krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I seem to be a sucker for the promise of "free shipping." When I had to add just a few dollars to an order of the DVD for In the Shadow of the Moon and the penultimate volume of the anime series Eureka 7 (which didn't ship with the other discs, having something to do with a large proportion of the first pressing of that disc having been defective), I spent a little while wondering about what else I might get, and then put in an order for the non-Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of "Space Mutiny."

I've generally not felt compelled to seek out the "raw" versions of Mystery Science Theater episodes. I do have a DVD of This Island Earth, but that seems to be a fairly different thing. For free shipping, though, I'm willing to go to lengths... and perhaps I was remembering when the un-"riffed" version of "Space Mutiny" was programmed right in front of a pre-Revenge of the Sith broadcast of The Empire Strikes Back, and I watched a bit of it but not the whole thing, not through any exaggerated fear of the experience but more because I felt kind of busy that afternoon.

Labelled with the promising tag line "It's hilarious... but not on purpose," and with the front cover calling it "One of the worst sci-fi movies since Ed Wood's 'Plan 9 From Outer Space!" and the back cover openly talking up the movie's "success" on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the DVD case promised cheap thrills. Getting to the movie itself at last, it was often easy enough for me to remember the "riffs" added to particular moments. Since I couldn't remember everything from the episode, though, I suppose I wasn't left viewing the movie entirely through the lens of the absent episode, or scratching for some way to respond to the moments that had been cut from the episode itself. Most of them did seem to be extended "action" sequences, such as more space-battle effects lifted from the original "Battlestar Galactica." They left me a little convinced that those original effects weren't of the absolute highest quality even for their time, even if they're "television" effects as compared to "theatrical" effects, and even as we see both of Blast Hardcheese's wingmen being blown up before he wipes out crashing into the generation ship Southern Sun, killing his passenger but managing to "beam out" with a device only set to save him. Other moments not included in the episode included more fights between Big McLargehuge and the mutinous security forces, entertaining enough in a cheesy way even without "riffing" to prompt me and including a good number of "railing kills," a speech by Captain Santa Claus declaring war on the mutinous leader Kalgan (although Kalgan seems able to wander around the ship afterwards to kidnap Captain Santa Claus's "Doctor Lady" daughter of a certain age) in which we see some civilians, and the crippled but mutinous engineer declaring that he in fact didn't "blow his knee out in a previous mutiny," but owes it to Bob Johnson (no, wait...) Either that, or to Rip Steakface's father. I did find myself starting to wonder about the people on board the Southern Sun all seeming to follow in their parents' footsteps, and to think that Kalgan at least had ambition to get off the ship, even if he would have sold everyone else into slavery in the process to make up for the ship not having anything valuable on board... I also managed to pick up on things that I'd never quite realised in the episode itself, such as the colours of the zap gun rays changing from red to green to blue from sequence to sequence and the airliner seating scattered throughout the various lounges. I even finally heard the various bad words "muted out" in the episode.

No doubt, of course, other Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans have been much readier to experience cheesy movies without prompting, and others still don't see the need to make a big deal of that sort of thing in the first place. Still, it was an interesting change for me. The one problem was that there wasn't quite time to schedule my own full viewing of The Empire Strikes Back afterwards.

June 2017

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