krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I picked out another Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode on DVD that I hadn't watched for a while, possibly not since first seeing it, and confronted "Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues". As Mike Nelson himself explains in a little introduction filmed for the DVD, this was actually the third Boggy Creek movie, but only the second made by the person who made the first, who "retroactively decanonized" the in-between film or something. Despite this, the movie does seem to stand on its own to me... in its own certain way.

There are a certain number of Mystery Science Theater experiments that were all "written, produced, and directed" by the same guy, but this particular movie also happens to star the same person, with his son in a co-starring role. It involves the "legend" of a Bigfoot clone lopping the heads off of deer somewhere in Arkansas swamps, a legend investigated by a heroic yet smugly self-satisfied professor and his three students, ("So these three are all majoring in Boggy Creek studies?") one of whom spends much of the movie showing off his whisper-thin yet shirtless chest. ("Can I borrow a cup of shirt?") Everything seems to drag, including a scene where the creature approaches our heroes' pop-up camper while tracked on a Zenith microcomputer (which inspires quite a lot of late-1990s computing "riffs"), and then at last, delving ever further into the swamps, the movie reaches the cabin of Old Man Crenshaw, hairy and overweight and dressed solely in blue overalls held up by one strap. Crenshaw happens to have an injured "little creature," one attracting the parent creature until the professor holds a gun to Crenshaw's head and reunites the Boggy Creek one-parent family. The professor then boats back to civilization, reflecting via his near-constant voice-over narration that the Boggy Creek creature should be left an untroubled part of nature. On the other hand, Charles B. ("in over his head") Pierce did make this second movie...

As I've said, the movie does seem to drag at the start, which perhaps suggests that the "riffing" takes a while to warm up. It does seem to sharpen as the movie progresses, though, and the rural trash gets more rural and trashier and the city folk get either more out of their depth or more self-important. As such, it's a nice complement to a possibly more famous Mystery Science Theater experiment taking on northern rural trash, The Giant Spider Invasion.

Date: 2007-09-16 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lazypadawan.livejournal.com
I have to say that I saw "The Legend of Boggy Creek" in the theaters when I was very young :O.

Date: 2007-09-17 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krpalmer.livejournal.com
It just goes to show you never can tell who'll have a connection (of sorts) to even these obscure little movies. I suppose that for me, beyond reading "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time" and "The Golden Turkey Awards" at the local library, my closest encounter with the Mystery Science Theater canon in my own youth was when one particular channel would show Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (http://kernunrex.blogspot.com/2006/09/mst3k-321.html) around Christmas.

Date: 2007-09-18 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] may-child.livejournal.com
Ooohh, the Golden Turkey awards! I had the (natch) sequel to the book, not the original: the sequel was called (natch again) "Son of Golden Turkey Awards." It was a scream and a half, though the Medved brothers did have a tendency to drone on.

Not surprisingly, both Medveds had a special place in their stinker-lovin' hearts for Pia Zadora. She got her very own mention in the book's "Lifetime Golden Turkey Achievements" category, or whatever it was called (I misplaced the book long ago), at the end.

She also got nominated for her very own original Golden Turkey, for "Most Insufferable Kiddie Film" I think it was called. She didn't "win," but the Medveds made sure to mention what Ms. Zadora is arguably best known for (aside from a successful turn later in life as a singer, and for marrying a very wealthy sugar daddy, Meshulem Riklis, who was something like three times her age), which was being awarded the 1980 Golden Globe for Best New Star. The category has since been discontinued. Some think it was discontinued due in no small part to shame at awarding the likes of Zadora, and more than one person suggested that her hubby "bought" the award for his wife by expensively wining and dining the judges, charges Riklis denied until his death and Zadora, who split from Riklis sometime in the early 90s but remained good friends with him, still denies.

Anyway, the Medveds noted that, aside from the wretchedness of the movie Zadora was nominated for ("Butterfly"), and the wretchedness of her performance, she actually should've been disqualified from winning for another reason: she was NOT a "new star." She had, in fact, debuted at least a decade before in, you guessed it, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians."

Their assessment was a riot. Of course, even though Santa Claus was supposed to "save Christmas" for the Martian kiddies, the Medveds noted "that there appear to be only two of them in this ultra-low-budget effort." Pia was duly dissed for her horrible acting and "all purpose pout," which she'd perfected even "before her famous golden globes had appeared."

Ouchie.

Date: 2007-09-19 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krpalmer.livejournal.com
I happened to find a copy of "The Golden Turkey Awards" at a library book sale a little while back, although in finding it I did remember seeing a bit of criticism of the Medved's books, more or less seeming to boil down to "they're mean-spirited and laugh at the misfortune of others," and most of it seeming to come from fans of 1950s SF B-movies... An article in Time magazine on Mystery Science Theater 3000 once specifically stated it "went beyond the Golden Turkeys," in a good way of course. However, I've also managed to see a few criticisms of the show along the same lines, most of it seeming to date from the early years of the show. (One of those articles was a target of one of the first MSTings (http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.tv.mst3k/msg/5a6c6eed9380619f?dmode=source), although to me it perhaps wasn't as funny as it could have been.)

Just as another note, Mystery Science Theater did indeed mention (http://www.highspeedplus.com/~dascott/tmi321.htm#piasgg) Pia's Golden Globe in the "riffing" of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians..."

Date: 2007-09-19 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] may-child.livejournal.com
Well, there are a lot of fans of those 1950s SF B-movies who thank the Medveds for unearthing flicks that, otherwise, might not have ever come to the attention of turkey-philes. In fact, the reason they wrote a sequel to "Golden Turkey" is because a typical "dispatch from the trenches" read thusly: "How dare you guys put out a book on terrible movies, without mentioning my personal favorite, 'The Slave Girl and the Monster'?!"

I'm not an MST3K fan per se, but I have watched some truly funny MST3Kings. I don't remember the title of the movie, but one of the characters was named "Rausdauer" (sp?), and at one point, he's trying to save his friend from the bad guys in the wilderness, and picks up a grappling hook that just HAPPENS to be lying on a hillside: "What is this, a grappling hook dumping ground?"

The thing is, you can MST3K any movie, not just the bad B-movies.

Date: 2007-09-20 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krpalmer.livejournal.com
Ah, "The Final Sacrifice (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_sort=video_date_uploaded&search_query=mst3k+final+sacrifice&search=Search)," featuring (if that's the right word) Canadian icon Zap Rowsdower (http://www.mst3kinfo.com/aceg/9/910/ep910.html). (Somebody in a Mystery Science Theater community once compared that movie's plot to the "hero's journey" of Star Wars... unfortunately, I didn't have the courage to follow up on the comments on it.)

The thing is, you can MST3K any movie, not just the bad B-movies.

You can, and yet in reading MSTings I did start wondering if taking on a well-known movie makes it a little too easy to let "shared dislike" bubble out and leave things too mean to be really funny. But maybe I'm just especially annoyed today after learning that the new project of some of the Mystery Science Theater writers, where they record mocking "RiffTrax" to be synched up with official DVDs, is about to harsh on Revenge of the Sith, mentioned in annoying fashion... Somehow, hearing about the last two times they did that with Star Wars movies left me quite uninterested in checking out their current work.

Date: 2007-09-20 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] may-child.livejournal.com
You can, and yet in reading MSTings I did start wondering if taking on a well-known movie makes it a little too easy to let "shared dislike" bubble out and leave things too mean to be really funny. But maybe I'm just especially annoyed today after learning that the new project of some of the Mystery Science Theater writers, where they record mocking "RiffTrax" to be synched up with official DVDs, is about to harsh on Revenge of the Sith, mentioned in annoying fashion... Somehow, hearing about the last two times they did that with Star Wars movies left me quite uninterested in checking out their current work.

I don't have much desire to check those Rifftrax out either. According to lp, the one on TPM was so harsh that even some MST3Kers were taken aback. IMO it just continues the PT-bashing feedback loop, and though that stuff doesn't get me angry like it used to, neither do I have much sense of humor about it, nor do I think I should be expected to.

Also, It's like the MST3Kers feel "obligated" to put out a Rifftrax on ROTS, kind of like the guys behind the Razzies felt "obligated" to give Hayden Christensen the "award" for Worst Supporting Actor for ROTS. Of course, PT-bashers always have an air of being so cool, edgy, and brave for bashing the prequels, even though we're also supposed to think everyone hates the prequels. How those two things jive is not something I've ever understood.

Sometimes, I wonder if even some of the bashers really hate the PT all that much, or if they just feel "obligated" to dis them because it's supposedly common wisdom that they suck. And I've seen many people offer a nugget of praise for one of the prequels, but practically trip over their own feet rushing to qualify it -- for instance, "That scene in AOTC where Yoda pulls out his lightsaber is a great moment." The next sentence, of course, is, "Too bad the rest of the movie sucked."

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