krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
After presenting in its fourth season three different "Hercules" movies (each featuring a different bodybuilder in the lead role), Mystery Science Theater 3000 returned to the "muscles and mythology" genre once more near the start of its fifth season. The just plain "Hercules" featured at that point was, in fact, the movie preceding the very first movie of that type that they showed, "Hercules Unchained" featuring Steve Reeves. Describing all of this, though, is probably more complicated than it needs to be when it comes to the "Hercules" movies.

Quite recently, in the "episode guide" that Satellite News is adding to anew (with fan commentary), there was the suggestion that the show's creators might have decided the original "Hercules" wasn't quite episode material at first, but then needed material later and gone back to it anyway. I suppose that things do feel a bit disjointed in the movie (with other things possibly having happened during the commercial breaks and "host segments"), and yet to me the overall effect is still goofy and kind of fun. Numerous characters are named from Greco-Roman mythology (including Castor and Pollux, Orpheus, Jason, and a young Ulysses) as Hercules battles a lion who's just mauled the apparent heir of an apparently usurped throne, then heads off in search of the Golden Fleece to restore the apparent true heir. Hercules, though, doesn't seem to do an awful lot during an extended sequence where most of the crew is willingly captive on the island of the Amazons ("It's the Bataan Sex March!"), nor does he kill the enormous dinosaur-like special effect guarding the Fleece itself on another, less exciting island. He does ultimately beat up a whole bunch of people using the very chains they had attempted to secure him with, though, and tear down a temple facade.

In some ways, this episode brings to mind thoughts of a different yet somewhat similar show I've seen a bit of recently, where Steve Smith, the creator and portrayer of Canadian comedy icon "Red Green" takes cheesy movies, cuts them down to fit in a mere thirty-minute time slot, and redubs the voice of one main character per movie alone himself. One of those movies was "Hercules" itself (in addition to a few other movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has also featured, such as "The Giant Gila Monster," "Hercules Unchained," and "Eegah," and some movies the show didn't take on, such as "Destination Moon" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space" itself). Still, the jokes in that show did tend to be a bit more one-note juvenile-humour than in Mystery Science Theater, for all that the different idea (in a "making of" special I also managed to see, Steve Smith mentioned Mystery Science Theater by name and said that he wanted to do something a little different) is sort of intriguing in its own way.

One thing that caught my attention about the "riffing" was Joel and the "bots" exclaiming "Eww!" at lines that could be taken in just the wrong way; that sort of thing had seemed to be a hallmark of certain MSTings. I do have to admit it was a little peculiar for me to see two host segments in a row referencing what seemed to be bits of 1970s pop culture, but one of the "invention exchange" inventions was interesting, with Dr. Forrester creating the massive "cellular desk." It called to mind thoughts of "how things used to be seen."

Re: Your MiSTing Site

Date: 2008-08-09 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's an email address on the front page, but maybe it's not immediately evident. In any case, I've made the correction. I'm also glad that people are finding the site, and that you like it.

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