As I mentioned yesterday, today’s MST3K post would be a little different and that’s because I’m focusing not on a movie the gang skewered, but on an educational (?) short. “A Case of Spring Fever” is an eight-or-so-minute-long short film about the importance of springs in our everyday lives. Sounds boring, right? Well, it would be, if not for the inclusion of Coily, the Spring Sprite, a hellish, fanged imp with a hillbilly prospector voice. The short begins with an old man trying to fix the springs in his couch. Frustrated, he blurts out that he wishes there were no springs, and suddenly Coily appears, probably spat out of Hell, and grants the dumb man’s wish so that he can see how important springs are. It’s a terrifying version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
This week has been fun, trying my hand at a new technique for me and coming up with some pretty nice pieces in the process. There are definite improvements needed, but I can only get better from here.
As promised, I’m including below a list of the MST3K films I thought about including in this week’s posts, but didn’t. Maybe I’ll revisit these some day.
Time Chasers – Already drew Nick Miller
The Final Sacrifice – Already drew Pipper
Santa Claus – Already featured here
Girl in Gold Boots
The Touch of Satan
Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
Night of the Blood Beast
Warrior of the Lost World
Boggy Creek II: …And the Legend Continues
… and so on. Also, I’m not sure if you noticed, but up there, it says that this post marks Day 364, which means tomorrow should be the last day of posting. But wait a minute! Tomorrow’s not my birthday. There must be some faulty math going on… You’re right. I’ll explain tomorrow. Just rest assured that I will be posting tomorrow and on my birthday. See you then.
There aren’t a whole lot of episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ that one would consider essential to the show’s mythology. As long as you knew the general conceit of the show (a man and his robot friends are forced to watch bad movies by an evil overseer and they cope by cracking jokes), you could put in just about any episode and enjoy yourself. However, there are a few episodes–like “Mitchell” (where Joel leaves and is replaced by Mike), “Samson vs the Vampire Women” (when TV’s Frank ascends to Second Banana Heaven), or “Laserblast” (when Dr. Forester becomes a star child after unhooking the Satellite of Love)–where it helps to know who the characters outside the bad movie are. “Danger: Diabolik” is no different, as it’s the final episode of the series. I imagine if you were a long-time fan of the show when this episode aired, this would be a pretty important moment for you.
It’s hard to believe that Mystery Science Theater 3000 actually had a movie version. Reportedly, a lot of the cast didn’t like the process of making a movie, because of all the studio interference, but I’m sure glad they toughed it out. Even though “This Island Earth” is actually a pretty decent movie, they still managed to crank out some great riffs, especially during the earlier scenes when Kal and his assistant are building the Interociter. It’s worth noting that the movie clocks in at 73 minutes, making it shorter than any of the normal television episodes.
Watch a collection of some of the scenes here.
Today’s MST3K Week Installment is “Future War.” The film is about a human who was born in the future, travels back to the present (1997) and is hunted down by strange-looking cyborg men (played by Robert Z’Dar and Kazja — apparently having a Z in your name entitles you to cyborghood) and their person-sized dinosaur minions. He hooks up with a hooker-turned-nun with a heart of gold to stop the coming war, which never really materializes. There’s some bad acting, some bad special effects and some terrible martial arts, which of course means it’s a perfect fit for MST3K.
Watch the entire thing here.
We continue MST3K week with another of my favorites, “Space Mutiny.” There are many things to love about this movie: a buff guy who yells a lot, a lady who’s much older than she dresses, a hysterical laughing man whose skull is about to burst out at any moment, and an old spaceship captain who looks like Santa Claus. There’s also a few lackluster space battles (with footage taken from another production), and some incredibly low-speed go-cart chases. The jokes in this episode are top-notch, but the absolute best are the multitude of names that Mike and the Bots call the main hero, Dave Ryder. Below are a sampling of those names:
Slab Bulkhead – Fridge Largemeat – Punt Speedchunk – Butch Deadlift – Bold Bigflank
Click here for the entire list. And watch the entire thing right here.
We continue MST3K Week with “Manos: The Hands of Fate.” If you speak Spanish, you’ll realize how redundant that title is (“manos” is “hands” in Spanish). It’s one of the finest MST3K episodes in the show’s run. Watch it starting here.
The film follows a family who, after driving around aimlessly for what feels like 20 minutes (but is probably even longer), they arrive at a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere. The house is occupied by Torgo, a strange man with a lilting speech pattern and huge, elephantine legs (he’s supposed to be a satyr-like creature, but the weird metal applications they put on his legs just make him look like he’s retaining water in his lower extremities. Turns out Torgo serves someone he refers to as The Master and, inter-cut with a startling painting of the man himself, we learn The Master is a little strange. Later there’s a devil dog, undead (?) women in sheer dresses fighting and an incredibly dumb twist ending. It’s perfect fodder for Joel and the bots.
Fun facts: The camera used to make this film could only shoot for about 32 seconds at a time, so that’s why there’s a high amount of strange cuts scattered throughout. Also, the audio was unusable, so maybe two or three people re-recorded all the dialog.
Since this is the last full week of my year-long daily blog posting project, I decided to go out with a tribute to one of my favorite shows of all time, Mystery Science Theater 3000. This week I’ll be posting pieces that celebrate my favorite MST3K movies.
First up is “Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders,” which you can view starting here. The movie follows Ernest Borgnine telling two stories to his grandson when the power goes out. They’re both about Merlin setting up a magic shop in modern day (early 90s) Los Angeles and the wackiness that ensues. It’s a downright terrible movie, with fire-roasted cats, demons in mirrors and an evil toy monkey. None of this is as good as it sounds.
Come back tomorrow for MSTie fun!
EDIT: I tweaked the final image, adding a little bit more detail.