Friday, February 26, 2010

0201: Rocketship X-M

MST3k, Experiment #0201

The Most Amazing Story Ever Filmed!  Rocketship X-M:

Astronauts blast off to explore the moon on. Because of craft malfunction and some fuel calculations, they end up landing on Mars. On Mars, evidence of a once powerful civilization is found. The scientists determinted that an atomic war destroyed most of the Martians (Who suprsingly look like humans). Those that survived reverted to a caveman like existance.


Alright... we have the new cast members, Kevin Murphy (who had been running cameras, lights, doors, etc. for quite some time by now) as our beloved Tom Servo (see my previous blogue entry for the rant on the old Servo), and Frank Conniff as Dr. Forester's new sidekick, TV's Frank.

The opening segment has one of my favourite invention exchanges, the BGC19... It's pretty much my favourite simply because Frank steals the idea from Joel, and very obviously.  This was the best way Frank could have been introduced to the viewers, and it was pulled off marvelously.  We also get the first (but surely not last) occurrence of Frank shouting "I'm the god!!!" ...a phrase that will be used many times until his departure at the end of season six(6).

All of the segments are classic.  Another favourite of mine is Mike Nelson's first on-screen appearance, as Valaria from Robot Holocaust.

As I love hindsight in episode references, I got a real kick out of Joel asking the mads "Why didn't you just show us Marooned?" to which they replied "We couldn't get it."  This was the premier of season two(2), and I'm pretty sure they had no idea that two season later, season four(4) would start with Space Travelers, better known as Marooned.


Favourite line:  "Then you get up in space and... god, your hair smells good."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

0113: The Black Scorpion

MST3k, Experiment #0113

Every Horror You've Seen on the Screen Grows Pale Beside the Horror of...  The Black Scorpion:

Filmed in Mexico. Allegedly an outgrowth of a ten-minute "test" film, the story is set in motion by a volcanic eruption which releases dozens of giant scorpions from a cave. American geologist Richard Denning and his cohorts try to drive the scorpions back into their lair, but the huge arachnids are soon at large in civilization, munching on innocent bystanders as they go their merry way. The authorities are able to destroy all but one scorpion, who, unfortunately, is the nastiest of the bunch. The climax takes place in a Mexico City bullring, where the scorpion does battle with a fleet of military helicopters.


Alright, this is the last episode of season one(1), and I'm really not going to comment much on the movie as I am about the departure of one of the cast members.  Josh (J. Elvis Weinstein) always annoyed the HELL out of me as Tom Servo.  Sure, yeah, he was the first Servo, but something never sat very well with me about it.  Maybe it's due to how well I know Kevin Murphy as Servo, and how long he fit in that role compared to how little time Josh played the part...  but that doesn't quite explain it all, concidering how much I have always enjoyed Dr. Erhardt.  It was just his portrayal of Servo that annoyed the hell out of me.  In this marathon, I finally figured out what it is: the damned Barney Rubble laugh.  It grates on me like no tomorrow.  It's fine when it's from Barney, but I want it far far away from my Servo.

Anyways, once I figured that out, I was able to take a much more objective look at Josh's Servo. (Yeah, that sounds really perverted, doesn't it?!)  He really was very funny, and had some great delivery...  That doesn't mean I suddenly love him as Servo; it just means that I appreciate him more.  There are still FAR too many times where I just wanted to smack him, especially when he'd laugh (yes, the Rubble laugh) at his own really lame jokes that weren't even worth a smirk.  But I also have to remember, he was really young at the time (still I teen I think), and the show itself was very young as well...

So while I still am annoyed by Josh's Servo, I have to admit that there were some pretty funny and classic moments that he brought his own charm to.  With the semi-recent arrival of Cinematic Titanic, I've grown to enjoy Josh much more than I used to... as I said before, I thought Dr. Erhardt was brilliant... and I think he's one of my two favourites from the CinTi team, alongside Frank.

While I'm sad to see Josh and Dr. Erhardt leave the show at this point, I am thrilled for the upcoming arrival of Kevin Murphy who truly brought Servo to another level, far beyond a Butthead imitation with a Barney Rubble laugh.

As for the episode itself, a few noticeable points include a small nod to a movie that was featured in a later season, "Alien From L.A.", and a few parts that really made me laugh were every time Joel and the bots broke into sudden random applause for the characters in the movie.  So yeah... on to season two(2).

(For the record, no offense at all is meant towards Josh... every fan and viewer has their own personal taste, and I know some that really liked the way Josh played Servo. I'm just not one of those people.  I still think you're great, J!!!)


Favourite line:  "I don't know, but you did it first."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

0112: Untamed Youth

MST3k, Experiment #0112

They 'Calypso'! They 'Rock'! Every Night is Talent Night in the Recreation Hall! No guards in the Recreation Hall...but these dogs aren't pets!  Untamed Youth:

Untamed Youth is a camp classic so stupefyingly awful that it's actually festive. The villains are cotton grower Tropp and corrupt female judge Mrs. Steele, who conspire between them to ship female convicts to work on Tropp's farm for starvation wages. Two of the new arrivals are professional entertainers, Penny and Janey, arrested on trumped-up charges and forced to work off their sentence on the Tropp spread. Salvation arrives in the form of Bob, Mrs. Steele's son, who intends to expose his mom's evil scheme.


Two girls get sentenced to hard time at a labour camp, and for what?  Why, for swimming in their undies, of course... well, with a side-count of hitchhiking added on.  Apparently, swimming in your udnerwear is a very dispicable crime, and should be severely punished.

One of the many "young people are out of control and should be put in their place" films of the 50's, or whenever this was made... Untamed Youth is almost painful at times, simply because of the "hip" and "trendy" terms used by all the "kids."  Equally painful, and sometimes even moreso, is the singing.  Oh god, the singing.  The whole song about how they "ain't never gonna make a cotton picker outta me" (sung of course by a group of white kids) will give me nightmares much into the next decade.

But it's that sort of idiocy that makes a good MST3k episode... in fact, that's what made this show what it is/was.  There's nothing particularly special about this episode, really.  The host segs are good, not bland at all but also not outstanding.  I do have to say, however, that I was surprised when I pulled out my disc and saw that it wasn't an officially released episode yet.  I could have sworn this was in at least one of the many box sets.  I guess that at least shows how many times I have seen it, considering I thought I had bought it at one point.

Tomorrow is the final episode of season one(1), and then on to season two(2)!


Favourite line:  "Now you drive it into town, and I'll meet you there."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

0111: Moon Zero Two

MST3k, Experiment #0111

An asteroid worth millions. A robbery. A murder.  Moon Zero Two:

A space salvage expert and his partner become involved with a group of criminals intent on hijacking a small asteroid made of sapphire and crashing it into the moon for later recovery. The only place that they can bring the asteroid down without drawing attention to themselves is a far side mining claim. But first they must dispose of the miner. Little known to them, however, is the fact that the miners sister has hired the same salvage team to help her locate her missing brother.

Alright, I'm not usually one for completely quoting someone else's review of movies for my entire post, but the entry at the MST3k Wiki just about sums this movie up perfectly:

Imagine what would happen if Rowan and Martin were hired to film a Maverick episode using sets from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Well, Moon Zero Two is even worse than that.

What passes for a plot exists only to tie together a string of scenes that chock full of 60s cliches, flat characters and outrageous music.

By the time you see a group of implausibly attired and impossibly vacuous models playing "MOON"-opoly with a purple-shirted eye-patched bearded and ugly bad guy (the 'Baron') in a scene that makes James Bond's villains look realistic, you'll just shrug your shoulders and say, "It figures."

When dancers appear on stage wearing cowboy hats the size of Volkswagen Beetles, you'll be long past the point of caring.

The plot, such as it is, revolves around a down on his luck captain Kemp (a limp haired goob who was the first man on Mars, or so goes his backstory), anyway, the extravagantly foreheaded Kemp is hired by the Baron to crash an asteroid into the far side of the moon--provided he makes it look like an accident. Meanwhile, the Baron has also made a miner on the far side of the moon disappear in what appears to be an accident. Will these two plots collide? Of course they will. Will the denouement be paint-by-numbers and flavorless? Of course it will.

The movie's soundtrack? It's brassy, but not in a good way. No, no, no, certainly not in a good way. If Herb Alpert heard this soundtrack, he'd probably take his trumpet out to the driveway and back his car over it.

Yeah, so the host segments were top-notch, especially the zero-gravity fist-fight.  I think this episode may be the first time we really see one of their many little "plays" that Joel (eventually Mike) and the bots put on... but I could be wrong on that.  Either way, this is one of the better episodes from season one(1) and I definitely look forward to Shout! Factory releasing this someday.


Favourite line:  "Okay, you're twelve. I'm a hundred. I get it already."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Independence Day

I wrote this one in a bit of a hurry.  Been on vacation.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

The worst effect
I have ever seen
in a movie
is on Independence Day.

I've seen some
really bad effects
in my day,
but nothing
quite as bad
as the dog
jumping
into a doorway
as the fireball
blasts behind him.

I think they put that in
at the last minute.

Test audiences
don't like it
when dogs get
blown up.

Friday, February 19, 2010

0110: Robot Holocaust

MST3k, Experiment #0110

SHORT:
Radar Men From the Moon - Chapter 9: Battle in the Stratosphere.  Finally!!!  We're done with Commando Cody!  A few minutes in to this short, we're treated to an MST3k rarity... the film broke.  I think they finally just got tired of Cody, and decided to end it with a bang... or a snap, as it were.


It's machine vs. man in the ultimate battle for the future!  Robot Holocaust:

Neo, a drifter from the atomic-blasted wastelands, arrives with his klutzy robot sidekick at a factory where slaves labor to fuel the sinister Dark One's Power Station. There, he meets a comely woman who convinces him to help rescue her scientist father, who has invented a device that can break the Dark One's control over the slaves. Gathering a motley crew of allies on the way, Neo and pals travel to the Power Station, where they confront the Dark One's evil servants.

Oh Valaria...  This is actually a fan-favourite, and for very obvious reasons.  The plot is ridiculous, the budget actually seemed to be quite decent, and the acting is horrendous.  What more could you ask for?  A leading lady who can't pronounce a single word of her lines, you say?!  Well, you're in luck!!!

Sounding like a bad combination of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Arianna Huffington, the lead female antagonist Valaria muddles her way through her lines, attempting to make up for it by overacting to extremes.  Oh man, these bring about my favourite riffs...  Every time she tries to say "Dark One" Joel and the bots go into a pained attempt at figuring out what she's saying.  "Dot Wad?!" "Dah Twan?!"  Just the thought of this movie will suddenly drive me into a ramble along the lines of "Dwoo wir bahhh to da pahw ub du daaaah twaaaa."  Comedy gold, if I do say so myself.

Then there's the avacado man...  Valaria's prisoner is taken to the "womb ub tweschuns" and then, when they have no more need for him, he is turned into a giant avacado with a head.  Sounds dumb!?  Well, yeah... it is.

This being another episode that feels a bit more like a season three(3) episode than season one(1), it's definitely highly sought after for a DVD release.  Hopefully someday... in the past two(2) weeks alone, I've been told four(4) times "I just watched Robot Holocaust... they should have done that for MST3k."  Well, they did... it's just hard to get ahold of (through legal means, that is).

Anywho... yeah, Robot Holocaust.  Or, "Wobah Hawderkwahs" if you're Valaria.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

0109: Project Moonbase

MST3k, Experiment #0109

SHORT:
Radar Men from the Moon - Chapter 7: Camouflaged Destruction and Chapter 8: The Enemy Planet. Oddly, I found myself amused by these ones... probably because Joel and the bots are going insane from having to watch these. The riffs are getting more and more bitter about Cody. I laughed heartily at their mock astonishment at Cody's ability to fly, as if it's something we've never seen before and as if the effects were even remotely good. It's kind of funny to think that people used to find this dreck enjoyable or top-rate.


Thrills Come Rocketing to the Screen as Science Smashes a New Frontier! Project Moonbase:

Set in the future — 1970, that is — Project Moon Base takes place on a huge space station, where a group of pilots and scientists draw up plans to establish a U.S. military base on the moon. This project is nearly stymied by foreign spy Dr. Wernher, who is exposed when he cannot answer a few simple questions about the Brooklyn Dodgers (it's that kind of film). The story comes to an abrupt conclusion when female colonel Breiteis — pronounced "Bright Eyes"! — and male major Moore are married on the surface of the moon, with the President of the United States presiding via two-way television.


Okay, yeah... This movie doesn't have much of a plot, except for the spy of course. What it DOES have is a lot of cheap (ie, really bad) visual "tricks" to demonstrate the lack of gravity in space. In one scene, our two heroes walk down a hallway towards a door, and a man is walking the other direction... also, he's walking on the ceiling. Of course, he's on the opposite side of the screen, for the very obvious split-screen effect. The two main characters then walk through the door, where there are chairs on the wall facing down to a desk on the floor where a small committee are looking up at them. The bots make a reference to the scene being filmed by "guest director M. C. Escher" which was pretty much how the whole thing panned out. Apparently weightlessness means gravity works in various directions instead of just one.

The lead female was rather attractive... Yeah, I said it. Shut up.

I think that really is all there is to say about this movie. I am pretty sure it was just a poor way of showing off the new video effects of the time... which, by today's standards, seem dull and implausible. The makers of the film obviously knew nothing about physics, and it shows... pissing off people like me. Ahhh, the early beliefs on outer space.

The host segments were quite funny, yet forgettable. I smiled though at Commando Servo, being flown around the room by Joel... Servo with a gold painted popcorn bowl on his head was rather amusing. I have to say that I'd like to see this one get an official DVD release sometime soon.

Favourite line: "These people are dressed like camp counselors."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

0108: The Slime People

MST3k, Experiment #0108

Up from the Bowels of the Earth Come...  The Slime People:

Tom Gregory, a Los Angeles-based sports reporter, is flying into L.A. and lands his private plane after a rough descent through some kind of opaque midair disturbance, only to find the airport deserted. He meets Professor Galvin and his two daughters, Bonnie and Lisa, who tell him that the city has been overrun by huge, hulking, slime-covered subterraneans called Slime People, who appeared out of the sewers and other underground water concentrations. Appearing out of a strange thick fog apparently generated by a device of their own, they've killed hundreds, possibly thousands, panicked the population, fought the army to a standstill, and have now cut off the city with a wall of solidified fog. The professor's reasoning that salt would be effective against slug-like creatures gives them a weapon against the Slime People. But clearing them all out and freeing the city requires an assault against the creatures' own stronghold, which becomes even more essential when Bonnie is taken prisoner.



Radar Men from the Moon - Chapter 6: Hills Of Death.  More Cody... God, this is getting old.  I no longer care about the convoluted storyline, or if Cody lives or dies... not that I did to begin with.

So, we will talk about the movie now.  Why this movie was even made is a mystery to me.  More than three-quarters(3/4) of the film is obscured by a thick fog, causing me to really quickly lose interest in even watching, as I couldn't see what was actually happening.  I guess that really is a brilliant way to make a movie on a budget though...  Just mask out anything and everything that's happening, and you really don't have to have the actors do anything but talk!  For all I know, they were playing Pinochle the entire time.

The riffs were pretty decent... the funniest ones being simply about how no one knew what was going on.  The host segments were standard and fun.  One was dedicated to (yes, of course) how stupid the movie is and how to make a better show.  My favourite though was when they filled the SOL with lots and lots of tick soupy fog.  I love it when the segments blatantly mock something from the feature.

Anyways, wasn't a bad episode... Quite entertaining considering how horrible the movie was.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

0107: Robot Monster

MST3k, Experiment #0107

Moon Monsters Launch Attack Against Earth! How Can Science Meet the Menace of Astral Assassins?!  Robot Monster:

A young boy named Johnny, who is fascinated with outer space, is on a picnic with his widowed mother, older sister, and younger sister when he meets a pair of archeologists exploring a nearby cave. Later, as the family sleeps, he has a dream — that the Earth has been attacked by a alien named Ro-Man, using the "calcinator death ray," and that he and his family and scientist Nader are the only survivors. They try to elude capture by Ro-Man (played by actor George Barrows in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet), who turns out to have some very human failings despite his computerized mentality. Several members of the family are killed, but Ro-Man is destroyed by his controllers when he decides he'd rather experience human emotions.


But first, we are tortured with two(2)... count em, two(2) episodes of Radar Men from the Moon - Chapter 4: Flight of Destruction and Chapter 5: Murder Car.  The moon men need money, they try to kidnap Cody, but instead kidnap his assistant chick.  Cody uses his rocket suit to catch up with the moon man as he flies his hostage away in a small plane, and the moon man jumps out leaving the controls jammed and the hostage still in the plane.  Cody rescues the girl, plane crashes, etc. etc...  Then the moon men steal some money.  Brilliant cinematography.

Now on with the movie!!!  Robot Monster is one of my favourites.  It's such a bad movie, and so poorly made.  I am going to quote the MST3k episode guide for this, simply because it can not be put any better:

Okay, try and follow.  A boy gets struck by lightning, and the world ends.  Two lizards with dinosaur makeup glued on toss each other around.  Cut to: sometime after this damned annoying apocalypse, when a robot monster lives in a cave guarded by a bubble machine.  He's named RO-MAN and he wears a big gorilla suit and a space helmet he probably stole from First Men In The Moon.  There's also a scientist, a half-dressed woman who gets carried around a lot, and - not to give anything away - it all turns out to be a dream.

Sounds like a real winner, doesn't it?!

This is one of those movies that truly is "so bad, it's good" and I think everyone should watch it, even smply for the laughs.


Favourite line:  "Oh look, gecko Ro-Man wrestling."

Monday, February 15, 2010

For Jack Bauer

Yes, I've been watching 24.  Shut up.

FOR JACK BAUER

I want to watch
The Tim And Eric Show
or pretty much anything else right now...

Last night you kept me up
until six a.m.

An episode ends:
I should turn it off,
but I need to know
what happens next.

I think there's a reason
I didn't start watching
until now.

I hate you, Jack Bauer...

...at least your daughter is hot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

0106: The Crawling Hand

MST3k, Experiment #0106

Jolting Space Shocker! Astronaut Ordered Blown-Up! Terrifying Menace from the Moon!  The Crawling Hand:

The hand of an exploded astronaut takes on a life of its own in this horror film that begins when the hand is discovered near the crash site by a naive young med student who takes it home as a grisly souvenir. He has no idea that the hand has been possessed by a strange, murderous alien who gradually begins to take over the hapless med student. Suddenly people all around town are found mysteriously strangled to death, and now only a very hungry cat can save the rest of them.


Oh, The Crawling Hand...  How the hell does a hand cut off at the elbow have enough strength to strangle a person?!  I guess the first question should be as to how the hand is able to get around so well.  I mean, sure... it crawls with its fingers, but that doesn't explain how it gets up stairs or on top of shelves.  Then there's the aforementioned strangling.  This disembodied arm strangles people.  I guess, yeah, most of the muscles used in strangling are in the bottom half of your arm, but that still doesn't provide enough strength to choke a person to death.

Yes, that's my one real complaint about the movie.  Everything else I guess I was fine with, for some reason.

As an episode, I suppose it was okay.  It began with Joel explaining the premise of the show... six episodes in, I am guessing maybe this was meant to be the first episode of the show.  I am sure I've mentioned how annoying episode reordering is... but yeah, the whole "I am trapped on a satellite OF MY OWN DESIGN..." monologue has always annoyed me.  The delivery is horribly awkward and feels very forced, making the show even more unnatural than it already is.  I am very glad they gave up that "Hello people of Earth..." crap.

All things said, the riffs were funny, the segments were bland and occasionally annoying.  Not my favourite episode.

Favourite line:  "She needs about a hundred and fifty hours of beauty sleep."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

0105: The Corpse Vanishes

MST3k, Experiment #0105

Strange case of the seven missing brides... enslaved in a madman's grotto of torture!  The Corpse Vanishes:

After the death of many brides in their weddings and disappearance of their corpses, the snoopy journalist Patricia Hunter notes that all of them were wearing an orchid in their breasts. She finds that the hybridization of the orchid was made by Dr. Lorenz, and she decides to interview him about the flowers. She hitchhikes on the road with Dr. Foster and they are hosted by Dr. Lorenz in his isolated house. Dr. Lorenz is indeed a mad scientist that sleeps with his wife in coffins, and with the assistance of a dwarf and his strong retarded brother, extract gland fluids from the neck of the abducted virgins to keep his elder wife young.


We start again with Radar Men From The Moon, Chapter 3: Bridge Of Death.  The last chapter ended with Commando Cody and his gay lover almost getting killed by molten rock... This chapter starts with them randomly escaping out a back entrance of the cave and throwing a grenade at the moon tank.  How convenient that there just happened to be a way out in the back of the cave.  Anyways, they fly back to Earth, where some more moon men are waiting to blow Cody up on a bridge.  Ohhh, the suspense.

Well, the main feature should sound familiar, as it's the plot of about two(2) or three(3) other Bela Lugosi films.  Mad scientist wants to keep his wife alive, so he kills a bunch of younger ladies to harvest their youth.  It's his love that makes him do this, of course... which makes him (supposedly) sympathetic.  Honestly, there really isn't that much more to this film's plot...

As stated many times before, I love me a good segment of bots simply wandering through the shot...  Host segment two(2) had Joel and the bots playing tag on the SOL.  Nothing really makes me laugh more than seeing Servo wander slowly past.... followed eventually by Crow, who mutters an "Oh... oh dear..." and then Joel... and then Gypsy's head pop up in front... and so on until finally Joel tags both Servo and Crow before Movie Sign.  So simple, yet so very funny.

This was a pretty good episode, if you can pay attention to the movie that is.  The host segments are decent (aside from the "Tag" segement, which is hilarious), and I think this is the first appearance of the whole "Say a good thing and a bad thing about the movie, and you get a RAM chip" bit.  That's always fun, but I can see why they opted to drop it later on... it could get pretty hard to find a good thing about some of these movies, and I bet the whole bit gets redundant after a while.  Anyways, good episode.

Favourite line:  "A midget in a stairwell. Can't really get much shorter than that."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

0104: Women Of The Prehistoric Planet

MST3k, Experiment #0104

It's the Battle of the Sexes as Savage Planet Women Attack Female Space Invaders.  Women Of The Prehistoric Planet:

A spaceship crash-lands on the third planet of a distant solar system, killing all hands except for a young boy named Tang. The rescue ship arrives some 20 years later. One of the crew, a girl named Linda, meets Tang and falls in love with him. The rescue team is attacked by the native life of the planet and many of them are killed off. When the ship leaves, Linda decides to stay with Tang.

I always forget that this is a season one(1) episode.  The quality of the entire episode is something I expect of season four(4) or five(5).  Anyways, this is a great movie with a horribly low budget and a slight predictability in the "twist" at the end... yet it's still one of the better movies they've ever riffed.  It really just reminds me of a better episode of the Star Trek original series.  Of course, that's not saying too much, but still, I actually really like this movie.

As for jokes, they are all great... The movie's "comic relief" provides some great riff fodder, as does the voice of the captain.  The host segments are wonderful, the opening segment providing us with the show's first real original song.  The last segment has them reading a letter from the winner of a competition from a later episode.  I am sure this has to do with rights issues and television networks' typical ability of reordering episodes.

Anyways, yeah... great episode.  That's all.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

0103: The Mad Monster

MST3k, Experiment #0103

He created a beast... for vengeance! A monster comes to Life behind the barred door of the crazed scientist's laboratory... and seeks Human Prey!  The Mad Monster:

Bland former child actor Johnny Downs earns top billing in this low-budget horror film, but the real star is that most psychotic of all the mad doctors, George Zucco. The British-born character actor plays Dr. Lorenzo Cameron, a discredited — and quite mad — medico who has discovered a way to turn his helper, Pietro (Strange), into a wolf man. The lycanthropic experiments succeed only too well, and although Dr. Cameron spouts plans of turning his discovery into a weapon in defense of the civilized world, he instead unleashes his creation on those fellow scientists who had engineered his ouster from academia in the first place. Before long, however, the good doctor is unable to control the wolf man, who threatens to kill everything in his path. Only newspaper reporter Tom Gregory (Downs) and Lenora (Nagel), Cameron's innocent daughter, may be able to stop the monster. A perennial cult favorite.


We start, yet again, with a serial... Radar Men From The Moon, Chapter 2: Molten Terror.  In this chapter, Commando Cody and one of his men use nitrus oxide to knock out the moon men, so they can steal the ray gun.  As they flee, some moon men chase Cody and his friend in their tank, which is made of particle board.  Cody and the dude run into a cave, and the men in the tank melt the moon rock to form a river of (yes, you've got it) molten terror.  Will Cody and his gay companion escape the molten rock!?  Find out next time.

So yeah, The Mad Monster... Okay so this movie sucks.  The Mad Monster is a terrible movie, struggling to pose as a horror film.  We have a mad scientist who goes to great lengths to prove how not-mad he really is... by turning his moronic man-servant into a wolf-man.  He then gets yelled at and put down by his imaginary friends who he vows to kill.  The movie really devolves from then on, with the wolf-man wandering around in the night, occasionally killing a small child, and then returning to ask if he'd been sleep-walking.

The riffing was quite good at pointing out the inherent flaws of this movie, also at pointing out how much the lead actress sounded and acted like Judy Garland.  The host segments are decent... at one point bringing back one of the KTMA-era bits where Servo hits on a blender.  There aren't a lot of high points in this episode really, but it's a solid run-of-the-mill show.  While I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as a jumping-off point for the show, by ANY means... it's still dumb enough that just remembering the movie makes me laugh.

Favourite line:  "That felt good. Now I'm going to go turn my daughter into a woodchuck."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Memories

Here's the new poem for today.  I wrote this a few days ago, based entirely on a random conversation I had with Lori... and no, I was never married.

MEMORIES

It's been eight long years
since my wife died.

She used to love
how the birds all
flew together in a V.

"Birds of a feather
flock together."
she would say
and wrinkle her nose
as she laughed.

I never understood
how she could hunt quail
if she loved birds so much...

...but boy howdy,
did they taste good
with orange sauce.

She died from food poisoning.
Salmonella.

Some say it was
revenge.

Friday, February 05, 2010

0102: The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy

MST3k, Experiment #0102

See the Relentless Machine Battle the Gruesome Corpse!  The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy:

With a sub-barrel-bottomed budget, this Mexican horror outing features wicked old Dr. Krupp, the crazed experimenter who caused trouble in this film's two predecessors, The Aztec Mummy and Curse of the Aztec Mummy (both 1957), up to his old tricks. As in the former features, he is again trying to trick the Aztec mummy Popoca into leaving his crypt so the bad doctor can get at the treasure within. This time his scheme entails the invention of the title tin man (complete with incandescent light-bulb ears), a device he equips with a human brain. A horrific battle ensues when the two monsters collide.

But before all that, we see our first short:  Radar Men From The Moon, Chapter One: The Moon Rocket.  A Commando Cody serial from the 50's (the first of many), this short has one of my all-time favourite running jokes, "Oh, I hate to shoot a butt like that!"  In chapter one(1), well... men from the moon come down to Earth with a radar ray gun.  (Apparently in the 50's, radar was an all-purpose weapon and high-quality spy camera device... as seen in season 5 on Radar Secret Service)  Commando Cody casually acquires the ray gun (a RONALD ray gun) from the moon men, and when they try to get it back, Cody decides to go to the moon.  This obviously was before anyone had ever been to the moon, as the moon looks exactly like Arizona and has all the physical properties of Earth.  He confronts the ruler of the moon(?!) who promptly announces a coming invasion of Earth.  Within minutes, a fight ensues and the moon ruler shoots Cody with a ray gun.  Did he survive?!  Find out next time...

...and now, The Robot (Yay!) Vs. The Aztec Mummy (Boo!).  I'll start by saying that there's one actor (if you can call him that) on this movie who has the same unchanging expression on his face the entire movie, during one scene especially.  It's kind of a confused panic look.  There's one scene in particular where the mad scientist is rambling on and on and on and on about his big grand scheme... the most long-winded mad scientist in all history ...and the man still keeps the same erratic look on his face the entire time.  Looking back and forth, as if he's just about to jump out of his chair and shout something... but no... he just sits there.  Then, after the scientist leaves, out of nowhere, he lunges up and delivers a firm rapid punch to one of the goons.  That bit alone is worth laughing out loud.

All-in-all, this was a good solid episode.  The jokes were hillarious, especially during the serial.  Joel had to define a "serial" to the bots, which yielded the obvious "cereal" joke.  All of the host segments were dedicated to dealing with the "demon dog" problem on the SOL (Satellite of Love).  This may have been one of the most annoying episodes, simply due to the constant barking noises... but it was still hillarious.  I would definitely recommend it, even despite all the incessant barking.

Favourite line:  "Oh, I didn't know. I can't even vote."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

0101: The Cralwing Eye

The Comedy Channel presents...

MST3k, Experiment #0101

The nightmare terror of the slithering eye that unleashed agonizing horror on a screaming world!  The Crawling Eye:

At the remote Alpine village of Trollenberg, someone or something is killing off mountain climbers. The culprits turn out to be an army of one-eyed, tentacled beasts from outer space, who hide themselves in a radioactive cloud. Crawling along like snails, these horrific creatures attempt to neutralize their human foes by pumping a freezing fog at their pursuers. It matters not at all that some of the locals have been mentally enslaved by the monsters. It's up to American scientist Alan Brooks to save the day.


Ahhh Janet Munro.  A little known secret is that I am pretty sure she was my second celebrity crush, after Haley Mills.  Yes, I'm a Disney nerd, but I loved the Swiss Family Robinson and Pollyanna.  Shoot me.

Anyways, Janet Munro is as cute as ever in this dreadfully horrid film...  It probably wouldn't be quite so bad if the matte paintings weren't awful, and the giant tentacled eyeballs weren't cheaply and poorly done.  It actually has a few relatively suspenseful moments... none of them actually pertaining to the giant eyeballs though.  Mostly just when someone randomly tries to kill Janet Munro for some odd reason.  I wouldn't kill Janet Munro if you paid me... mostly because she died in 1972, but also because she's just so adoreable with those pouty lips.

So... here we have Mystery Science Theater 3000, finally off cable access and on standard cable where it belongs.  The Comedy Channel had just recently been formed and was filling their airtime with old comedy movies and Gallagher, and someone wonderfully felt that MST3k would make a perfect fit.  This first episode is already noticably different and more energetic from the moment the theme song starts.  The classic backup vocals and "La la la"s are there... and there's a new-found life to it that the KTMA season just didn't have.

The first host segment consists of the mads explaining the new set, having "moved to the sub-basement of Gizmonic Institute" which is called "Deep 13."  At last, the stage is set for many happy memories.

The jokes are still a tad scarce compared to later seasons, but they are already far better... Call me biased, but I have a strong feeling that this is due to the addition of the head writer (and future host) Mike Nelson.  Either way, the show is hillarious right off the bat, and that's a good thing.  I am sure this is what helped keep the show on the air for 9 more seasons.

Favourite line:  "Pants... with the leg still in them."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

0021: Legend Of Dinosaurs

My God, it's Dorka...

MST3k, Experiment #0021

The final episode of Season Zero(0)... Legend Of Dinosaurs:

Severe weather changes in the Mt. Fuju area awaken a plesiosaur in Lake Sai, eating just about anyone who enters the lake. Meanwhile, in an ice cave within Mt. Fuji, a pterodactyl is about to hatch from an egg and throw the region into further chaos. Blood and bad dubbing follow...

Alright, last of the KTMA episodes...  horrible movie and I sorta fell asleep in the middle of it, thanks to my head-cold.  I woke several million times to laugh and drift back off... so it must have at least been funny.

The first host segment actually is one of my all-time favourites.  The mads create a "Joel Is Dead" hoax scheme, much like the "Paul Is Dead" hoax of the Beatles.  For example, in the theme song it says "there WAS a guy named Joel..."   Was, as in past tense, because he's dead.

Well, hopefully my blogues will be a bit more descriptive once we get into some more classic episodes... ones I pretty much know by heart too.  I also need to get rid of this cold.  Ugh.

I think I'll start looking for previews or videos or something to post with these also, just in case I really don't have much to say.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

0020: The Last Chase

MST3k, Experiment #0020

The Last Chase:

It is the future. Evil fascists have forced everyone to recycle and drive electric cars, and have oppressed all those poor people who want to drive Ferraris and smoke cigarettes. Hero Lee Majors, an ex-racing car driver, decides to make a statement by pulling out his old race car and driving cross-country at 150 mph (he siphons gas from old gas station pumps). Taking along a young computer hacker, he drives for the Holy Land the Free State of California! Of course, the Powers That Be try to eliminate him by hiring Burgess Meredith to shoot him down with a fighter jet, which, too, are virtually extinct.

Lee Majors driving a race car... Burgess Meredith flying a fighter jet...  Both speed demons forced into retirement by the state of the world and the restrictions on society.  Honestly, despite how lame this movie sounds and is, it's actually one of the better movies I have seen on MST3k.  Yes, I actually enjoyed this movie...  No, it's not perfect, but it's not a horrible movie.  The premise is a bit dumb, but the main point is simply that this man wants to taste real freedom again and will do whatever it takes to gain that freedom.

Well, this is the first and only time we see the theater doors before we ever see Joel and the bots.  The entire opening host segment is the mads and then bam, right into the theater.  Also, they announce the 1000th fan club member, which is quite an accomplishment, considering the show was still only on cable access.

Speaking of which, only one more really crappy movie and then I jump head-first into season one(1).

Monday, February 01, 2010

For Allergies

Yes, I am getting sick.  That doesn't happen all too often, so I guess I'm overdue.  I wrote about it.

FOR ALLERGIES

Good lord...

Are you trying
to make me
cut off my face?

I think allergies
are just life's way
of making us
appreciate the little things
in life...

...like breathing,
for example.