Tuesday, July 13, 2010

0517: Beginning of The End

MST3k, Experiment #0517

The screen's first full-length science-fiction thriller with real live creatures! Beginning of The End.

Reporter Audrey Ames is driving along a highway in Illinois when she is stopped by the military. She then finds out that a small town was destroyed and everyone has seemingly disappeared. She then goes to a lab run by the Department of Agriculture. While she is there she meets the lab's director, Dr. Ed Wainwright. Ed then tells her that strange things have been happening ever since he discovered that a bunch of grasshoppers managed to get into a silo containing a batch of radioactive wheat. They soon discover that the grasshoppers have grown to monstrous proportions and not only are devouring the local vegetation, but have developed a taste for human flesh as well. Now the locusts are marching towards Chicago and the military is threatening to destroy the city with the atom bomb. Can another solution to stop the monsters be found before it is too late?

Ohh, I always forget just how fantastic this episode is. I love it when they do the more famous movies, and as far as I know, this one is rather well-known. Here we have a wonderful Bert. I Gordon film starring Peter Graves. Yes, I know... that seems to describe a lot of the movies here, but this one has something the others don't: Giant locust.

The riffing here is top-notch. I know I say that a lot, but I really mean it this time!! They just hold back nothing, and I think this may be the best written episode of season five(5). I wrote down SO many lines for my favourite. It was easy to pick the one I did, as it made me laugh louder and harder than all the rest of them, but I had a lot to choose from otherwise.

The host segments are terrific. From the opening bit, with an appearance by Mary Jo Pehl (Ya gotta love Mary Jo!)... to Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank kicking back to watch some TV ("I'm declaring this National 'Our' Day..."), this episode is golden.

My personal favourite bit is Crow's performance of the education of Peter Graves. Sure, I'm always a sucker for a Peter Graves joke. I've been known to sit at my desk at work and talk like Peter Graves... I've answered the phone as Peter Graves... My ex-girlfriend used to get mad at me, telling me "I don't want to talk to Peter Graves." So, this host segment just happens to be right up (or down) my alley. In fact, come to think of it, I think this is pretty much what I based my impersonation after... go figure.

So, my one and only real complaint is with the disc itself. It's one of Rhino's earlier DVD releases from the series, so I can't bag on them too much... but the audio was terrible on this. The movie audio was SO low and the riffing was a million times louder, but even THAT fluctuated. I basically had to crank it and keep my finger on the volume button at all times, in case it suddenly got insanely loud. Don't let that keep you from getting this one though. I love this episode, and maybe you will too.

Favourite line: "Okay, okay, forget locust. Giant panda bears... and they fly!"

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