krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Continuing my latest indulgence of watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes featuring movies I'm tempted to call "Star Wars ripoffs," I've reached the sequel to "Fugitive Alien." Along with the flights through space and gunning down enemy star fighters from within suspiciously familiar gun turrets, the episode does open with a "host segment" in which Tom Servo and Crow are trying to work out what makes a puppet a puppet and not just somebody in a big costume, and Yoda happens to get mentioned. Before, I had commented that somewhere behind the odd dubbing and compressed editing, I was tempted to call the story of fugitive alien Ken, not trusted by the Earth crew he had fallen in with and hunted by his own girlfriend, sort of interesting. This time around, all of that is pretty much gone from "Star Force: Fugitive Alien II". That does seem to encourage paying more attention to the "riffs."

The movie starts with the spaceship Bacchus 3 (apparently) getting too close to a star and having to break away. In the process, apparently overwhelmed by tedium and confusion, Tom Servo's head falls apart, and Joel and Crow have to rush out to try and save him. Combined with a few "host segments" where flash powder is set off inside his head, this seems to have been the inspiration for many, many moments in assorted MSTings where Tom's head would outright explode at some horrifying single moment. Many MSTers began to suspect that this was being overused, and eventually they did seem to manage to cut down on it.

Eventually, the ship does get away. ("We did it! We killed twenty minutes of movie!") It's then off to where they were headed at the end of the previous movie, a planet with a powerful hidden weapon or complex or something that has to be blown up, just because. Ken and crew start off with help from an alien colonel willing to betray his people for no clear reason, at least until he wigs out listening to his planetary anthem and rushes off to try and defuse the bomb he just helped plant. He's then shot by the guards he was trying to warn for his trouble, and Bacchus 3 majestically lifts off among many explosions.

With the most abrupt shift of both movies, all of a sudden the characters are in what look to be their "summerweight" uniforms, and after some more-or-less unfulfilled setup, Ken is returning to his home planet to hunt down the evil overlord. This ultimate villian is now dressed in a very Darth Vader-esque helmet and cape ("I'm wearing my magic rain cape and ski gloves,") and an inconclusive fight and duel follows before both jump into fighters and dogfight as a good number of scale models are smashed to pieces. In the end, good triumphs and Ken reluctantly leaves Bacchus 3 to help rebuild his world. Joel does comment at the end that the villian was actually sort of impressive, but the bots don't quite believe him.

I suppose there's only one more Mystery Science Theater episode I really feel like identifying as a blatant Star Wars ripoff... but by all opinions, it's a dilly.

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