krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Taking early advantage of the Christmas holidays, I watched another Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode from the latest DVD collection. "The Deadly Years" falls into the category of "juvenile delinquency exploitation," and the deal is sweetened somewhat by it having been written (if not directed) by the legendary Ed Wood. ("Ed Wood? No! I have angora-phobia!") As it's not a long movie, though, the episode also includes a short featuring much less delinquent juveniles...

"Young Man's Fancy" ("Young Man's Fancy crinkle-cut potatoes.") begins with the young Judy and her mother discussing (in a somewhat peculiar fashion) all the wonders of an electric kitchen when it turns out that Judy's brother is bringing his friend Alexander Phipps ("Yeah, if you're named Alexander Phipps, it's pretty much over.") home from college. Once Judy realises Alexander is more handsome than her bespectacled brother, yet obsessed with issues of industrial efficiency (and growing mushrooms), she manages to get his attention by luring him into talking about the advantages of an electric kitchen. The short may not be quite as strange yet rewarding as others Mystery Science Theater took a look at, but it does have its own (somewhat) "electric" charm.

As for the movie itself, which opens with a strange-looking judge ("Fake Court will now begin.") introducing everything as a flashback, Paula gets everything from her parents (including blank cheques) despite attention, her mother being involved with "charitable causes" and her father busy at his newspaper what with a gang out holding up service stations. ("Society owes me a Kit Kat bar!" "Hey, do we want the Ridgid tool calendar?") As might be expected, Paula is leading the gang, which also holds up a couple in a parked car ("Oh the passion. I find you so acceptable.") to tie up the young woman and lead the man into the shrubbery. ("Dr. Forrester has sent us a truly great movie.") The gang's fence just so happens to recruit them to trash a local school (and to make it clear just who's behind that, suggests they can desecrate the national flags there as well), but before they get around to that they have a "pajama party" that just so happens to be co-ed if securely clothed. ("So they'll strip in the woods for a total stranger but they're modest at home." "Pajamas, jazz, and communism--this is wild!") One of the reporters working for Paula's father shows up ("Makeout police; come out with your lips up.") to give her the latest watch her father has provided as this year's birthday present (her mother gives her a new convertible every year), and then it's off to school. ("Let us in, we've got to make fruit fly media.")

While laying into a classroom ("Girl gang goes on rampage! President Eisenhower declares state of detention!"), the gang is interrupted just before they can get to the flag by the police showing up in force, and a gun battle ensues. Half the gang is shot ("She died as she lived: failing algebra.") along with a cop, and Paula takes out her fence as well ("Ooh! When a woman that top-heavy falls, look out!") before admitting she hasn't been feeling quite well just lately and crashing her car, killing her last gang member.

The same judge who opened the movie sentences the pregnant Paula to life imprisonment while speechifying that juvenile delinquency is pretty much the fault of the parents. ("Look, I gotta get going on my life sentence; could you speed it up?") Paula dies in childbirth, and we get back to where we started at last as the judge lectures her mourning parents about how he can't let them have custody of their granddaughter and if he had his way there'd be a lot more old-time morality around. ("I sentence you to my Toastmaster's meeting." "This was the feel-good movie of 1956!")

The "host segments" are just perhaps a bit of a mixed bag; one involves Tom Servo having an extended freakout I understand is a reference to A Star is Born but not much more beyond that and one features Mike as the young Keanu Reeves, who Crow as the director gets to say "My Own Private Idaho... potato." ("What? It's a potato! It's funny!") However, there's also an extended storyline beginning with Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank presenting their strange new theme song as part of "softening to reach a wider audience" and then deciding to start a radio station named FRANK with "less talk" and "more new country." Mike and the bots are reluctant to "turn their crank to FRANK," though.

September 2017

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