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!