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.