krpalmer: (mst3k)
krpalmer ([personal profile] krpalmer) wrote2006-11-05 03:48 pm
Entry tags:

MST3K 301: Cave Dwellers

Out of the four efforts I've noticed to try and watch through all of the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in order, three of them seem to have ground to a halt partway through the third season. (The fourth managed to get past that point, and is still moving along.) For a while, though, it might have seemed that my own much-abridged trip through the show's seasons wouldn't even get that far. Booking out a block of time to watch a full show all the way through seemed a little too much for me for a while... but at last I figured out how to do it, and I've entered the third season with, in the words of TV's Frank, "a little something we like to call... Cave Dwellers."

"Cave Dwellers" was one of the first episodes to be released on home video, and it's among the first that I actually saw. Its opening host segments, though, do leave me with the slight feeling that by this time the creators were so familiar with the concept that they had relaxed on presenting the characters. I can wonder if Joel and the bots chatting about what names they'd pick for each other and Dr. Forrester and Frank trying out a sort of talk show format just may feel a little impenetrable to someone starting out with the show.

The movie itself, though, is a good deal of fun. After "Robot Holocaust," it marks a return to the special joys of cheesy movies from the 1980s. It's possibly an attempt at "sword and sorcery," although the sword fights aren't choreographed that well and the magic isn't that impressive (such as when the well-muscled hero Ator and his sidekick Thong battle invisible enemies.) It does tend to drag, though, especially given the pauses thrown into most of the lines (although this, at least, is closer to some of the movie's unique charm.) Cutting to a commercial break right in the middle of one finally-started fight may not help, either. The "riffing" has picked up further again, though. In the third season, it may have required the "help" of the movies a bit more than later seasons did, but this in a sense has always been part of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to me.