63 posts tagged with short.
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 18

Rewatch! A smart high school student makes terrible decisions, decides to help crooks steal "a million bucks!" out of a safe, and causes the death of several people. Roger Corman executive produces. This episode also has the short titled Out Of This World, which obviously given the name is about a bread delivery man being tempted to slack off at his job. His work ethic is the subject of a bet between an angel and a devil, as written of in the book of Sara Lee. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Aug 26, 2021 - 0 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RACKET GIRLS  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 16

Rewatch! Girls wrestle and wrestle and wrestle and wrestle. There's a plot about money laundering. But mostly, girls wrestle. It's pretty skeevy. Since the last time we did this movie, I've learned that it's actually kind of the second in a trilogy, of a set of movies connected by having the character of Umberto Scalli, played by Timothy Farrell. The lady wrestlers are played by real lady wrestlers. Has the short Are You Ready For Marriage, containing 100% more BOING than the standard short! Previously.
posted by JHarris on Aug 11, 2021 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SINISTER URGE  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 13

Rewatch! Ed Wood is the only one who can teach us about the dangers, the EVILS of pornography. Because Ed Wood is so pure and noble in that regard. Also there's a short, Keeping Clean and Neat, to teach kids about hygiene, so gather 'round kids, rather 'round the laptop! Previously. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 22, 2021 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SKYDIVERS  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 9

Re-rewatch! Coleman Francis wrote and directed three movies and MST3K did them all. It's telling that he made three films that he poured his sweat and soul into--and that all three are barely watchable, and among the worst of all movies. Bring lots of coffee! Also has the short Why Study Industrial Arts, so also bring along lots of fresh sawdust. Previously and again.
posted by JHarris on Jun 23, 2021 - 3 comments

Book: Navigate Your Stars

"For Tulane University’s 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship. Ward’s moving words will inspire readers as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether, like Ward, they are the first in their families to graduate from college or are preceded by generations, or whether they are embarking on a different kind of journey later in life." - from the publisher
posted by The corpse in the library on Jun 12, 2021 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BLOODLUST!  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 7

Rewatch! In which we find out, for a hunter, the most thrilling prey of all is Mike Brady (Robert Reed). Also has the short Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm! Also, the first episode with Pearl Forrester, long before the became an official Mad! And the fiddle player in the square dance scene, off-screen, is reputed to be Maria Bamford! There, I think that's all the interesting points. Riff away. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Jun 10, 2021 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEAD TALK BACK  Rewatch   Season 6, Ep 3

Re-rewatch! It's the third time we've shown this manifestly absurd film, about a parapsychologist with a Kermit-the-Frog voice who assumes that he has gravitas, and everyone else in the movie seems to believe it too. He lives in the basement of a boarding house with a collection of pseudo-supernatural trinkets, where he awaits the call of Law Enforcement when they need his, um, special talents. Sadly a lot of the movie is talking. Comes with a short, The Selling Wizard, in which a narrator and a mute pizza dominatrix jointly attempt to sell the audience on commercial freezer units. Previously and again.
posted by JHarris on May 13, 2021 - 3 comments

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.
posted by JHarris on May 6, 2021 - 4 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 TO THE MOON  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 24

Rewatch! At least I think it is, this is one of those movies it's easy to forget exists for some reason. This is another of those movies where half of the time amounts to: "Gee whiz! Space!" There's a lot of preparing and rocketry and interviews with intrepid scientists and getting ready to let's all go to space. With cats. Then we get to space and meet aliens. Who want our cats. The short, however, is Design for Dreaming, and it's terrific, just completely crazy, bonkers, nutso, a highlight of the show's entire run. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Apr 22, 2021 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RADAR SECRET SERVICE  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 20

Rewatch! The new space-age miracle science of RADAR will solve all problems, including that of catching criminals. The movie is a drag, but riffing on the short, Last Clear Chance, about a policeman who ominously shows up at a family home to issue dire warnings about traffic safety around railroad tracks, is terrific. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Mar 31, 2021 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE WILD WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 15

Re-rewatch! One of the most bizarre movies MST3K ever did. An opening scene in which three young women hold a strangely officious rite in which they induct a new member into being a "synthetic vampire," which in this world means being part of a crime-fighting organization headed by Batwoman (no relation to any DC Comics characters). But that's only the start of this deeply nonsensical movie, which involves an "atomic hearing air," a seance involving a spirit speaking offensive mock Chinese, and a weird hunchback named Heathcliff. Great riffing, but some people find it difficult to survive this one. Fortunately it comes with one of the show's best shorts, Cheating! Previously and again.
posted by JHarris on Feb 25, 2021 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TEEN-AGE STRANGLER  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 14

Rewatch! Someone's strangling teen girls and the blame falls on members a local gang. This is the movie with Mikey, the object of some scorn by the space-trapped human and his automated mocking machines. Has the short "Is This Love?", and you can just imagine how they treat that one. Previously.
posted by JHarris on Feb 17, 2021 - 1 comment

Pixar Popcorn: Full Season 1  Season 1, Ep 0

Grab a quick snack with Pixar Popcorn, a collection of mini shorts (under two minutes each) starring some of your favorite Pixar characters in all-new, bite size stories.
posted by ellieBOA on Jan 30, 2021 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS  Rewatch   Season 5, Ep 7

Re-re-re-watch! One additional "re" because this episode appeared during Turkey Day 2020! Is it a bit surprising that this episode is so beloved by fans? There's no malevolent stuffed toys, no Snuffleupigan aliens, no thrilling zamboni chases, no Mitchell, no Rowsdower, no giant turtle, no Torgo, no Ken, or Ken. Just the lying kid of a couple of rich drunk parents who turns to a life... of crime. The moment that makes this one for me is when Joel and the bots have built a mobile representing all the various contributing factors to Jimmy's problems, one of them is just the huge word STUPID floating by right in front of the camera. There's also the short The Truck Farmer, which, surprise, has little to do with trucks. Previousy, and again. This is the last MST Club episode show before the holidays--more info inside. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 16, 2020 - 12 comments

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
posted by JHarris on Nov 16, 2020 - 3 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BRIDE OF THE MONSTER  Rewatch   Season 4, Ep 23

Rewatch! An Ed Wood movie with Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson that isn't Plan 9 From Outer Space, it's still quite, quite awful. This episode also has part 1 of "Hired!", the Chevrolet/Jam Handy short. Previously
posted by JHarris on Nov 15, 2020 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE REBEL SET  Rewatch   Season 4, Ep 19

Rewatch! At our accelerated pace we're careening through the history of the show, and already we're nearing the end of Joel's last full (pre-revival) season. This is the one where the Chief from Get Smart (Edward Platt) tries to rob a train. There is a short, Johnny at the Fair, where a kid explores a World's Fair and meets Joe Louis and "the Hellzapoppin' boys," and is narrated by Lorne Greene, apparently! Previously
posted by JHarris on Nov 1, 2020 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN  Rewatch   Season 4, Ep 9

Rewatch! Consider the vast field of scientific endeavor, viewed through the eyes of a B movie screen writer, or those of a blockbuster screenwriter for that matter. If you don't understand it, you figure, no one else does either. In this way, such things as electricity, radiation, DNA, evolution, robotics and anything else dealing with computers are used as stand-ins for whatever effect the writer wants, regardless of how possible it may be in actual life. That's how Lon Chaney Jr's character is brought back to life by electricity in this movie. This episode also contains the second episode of the short Undersea Kingdom, which would be the last episode of it, and the last theater serial, MST would do. Previously
posted by JHarris on Sep 27, 2020 - 1 comment

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE KILLER SHREWS  Rewatch   Season 4, Ep 7

Rewatch! A group of people are trapped on an island during a hurricane, and if that's not enough dogs with rugs draped over them, that the scientist seems to think are "killer shrews," are desperately trying to consume the three times their body weight in food daily they need to survive. Before the movie there's the short Junior Rodeo Daredevils, with reckless child endangerment sponsored by Ol' Timer Billy Slater. Previously
posted by JHarris on Sep 14, 2020 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST  Rewatch   Season 3, Ep 19

Re-rewatch! The sequel to Bert I. Gordon's Amazing Colossal Man, shown in episode 309. The episode would probably be regarded as a sleeper if it wasn't for the short before it: MR. B NATURAL. Previously, first time - Second time [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 13, 2020 - 2 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: EARTH VS. THE SPIDER  Rewatch   Season 3, Ep 13

Rewatch! In this corner: weighing in at 5.97 sextillion tons, the source and home of all life in the universe, the planet Earth! In the other corner, weighing in at a respectable one ton for its phyla, "the" Spider! Fight! It's one of those 50s black-and-white sci-fi monster movies, this time involving teens and a sadly eaten father. Also has the short Speech: Using Your Voice. Remember: you must be heard, you must be understood, and you must be pleasing! Previously
posted by JHarris on Jul 23, 2020 - 0 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: KING DINOSAUR  Rewatch   Season 2, Ep 10

Rewatch! The first of eight MST movies directed by Bert I. Gordon, who certainly had a prolific career. In this one, space explorer land on Planet Nova and bring "civilization" to it by obliterating its native population of awesome dinosaurs with a nuclear weapon. Hey, it was the fifties. There's an automobile safety short that's kind of goofy too. Previously [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 28, 2020 - 3 comments

Book: Hugo Nominated Novelettes 2020

The 2020 Hugo Award Winning Novellettes - works between 7,500 and 17,500 words, or roughly 30 - 70 pages. This is including works by NK Jemisin, Sarah Gailey, Sarah Pinsker, Caroline M. Yoachim, Siobhan Carroll, and Ted Chiang (full texts as they are available in the post) [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore on May 23, 2020 - 2 comments

Book: Hugo Nominated Short Stories 2020

Hugo nominated short stories from Shiv Ramdas, SL Huang, Rivers Solomon, Fran Wilde, Alix E Harrow, and Nibedita Sen (links to the complete stories inside) [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore on May 1, 2020 - 3 comments

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
posted by JHarris on Mar 12, 2020 - 3 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Feb 27, 2020 - 3 comments

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.
posted by JHarris on Apr 17, 2019 - 4 comments

Love, Death & Robots: Netflix anthology of animated shorts (NSFW)  Season 0, Ep 0

Netflix drops a collection of mixed-style, animated, cross-genre (fantasy, science-fiction, horror, etc.) short films - NSFW. [more inside]
posted by jkaczor on Mar 16, 2019 - 61 comments

Star Trek: Short Treks: The Escape Artist  Season 1, Ep 4

Harcourt Fenton Mudd tries to talk his way out of a tight spot with an angry Tellarite. [more inside]
posted by mordax on Jan 4, 2019 - 12 comments

Star Trek: Short Treks: The Brightest Star  Season 1, Ep 3

Saru has an origin story. [more inside]
posted by mordax on Dec 7, 2018 - 15 comments

Star Trek: Short Treks: Runaway  Season 1, Ep 1

Sylvia Tilly attempts to have some coffee in peace. She fails. [more inside]
posted by mordax on Oct 5, 2018 - 17 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: SQUIRM  Season 10, Ep 12

"This was the night of the CRAWLING TERROR!" I have one more useful science factoid to teach you: if you run an electrical current through an earthworm, it'll become an aggressive monster and crave human flesh! But only while the current is running. This movie helpfully shows us the lethal consequences of downed power lines, which result in the depopulation of a small town. But it's a Georgia town, so, no worries. With the short A Case of Spring Fever: A film that warns us, for the sake of all mankind, to guard our tongues! Say no careless words in wishing for the absence of any petty thing that annoys you, for there may be an omnipotent spirit listening, and waiting, willing, even eager, to remove all those things from the universe just to spite you personally. To think of all the things our world has lost, all because some schmuck decided to say aloud he was annoyed with, say, immortality this week. One more film about unpleasant people in the South. Notable for containing the phrase, "You gonna be da worm face now!" The episode contains MST3K's last short, and it's one of the best. Episode 1012 is available on YouTube. Premiered August 1, 1999. One episode left. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 30, 2018 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN  Season 7, Ep 2

"Towering NEW Terror! No woman safe from his crushing arms..." A guy with acromegaly is kiling people, but when he takes refuge from the police in a blind girl's house he finds himself moved to help her. He goes and steals to pay for an operation that could cure her, but also kills people because I guess old habits die hard. The police punch his ticket, but for some reason she gets the operation anyway. With short The Chicken of Tomorrow: The hazy future promises advances in the raising of chickens. Science marches on! Poor Rondo Hatton died shortly after this movie was made, from the very acromegaly that established him as "The Creeper." Although the short is great, this is one of the worse episodes of Season Seven unfortunately. Host segments are interesting though, with Pearl's date having to face off with a surprisingly protective Dr. Forrester. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered February 10, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 26, 2017 - 7 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST  Season 7, Ep 1

"No girl was safe as long as this HEAD HUNTING THING roamed the land!" An astronaut dies on reentry. Aliens are emerging from his skin, including one really big one that roams the countryside, stopping watches. Everyone wants to kill it except the astronaut, who is now not dead and full of shrimp. With short Once Upon a Honeymoon: More celestial interfering with mortal affairs, this time with an angel helping a composer write a jingle so he and his wife can go on their honeymoon. Roger Corman again, this is his next-to-last featured movie. Daddy-O informs us that the exactly same costume and location were used in 315 TEENAGE CAVEMAN. This is a weird episode because there are two sets of host segments. The first showing was on Turkey Day 1995 and an alternate storyline was written involving Thanksgiving dinner with many of the show's Comedy Central movie cameo characters, making this a nice retrospective on the CC years. Because this is the first episode of the infamous Season Seven, only six episodes long and the end of the show's run on that channel. 701 701T (1h32m) Turkey Day '95 extra bits & alternate host segments Premiered: 701T on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995; 701 on February 3, 1996. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 19, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS  Season 6, Ep 21

"Special Guest Star playing a double Role TOR JOHNSON as the Beast" A Soviet scientist wanders the titular flats after getting subjected to moviedom's favorite evil-causing MacGuffin, radiation. Coleman Francis narrates most of his misadventures as he strangles his way through the wasteland while chased by policemen. At the end, dying, he caresses a rabbit. With two shorts: Money Talks, Because there's not a lot to do in the afterlife, the silhouetted ghost of Benjamin Franklin lectures a kid about saving and spending money wisely; and Progress Island U.S.A., Have you considered Puerto Rico? Because this short really, really thinks you should consider Puerto Rico. The last of the Coleman Francis trilogy. Although Paste Magazine's recent list (Metafilter) put this one near the bottom, both Satellite News and Mighty Jack think this is one of the best episodes. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered January 21, 1995. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2017 - 18 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: RED ZONE CUBA  Season 6, Ep 19

aka "Night Train to Mundo Fine" Oh god, we're HERE. John Carradine tells us (and sings!) about Griffin, who "ran all the way to hell." Griffin is who we follow, with two accomplices, as they engage of a series of pointless adventures, including participating in the Bay of Pigs (which is only the middle of the movie) and trying to muscle into a lucrative tungsten mine. With short Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance: Think tall! Talk tall! Stand tall! Walk tall! This film, another of the absolute worst MST ever did, offers an almost physical level of pain. It should be watched by diehards only, who will love this episode. But don't introduce newbies to the show with this one, or you might scar them. Good luck everyone. Against my better judgement, here is the episode on YouTube. (1h31m) Premiered December 17, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 1, 2017 - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT  Season 6, Ep 18

"The Kid Who Showed the Big Time How!" A supposedly-intelligent high school student makes a series of progressively worse decisions that lead ultimately to the deaths or critical wounding of every major character. With short Out of This World: An angel and a devil each try to convince a bread deliveryman to join the light or dark sides, respectively, of bread delivery, leaving unexamined the incredible theological implications. Fan opinion of this Roger Corman movie varies widely, but I like it. The short is pretty good, one of those ridiculous industrials where supernatural entites take great interest in some poor dope's work-a-day life. This episode is not available on YouTube due to a copyright claim. Apparently the entity "BentPixels" is protective of their rights over either this secondary school film noir or the celestial battle for bread delivery to resort to legal solutions. The episode premiered December 10, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 23, 2017 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SINISTER URGE  Season 6, Ep 13

aka The Young and Immoral. "Compulsive Killer Strikes Terror" "Frank... Daring... Shocking Realism" The police are trying to shut down a smutty picture racket while a killer, driven to insanity by pornographic nudity, preys on local women. With short Keeping Clean and Neat: An omniscient disembodied voice tells kids how to wash and perform hygiene. The movie is the last of Ed Wood's movies that Mystery Science Theater would cover. Reactions from the fanbase are mixed: Sampo of Satellite News thinks it's so-so, but some of the commenters, and Mighty Jack, love it. Wood made a softcore version of the movie the next year, and planned a sequel that was never made. YouTube (1h30m) Premiered November 5, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jan 19, 2017 - 6 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE VIOLENT YEARS  Season 6, Ep 10

"Teenage Killers Fearing No Law! Taking Their Thrills Unashamed!" Ed Wood wrote this lurid tale of a gang of violent young women on a rampage. With short Young Man's Fancy: Produced by Jam Handy for Edison Electric, in this stealth promo for electric appliances, a "squishy" teen girl tries to attract the attention of a boy by making dinner by herself. Chris "Sampo" Cornell of Satellite News considers this his "desert island" episode. Judge for yourself! YouTube (1h31m) Premiered October 8, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 29, 2016 - 9 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE SKYDIVERS  Season 6, Ep 9

"Thrill Jumping Guys...Thrill Seeking Girls... Daring Death with Every Leap!" A woman gets revenge on her philandring, skydiving husband. Puts heavy emphasis on those skydiving scenes. Remarkably boring. With short Why Study Industrial Arts: A young man enthuses about his woodworking class. The short is great, let's get that out of the way. This movie though... it's the first of the three Coleman Francis movies they did in the sixth season. All three are in that lowest-of-the-low tier. Frank himself says "It's like 'Manos' without the lucid plot." Fan opinion of the episode is pretty high, but the movie is so bad. I'm not sure if I've ever stayed awake all the way through it! Good luck everyone. YouTube (1h32m) Promo (28s) Premiered August 27, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 14, 2016 - 8 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: BLOODLUST!  Season 6, Ep 7

"The Foulest Passion of Them All!" Mike Brady is among the prey in The Most Tedious Game, hunted for sport by a rich guy. With short Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm: A whimsical fantasy in which a couple of city kids go to stay on their uncle's farm and don't claw their eyes out with boredom. The short's great, but the movie's kinda dull. This episode features a fateful introduction... it's the first appearance of Mary Jo Pehl as Pearl "Mother" Forrester! The fiddle player during the square dance sequence is not one of the main cast. It's someone you might have heard of! Check the episode notes for details. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered September 3, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 1, 2016 - 5 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE DEAD TALK BACK  Season 6, Ep 3

Meet Krasker! He's a lunatic who lives in the basement of a boarding house with his occult toy collection. For some reason the police admire and respect him, and want him help in their murder investigation. They enlist his radio that supposedly can speak with the dead to finger the killer. Even with the TWIST ENDING!!, no judge would allow this evidence. With short The Selling Wizard: Being a few minutes of footage of a pizza dominatrix pretty girl to affix the gaze of a presumably male audience while a narrator tries to sell them Anheuser-Busch grocery freezers. This is a remarkably bad film, maybe even in Manos territory. The movie was made in the 50s but not released until the advent of home video decades later. Krasker's a self-important weirdo who thinks the world revolves around him and his ridiculous collection of occult "artifacts," and in this movie that world is stupidly eager to oblige him. Fans are split about the worth of the episode, but I like it. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered July 30, 1994. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 26, 2016 - 6 comments

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]
posted by JHarris on Oct 19, 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: 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: 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: 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: 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

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