krpalmer: (mst3k)
[personal profile] krpalmer
My latest odyssey through Mystery Science Theater 3000 has reached the tenth and final season, and another episode I was sort of looking forward to. "The Girl in Gold Boots" could be seen as marking the show's reintroduction of a greater variety of genre in the tenth season, given that it features go-go dancers (or something along that 1960s line, anyway) rather than mutated mad scientists or monsters from space. Nowadays, in any case, it's tempting to say that the sleaziness of the movie now has a haunting innocence to it.

In a small diner somewhere out in the desert and identified only with the neon sign "EAT" (there's a good deal of "riffing" about that spaced through the movie), waitress Michele Casey whiles away those empty hours dancing to the jukebox. The movie doesn't quite develop a theme of the wholesomeness of small-town residents lured into the deviance of the big city, though: when she's noticed by Buz Nichols, who proclaims his sister a notable dancer in Los Angeles, Michele abandons her drunken and abusive father by taking money from the cash register (although we learn a bit later that she took only what she had coming to her) and striking out for the city lights. ("And so passed the 'EAT' phase of my life.")

After the movie gets padded out with Buz being hassled by two bikers, pouring beer on one of their bikes, and fleeing from them down the highway until he finally stops and shoots out their front tires, our now romantically entangled duo pick up unshaven world traveller Critter Jones, who had stopped in at "EAT" at the beginning of the movie but whose motorcycle is broken down again. A strange cut drops Buz into place alongside Michele and Critter in a restaurant ("Come on, I just teleported here! It's impressive!"), they haggle over paying the bill with their limited fund of American currency ("Natural Born Cheapskates."), pause to take a spin in a rolling yellow bathtub on six wheels ("So they blew the fifteen bucks on a dune buggy rental."), and Buz knocks out a store attendant to get money. ("I've got fifty bucks. We've got dune buggy rides all weekend!") Somewhere along the way, sparks begin to fly between Michele and Critter as well, but the trio seems to have worked their way through it by the time they reach the bright lights of Los Angeles. ("Okay, keep it coming. I'm not convinced they're in L.A. yet.")

Michele becomes one of the backup dancers for Buz's sister Joanie at the club "The Haunted House" ("Wow! This is like EAT times four!"), the decor of which doesn't really seem to have any bearing on anything else; Critter shaves and becomes the janitor, and Buz keeps busy too by getting involved in the drug dealing the club's owner is involved in on the side. Critter becomes aware of and concerned about this, but when he tries to convince Michele to leave he also admits he's a few days short of becoming a draft dodger and she brushes him off; in any case, Michele is offered the chance to fill Joanie's lead role in short order. She also gets taken to a party by the club's owner where what seem to be a lot of middle-aged people ("Man, if it gets any wilder in here a bridge game's going to break out!") listen to bongo music ("Whatever, white people.") Michele is offered a suspicious cigarette and starts dancing. ("Now I'm hungry and paranoid, thanks!")

Buz has become involved in a fairly complicated scam to infiltrate a jail and retrieve some seized narcotics; in the process he clubs the middle-aged lock picker he had been working with ("Huh. Remember when the movie was just hot girls dancing around?") and takes all the booty for himself. In the meantime, Joanie has collapsed, revealed to be a pill-popper and pleading for her "pretty mind back." A final confrontation ensues where Critter manages to punch out the owner, his even oilier and uglier sidekick, and Buz ("Well, there goes his conscientious objector status!") He decides to enlist after all, and Michele will marry him at some point; what happened to Joanie isn't quite clear.

The "host segments" seem to deal with the movie to a considerable and entertaining degree this time around (although there's a bit of creepy "real world foreshadowing" when the "bots" respond to Mike's horror at Crow's own go-go show by calling him "Mike Taliban Nelson"), for those for whom that matters; there's also a plot involving Pearl Forrester trying to become "board certified with the Institute of Mad Scientists," the show's latest stab at building in a season-long storyline at the behest of the Sci-Fi Channel's management. Unfortunately, this was the show's last season in any case and the storyline sort of went away along the way. Still, the episode was amusing and entertaining. I'm not sure which one to watch next, but I'll no doubt think of one eventually.
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