krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
It's back to watching through the twelfth Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection... with, just perhaps, a greater awareness of just who might be reading these ramblings. I was checking out the revamped Satellite News page when I was surprised to see a link to my possibly unbalanced fragment of a comment on Joel's "Star Wars site interview" among links to other commentary on the recent events in the Mystery Science Theater realm, some of them much better than anything I could ever manage to write. Still, the episodes remain, and I've reached an example of what could be called another tiny yet significant subset of the canon: the ripoffs of 1960s James Bond movies.

It may be that I'm at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to reacting to these particular movies: the only actual 1960s James Bond movie I've seen is Goldfinger. In any case, "Secret Agent Super Dragon" involves a super-spy code-named "Super Dragon" being contacted in what seems semi-retirement because of (unseen) chaos in the college town of Fremont, Michigan. It has something to do with a drug in chewing gum, and Super Dragon manages to figure out to go to Amsterdam. (The European ripoffs of 1960s James Bond movies did at least feature European locations, although my personal favourite of the Mystery Science Theater subset, "Agent for H.A.R.M.," is cheap enough that its secret agent gets sent to a beach house in California with a day trip over the border into Mexico.) Super Dragon romances female spies who can be trusted to varying amounts and is assisted by a amiably rumpled and over-weight gadget-maker let out of prison for the occasion. ("He's kind of a white trash Q, isn't he?") Unfortunately, not quite being able to follow the plot keeps me a little distant from the movie. ("It might really help if they let us in on the plot, you know?") When I started noticing all the references to characters looking like people I'm not really aware of in the first place, I wondered if that was a troubling sign.

However, I did find the "host segments" this time around particularly fun, starting with Crow and Tom Servo creating "Minsky," the "atomic powered robot," and moving on to an "invention exchange" where TV's Frank comes up with "Virtual Comedy" as Dr. Forrester returns from a high school reunion kitted out with racoon coat, boater, and "Rah" pennant and Joel demonstrates "Micro Golf," each course complete on a microscope slide. Joel and the bots also form a jazz trio to play their own interpretation of the "Secret Agent Super Dragon" theme (even these ripoffs of 1960s James Bond movies seem to have fun theme music), and Crow comes up with an early-1990s take on the spy movie genre, "The Spy Who Hugged Me." The DVD also includes the "Mystery Science Theater Hour" segments for this episode, continuing the trend first set by "Tormented," and an original theatrical trailer that suggests some action sequences were cut for running time even as it has to acknowledge Super Dragon is in a crowded field. All in all, this episode left me contemplating, once I'm through the second half of the collection, watching the other movies in the Mystery Science Theater subset...

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