krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Moving on through the latest Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection, I've reached "The Girl In Lovers Lane," jumping from the very beginning of Joel's share of the cable episodes to near the end of it. The episode happens to feature what I keep thinking of as one of the most "normal" movies the series ever showed, perhaps helping feed an occasional feeling of mine that Joel's half of the fifth season had been arranged to leave the "genre" movies for Mike's establishment; "young drifters" seem sort of like a "juvenile delinquent" movie, but not quite the same to me. That said, there's certainly some memorable sensationalist content ahead...

The movie opens with wannabe drifter Danny Winslow (he's fleeing the impending divorce of his parents) just managing to keep his cash-filled wallet from being collected by two young thugs in leather jackets who knock him out all the same. Another drifter puts Danny on board a freight train ("And thus, the passenger train is born!") and even reunites him with his cash. This slightly older helpful figure is Bix Dugan, but the "riffing" immediately hits on "Big Stupid" and goes from there, thus managing to make fun of both characters. They decide to team up, combining Danny's money and Big's experience ("And I'll give you ten dollars every time you don't hit me."), and get off in a typical small town ("Gee, I thought Vegas would be bigger and shinier."), heading for the typical small diner, Coke signs on the wall. Big starts hitting it off with the waitress Carrie ("You're so very.") Anders, and for some reason another girl in town starts taking an interest in Danny. Big and Carrie's first date is interrupted when Big and Danny head to the pool hall to kill time beforehand and Danny asks for change for the biggest bill in his wallet ("Did his head just turn into a big sucker?"), thus setting up a fight with the locals. However, our protagonists emerge victorious despite Danny's lack of experience ("How 'bout that guy I groined in the knee?"), and things manage to get patched up between Big and Carrie as well as they go for a date on the local set. ("Oh, this is a great date. I always wanted to be nuzzled by a hobo.")

It just so happens that the girl taking an interest in Danny is from the local sporting house, but Big heads to the rescue after a time-out near a conveniently placed bathtub ("Oh, what I wouldn't give to be Mr. Bubble right now.") and takes a drunk and passed-out Danny back to their cheap hotel room. ("You know, once again Big has saved Danny from a heterosexual experience.") They get around to taking jobs in the diner ("You know, their drifting career has really stalled."), although difficulties with Carrie's dad drinking and Big remembering his drunken and abusive father seem about to get them on the rails again... and then, just as Big and Carrie are about to say goodbye, the strange-eyed town creep Jesse follows through on his obsessive interest in Carrie and chokes her to death. Big is too distraught to offer anything other than suspicious comments, and a lynch mob manages to lock the town's two sherrifs in their own cell and drag Big out to roughhouse him to death. However, Danny speeds to the rescue ("Please let me through; I'm a hobo!") and pounds a confession out of Jesse, and finally takes a battered Big home with him.

In the final "host segment," the bots are in a bad mood about Carrie having been gratuitously killed off; Joel defuses the ugly situation with easy grace by inviting them to come up with their own ending. I suppose that's one more thing that helps the episode turn out well for me, which makes me wonder a little about the back of the DVD case trying to make it sound "controversial" among fans; still, I was a little struck by the number of Star Trek references turning up in the riffing...

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