krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Still in something of a "tidying-up mood" when it comes to picking Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes to rematch, I've moved on to the fifth season and a "Mike episode" featuring another Bert I. Gordon movie, whose works had already been featured several times on the series. In keeping with his initials, this movie once more involves beings of amazing and colossal size. Where the series had featured black and white 1950s movies involving radiation before, though, "Village of the Giants" is in colour, from the 1960s, and involves a young Ron(nie) Howard...

In a fashion similar to "Riding With Death," the movie claims to be based on a work by H.G. Wells ("Based on--oh, in that they're both in English."), in this case "The Food of the Gods." Things start off with a bunch of young adults converting running off the road in the rain into an impromptu "happening" ("Never was a car crash celebrated so well." "All right, who gave the kids sugar?" "The main sewer line breaks and the party never stops!") Then, it's on to the well-manicured town down that road, where "Genius," played by Ronnie Howard (the "riffing" gets in a whole series of digs at Willow, with Crow repeating his objection "Hey, I liked Willow,") has managed to create "goo" that makes a cat, the family dog, and two ducks grow to enormous size. ("H.G. Wells's Food of the Ducks!") After an extended musical sequence ("Isn't there a movie in here somewhere?"), the new kids in town decide to get their hands on the "goo," and in a somewhat confusing altercation with Genius's young adult friends they manage to do that. ("Very, very white-collar crime.") No sooner have they pulled off their heist, though, then they dare each other into eating it, with predicable results...

Dressed in cloth they find in the closed-down theatre they were hanging out in, the giant young people decide to take over from the adults we haven't seen before now ("Okay, we want huge underoos, gigantic flush toilets, and a four-day work week."), dancing and taking hostages with the aid of primitive giant-sized body props. With all the guns in town confiscated, it's up to the regular-sized young adults to try and save the day, but in the end it's the experiments of Genius that find an antidote to the "goo." Finally, the former giants have to trudge out of town, sadder but perhaps not much wiser. ("Pretty good weekend though, guys?")

The "host segments" of this episode, following the "quarterly workout" on the Satellite of Love ("If you can't take thirty minutes out of each year, you don't deserve a hot date."), are built around Dr. Forrester "thinking outside the box" and firing TV's Frank. As the unemployed and unshaven Frank hangs around Deep 13, Dr. Forrester hires Torgo as his new assistant, but Frank manages to turn the tables on "TV's Torgo" and gets his job back, with Dr. Forrester killing him once more for old time's sake. There's also a musical salute to Frank repeated in the end credits to become a tribute to the recently deceased Frank Zappa. Even with all of that, the riffing perhaps slows down after the opening, but the episode was still pretty entertaining to me.

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