Saturday, January 30, 2010

0019: Hangar 18

MST3k, Experiment #0019

Hangar 18:

During a Space Shuttle mission a satellite is rammed by an unidentified flying object. The UFO afterwards performs an emergency landing in the deserts of Arizona. However the White House denies it's existence because of the near presidential elections. The UFO is brought to the secret hangar 18 and the accident is claimed to incompetence of the astronauts Bancroff and Price. But the two fight against this and try to hunt down the UFO.

Is that what this movie was?  Oh... Yeah, I stopped paying attention after ten(10) minutes.  I will be insanely happy when Season One(1) starts up... Only two more KTMA episodes to sit through, then the better movies start.  Also, no more of the "Our movie is (insert movie). Movie sign!" as soon as the show begins...

I'm starting to see why some people don't really like the KTMA season.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

0018: The Million Eyes Of Su-Muru

"This is a very hard role for Frankie... He's working without Annette."

MST3k, Experiment #0018

The Million Eyes Of Su-Muru:

Frankie Avalon and George Nader (that guy from "The Robot Monster") are a couple of wise-cracking, swingin' secret agents. Their enemy is Shirley Eaton as Su-Muru, who plans to remove all of the men who are currently in power and replace them with her army of women, most of who are shown in skimpy (for 1967) bikinis or mini skirts, and who can all perform complex tasks such as break a man's neck with their thighs. Avalon and Nader make "friends" with several members of Su-Maru's army, then invade with the local army and kill the rest of them.

I'm too tired to really go in-depth on this piece of crap...  I will, however, say that this movie had some of the worst framing of any movie I have ever seen.  Many times, there would be no one on screen; just a static image of a door while someone off-screen talked.  Most of the time though, we'd see a nose, mouth or chin... and maybe a hand come in the shot every so often.  I am guessing it was filmed in wide-screen, and then cropped without pan-scan.  I just don't know.  It was dreadful.

Well, of course, there were a LOT of Subaru references in the riffing... and the only thing of note that I recall is that Joel made quite possibly the most racist joke ever made on MST3k: "I wonder if all million eyes of Su-Muru are slanted."

I don't remember much more from this episode... I think I zoned out half-way through.  That's just how exciting the movie was.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

0017: Time Of The Apes

Sandy Frank, Sandy Frank, bad movies from Japan! Sandy Frank, Sandy Frank, the voices are horribly dubbed...

MST3k, Experiment #0017

Sandy Frank presents a horrible Planet Of The Apes rip-off, Time Of The Apes:

A woman takes her children to see their uncle, who is a scientist working on cryogenics experiments. They are using monkeys and other primates in their experiments. There is an earthquake, and the woman and her kids are trapped in cryogenic chambers and are somehow transported into a _Planet of the Apes_ type futures. They are captured, escape, return to the present and are eventually given an explanation of what happened to them that is incomprehensible. Also, this is really a re-edited Japanese TV series, so there's some odd continuity bits, especially near the end.

Yeah... huh?!  There's a lot of one ape yelling for other people to kill a certain human named Godo...  There's a UFO that everyone notices, but it doesn't seem to phase anyone...  In the words of Crow, "I've never seen someone so nonchalant about a flying saucer."  Yeah, so... Time Of The Apes.

To change the subject a little, there's no Joel in this episode.  The only explanation is that he's floating around in space somewhere.  I guess everyone needs some tme off every once in a while, so whatever.  This was a pretty funny episode, mostly carried by how horribly bad the movie is.  There were some horrid jokes made though, for example when Crow asked "What's a pod bay?" and Servo replied "Oh, about two pounds."  Thankfully, it was meant to be bad, as apparent by the "wah wah wah waaah" sound clip played immediately after.

I'd recommend this eepisode, but I'll probably recommend the later version, as they re-take this film in a later season.  I am sure it's much better... not that the movie will be any less stupid.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

0016: City On Fire

Two people choking on one person's vomit...

MST3k, Experiment #0016

City On Fire:

William Dudley is a corrupt mayor of a nameless Midwestern U.S. city who has allowed a chemical refinery to be built right in the center of town, far from any river, lake or reservoir. On one typical hot summer day, Herman Stover, a dangerously disturbed employee at the works has been denied an expected promotion and in addition, finds himself fired. He then decides to take his revenge against the works by opening the valves to the storage vats and their interconnecting pipes, flooding the area and sewers with gasoline and chemicals. It doesn't take long for this act of petty vandalism to start a fire, which starts a chain reaction that causes massive explosions at the refinery, destroying it and spreading a mushroom-cloud of flame that soon engulfs the entire metropolis! The drama focuses on a newly built hospital which, like the refinery and all civic buildings that went up during the mayor's crooked administration, is shoddily built and poorly equipped where the head doctor, Frank Whitman, and his staff treat thousands of casualties from the city-fire while the city fire chief Risley keeps in constant contact with the fire companies fighting a losing battle against the fires, and Maggie Grayson, an alcoholic reporter/newscaster, sees it as her chance to make it nationwide with her coverage of the story of the 'city on fire.'


So we have Leslie Nielsen as a corrupt mayor, Shelley Winters as an old zombie nurse, and Ava Gardner as a drunk newscaster. What could go wrong?! Well, it all started with a little kid who tried to start smoking... and it all went downhill from there. Soon, everyone in a hospital are surrounded by flames, and they are quickly running out of oxygen (which apparently is part water). They decide the best way to get everyone through the wall of fire is to spray each and every patient down with a hose and have them run through. On the other side, firemen make a canopy of water with their hoses, and the people run through to safety. That's about as exciting as this movie gets.

My favourite part of this movie is a reporter saying "So is she dead or what?!" over and over again about a little girl who was pulled from a burning building. Journalism at its finest.

Well, the host segments were mediocre, but the first one had a great line... Dr. Forrester received a letter from the board of mad scientists, stating that they are "at best... mildly peeved researchers." The theatre segments were great. There were a few things that jumped out as odd... things you wouldn't see in later seasons, for instance Crow and Servo starting to talk over each other accidentally... and Servo sneezing. Well, Josh sneezed and had to cover for it by making Servo comment that Joel shouldn't have programmed him to sneeze.

Anyways, City On Fire... good times.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Selection Of A Toothbrush

Here is a lovely poem for today. It's called...

THE SELECTION OF A TOOTHBRUSH

There are too many
shapes, sizes, colours.
Some are bent to
better reach the back teeth.
Others have multi-coloured
bristles, as if your teeth know
the difference.
A few have rubbery,
thick, side bristles...
I guess to make
things more interesting.
Packs of four.
Packs of two.
Packs of seven.
Whatever happened to
just a normal plain
toothbrush?

Friday, January 22, 2010

0015: Superdome

Superdome!

MST3k, Experiment #0015

This is Superdome:

It's Superbowl. And there's a lot of drama, one of the players, Dave Wolecki, has been so preoccupied with the game and if his bum knee will hold out until the game, has been completely ignoring his wife. And McCauley, the team's star quarterback, is being courted by a management firm, and the man the firm has assigned to get him into the firm has been told that if he doesn't get him, he will be out. But that's nothing compared to the real drama. There's a killer running around. It seems that the syndicate doesn't want the highly favored Cougars to win. They tried to get the team's trainer to drug or incapacitate some players, and when he refuses he is killed. So, the team's manager has to try and find out who the killer is, before he does some real damage.

So here's a movie about football players and their managers and coaches... all gearing up for the big game: the Super Bowl! Do we ever actually get to see ANY football?! No, of course not. The movie ended before any football was actually played. Instead of lots of action shots or even stock footage of football, we get boring scenes about players partying it up before the game, players arguing with their wives, and apparently some plot to keep one of the teams from winning. This is all very boring, and I couldn't care less. But hey, Tom Selleck!

Instead of going on anymore about this movie, I'd like to mention a couple of my favourite jokes made during the film. "He's got a voice like a body being thrown through a bus window" is used to describe David Janssen, who grumbled and growled his way through the film... and my favourite line from Servo is "Get up on top of me like you used to in the old days."

The host segments were pretty good... done flashback style, with Servo recalling things from his past. One segment was about Joel's off-air demeanor, and was very obviously remembered wrong on Servo's part... with Joel smoking and angrily chewing out the bots, ending in a Casablanca dialogue between Crow and Gypsy.

It was all a lot of fun, with the exception of the movie, which bored me to hell.

Superdome!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

0014: Mighty Jack

"Sandy Frank" is all you need to know...

MST3k, Experiment #0014

When you're in trouble, call Mighty Jack:

The organization Mighty Jack is formed to combat the criminal syndicate known as "Q", and are given a large array of advanced weapons, chief among them being a high-tech submarine. Harold Hatari is abducted by Q, and Mighty Jack is dispatched to rescue him. Hatari is interrogated and threatened with blinding lights, but the Mighty Jack crew rescue him in the nick of time. Later, Q is discovered to be using "hot ice" (water that remains solid at room temperature) to create weapons and a secret ocean base disguised as an iceberg (though it's not precisely clear how hot ice could be a major world threat). Q then attempts to take over the Mighty Jack sub.


A horrible mess of a pseudo spy movie. It's easy to follow, as there's really not much to it... and there's never any real clear explanation as to why Mighty Jack is so highly regarded... or if it's an organization, a guy, or an object. The cat-holding leader of Q calls them (Mighty Jack) on a radio and asks to speak to Mighty Jack... one specific person comes over and takes the microphone and answers "This is Mighty Jack." The evil boss of Q (whose name may just as well be Q) then threatens to kill their hostage, unless he/they (Mighty Jack) give him (Q) Mighty Jack. "Hand over Mighty Jack..." He wants the origanization?! The guy with the microphone?! I'm already lost, really...

So let's just watch it for the neato secret spy stuff. There is none. Mighty Jack, or people FROM Mighty Jack, go to free and rescue the hostage... using Mighty Jack. They take a jet plane underwater and fly out to find the prisoner, and the person sent to rescue him gets captured himself. I believe he had a sort-of gun, but never really bothered to do anything with it... I still don't see what's so great about Mighty Jack that makes him/them/it so special or important. Maybe it's because Mighty Jack has (or maybe is) the jet plane that can fly underwater.

As far as episodes go, this one was pretty good. As I mentioned on the Rifftrax Forum, by this point in the show, they seem to have found a certain rhythm that carried on for a few of the earlier seasons. Starting at probably around episode twelve(12), the riffs come a lot more often and at a much faster pace. The host segments also are getting a bit better. It still very definitely has a "local programming" feel to it, but it's starting to feel much more like the show we're all used to. Also of note, a few times during the theater segments, Joel makes mention to the up-and-coming newsletter they are working on but has yet to be sent...

...and we got to see Crow's first "Kitty!" remark.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

0013: SST Death Flight

Here is the one movie on MST3k that I wish I also had unriffed...

MST3k, Experiement #0013

SST Death Flight:

Cutlass Aircraft has just completed America's first supersonic jetliner, and a host of celebrities and other important people have booked tickets for the maiden voyage, including former sportscaster Lyle Kingman (Martin Milner) and his ex-wife (Susan Strasberg), CEO Paul Whitley (Peter Graves), a soon-to-be married couple (John de Lancie and Season Hubley), Cutlass PR man Tim Vernon (Bert Convy) and his girlfriend Angela (Misty Rowe), television reporter Carla Stanley (Barbara Anderson), grounded pilot Hank Fairbanks ('Doug McClure (I)' ), and legendary aircraft designer Willy Basset (Burgess Meredith). Unfortunately the plane's hydraulic system has been sabotaged by a disgruntled Cutlass engineer (George Maharis), and last-minute passenger Dr. Therman (Brock Peters) has brought a deadly strain of influenza aboard. With no working controls at 60,000 feet over the Atlantic, Captain Walsh (Robert Reed), McClure, Meredith, and Cutlass VP Marshall Cole (Lorne Greene), have to find a way to get Maiden One down safely.


Not only does this movie have basically the exact same plot as Airplane, it's also not a comedy! It has a huge all-star (for the time) cast, including a very young Billy Crystal and Regis Philbin... and pretty much every airplane disaster cliche you can think of is piled on all at once. What they did to physics is entirely laughable: to keep the plane level, they send all the people towards the back of the plane a few rows at a time... Basically, this whole movie is funny on its own. I absolutely love this movie and episode, and I watch it whenever I really want to laugh. The acting really isn't all that bad, but it still makes for a lot of fun mocking the characters and plot.

Boy how I wish this movie was on DVD by itself. I would honestly spend money on it. I also wish they had been able to riff this on an official network episode. Perhaps Cinematic Titanic will grab it someday, but I doubt it.

As for the episode, riffing, host segments and all that... As stated a couple episodes ago, I enjoy ANY sketch that has the bots wandering back and forth past the screen. At first, I cringed to hear Servo start singing "The Banana Boat Song" (ie, Day-O)... but as soon as Gypsy and Crow started wandering back and forth under a Limbo pole, I busted a gut.

Simplicity with robot puppets makes me laugh!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

0012: Fugitive Alien

They tried to kill him with a forklift...

MST3k, Experiment #0012

Fugitive Alien:

In this sci-fi flick edited down from a TV series, our hero is a Starwolf named Ken from the planet Valnastar. After disobeying orders and accidentally killing his best friend - a fellow soldier, Ken becomes a fugitive alien rescued by the Earth starship the Bacchus3. The crew of the Bacchus3 includes alcoholic Captain Joe, Rocky the pilot, some other guys, and Tammy the ‘morale officer.’ Ken joins the Bacchus3 team at Captain Joe’s invitation. At first, Rocky distrusts Ken, but later they become friends. And Tammy has an unrequited crush on Ken. Meanwhile, Ken’s friends’s sister Rita, who is also Ken’s girlfriend, is ordered by Valnastar ruler Lord Halkon to avenge her brother's death by finding and killing Ken. The Bacchus3 visits the planet Kararan. Ken leaves the ship, and gets himself thrown in prison. Via two-way radio, Captain Joe orders Ken to find a Colonel from the planet Caesar in the same prison and break him out. After accomplishing this mission, Ken abruptly runs into Rita. But Rita still loves Ken, so she can’t bring herself to kill him. Rita is then killed when she and Ken are attacked by Kararan guards. Ken and the Caesarean Colonel make it back to the Bacchus3.


Vengeance, love, and Ken... this movie is a classic and will later be re-done in mid-season three(3). I think I'll save the full review for then, as this is simply a "Zero Season" episode.

But I sill point out a few episodic tidbits. First, this is the third absence of Crow (in twelve episodes), and is covered this time by Servo and Gypsy claiming to have dismantled him. Apparently Trace had quite a busy life back in the day, as he was absent a lot. Second, this episode marked the start of the "Mystery Science Theater Fan Club" ...something that may very well still exist to this day.

The best line of the whole episode was when Joel stated that you can tell a movie will be bad "if they just take two cool words and put em together like that" to which Servo promptly replied "Like Mystery Science?"

Anyways, that's really all there is to mention about this episode. More about the movie later in the year when I get to sit through it again.

"I'm a Starwolf." GRRRRR!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gravity

Here's a poem I wrote based on a theory I came up with years ago... after I had stayed awake for a few days, of course.

GRAVITY

"I hate this planet."

He fell right off
the face of the Earth.

Fell straight up.

As fast as if
he were plummetting
the other direction.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
I'm sorry!
I didn't mean it!"

Direction changed,
he fell
the way people are supposed to.

He smashed
firmly
against the ground
with a solid thud.

Love's a bitch.

Friday, January 15, 2010

0011: Humanoid Woman

Yet another Sandy Frank film...

MST3k, Experiment #0011

Humanoid Woman:

XXIII century. A reconnaissance starship discovers a dead alien spaceship of unknown origin in deep space. The crew are found to be humanoid bodies, made by an advanced cloning process. One humanoid woman appears to be alive but has memory loss and is brought back to Earth. Scientist Sergei Lebedev settles her in his own house and names her Niya.

Some time later, Niya finds out that she has supernatural abilities. Prof. Ivanova finds a special neurocenter in her brain which can be used to control the humanoid clones. Niya suddenly remembers her home planet Dessa, where businessmen eager for easy money destroy nature.

A rescue mission with Niya on board is sent to her home planet. When she arrives there, her brain falls under the control of the neurowaves of local monopolist Turanchoks, who is trying to make the Earth expedition fail. However, Niya is strong enough to resist the control and saves her civilization from an imminent catastrophe.

Niya: "Neither she nor I know the reason for my existence." Crow: "Nor does the audience."

That about sums it up. First, I have to wonder where the show finds these films... which then leads me to wonder how and where (and ultimately WHY) Sandy Frank finds these films. [sarcasm]Ooo a "humanoid" woman! I've never seen one of THOSE before! How inventive. I wonder how they designed the make-up for that.[/sarcasm]

Well, one thing I did notice, and this should be a familiar one to Rifftrax fans... In a really dull scene by a lake, Niya and a young guy about her age exchange equally dull dialogue. The last line before the guy jumps into the water to swim is "I love the water."

As per the episode itself, this one had a couple decent host segments... such as the bots playing tag. Any time they do a skit where you simply see the robots (and Joel/Mike) wander past the screen casually, well, it surely gets me cracking up. Also, the famous bit where Tom Servo tries to hit on a blender originated on this episode, to be re-done somewhere in season one(1) I believe. The line "Nobody drinks from my girl!" comes to mind.

"Well, hey there... Oh sorry... MISTER Coffee."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

0010: Cosmic Princess

Don't ask me... I was just the viewer.

MST3k, Experiment #0010

Cosmic Princess:

Earth's Moon is ripped from orbit by a massive nuclear explosion and cast adrift in deep space. It is displaced further into the unknown by two space warps and into range of the volcanic planet Psychon, where the crew of Moonbase Alpha hope to obtain a mineral needed for their survival. But they are lured into a trap by Mentor of Psychon, who wants to drain their souls into a machine for energy needed to transform Psychon back to the paradise it once was. Mentor's daughter, Maya, who has the ability of personal molecular transformation, realizes how fanatical her father has become and helps the Alphans to stop her father. But in the struggle, Mentor's machine's power is released, triggering a series of explosions that cause cataclysm on Psychon and fevered distress in grief-stricken Maya. In the second part Koenig and Tony explore an alien ship while the moon passes through a space warp, leaving the astronauts stranded. Meanwhile, Maya is undergoing some strange disease that causes her to transform into a variety of berserker-like forms, including her deceased father Mentor.

It's... uhm... because... well... what happened is, see... hmm... Huh?!

I tried... I tried SO hard to figure out what the hell was going on in this movie. I was lost within five(5) minutes, and I drifted mentally from then on, straining to follow whatever mess was on the screen. There was a lion... I remember a gorilla rushing into a fire... a lot of weird warblies, and then there were different people doing something. It was in space. I think.

The episode itself has one of my favourite host segment jokes. Dr. Earhardt was testing out his 3D glasses and when Dr. Forrester tossed a football at him, exclaimed that it looked "like it was coming right at" him. Then he showed us his 2D glasses, which allowed him to only see length... and width.

After that, the whole thing is a bit fuzzy and I'm not sure about any of it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

0009: Phase IV

It's man against ant in...

MST3k, Experiment #0009

Phase IV:

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas.

Okay, this has to be one of the, if not THE most boring movie they've ever riffed. It's really not so much bad and painful like other movies, as it is just boring. I could barely even pay attention to it.

The whole thing is about super-intelligent ants who essentially will be taking over the world. That's it. There's loads of close-ups of real ants... not really doing much of anything, just slowly looking around... and then there's a couple of humans going out of their way to kill an ant or two that made it into their lab. This really is a stinker of a movie. In the words of Tom Servo, "It made flying turtles look good."

The quality of the riffs and especially the host-segments dropped a few notches from the last few episodes... one host segment was basically just Joel trying to drum "Wipe-Out," and Servo failing at singing the guitar part.

The entire episode failed to grab my interest even once... Ahhh, good old Phase IV.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

0008: Gamera Vs. Guiron

Giant turtles doing gymnastics on a far-away planet, in...

MST3k, Experiment #0008

Gamera Vs. Guiron:

Three children, two boys and a girl, stumble upon a flying saucer. The boys both step in without hesitating, and are whisked away to a planet in Earth's orbit but on the exact opposite side of the Sun. Inhabiting this planet are two women with Midwestern accents, who hypnotize the children to find they fantasize about milk, donuts, and Gamera, our favorite hero turtle. The women simply want to eat their brains. Back home, no one will believe the little girl's story of alien abduction, not even Officer Concha (pronounced "Cornjob"). Finally, Gamera rescues the children while fighting Guiron, a monster with a giant knife for a nose. Gamera kills Guiron while doing gymnastics on a parallel bar and takes the kids home, where the kids hope for peace, understanding, and the end of traffic accidents.

This is one messed up movie. Firstly, the dubbing is done in the worst broken English I have ever heard, with lines being read as if from a 4-word-at-a-time teleprompter. Inflection is in the wrong place, with random pauses and exclamations in the middle of sentences. It's just so! Dreadful I can. Hardly stand... It!

But the most messed up part comes when Guiron, a giant monster with a HUGE blade for a face, cuts off a silver Gaos's wings... beheads him... and then proceeds to slice his body up like bread. Thafuh?!

Honestly though, I'd have to say this is my personal favourite of all the Gamera films... quite possibly because of how stupid it really is. Even the music is kooky and lame, but incredibly fun in a weird sorta way.

As for the episode itself, it's nothing really special... funny, but nothing really stood out. It is, however, the first time Crow calls the mads "dickweeds" ...a running gag through several seasons.

Also, we find out that the rockets on the Satellite of Love are controlled by their TV ratings. As far as I know, we don't hear this bit of information ever again, but it's something I enjoy when they mention the fact that it's "just a show..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rearranging Things

Here's a short one I wrote. The shorter ones tend to be some of my favourites.

REARRANGING THINGS

Every so often,
I rearrange my furniture.

A fresh start
with the same old crap.

Friday, January 08, 2010

0007: Gamera Vs. Zigra

Alien creatures that live underwater and eat things that live on land, space women who gather food (humans for them), and of course, a kid named Kenny...

MST3k, Experiment #0007

Gamera Vs. Zigra:

A moon base is destroyed by a spaceship with a cluster of gumballs on its head. Later, at Sea World, dolphins are dying mysteriously. Zigra kidnaps two men and two children (one of whom is a Coke addict - Coca-Cola that is) and starts causing earthquakes. The two six year olds somehow outwit Zigra and help their incapacitated fathers escape. The Zigra Woman, who can use her eyes to put people into comas, then chases them all over Sea World like an extended Benny Hill skit. Somewhere in this movie Gamera finally shows up, fights Zigra, who turns into a giant swordfish.

I really think that about describes the movie. I couldn't say it any better, and I am not going to try. I will, however, point out that they finally have the "new" victorious Gamera theme song... I love to sing this song anywhere, at any time.

"Gamera is really neat, he is filled with tasty meat, we believe in Gamera! Hirohito Gamera, Hirohito Gamera, Hirohito Gamera!"

Okay, so... in this episode, they finally unfreeze Crow. Back to three(3) riffers in the theatre. This is also the first real appearance of the mads, Dr. Forrester and Dr. Earhardt... making this the first episode to truly feel like an MST3k episode. The jokes are better, faster, funnier... the whole thing just feels like the show it grew into.

My favourite moment came during one of the host segments. The mads mentioned that the Russians had shot their own hostage comedian into space... in a show called "Very Incredible Movie Theater IV." The clip of the comedian telling really stupid jokes nearly made me spit up my milk.

All in all, this was the first really good solid episode...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

0006: Gamera Vs. Gaos

A giant turtle who breathes fire against a giant pteradactyl who spits lasers. Who will win?

MST3k, Experiment #0006

Gamera Vs. Gaos:

Gamera's back, and just in time to save Japan from Gaos, a mysterious bat-like creature awakened by a volcanic eruption. As in the first Gamera movie, a young boy establishes an emotional link with Gamera, and the two work together, with the help of the world's scientists, to put an end to Gaos' violent rampage.

...and of course, the military and scientific community listens to one little boy who just happens to insist that Gamera is their friend... What the hell is wrong with these people?

Well, the movie was just another lame Gamera movie. More-or-less the same plot as every other Gamera movie, except there's a sub-plot of a bunch of farmers refusing to sell their land because they want more money. That story essentially goes nowhere... not that it really had anywhere TO go. I am still just at a loss as to why there's a little boy attending the conference on what they should do about the giant monster laser-spewing lizard bird.

The episode itself is a relatively important one, as this is the episode Servo goes through puberty and gains his "mighty voice" ...as well as the name Tom. Thrilled with the sound of his new voice, the whole rest of the episode is spent stating "This is Tom Servo announcing." That gets VERY annoying, but meh, what are ya gonna do really?

The first host segment has a voicemail from a caller insisting that two weeks in a row of Gamera films is a bit much... little do they know that there would be a third, fourth and fifth Gamera movie on the way. Joel tells the caller that he has no control over which movies are chosen, as they are all picked by the mad scientists that stranded him in space. I guess this is the first time the mads are mentioned in the show, aside from the opening theme song.

Also, this episode has the first appearance of a line that I still use to this day on a semi-regular basis: "The ocean. Beginning of all life and all Sandy Frank films."

Yet another piece of importance to this otherwise droll episode.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

0005: Gamera

Proof that random little boys are allowed to wander around high-security military facilities...

MST3k, Experiment #0005

Last night's installment was the first Gamera movie, brilliantly titled Gamera:

A nuclear explosion in the far north unleashes Gamera, the legendary flying turtle, from his sleep under the ice. In his search for energy, Gamera wreaks havoc over the entire world, and it's up to the scientists, assisted by a young boy with a strange sympathic link to the monster, to put a stop to Gamera's rampage.

Oh boy... what is there to say about the first Gamera movie? I suppose the best thing to say is "Gamera loves all children!"

In this movie, a little idiot of a boy named Kenny "befriended" Gamera, a giant mutated turtle who attacks cities and burns people alive. Despite the screams of horror and the smell of roasting flesh, Kenny insists religiously that Gamera is essentially good and loves all children. Kenny spends the entire movie running after Gamera, worrying his parents(?) and continuously getting in the way of the military's attempts to stop or capture Gamera. Perhaps Z-Plan would have worked better if someone had punished Kenny, or maybe kept an eye on him, instead of letting him wander about where there are guns and missiles being fired willy-nilly at a giant turtle... but in the end, Z-Plan captured Gamera in the nose of a rocket, which they subsequently fired to Mars. A happy ending, as Gamera was not killed, allowing Kenny to speculate on his future as a spaceman. He will see Gamera again, and unfortunately so will we, in all the other many, many Gamera movies forced upon us.

My favourite line of the movie was "He has internal organs that function very much like a hydro-electric plant." That line actually made Joel lose it and crack up laughing... obviously not a planned response, and uncommon for this show.

This was a rare sort of episode... the theatre scenes were done entirely by Joel and only Joel. A couple of the host segments had Servo or Gyspy, but essentially, the episode was just Joel. Where was Crow? Well, to celebrate the holiday season, Joel froze Crow and decorated him as a Christmas tree. I am only guessing that Trace was on vcacation for a while, so this was really the only thing they really could do.

I am on the fence as to if I really like these early episodes, or if I really just detest them. The dialogue over the movie comes as more slight comments and observation, not so much as jokes... and the few actual jokes that do filter in are very bland and just not that funny. It really is more like just watching a movie with someone and having them make a few comments here and there. So, where it isn't so much "laugh-out-loud" funny, it's still has the nice homely feel of watching a really bad movie with a couple of friends.

Perfect for a late-night movie show on a local channel, but it definitely needed scripting to make it to cable.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

0004: Gamera Vs. Barugon

Well then, folks... What with the new poems every Monday, I have come up with a plan. Starting at the beginning, I am going to watch one(1) Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode every day, four days out of each week... and then write a little blogue entry about each episode. For those of you who want the specifics, I will watch the show Mondays through Thursdays, with the write-up the following days, ie. Tuesdays through Fridays... leaving the weekends free to frolic and play.

So here we go...

MST3k, Experiment #0004

A quick summary of Season Zero(0), or "The KTMA Season", the show originally started in 1988 on a cable access channel in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. A few things of note about this season are as follows: The theme song had no backup vocals (as in the famous "la la la"s), Tom Servo's voice changed a couple times throughout the season, and the jokes were more thin... making the show much more about the movies than about the jokes.

The first three episodes are essentially "lost" ... I am sure someone (Jim Mallon) probably has them, but they have yet to see the light of day in the form of bootlegs. Because of this, I started off at episode four(4), Gamera Vs. Barugon.

Here's a quick synopsis of the movie itself:

After a treacherous expedition to retrieve a giant opal, disaster strikes as the opal reveals itself to be an egg which spawns Barugon, demon dog from Hell! Armed with a deadly tongue and cold beams, Barugon wreaks havoc on Japan. Gamera comes to save the day.

Alright, so this movie is so horribly and incredibly stupid... I love Gamera films!!! There are honestly lines like "He will die by his own rainbow." in this movie. If that doesn't make you smack your head a few times already, try watching this stinker. The "deadly tongue" is more like a really long stick that comes out of the giant lizard's mouth, and sprays white mist that deep freezes anything or anyone it's aimed at... and there's a wonderful plan involving mirrors by the humans that ultimately fails.

This is the earliest available episode, and all of the host segments generally focus on listening to voice-mail from viewers. One in particular stated that he enjoyed the movies, but disliked them talking over it... and hoped that they don't continue the show in that fashion. I wonder what he thought once the show became famous.

Another of the callers, who I am sure caught the first three(3) episodes, stated that the show needed more "chapstick," prompting Joel and the bots to go on and on about chapstick through the rest of the show. I am pretty sure he said or meant "slapstick" but hey, whatever brings the jokes.

All-in-all, the show got off to a pretty good start. It was very obviously cable-access and low-budget... and not even remotely as funny as later seasons, but the movie itself was so laughable on its own that you didn't need many jokes.

Just a few quick things of note: Servo's voice was VERY "PeeWee Herman-esque" in this episode, having not found his "mighty voice" the character is better know for. The "Mads" have yet to appear, leaving only Joel and the bots with nobody visibly forcing the movies on them. Also, this episode has the first of many M*A*S*H jokes that still continue to this day in Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic... and this episode contains the note-worthy line "Never put anything in your ear larger than a pirate!"

A great start to what will hopefully be a fun project, and I hit the ground running... running very quickly away from Barugon's deadly rainbows!!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Charity

Okay, new plan: New poems coming every Monday, hopefully for the whole year. "Why?" you might be asking... Well, you'll see tomorrow, when I unveil my new experiment!!!

So here it is, the first of many poems for 2010.

CHARITY

"Here... wear my shoes.
They fit you better."

I now own a new pair of shoes.

"Take my gloves.
Keep your hands warm."

My god, these are comfortable.

"Do you need a belt?"

Before long,
there was an ugly,
naked man
standing in front of me.