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."