krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I decided to take a break from my self-imposed project of rewatching Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes that I might not have seen all that many times by simple virtue of their having wound up on official DVDs before I happened to watch them via unofficial episode-trading circles, and move on to the episode that followed "Attack of the Giant Leeches." "The Killer Shrews" does happen to have been one of the first episodes that I saw through those circles, although that didn't factor into my decision all that much.

After having commented on how some of the robots didn't look quite right in the episode just previous, it was kind of nice to see Gypsy and Tom Servo back to normal. We also get Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank in improvised anti-contamination suits, promising to "cleave in two this puny planet," at least until they're asked just what they're going to get from it. With that, it's off to a short, a more-or-less educational one squeezed in among the serials and soap operas that filled out the middle of the fourth season. A mid-century cowboy-type small town is enlivened by a "junior rodeo" ("Next week, geriatric rodeo,") which involves quite a few children and teenagers being slammed into the dirt ("Fortunately, Bobby doesn't need his spine,") and prompts several of the "Jim Henson's (something) Babies" "riffs" that finally began to drive one person watching the series in order to distraction.

As for the movie itself, it was kind of hard for me to follow the dialogue, delivered in a variety of accents. Eventually, though, the killer shrews themselves did show up. A scientist working on longevity research on a remote, hurricane-threatened island managed to also create mutant shrews the size of dogs (and Joel and the bots throw in "dog" references every chance they get ("When bad dogs happen to good people,") once they realise just what the shrews are under their shaggy yet raggedy disguises in the long shots), and as being swarmed by shrews apparently wasn't an option for everyone, the movie also grants them poisonous bites. The scientist, though, is not presented as "mad" for all of this, and after the visible minorities have been killed off (Joel comments that "this is another one of those scenes that is so offensive on so many levels...") along with the livestock and the minor characters have been taken out as well, he escapes along with the heroic lead and the love interest, creeping under metal drums to the water. There's much merriment among the riffers at this ("Okay, I think this movie just broke the goofy meter,") but within the context of the movie it doesn't seem that unbelievable.

One of the "host segments" seemed to me to have a very strong feeling of the "happy family" that some seem to me to view Joel and the bots as forming. Another one provided the recipe for the infamous drink "The Killer Shrew." I'm willing to accept the evaluation of someone who actually dared to mix one. Of course, I don't have a blender either.
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