krpalmer: (mst3k)
krpalmer ([personal profile] krpalmer) wrote2010-02-23 01:54 pm
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MST3K 705: Escape 2000

Getting back to watching the fifth episode of each season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I've reached the seventh season and the penultimate episode of the "Comedy Central era". "Escape 2000" is a pretty entertaining outing, thick with that special kind of 1980s cheese, and the "riffing" works well with the movie's own absurdity.

Things open up with helmeted bad guys in silver motorcycle suits, the ones equipped with flamethrowers a bit more like astronauts ("Why are the Mercury Seven here?") than the ones just with motorcycle helmets (the visors of which are constantly fogging up), all busily evicting people from a thoroughly trashed neighbourhood ("When Habitat for Humanity cracks down.") as loudspeakers on their panel vans order everyone to "leave the Bronx" and head to New Mexico. ("If you leave the Bronx, we'll give you fudgesicles!") One man must stand against them, and "Trash," equipped with almost pyramidal 1980s hair, does so despite his parents being specifically targeted for flamethrower extermination. ("Uh, I'm ready to live the southwest lifestyle?") Trash descends into the catacombs and argues with a colourful group of rebels led by the even more colourful "Dablone" (or "Toblerone," as the "riffers" keep referring to him). Teaming up with a pushy reporter whose cameraman was also flamethrowered, Trash seeks out "Strike" for help kidnapping the president of the company intent on redeveloping the Bronx ("So the hero of our movie has to hire another hero."), and Strike enlists the aid of a little boy who just happens to be an explosives expert. ("Now the hero subcontractor has to subcontract to his kid." "Jim Henson's Chairman Mao Babies.") The reporter offers to provide a distraction and gets shot for her trouble, but the company's president is kidnapped and things eventually wind up with a tremendous shootout in which vast numbers of rebels are gunned down along with the silver guys and a bunch of somewhat conventionally uniformed officers. ("New York City ran out of cops today.") However, for that the company's president is killed as part of an elaborate plan for one of his subordinates to take over, the person in charge of the silver guys gets blown up by Trash ("Ah, finally the ultimate showdown between vaguely evil and sort of ambiguous.") and all seems well again in the corpse-littered Bronx. ("Cleanup in borough five!")

I suppose that some of those who were initially annoyed with Dr. Forrester being browbeat by his mother in the seventh season might have taken some small satisfaction from him putting her "in a home" (a sort of playhouse in the middle of Deep 13) in one of the "host segments." Some of the others seem a bit low-key (even as one of them sets the Satellite of Love model on fire for a second time that episode), but they do seem to have grown on me. Having already commented on "Laserblast" when that episode was officially released, I've now said something about all the episodes of the seventh season, in its own small way the end of one era. I suppose, though, that "Escape 2000" is just about as good as "Laserblast" in its own way to finish with.