krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Nearing the end of my small project of watching the fifth episode of each season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I've made it to the ninth season and "The Deadly Bees." Throughout this episode, one reaction that kept occurring to me was that it somehow felt a bit "lower-keyed" than others, and given that with a different and more traditional scheme of watching through the series it followed "Pumaman" and "Werewolf" I can imagine this leading to it being less thought of than those others. Still, "lower-keyed" (whatever that means) didn't mean "not enjoyable" for me as I at last got set up for the impending release of the next official DVD collection with its inclusion of the fifth episode of the tenth season.

After collapsing in the middle of a televised (and lip-synched) performance ("Recorded in rich monaural sound."), pop star Vicki Robbins is sent from the (somewhat) swinging sixties to the more old-fashioned Seagull Island to recuperate. Her destination, picked by her doctor, is a rustic farm ("On a dare, this guy built his farm blindfolded.") run by a curt and unpleasant beekeeper and his wife, focused on her heavy smoking and dog. ("Oh, has the hate gone out of our marriage?") Vicki has just started to get used to her vacation when deadly bees (added to the scenes using awkward matte work) swarm and kill first the dog ("Appeal to your audience. Kill the cute dog!") and then the wife. Rather suspicious because of this, Vicki enlists the help of another beekeeper on the island, but in the end (and after several fires, a car chase milked for every bit of "small English car humour" it holds, and several more bee attacks), things don't turn out quite the way you might have expected.

As it turns out, I followed the episode where the "Observers" were first introduced with one where the two of them left behind along the way drop in to try and retrieve "Brain Guy" from the service of Pearl Forrester; Pearl and Bobo retaliate with a musical number. Added to an opening tossing out rapid-fire "previous" moments of obvious absurdity, Crow writing a sonnet to the "cigarette hag" of the movie (with Tom Servo "sitting in on crumhorn"), and Mike dressing in a bee costume to try and communicate via dance, the "host segments" add to the enjoyability of the episode.

As a last footnote, this movie got mentioned in "The Golden Turkey Awards" as a nominee for "The Most Badly Bumbled Bee Movie of All Time" alongside some 1970s movies made when people were terrified of the "killer bees" working their way north. I did happen to notice that the book didn't get some details quite right, such as just when the movie had been made, and used a production still from before the bees had been awkwardly matted in, trying to pass it off as an example of the movie's cheapness. I just may be tempted to reflections on how the Mystery Science Theater experience is a little broader and a little more enjoyable than the mere mockery of "bad movies."

Date: 2010-03-15 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The only MST3k movie I saw as a movie before I saw it on MST3k.

I didn't dislike it all that much, really.

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