST3K, or it may well be your last. The first eight minutes of this movie are just driving. The movie pushes Joel and company to the brink. The mad scientists apologize for the movie. Twice. YouTube (1h32m) - and here's the whole thing annotated, from the official MST3K YouTube channel! - And for sadists... ☠☠☠ UNRIFFED ☠☠☠ (1h9m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 6, 2016 - 16 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 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]
posted by JHarris on Mar 10, 2016 - 5 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: HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN  Season 4, Ep 12

"The weirdest! The wildest! Half woman! Half stone!" Hercules is so sleepy he can barely keep his eyes open, but there's rescuin' to do. The loaf-of-demigod travels there, rescues the titular women, defeats the evil queen, and... well, it takes place in Atlantis. You figure out what happens at the end. THIS MOVIE IS DEDICATED TO URANUS. There, it's out of my system for good I think. This is the last Hercules movie of the season. This episode gives us a short bit at the start where Gypsy is in the theater, and the host segment with the Hercules Inaction Figure. YouTube (1h33m) Premiered September 12, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 14, 2016 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAGIC SWORD  Season 4, Ep 11

"SEE the Green Fire Demons! SEE the 25-Foot Tall Ogre! SEE the Beautiful Vampire Woman! SEE the Boiling Crater of Death!" Lodac the Sorcerer has trouble finding a pet store that carries Dragon Chow, so he finds natural prey for it. Young George, a socially-awkward teen who's spent his whole life in a cave taken care of by witch Estelle Winwood, resolves to help protect the local princess population. The general consensus is that this is not a bad movie by MST standards. I concur; it's rather fun in a fairytale kind of way. Director Bert I. Gordon did good this time, and Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard helps to elevate things too. YouTube (1h33m). Premiered September 29, 1992. See comments for new information about our weekly showings.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 7, 2016 - 1 comment

MST3K Club: 2015 Christmas Marathon Discussion

Planning thread for MeFi MST3K Christmas Marathon 2015. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 21, 2015 - 21 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN  Season 4, Ep 10

"Planets on collision course as Earth's mightiest titan battles Moon Monsters!" Herc fights against rock monsters from space that are aided by the evil Queen Samar. Prepare for DEEP HURTING. This is the second "Hercules" movie the crew of the SOL witnessed, although in name only. Maciste is a venerable strongman character of Italian cinema that, alas, few Americans know about. So when this got released in the States he was renamed Hercules for this movie that has very little to do with mythology. This is the movie that has the interminable "saaand stooorm" sequence that drives our heroes to tears. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 22, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 17, 2015 - 10 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: HERCULES UNCHAINED  Season 4, Ep 8

AKA Ercole e la regina di Lidia. "Spectacles of Massive Might Beyond Any Ever Known Before!" "SEE The War of the Chariots! SEE Lydia the Temptress! SEE the Contest of Giants!" Hercules and his friend Ulysses (wait what?) get waylaid from an important mission by a sultry evil queen, who takes advantage of his drinking of the "waters of forgetfulness" to advance her romantic plans on the Hercster. This one marks the beginning of a new category for Mystery Science Theater movies, the sword-and-sandal epic. Most of these are fine episodes. Common to most: the meeting of the manly macho man-friends of Hercules, the customary Display of Strength, the evil trap that Herc falls into, the evil queen with designs on the Herc-meister, the Prance of the Courtly Nymphs, and of course the rampant muddling and conflating of ancient Greek works. YouTube (1h32m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 2, 2015 - 9 comments

Happy 26th Anniversary, MST3k!

At noon, on this day, 26 years ago, Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered on a little channel that we like to call The Comedy Channel. I thought this would be an appropriate day to contribute to the Kickstarter, so I did. Hi-Keeba!
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon on Nov 19, 2015 - 0 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

One Day, One Million Dollars, Hi-Keeba!

They're not getting the band back together, but Joel Hodgson IS trying to reboot MST3k with new episodes, new voices, new Mads, and a new host. Looks like he might do it. [more inside]
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon on Nov 11, 2015 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BEING FROM ANOTHER PLANET  Season 4, Ep 5

AKA Time Walker. "Nothing Can Stop Him. Not Even Time." A mummy, in reality a space alien, terrorizes a college campus. An extremely forgettable made-for-TV movie, and one of those films that's difficult to recall. About the most memorable thing I can say is that this is the episode in which the bots are terrified of the basement. Star Ben Murphy shows up again much later in the Sci-Fi Channel era in 814 RIDING WITH DEATH. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered August 4, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 4, 2015 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: CITY LIMITS  Season 4, Ep 3

"Just beyond our time, heroic young warriors stand between civilization and destruction." "On the border of adventure. At the edge of danger." It's after the apocalypse again, teenage motorcycle gangs rule the city streets, and a corporation wants to take over because EVIL. A classic episode, with many memorable bits: Joel's umbrella in the theater, Crow's fixation on Kim Cattrall, and two whole segments in which the guys invent members for their superhero team, the Fantastic 85. "Man Man! He has all the powers of a man, but he's a man!" Ernie was played by Dean Devlin, who produced Independence Day, the first Hollywood Godzilla (the one with Matthew Broderick) and Stargate. According to the IMDB, how actors were mentioned in the credits depended on their fate in the movie. So, John Stockwell IS Lee because his character survived, but Dean Devlin WAS Ernie because he kicked the bucket. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered June 20, 1992. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 21, 2015 - 5 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

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