krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
So far as seeing the fifth episode of each season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes, I've already commented on "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad," and so I'm moving ahead to the sixth season and the "Mike era." I've had the feeling at times that specific episodes, often but not always early in Mike's tenure, could be seen as following up on episodes or groups of episodes that Joel had covered before. In this case, "Colossus and the Headhunters" ("The struggles of a Greek immigrant in a tough job market.") is similar to the "Hercules" movies, and yet not quite.

Things start off with "Colossus" showing up on an island (which doesn't seem to be his) being torn apart by erupting volcanoes. ("I told you Firecracker Island wasn't safe.") He manages to get a group of islanders to safety on a raft ("Carnival cruises were rustic back then."), and we learn that the name actually being spoken in the dialogue for the not only well-muscled but also clean-shaven hero is "Maciste"; our own heroes alternate between "Colossus" and "Cheesesteak." Eventually, the raft reaches more land, and the islanders collapse on the shore as "Colossus" heads inland to explore. He gets an arrow in the chest, and the islanders are taken captive. However, "Colossus" manages to pick himself up again ("Luckily this was before death was invented.") and it turns out that the group who have taken the islanders captive are just misunderstood, themselves harried by the "headhunters" themselves. "Colossus" and the islanders march away from the displaced tribe ("It's a daring, leisurely escape.") and the irate princess in charge of it, and then the headhunters fall on the encampment. ("Skins versus... skins!")

With the turncoat tribesman controlling the headhunters intent on marrying the princess to claim control of the tribe, "Colossus" and a few others find the blinded king in a ruined castle. In the meantime, the princess is stalling the wedding by having one of her ladies in waiting perform a lengthy ritual dance. ("This is history's first really awkward moment!" "For the first time, people don't know where to look.") Then, with "Colossus" still somewhere off in the wilderness, a bunch of warriors fall on the headhunters and there's another chaotic fight. Eventually, "Colossus" shows up, topples a watchtower into the quarry village of the headhunters, beats up some people, and manages to deal with the turncoat. ("And three quarters of the way through the movie, Colossus does something!") As seems familiar enough, "Colossus" leaves the integrated islanders and tribe; in something of a twist on that, the princess swims out to his departing raft to join his adventures.

The "host segments" are built around Dr. Forrester inventing "NummyMuffin CoocolButter," a fuzzy pink dog thing ("Mike, it's a tribble!") that will pacify people to the point where he can rule the world. TV's Frank doesn't take separation from NummyMuffin well, though, and Mike nobly sends the wheezing, shedding creature back down to the mad scientists. As for the episode itself, I did wonder a little early on what my reactions were now as compared to the "Hercules" episodes that I've seen of late with their somewhat different ambience and somewhat different "riffing," but as it went on I started enjoying it more. Despite having no "supernatural" elements whatsoever, I could think of it as a sort of cross between the Hercules movies and "Cave Dwellers."

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