31 October 2006
29 October 2006
Masters of Horror: "Homecoming" (2005)
In lieu of They Live 2, this will do nicely. (8/10)
d. Joe Dante
The Munsters: "Movie Star Munster" (1965)
Why were they really trying to kill Herman when it was supposed to be a scam? (7/10)
d. Jerry Paris
Masters of Horror: "Jenifer" (2005)
I was kind of hoping we'd flash-forward to 20 years later to see their happy, mutant children. (7/10)
d. Dario Argento
We're a bit late with the jack-o-lanterns this year:
Posted by Kernunrex at 23:56
420 - The Human Duplicators - It could be that I wasn't in the proper mood to watch an episode, but I felt like the writing wasn't quite up to snuff for the riffing this time out. This would've been written and filmed right in the middle of the holiday season. I bet they were just mentally on break already. I've sensed that before and this would explain the Mads' invention as well.
Android Professor: "My life is not the dull routine the general public might imagine." Agent Martin: "No, your niece is lovely." Joel: "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Wow, if it's not already in there, this exchange should be quoted in the dictionary entry for non sequitur. It's not even like there's a splice there where something was snipped out in the editing room. It's just a one-shot conversation between two characters that doesn't make any sense.
As soon as Hugh Beaumont appeared in the credits, I knew that we'd be treated to a return visit from the man himself in the hexfield viewscreen. Sure enough, the fourth host segment saw Mike once again dressed as America's favorite TV dad. Though they kept him in the same spaceship -- a flying, middle class suburban house -- everything else was different. Gone was the Evil Hugh, bent on bringing about the apocalypse while simultaneously insisting that people call him "Dad.". Instead, the guys are visited by Grumpy Hugh, who grouchily demands coffee and painkillers from an unseen secretary. I know they were just trying to riff off of the character Hugh plays in the movie, but it just wasn't as funny as the prior appearance.
Cool, a local kid got his letter about 414 read on the show. Hey Joel: it's a common mistake, but it's pronounced "Ip-sil-antee," not "Yip-sil-antee." Let's see, the kid would be about 25 now, which is enough time to go off to college and move back home. Off to check the phone book.... hey, he could be still hanging around. There's a couple people in the area with that name, though it's a really common one.
"Speak to me, fudge wall." (6/10)
film d. Hugo Grimaldi & Arthur C. Pierce [as Hugo Grimaldi] (1964)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (26 Dec 1992)
Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo (trailer)
The Shining (fake trailer)
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror 05-1: The Shinning" (1994)
Tales from the Crypt: "Dead Wait" (1991)
Guinan, no! (7/10)
d. Tobe Hooper
Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987)
The Intercessor vs. Beelzebub was the awesomest thing I've seen in a very long time. (8/10)
d. John Fasano
Igor and the Lunatics (trailer)
Bride of Frankenstein (trailer)
Looney Tunes: "Water, Water Every Hare" (1952)
Masters of Horror: "Sick Girl" (2005)
Kind of a lesbian version of The Fly, but fun and better than May. (7/10)
d. Lucky McKee
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (trailer)
Zombi 3 (trailer)
Happy Tree Friends: "Remains to be Seen" (2004)
Zombi 2 (1979)
It's hard not to appreciate a flick that has a zombie wrestling a shark. (7/10)
d. Lucio Fulci
Watched with C and chowed on some Pizza House. By the time Zombi 2 arrived, he was out for the count. I made sure to clap my hands really loudly so that he woke up to see the shark and eyeball scenes. Employed the inflatable pumpkin cooler for the first time, which held beer and Dr Pepper quite nicely. Sweet Halloween cuppin' cakes were also enjoyed:
28 October 2006
27 October 2006
Tales from the Crypt: "Abra Cadaver" (1991)
The interior monologue was a little hard to take seriously. (7/10)
d. Stephen Hopkins
Tales from the Crypt: "Top Billing" (1991)
John Astin ensures this is a lot of fun. (7/10)
d. Todd Holland
Zombie: Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Same zombie goodness in a slightly different edit, though I'm not a fan of the new music. (8/10)
d. George A. Romero
[watched whilst wearing a DotD T-shirt, dork that I am.]
26 October 2006
Halloween Returns to Haddonfield 25th Anniversary Convention (2003)
The Fans of Halloween (2003)
Halloween 9 Contest Drawing (2003)
Halloween: Michael Myers Panel Discussion at the H25 Convention (2003)
Halloween: Director of Photography Panel Discussion at the H25 Convention (2003)
Halloween: Producer Panel Discussion at the H25 Convention (2003)
Viscious Disorder: "Pure Evil" (2003)
Halloween Interviews (2003)
Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006)
Especially amazing that it was put together by fans, this covers the good and bad of the eight movies and the franchise quite well. (7/10)
d. Stefan Hutchinson
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
All you need to know: a rapper-actor zaps Mike in the sack with a live wire. (4/10)
d. Rick Rosenthal
Halloween: Resurrection: WebCam Special (2002)
The lipstick cam idea was interesting; too bad about the awful script. (5/10)
d. Rick Rosenthal
Deleted Scenes (2002)
Alternate Endings (2002)
Storyboard Comparisons (2002)
Tour of Set with Production Designer (2002)
On the Set with Jamie Lee Curtis (2002)
Head Cam Featurette (2002)
25 October 2006
419 - The Rebel Set (w/ Johnny at the Fair) - I think I was nearly more interested in following the movie than I was the riffing. It really wasn't that bad of a flick. It's not Strangers on a Train, no, but it was an interesting little crime picture. Still, crime films from this era always share a common flaw that ruins their endings. Because of the Hays Code, you already know that the criminals, even the sympathetic ones, will either be dead or arrested before the credits roll. Boring.
Crow: "There's something you don't see everyday, Chauncy." Servo: "What's that, Edgar?" Crow: "Priest beatin' the hell out of a guy in a factory." Solid season four-style riffing once again. I wasn't a fan of the host segments this round, though. The only one to bring a smile to my face was the segment in which the guys describe what they'd do on a four-hour layover in Chicago. Servo's plan was my favorite and was the easy pick, as it did not require sensible shoes.
Finally, the shorts are back! Woo! No more side trips into serial- or soap-land. This was exactly the perfect short to pick for the show. It's one of those goofy looks into the past and that makes you wonder what people were thinking back then. How was showing a kid getting lost in a huge crowd of a quarter-million people supposed to make you feel comfortable going there with your own family? No matter, the situation provided plenty of opportunities for the guys to goof on.
Ah, those rough-and-ready days before the Internet. According to the ACEG, the guys really didn't know who the conductor in this film was. Hence, the final, not particularly funny, host segment in which they argue over which recurring actor played the conductor. With five seconds and the help of the Internet, I can confirm that it was, indeed, not Merritt Stone. He was a policeman in War of the Colossal Beast, Carol's pop in Earth vs the Spider, the preacher in Tormented and the king in The Magic Sword. The conductor, played by Gene Roth, was the sheriff in both Earth vs the Spider and Attack of the Giant Leeches and the lunch stand guy in Tormented. You know, they really don't look anything like each other (Gene on the left, Merritt on the right):
"Then Johnny transmogrifies. He's a shape-shifter and he breaks the fourth seal." (7/10)
film d. Gene Fowler Jr. (1959)
short d. Jack Olsen (1947)
mst d. Trace Beaulieu (12 Dec 1992)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
This would've been a great place to let Mike simply R.I.P. (7/10)
d. Steve Miner
Halloween H20: Unmasking the Horror (1998)
Half of this documentary is just effusive praising of the original (5/10)
Creed: "What's This Life For" (1998)
23 October 2006
Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Attack of the the Eye Creatures" (1992)
[A Year on the Satellite of Love] (7/10)
d. Joel Hodgson & Larry Buchanan
Masters of Horror: "Deer Woman" (2005)
Wretched writing with terrible acting except for Benben, but I like everything about the Deer Woman herself. (5/10)
d. John Landis
[I feel guilty about owning this (for my MoH collection only) and An American Werewolf in London. I'm glad I'm not a Blues Brothers or Animal House fan so I'm not tempted to sully my DVD shelves with any more of this guy's stuff. I've read this. Still need to read this.]
The Munsters: "Come Back, Little Googie" (1965)
Mumy's a monkey! (6/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
The Munsters: "Far Out Munsters" (1965)
The Munsters hang with a bunch of beatniks and hippies and Lily proves she has quite a set of pipes. (8/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
The Munsters: "Munsters on the Move" (1965)
The Munsters tackle the lingering hurt from the eminent domain-fueled construction of the expressway system in their own way. (6/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
418 - Attack of the the Eye Creatures - This movie was great. The "they just didn't care" parts were incredibly entertaining. I couldn't believe it when the the extra eye creatures starting appearing dressed only in black bodysocks. The day-night mix-ups were pretty standard for this type of film and it seems like a number of recent experiments have had this problem. Considering the rather large plot point on how to dispatch these creatures in this particular picture, the day-is-night shooting was one of the funnier budget-saving flubs I've seen in a film.
Hmm, another host segment dedicated to some random actor who resembles a character in the movie. Never heard of this Earl Holliman guy. I gather he was on the writers' minds because of the series of commercials that preceded the short-lived sitcom Delta, not that that helps any of us non-Holliman fans nowadays. Of course, the power of the writers' fetish for some '70s show called Police Women was also a factor, as they've mentioned that program in the past as well.
The "Eye Creature Accessories" host segment was fun. We got about a month's worth of invention exchanges in there. I think my favorite item was the giant, multi-armed mascara. The thought of the the Eye Creatures trying to apply makeup to their lashes is amusing on its own. And, unlike the preceding segment, it doesn't matter whether you know who Rip Taylor is; the guys are just acting goofy.
I wonder if Larry Buchanan has ever seen his portrayal in the final host segment of this episode? If so, I bet he joined Sandy Frank's MST fanclub.
"That night. The next morning. Sometime that evening." (7/10)
film d. Larry Buchanan (1965)
mst d. Joel Hodgson (5 Dec 1992)
22 October 2006
417 - Crash of Moons (w/ General Hospital [segment 3]) - (aka Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Crash of the Moons, Part 1" + Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Crash of the Moons, Part 2" + Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Crash of the Moons, Part 3") Rare for this season, this was an episode I didn't really like all that much. Its prequel, Manhunt in Space, was a much funnier episode. I think the guys should've stopped at one Rocky Jones adventure and called it good. Not only is the movie itself more painful than the previous one, the riffing just isn't as sharp. I chuckled a few times, but it didn't seem like JatB were on their 'A' game today.
Finally, the soap opera actually gets into an expected soap-style situation. Dr. Someguy secretly loves Ms. Whoknows, even though they are married/engaged to other people. Not knowing who any of those people are, this juicy tidbit doesn't really mean anything to me. Not really exciting stuff. The soaps were an interesting experiment, but they don't fit with MST very well.
Wow. I got my degree in English literature, but even I can tell that the physics in this movie were beyond questionable. OK, so there are two moons orbiting a common baricenter and traveling through space. I think this would probably be called a binary dwarf planet system these days, but whatever, we'll call them moons. One of the moons in this system is on a collision course with a planet. Rocky and pals, in their wisdom, decide to evacuate (*snicker*) the inhabitants of one of the moons... onto the other moon. Waitaminute. These two moons are shown to be so close to each other that they share part of their atmospheres. What do they think is going to happen to the safe moon when the other explodes on the surface of that planet? Strong northern lights in the sky?
Who knew that the Nickelodeon programming department of the late 1980s and early 1990s would've been so important for my enjoyment of this show? As a tot, I spent a lot of time at my nearby grandparents' house (Happy 90th birthday tomorrow, Grandpa!). One set of shows the three of us all enjoyed watching together were the reruns of '50s and '60s shows on Nickelodeon. From Leave It Beaver to Dobie Gillis to Get Smart, we enjoyed a variety of them. During my MST watching, this pop culture experience has come in useful countless times. Hundreds of riffs would've been lost on me had I not wasted thousands of hours in front of the tube catching up on the previous 30 years of television.
However, I didn't watch every single rerun available on that channel. One show that I was never interested in was Hogan's Heroes. To my child-eyes, it just didn't look like something I wanted to sit through. Twenty years later, I paid for this disinterest. Not one, but two entire host segments were wasted as a reference to one of the characters on this show. I'm sure those familiar with Sgt. Schultz were amused, but, like I said before, I hate seeing host segments used solely for pop culture references.
"Ew, yuck. You can see Rocky's whole area." (6/10)
film d. Hollingsworth Morse (1954)
short d. ?? (1963)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (28 Nov 1992)
Tales from the Crypt: "Loved to Death" (1991)
If it's not mannequin lady trouble, it's nutso love-potion-poisioned lady trouble for poor Andrew McCarthy. (7/10)
d. Tom Mankiewicz
Tales from the Crypt: "Carrion Death" (1991)
A great one-and-a-half man show, if you ignore the fact that he carried a corpse for 6 miles before figuring out that he could cut off its hand. (7/10)
d. Steven E. de Souza
Tales from the Crypt: "The Trap" (1991)
Getting a guy convicted for killing himself for his own insurance money is classic. (8/10)
d. Michael J. Fox
21 October 2006
The Munsters: "Follow That Munster" (1965)
Ah, Herman, why the racist Asian charicature? (5/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
Tales from the Crypt: "My Brother's Keeper" (1990)
Not as crazy or as funny as it could've been. (5/10)
d. Peter S. Seaman
Tales from the Crypt: "The Secret" (1990)
Even in 1990, day-for-night shots looked like hell. (6/10)
d. Michael Riva
Tales from the Crypt: Season II Shockumentary (2005)
Much more informative than last season's featurette. (6/10)
d. Eric Matthies
The Munsters: "Love Locked Out" (1965)
It really doesn't take much to piss Lily off lately. (6/10)
d. Charles T. Barton
[Watched 100 miles north of homebase at Mom's house]
Young Frankenstein (trailer)
Man with the Screaming Brain (trailer)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force: "Broodwich" (2003)
Dust Devil: Final Cut (1992)
As if Argento and Leone met and had a bastard child. (7/10)
d. Richard Stanley
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (trailer)
Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing (trailer)
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror 04-3: Bart Simpson's Dracula" (1993)
Masters of Horror: "Chocolate" (2005)
Some nice bits, but overall too goofy for my tastes. (6/10)
d. Mick Garris
Tales from the Crypt: "Television Terror" (1990)
One of a long line of trash TV host parodies. (6/10)
d. Charles Picerni
Gave Jones Soda Candy Corn a try this week. It was every bit as unimbibable as I remembered. Pop is pretty much carbonated corn syrup in the first place. Candy corn is solidified corn syrup. Mix the two together and you've got Jones' special teeth-rot concoction #9. Strangely, I found it more drinkable if I first ate some leftover Good & Plenty.
Watched with C again. He began to doze even as the first movie rolled. I again had to explain that, while he was asleep, the Dust Devil arrived in a UFO with a bumper sticker on the back reading "I'd rather be in Wolf Creek."
The Dead Boys guard the DVD collection:
19 October 2006
416 - Fire Maidens of Outer Space - Holy crap, Timmy is scary. The fact that he doesn't say a word, except when inaudibly whispering evil things to Crow, was brilliant. Jef Maynard did an excellent job of puppeteering Crow's evil shadow during the theater segments. I love how he very slowly crept up out of a seat on the left-hand side of the screen. For minutes at a time, Timmy did nothing but move around very slightly. After quite a while, he snuck over to Servo and began to pick on him. I have no idea what was going on it the movie during this; my eyes were on Timmy.
The universal switch host segment should've been played around with a little more. Timmy only got it to mess up Servo and Joel twice by using it. Though Joel-as-a-clown and Servo on a spit was funny, I wanted more. I suppose thinking of appropriate ideas, finding the time to squeeze them into the segment along with everything else, and taking the time to change costumes and setups prevented that.
The movie itself was mostly wretched. As the guys repeatedly lament, the padding-upon-padding was extremely painful. I haven't seen so much footage of people sitting around doing nothing since I accidentally flipped to C-SPAN. On the other hand, the barely concealed sexuality threaded throughout the entire film was fascinating. Ah, if only Doris Wishman had directed instead.
"You know, as always, the answer's tobacco." (7/10)
film d. Cy Roth (1956)
mst d. Trace Beaulieu (26 Nov 1992)
415 - The Beatniks (w/ General Hospital [segment 2]) - Based on its title and genre -- '50s youth in trouble -- I was really hoping this was going to be Daddy-O II. It was! Like that previous experiment, this episode was a pleasant surprise full of strong riffing. Eddy: "What's your name?" Helen: "Helen Tracy." Crow-as-Eddy, in a sultry voice: "That's my name, too." I was brought to tears of laughter a few times during this episode.
It seems as though the General Hospital segments are unrelated to each other. Either that, or I'm just not able to follow them. This one was better fodder for the show than the last. It featured an incredibly awkward dinner party that provided ample grist for JatB's riff mill. I think the soap opera segments are working out just slightly better than a chapter from a serial. I'd still rather have an educational short, of course.
Eddy, smoking, embraces Helen. Crow: "Let's create this scene from Videodrome." Woo-hoo, a David Cronenberg reference!
Joel... pocket pool? Kinda racy for the show, ain't that? Maybe it isn't for a blink-and-it's-gone riff, but for an invention exchange it seemed way out of character for him. Ah, wait a minute. I wonder if he was goofing on the Ron Popeil's infamous Pocket Fisherman that was sold on TV at the time and not the slang term? Could be, could be.
"You smell like chicken-fried punk." (8/10)
film d. Paul Frees (1958)
short d. ?? (1963)
mst d. Joel Hodgson (25 Nov 1992)
18 October 2006
Turkey Day '92 - A little disappointing compared to last year's Turkey Day. There was only about half as much content this year and many of the bumpers were recycled. The premise wasn't quite as fun, either. Last year, Dr. F tried to take over the world using his MST3K marathon while Frank hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for friends. The variety that the influx of guests brought is gone this year, replaced with Dr. F force-feeding Frank a turkey for each movie. It's a one-note joke that gets repeating 15 times in a row. Still, I always find Frank's not quite convincing screams of "nooooo!" funny, as well as most anything else he does. We get to see Frank more in these annual Turkey Days than were do in an entire season of host segments.
The movie selection for this year was great. Rock climbing, a Martian Christmas, songs about giant turtles, songs about Kim Cattrall, and Lee Van Cleef in pajamas make for some good times. The only dud here is the ultra-boring The Unearthly. However, we do get two -- count 'em -- two premiere episodes for the holiday, book-ending the marathon.
25 Nov 1992
18:00 415 - The Beatniks
20:00 322 - Master Ninja I
22:00 401 - Space Travelers
26 Nov 1992
00:00 208 - Lost Continent
02:00 403 - City Limits
04:00 317 - The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent
06:00 402 - The Giant Gila Monster
08:00 210 - King Dinosaur
10:00 321 - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
12:00 411 - The Magic Sword
14:00 404 - Teenagers from Outer Space
16:00 408 - Hercules Unchained
18:00 320 - The Unearthly
20:00 312 - Gamera vs Guiron
22:00 416 - Fire Maidens of Outer Space
23:59 This Is MST3K
To celebrate this pseudo-holiday, I ordered myself a pizza from a non-special joint just the way I like it: green olives only. Odd? Probably. But, tastey to me. That tided me over during 415. Before spinning 416, I had to make myself a little dessert using these ingredients:
Yes, I mixed myself up an honest-to-God Killer Shrew. Thanks to Servo and Crow's recipe from 407, I was able to include a for-real MST3K mixed drink in my celebration. As you can see, I was forced to make a few minor substitutions. Coke no longer makes Mr Pibb, so I replaced that with Dr Pepper. This suits me fine, as I'm a DP man, myself. As it is not Easter season, the Marshmallow Peeps chicks were swapped for ghosts. It's Halloweentime, so this is perfectly acceptable. Throwing all of this stuff into a blender using the proportions recommended looked like this:
For fear of choking on a whole Sweet Tart, I blended the mixture much better than Joel did on the show. I gave it a nice, long mix on both "grind" and "puree." When I was satisfied, I dumped it into a glass and garnished with a gummy bat (a wind-up shrew didn't sound very edible):
The photo on the left is what I had in front of me before 416 started. The right-hand picture shows the results ninety minutes later. I think I did quite a good job. I really wanted to "Fear Factor" it, but the lack of a $50000 reward left me with little motivation to put that much processed sugar into my body all at once. I was proud to get half of it down.
What was this magnificently brown sludge like? It tastes pretty much like Mrs. Butterworth's syrup with Cap'n Crunch in it. This is to say, terrible. The flavor of the M&M's, circus peanuts, ice cream, frosting, Good & Plenty, and even the Dr Pepper just disappeared in to nowhereville. The Peeps contributed by giving the whole thing the consistency of mashed potatoes. The sludge also reeked like a dumpster in the alley next to an IHOP, which required a holding of the nose in order to swallow it down. Sorry Joel, Crow and Servo, I just don't see this showing up at the local bars anytime soon.
"Gene Hackman, we're really sorry." (7/10)
mst d. ?? (25-26 Nov 1992)
17 October 2006
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
It starts off as an OK slasher, but devolves into an awful, awful mess by the end credits. (5/10)
d. Joe Chappelle
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers: Producer's Cut (1995)
The story makes much more sense and the music is far better, but the Thorn motivation for Mike is still not what I prefer. (6/10)
d. Joe Chappelle
Behind the Scenes: Special Effects (1995)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Promotional Featurette (1995)
Entertainment Tonight: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Panel Discussion at the H25 Convention (2003)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Tormented" (1992)
[A Year on the Satellite of Love] (7/10)
d. Kevin Murphy & Bert I. Gordon
The Munsters: "Dance With Me, Herman" (1965)
Did Don Rickles ever look young? (7/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
16 October 2006
This Is MST3K - Created by Comedy Central and not BBI, this is really just a half-hour long commercial for the show. Here are some clips from the show. Here's Penn Jillette explaining why the show is smarter than you. Here are some critics who think it's great. Enter Doogie Howser, M.D. with his opinion...
As a behind-the-scene documentary, TIM is useless. The interview footage with BBI probably totals two minutes at most. There are fleeting glimpses of some behind-the-scenes work, but the camera never lingers more than a tick of the clock. The writers' room and the puppeteer area behind the console make fraction-of-a-second appearances, but that's about it.
Which is all disappointing. Joel is leaving in less than a year. I think this is the only footage I have of him speaking seriously about the series. Well, outside of the minute-long "Making of" clip from last year's Turkey Day, but that's footage culled from the same sit-down (why did they film the interviews a year prior to the release of this show, anyway?). Ah well. Joel will forever be a mysterious figure in the history of MST3K.
"You can get away with saying a lot of things with a puppet that you can't say with a human." (5/10)
cc d. Bill Price (14 Nov 1992)
414 - Tormented - I am generally against this remake kick that Hollywood is on, but I think this flick could be really cool if it were amped up with modern FX and sensibilities. The ghost FX are already pretty good for the era. The apparition of Liz was appropriately see-through and had a gown that flapped around in a spooky ghost-wind. Throw in a couple of shots of her doing the "Librarian from Ghostbusters" thing and it's gold. Similarly, the wedding scene -- where the flowers wilt sequentially as the invisible ghost walks up the aisle -- was nice. It'd be better with, maybe, some digital, Silent Hill-style wilting of the entire room. That'd be neat.
Milkman: "Five thou" Joel: "'sand dollars." Once again, I have no complaints about the riffing. The guys are really on a roll now. The MST3K machine is well-oiled and humming along the tracks at a steady pace. I suppose four years of practice will get you to that point. There haven't been any gut-busters like my beloved 303 yet, but season four has been solid as a rock so far. "Wait a minute. Were you just walking on all fours?"
I thought that the repeated "Sessions Presents" compilation CD parody riffs might start to get old, but they didn't. They were all very well-timed, fast paced, and perfectly performed. There were a lot of long shots of the beach that lingered for too long; something had to be done with them all. It was fun to hear the guys constantly taking turns singing one line from a song.
After four years, Jim Mallon temporarily retires from the director's chair with this episode. Maybe he wanted more time to concentrate on the development of Gypsy? At any rate, I could barely detect any difference in the host segments. I did especially like the finally segment. In that one, JatB sing a completely goofy, cheerful song to shake the lingering bummer feeling the movie left. You can't go wrong with a goofy song on this show.
"Seems like a really nice guy. Just wish he wasn't blackmailing me." (7/10)
film d. Bert I. Gordon (1960)
mst d. Kevin Murphy (26 Sep 1992)
15 October 2006
413 - Manhunt in Space (w/ General Hospital [segment 1]) - (aka Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Pirates of Prah, Part 1" + Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Pirates of Prah, Part 2" + Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: "Pirates of Prah, Part 3") "Here comes Nurseferatu." A segment from an old soap opera seems like an odd choice as a short for the show. I would guess that, generally, the overlap between the soap opera fanbase and the MST3K fanbase would be pretty small (unlike, say, the bad sci-fi movie fanbase). On the other hand, I bet a lot of MiSTies, like me, remember their moms watching certain soaps. My mom was a Days of Our Lives gal, herself. Their choice of soap segment wasn't terribly exciting. I was hoping for more ORGAN STINGS for MELODRAMATIC MOMENTS, kind of like the host segment that followed. Instead, it was just a scene of a doctor revealing a tough hernia diagnosis to a rival doctor's wife. But, I'm game for the experimentation. We'll see how segment 2 in 415 works.
This is one of the rare episodes in which the riffing gets better as it progresses. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that the movie is actually three TV episodes. Perhaps episode three was better for riffing? Some of my favorites were the riffs about the traitorous Ken in that part of the movie. "Stop accusing me!"
Crow: "...and all that 'Try to kill him with a forklift'..." Joel: "Crow, listen, that was like 20 episodes ago." Twenty-seven episodes ago, Joel. Time flies when you're in space, eh?
Mike's back in the hexfield viewscreen. Always good news. This time he's Winky, Rocky's geeky sidekick. Hilarity ensues as the conversation devolves into a shouting match between Winky and Servo. "I'm the swinger and you're nothing! You're nothing!" His hometown doesn't look like a bad place to live, though.
The final host segment with Crow transformed into an electric guitar and Servo serving as his amp was one of the funniest in recent memory. Crow-as-a-guitar looked utterly bizarre and Kevin Murphy did a fantastic job of keeping up with Joel's strumming. I also loved Servo singing this week's letter in a rock-and-roll voice. This is the kind of goofy stuff that makes me a fan. Very fun.
"Your pockets are speaking to you. They're trying to tell you something!" (7/10)
film d. Hollingsworth Morse (1953)
short d. ?? (1963)
mst d. Jim Mallon (19 Sep 1992)
The Indestructible Man. Who The Indestructible Man. Who eventually got destructed. But I get ahead of myself. First, something about the Undersea Kingdom or some such. I didn't see the first installment, but that's ok, I think I picked up on it pretty fast. I kinda liked the low rent robots that were firing on Our Heroes at the start. I was making "sea horses" riffs to myself before JatBs got around to it, though.
The main event actually seemed like a fairly decent flick, well, compared to some other MST3K offerings. The opening exposition explaining how Lon Chaney Jr was Going to Get His Revenge was a bit heavy handed. Still, there was a recognizable, if predictable, plot. And the acting wasn't all that bad either. I don't know that I'd be in any big hurry to watch it straight, but for what it was, it didn't seem that bad.
What I learned: Getting the body of a newly executed criminal for one's medical experiments isn't really that big of a hassle.
Host segments: Started off strong, with the robots and Magic Voice banding together to make Joel think he's going crazy. Maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to induce paranoid delusions in the only human around who could repair them, but perhaps they weren't programmed to think of this. I don't know what the Mads invented, but I want to buy some! The cereal novels didn't do much for me, however. Nor did the parade skit, though it always nice when one of the bots explode. The indestructible fantasies were snappy. I was laughing out loud when Joel tried to do the Chaney "Eye thing". He seemed like he was getting it, till those pesky bots ruined it (someone's licking me!) And the donut contract did seem like a fitting way to end. Mike makes a good hard assed cop (I don't like you).
Overall impressions: A solid episode. The part where JatBs go a bit nuts over what they feel is an overly long scene was one of the highlights. The scene didn't seem that tedious to me, but their over the top reaction to it captures the the essence of the MST3K magic for me. Other good moments came when they were pleading with the never blinking woman, and when the false end tricked them.
My 3 favorite Riffs:
(A herd of horsemen ride out of a low ceiling'ed cave)
Thunk! Ow! My head! (Repeated several times by all the riffers)
(Cop walks in to talk to Cabaret Star, after narrating in his head next to her cardboard cutout outside)
I just met your sister, you know, the quiet one.
(Narrator: Who in their right mind would believe that a man could come back from the dead?")
Only millions of Christians.
Posted by Tealeaf at 10:10
Interview with the Vampire (trailer)
The Devil's Ball (1934)
Near Dark (1987)
Excellent acting, music, story and action meet to create my favorite vampire movie. (9/10)
d. Kathryn Bigelow
Masters of Horror: "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" (2005)
This is the Lansdale I know, though I didn't know Coscarelli had this much slasher in him. (8/10)
d. Don Coscarelli
Parts of the Family (trailer)
Werewolves on Wheels (trailer)
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror 07-3: Citizen Kang" (1996)
Wolf Creek (2004)
Been there in 1974, done that in Texas. (6/10)
d. Greg McLean
Inhumanoids: "Cult of Darkness" (1986)
Musings on teen bullying, peer pressure, cults, and the ethics of zombie dating make for a deep show. (8/10)
d. Ray Lee
Gave Jones Soda Berried Alive a try this week. An unsophisticated version of Faygo Red Pop, but of a vaguely blueberry persuasion. Again, not bad. I seem to remember being sickened a lot more by last year's flavors. Then again, I haven't gotten to Candy Corn yet.
Watched the movies with C. He fell asleep in the middle of Wolf Creek and only woke up when the screaming started. Afterwards, he wanted to know what happened prior to all of the noise. I explained that a giant UFO came out of the sky, scooped everyone up and beamed them onto the crazy guy's property.
Mr. Boo guards the hallway, as he is wont:
14 October 2006
412 - Hercules and the Captive Women - I didn't have a problem following the other two Herc movies -- which were also dubbed, Italian pictures from the 1960s -- but this one is nigh-incomprehensible. Who were those blonde-beared clones? Why were they so strong, yet three dozen of them couldn't take down Herc? Shouldn't this have been called Hercules and the Captive Lepers? How did that shaft of sunlight trigger a volcano? And, why did everyone hate tabletops?
Woman: "Today's dedicated to Uranus." Crow-as-Herc: "Well, thank you, I'm fla... uhh, oh." Priest: "I was the last high priest dedicated to Uranus." Servo-as-Herc: "Gonna wear longer skirts from now on." Jokes about the mispronunciation of the name of the seventh planet are gold. Even when Uranus is mentioned and the guys don't make a comment, I found myself laughing. It makes everyone's dialogue incredibly silly when taken the wrong way. I'm imagining, in the original Italian, this movie isn't quite as funny.
In the final host segment, the guys hold a funeral for the "final" Hercules movie and bury the Herc action figure. Now I can't wait until 502 to see how they freak out when faced with yet another movie about the oily demigod. They were pretty close, though, and I believe that the Herc films are the last multiple-movie series they'll ever do. I'm glad. Though the Herc movies weren't so bad, I'd rather have maximum variety in the experiments. They end up making a lot of the same jokes during these sequels (Herc's body grease, etc.).
"Jim Henson's Gandhi Babies." Servo, no! No!
"You know it's really amazing there aren't any tourists here. Think I'll go nude." (7/10)
film d. Vittorio Cottafani (1961)
mst d. Jim Mallon (12 Sep 1992)
13 October 2006
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Fake Jason doesn't bother me, I love the goofy characters, but the censored gore is annoying. (6/10)
d. Danny Steinmann
[movie number 600]
The Munsters: "Don't Bank on Herman" (1965)
Herman walks off with the modern equivalent of $109,000. (7/10)
d. Ezra Stone
Inhumanoids: "The Surma Plan" (1986)
You know it's messed up when even D. Compose gets freaked out over one of his zombies. (7/10)
d. Ray Lee
Tales from the Crypt: "Mute Witness to Murder" (1990)
Mostly crap, except for the good Richard Thomas performance. (5/10)
d. Jim Simpson
The Munsters: "Bats of a Feather" (1965)
Not exactly flattering to NASA with the goofy scientists trying to send bats into space and all. (6/10)
d. Jerry Paris
Inhumanoids: "Cypheroid" (1986)
The schizophrenic nature of this era's cartoons never fails to dizzy. (6/10)
d. Ray Lee
12 October 2006
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Showing Mike crying makes this movie deserve a much lower rating, but I'm a sucker for slasher scenes set at farms. (6/10)
d. Dominique Othenin-Girard
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers: On-Set Footage (1989)
Halloween: Ellie Cornell Panel Discussion at the H25 Convention (2003)
Halloween 4 & 5 Cast Panel at the H25 Convention (2003)
Inside Halloween 5 (2000)
Some good bits, but the 2003 cast panels were better. (6/10)
d. Mark Cerulli
The Munsters: "Eddie's Nickname" (1965)
I wonder if soup would dissolve my beard too? (7/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
11 October 2006
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Solid slasher sequel, though I can't help but think that Myers looks a lot like Lt. Commander Data. (7/10)
d. Dwight H. Little
Halloween 4: Final Cut (2001)
Probably about the best you can hope for in a documentary about a third sequel. (6/10)
d. Mark Cerulli
I started the night watching Spike TV's Scream Awards 2006. "Unlike the boring Oscars, it has movies I've actually seen," I thought to myself. Indeed, the award for "Most Memorable Mutilation" was impressive, given that Spike didn't censor the gore at all. On the other hand, it's a frigging awards show: dumbasses reading idiotic lines from teleprompters and other dumbasses thanking the people/deities who made their award possible. I shut it off after the crappy band came on. I miss the Horror Hall of Fame.
10 October 2006
411 - The Magic Sword - Lodac: "I have waited until your daughter reached that age so that my dragon could relish the flesh of the princess." Joel: "Oh, wow." Best B.I.G. movie so far. I'd watch this unMSTied, no problem. It's colorful, with ghosts and hags and ogres and wizards and princesses and such.
Trying to capture that old/recent magic from the "Oh, Kim Cattrall" song, Crow brings us an "Ode to Estelle." I don't think he'll be getting flowers from the object of his affection this time. Poor Estelle died 8 years prior to this. Sort of puts a sick spin on the song, don't it? Then again, poor Richard Basehart is also long-dead and that doesn't seem to bother Gypsy at all.
Another nice episode in a season full of 'em. Nothing else to say, other things to do, I'm off...
"I dub you Sir Moron. C'mon, dummy." (7/10)
film d. Bert I. Gordon (1962)
mst d. Jim Mallon (29 Aug 1992)
09 October 2006
410 - Hercules Against the Moon Men - Allen Steel likes his job. Always with a wide grin, he'll toss stunt people around like a kid on Christmas. Not much of an actor, but give the guy a pack of spear-wielding wussies and he'll go to town.
"Jim Henson's Exodus Babies." Joel, no! No! Other than that, the riffing was strong this week. It's been a while since I've gleaned so many out-loud laughs from an episode. It's been averageville lately, it seems.
There were also a few references to Turkey Day in this one ("gobble, gobble," "man-made chickens, but they're new"). I wonder if they'd just filmed the '92 bumpers? That's coming up pretty soon. I've got to figure out an appropriate meal to gobble up for the big day. I've already got a great dessert idea to try.
"It's the Inhumanoids." No Joel. I hate to get pedantic, but the Moon Rock Monsters looked like good-guy Mutores, not the bad-guy Inhumanoids. Specifically, they resembled the Mutore Granites, sworn enemies of the Inhumanoid Tendril. Tendril, you may or may not realize, in addition to being a thirty-eight foot tall, one hundred four thousand, one hundred ninety-two pound walking plant/cephalopod, was a fantastic dancer.
Joel goatee III, week 1.
The "Boobie Trap" sketch was a rare laughing-out-loud host segment. Not because of the water-drinking part, but the part when the bots relish saying the name of a bird with much emphasis. I dunno. My inner Beavis, I suppose.
The yearly tradition of singing about pants continues. "The Pants Song" isn't my favorite from the guys' oeuvre, it was fun enough.
DEEP HURTING, as it exists as amplified voices and onscreen graphics, was great. A little suspense cooked up by the Mads was a welcome changeup for the host segments. What's the DEEP HURTING? When? How? Why? As it turns out, it wasn't much. The sandstorm scene didn't approach the tediousness of the rock climbing from 208. The Mads' threat was a tad hollow. I appreciated the effort to spice things up, though.
"How much money can we get out of Tom Cruise? Page 25." (8/10)
film d. Giacomo Gentilomo (1964)
mst d. Jim Mallon (22 Aug 1992)
The Lost Tape: Andy's Terrifying Last Days Revealed (2004)
Decent acting, but unnecessary. (6/10)
d. Scott Devine & Constantine Nasr
Special Report: We Interrupt This Program! (2004)
You have the zombie plague spreading in the middle of Lake Huron, you morons. (5/10)
d. Scott Devine & Constantine Nasr
Mystery Science Theater 3000: "The Indestructible Man" (1992)
[A Year on the Satellite of Love] (6/10)
d. Jim Mallon & B. Reeves Eason & Joseph Kane & Jack Pollexfen
The Munsters: "All Star Munster" (1965)
Frankenstein playing basketball and the most offense redneck stereotypes you've ever seen. (7/10)
d. Earl Bellamy
The Munsters: "If a Martian Answers, Hang Up" (1965)
It would make sense that Dracula thinks it's his patriotic duty to report UFO sightings to the government. (7/10)
d. Norman Abbott
08 October 2006
409 - The Indestructible Man (w/ Undersea Kingdom, Chapter Two: The Undersea City) - There was afternoon daylight when I started this, but I still had to fight the snoozes. The indestructible bore? I was looking forward to this flick, too. I like Lon Chaney Jr. At least, I like him in the 1940s Universal horror movies. Hell, I've got his wolfed-out visage hanging on my wall right now. Outside of hazy memories of Dracula vs. Frankenstein, I've never seen the guy in a movie from this late a period. Boy, he didn't age well (I bet his father aged better).
Even if you muted the prologue host segment, you could still tell that something was off. Trace and Kevin traded robots in order for the bots to appear to have switched voices. They were clearly in unfamiliar territory; Crow and Servo seemed to be ill and didn't move at all like they normally do. It makes you appreciate how much life Trace and Kevin imbue in their own robots.
The "Cereal Novels" invention was not a bad idea at all. It's one of those that I wish was for real. I'd start eating breakfast again with more chapters on the back of the cereal box to read. In the future, maybe I should print some classics from Project Gutenberg for pasting onto breakfast food containers?
"It's Jim Henson's Birth of a Nation Babies!" Gah! Forget the ban on cop-donut jokes. I want a ban on "Jim Henson's --- Babies" riffs. I was hoping the guys had gotten this particular joke out of their system with the terrible "Edgar Winter Babies" invention from 407 (who the hell is Edgar Winter?). Indeed, this joke was absent from 408. But, here it is again, ugly as sin.
Whoo-hoo! No more serials! It only took the guys three years to figure it out that these things just ain't fun for the show. They're so fast-paced and confusing, it's pretty much impossible to keep up with both the plot and the riffing. The poor quality of the audio on the prints of these serials didn't help at all, either. Even if the serials were fun to watch, knowing that the guys could be riffing a goofy educational short from the '50s instead sort of sours the deal.
"Ah, what am I smelling? Did somebody die in here? Oh, I did." (6/10)
film d. Jack Pollexfen (1956)
short d. B. Reeves Eason & Joseph Kane (1936)
mst d. Jim Mallon (15 Aug 1992)
Tales from the Crypt: "Lower Berth" (1990)
I'm a sucker for a horror tale from the carnival. (8/10)
d. Kevin Yagher
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (trailer)
The Return of the Living Dead (trailer)
Simpsons, The: "Treehouse of Horror 07-2: The Genesis Tub"
I want to live forever in the sea with a tentacle-mermaid. (9/10)
d. Stuart Gordon
Masters of Horror: "Dreams in the Witch-House" (2005)
A really evil witch, irrational spaces beyond walls and a Dagon reunion make for good watchin'. (8/10)
d. Stuart Gordon
Mangiati Vivi (trailer)
The Birds (trailer)
They Live: "Cheese Dip"
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Could've stood alone without coat-tailing on Romero's good name and I still think super-speed zombies look ridiculous. (7/10)
d. Zack Snyder
Bloodsucking Freaks (trailer)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (trailer)
Looney Tunes: "Broom-Stick Bunny"
Tonight's proceedings were joined by C and partially by Mrs. K. Neither of them, to my disappointment, appreciated the excellence of Dagon as I do.
I tried the Jones Soda Monster Mojito Soda this week. Having never tried the apparently popular alcoholic drink by that name -- such fruit-flavored concoctions remind me of college-era vomiting -- I don't know how it compares. I will say, like the Lemon Drop Dead soda, it tastes like (non-existent) lime-flavored Pez. C decided to give Candy Corn a try. He repeatedly, sarcastically admired its candy-cornish flavor throughout the final movie. After he left, I discovered more than half of it still in the small 8 oz can. When I dumped it down the sink, it was a disturbing, nearly-neon chartreuse yellow. I imagine his innards are permanently dyed that color now.
Here's the famous Six Weeks of Halloween candy drawer:
07 October 2006
06 October 2006
408 - Hercules Unchained - Like Joel and the Bots, I had no idea what was going on for much of movie. Strangely, this didn't matter. The film was entertaining enough without making sense, something I wish I could say about Might Jack. Dancing women in togas, sword fighting' and cat rasslin' were probably the main advantages this flick had over old MJ.
"Uh, I forgot how my muscles work." In a reverse of how 407 struck me, this episode was stronger in the riffing department and padded with so-so host segments. Episodes with big, dumb characters are great for the guys to work with. Putting lines into Hercules' mouth is always good for a laugh. Plus, describing Hercules' chiseled, oiled stomach muscles as "poppin' fresh muffins" was both hilarious and exactly accurate.
I did, of course, love Mike as Steve Reeves. Mike's great at playing a big, dumb guy and it was nice to see him back onscreen in a non-clown capacity. I also enjoyed the host segment in which the Bots try to get Joel to say out loud what Hercules and Lidia do after "snuggling and kissing and stuff." It was well-acted by Joel, though I get the impression he'd be that bashful about the subject in real life.
"You know what they say: you can only rent waters of forgetfulness." (7/10)
film d. Pietro Francisci (1959)
mst d. Jim Mallon (1 Aug 1992)
The Munsters: "Herman's Rival" (1964)
Imagine, a 137-year-old woman robbing the cradle and marrying a 114-year-old Frankenstein. (7/10)
d. Joseph Pevney
Tales from the Crypt: "Korman's Kalamity" (1990)
Uninspired romantic comedy with a half-assed handful of monsters thrown in. (4/10)
d. Rowdy Herrington
The Munsters: "Grandpa's Call of the Wild" (1965)
Nice to see the family shoot on location for a change. (7/10)
d. Earl Bellamy
05 October 2006
Mystery Science Theater 3000: "The Killer Shrews" (1992)
[A Year on the Satellite of Love] (7/10)
d. Jim Mallon & Ray Kellogg
The Munsters: "The Midnight Ride of Herman Munster" (1964)
I'm glad they wrecked it, as the Munsters' other car was boring. (7/10)
d. Ezra Stone
The Munsters: "Sleeping Cutie" (1964)
Being forced to kiss a comatose coed laying on a slab in a dungeon is part of every oil company deal, I'm sure. (7/10)
d. Norman Abbott
The Munsters: "Family Portrait" (1964)
Goodbye, pretty, but unanimated Beverly Owen. (7/10)
d. Lawrence Dobkin
The Munsters: "Grandpa Leaves Home" (1964)
Hello, near-identical Pat Priest. (7/10)
d. Norman Abbott
04 October 2006
407 - The Killer Shrews (w/ Junior Rodeo Daredevils) - In the Ray Kellogg pantheon of films, this is his lesser effort. Shrews lacks the heart that Gila had. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that 80% of Shrews is people standing in a room, drinking. On the other hand, it's mercifully free of cheezy ballads sung by the lead actor. Speaking of, I would've never imagined Rosco P. Coltrane as a leading man, but here he is.
The episode was average. I laughed, but not a lot, at the riffing. The host segments were the most fun part this round, from the Mads' pointless plan to split the Earth in twine to Joel as a goofball cowboy. My favorite host segment was the drink recipe. Surely, I will have to try this someday (though it is suspiciously similar to some of the "Rainy Day Epicacs"):
The Killer Shrew
- 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream
- 1 sprinkle of Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries
- 1 handful of Peanut M&M's
- 1/2 bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's
- 2 circus peanuts
- 1/2 bottle of Mr. Pibb
- 5 Marshmallow Peeps
- 1 cup of Sweet Tarts
- 1 spoonful of vanilla frosting
- 1 handful of Good & Plenty
"I think I just heard Griswold explode. You?" (7/10)
film d. Ray Kellogg (1959)
short d. ?? (1949)
mst d. Jim Mallon (25 Jul 1992)
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Better than any of the Myers sequels. (8/10)
d. Tommy Lee Wallace
Halloween 3 Extended Interviews (2003)
The Munsters: "Autumn Croakus" (1964)
What scandal, Herman and Lily not having TV-standard twin beds! (7/10)
d. Lawrence Dobkin