krpalmer: (mst3k)
According to the official Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode guide's brief section on the show's formative instalments aired on a UHF station in Minnesota ("Oh, and trust us--you don't want to see the KTMA episodes."), "Invaders from the Deep" and "Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars" were a double feature on American Thanksgiving in 1988. When those two long-lost episodes were made available to the revival Kickstarter backers, though, I took my usual week in getting to the second show. I knew it was another "Supermarionation" epic, but could only guess how it might come across in turn.
'Who says puppets don't have a sense of humour?' )
'I would never say that.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
When I filled in the last space on my list of "episode thoughts" about Mystery Science Theater 3000, there were some "end of an era" thoughts, and yet there still could have been a certain negative space left open on that list. I'd commented on every episode shown on cable, the movie, and Joel Hodgson's proof-of-concept pilot, which he'd shown at a convention where someone had made a fully adequate recording that had wound up an online video encoding. I could have followed the pilot by seeking out those episodes people had managed to videotape off an Minnesota UHF station in 1988 and 1989, but along with all the comments overheard how the improvisational "KTMA episodes" had a lot of "unriffed space" in them and the personal impression the first cable episodes themselves can feel sort of tedious, I had what might seem the convenient excuse there were no fan copies of the first three episodes. Starting close to one beginning seemed fine to some, but somehow I was a little too conscious of the gap.
'I think it's a good time to point out these puppets do their own stunts.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
It all comes down to this. If I'd started rewatching and commenting on the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with a clear awareness there would have to be a "last episode" (even if I got around to considering it sooner than I did the first time through), I might have picked a different last one, perhaps even tried racking my brain to make a decision and "save the best for last"; in that case, "Mitchell" might have been more likely to make the short list. In the end, though, I decided to end with Mike's first episode because of the sense that it represents not an "end" but a "beginning." Of course, I do have the feeling the "Best Brains" were trying their best to make the transition an entertaining one...
'I'm just curious. What size collar do you have?' )
'So you're saying you're not into dismemberment?' )
'I got it. I'll wander around here some more; it'll keep the budget down.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
I decided quite a while ago to save a well-respected episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the penultimate position in this project of rewatching and commenting on them. (Looking back, though, I did see I had once considered getting to it much sooner, only to put it off because it would have stretched out getting through the first episode of each season...) The episode is "Mitchell," famous first as the one where Joel Hodgson left the series and Mike Nelson was introduced "as himself" to take over, but also as a cop movie featuring Joe Don Baker. As Mike says as he helps TV's Frank and Dr. Forrester as a temp worker during an audit of Deep 13 (while Joel presents the infamous "Daktari stool" for his half of the "Invention Exchange"), "You guys watch Joe Don Baker movies?"
'Stop or my heart'll explode!' )
'But I'm not a salesman, I'm the chubby blue line!' )
'Mitchell. Even his name says, is that a beer?' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
A sort of intuitive feeling made me decide a while ago to save "12 to the Moon" ("Doughnuts?") for towards the very end of this long project of rewatching and commenting on the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The short included with the episode might have added a good bit to that feeling, of course, but I was at least willing to be hopeful about the movie itself.
'I had a near-death experience like this.' )
'Oh wow, this is gonna be great! It's got a rocket and everything!' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
In the clutches of "Manos: The Hands of Fate," Joel tries to rally his robot friends with "We survived 'Monster A-Go-Go,' we can survive this!" Now, as I close out rewatching and commenting on the fourth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I've reached that earlier episode myself. To put it in a few words, it's its own unique challenge.
'This is a test. Had this been an actual movie, you would have been entertained.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Getting to the "final five" episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 I still have to rewatch and comment on, I'm closing out the eighth season (and the whole "Sci-Fi Channel era") with "The Horror of Party Beach." ("Ah, the only real horror at Party Beach is Cindy's cheese dip.") When it began to really register on me how few episodes I had left to watch the first time, I managed to save one from the eighth season to be the very last. I'm not doing that this time around, but that's not to disparage this episode.
'Original soundtrack not available. You'll thank us.' )
'I'm in my constricting skirt and high heels so I should be perfect monster bait!' )
'The Day the Mudskippers Fought Back.' )
'The director bravely mixes tedium with unscariness.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
In finishing off the second season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where the show started looking and sounding like it would for many seasons to come, I've also completed its loosely linked "trilogy" of "biker movies." The last movie of them by "series order" I didn't get around to until I was watching the last few episodes of the series for the first time (which made it one of the first few episodes I posted about), and the first of them I looked at a fair while ago, but now at last I've made it to "Wild Rebels," remembering it to be one of the better thought-of episodes of the whole second season...
'It doesn't get any stupider than this.' )
'He's kind of an easy target: fat, drunk, and stupid.' )
'You know... I'm going to miss her and all her murderous ways.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes I could identify as overt "ripoffs" of some popular movie always seemed to be particular milestones in my rewatching and commenting on them. It turned out, though, that there's still one of them left even now, if a ripoff of a 1970s TV series. It's true that my own knowledge of both that decade and of the specific show being ripped off is pretty much second-hand, but that doesn't quite seem to matter with "Angels Revenge"... ("Gabriel is out for justice." "This is so timely because angels are real popular right now.")
'This movie is a shrine for seventh-grade boys.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Jumping straight from the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to the first, I've finished it off as well with "Women of the Prehistoric Planet." ("My sister saw this in junior high! All the guys had to go into the gym!") The episode is numbered "104," and practically every chronicle of the show (including the official episode guide) puts its entry for it in between those for "Mad Monster" and "The Corpse Vanishes." They also always seem to include a little note that it wasn't taped in between those two episodes, but was in fact the last produced for the first season. However, one person, in managing to watch every episode in the space of a single year, put "Women of the Prehistoric Planet" after "The Black Scorpion," and even though I haven't quite followed "production order" myself that did get my attention...

It's been argued through "Satellite News" itself that to draw too much attention to the delicate situation of this episode would be to call into question the arrangement of all the rest of the show, and I suppose there's a little something to that. It's also pointed out that it does manage to break up a long stretch of black-and-white movies "riffed" in casual fashion. (This was not the case when the first season was being shown on cable for the very first time, though...) At the same time, we know from official sources about this episode's situation, and callbacks in both "host segments" and riffing and the fine details of set and bot construction add up to show it following "The Black Scorpion," so to me being peculiar in my list of episode comments doesn't throw the rest of the series on to a slippery slope. With all of that said, now I suppose I have to acknowledge there's an actual episode and movie there too...
'You're pretty well groomed for having been in space for so long.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Moving along with finishing the project of commenting on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, I've now completed the tenth season by watching its penultimate episode, "Squirm." ("Well, I don't know why, but okay," Mike says, and everyone squirms around in their seats.) Before the movie itself, though (if after Mike, Tom, and Crow inventory how Tom and Crow have destroyed all the safety supplies on the Satellite of Love and Pearl Forrester sets up the "Castle Forrester Fair," featuring an "authentic cardboard replica of Mr. Ben Murphy himself"), we get the third and final short featured in the "Sci-Fi Channel era," one referenced much earlier in the series...
'Lowly Worm's worst day ever.' )
'Fine. Aerate your own lawn, I don't care!' )
'A certain convocation of politic worms!' )
'Come on, men, make everything loamy!' )
Better than fibreglass, keep your home cosy with wormsulation!' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
I suppose I'm getting back into my usual routine by commenting on a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. At the same time, I only have ten left to comment on; I now seem in the definite final countdown. That feeling of closing things off begins as I complete the third season with "Earth vs. the Spider" ("I'll put my money on the spider.")... but before the movie, with Bert I. Gordon once more inflicting amazing colossal beings on the world, there's also a short.
'Let's find a place where we're safe from these process shots.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
I suppose I was anticipating getting back to "High School Big Shot" without quite remembering just what I was going to see. I did know it was one of the more "legendarily depressing" movies shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and it also had a short attached, but again the short wasn't one of my all-time memorable ones...
'I never sat on a loaf of bread before. It feels great!' )
'This guy gives awkward adolescence a bad name.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Getting back to the "Joel years" of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I've reached "The Human Duplicators." It might have been one of the episodes I have left to rewatch now more through simple accident than the feeling something about it was worth "saving for later," but that doesn't mean there weren't some surprises to the full experience...
'I sing the body pathetic.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
As I began to think more about finishing the project of rewatching all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and commenting on them, "Hobgoblins" was an episode I decided to "save for later"... but not that much later. It does seem one of the more memorable episodes of the ninth season, but more through the unpleasantness of its movie than anything.
'It's a bonsai Bigfoot.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
After what seemed a fairly long sojourn among the "Mike episodes," it's back to the "Joel episode" "It Conquered the World." ("Oh, they're giving away the ending!") I now have the definite feeling of starting into the last few episodes I have left to rewatch (I have to admit I've seen them all already) and comment on, but to say that I was consciously "saving my absolute favourites for last" would be too much of a stretch. However, there are certainly interesting things about the movie...
'Yeah, everybody gets a day off at the end of the world.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
So far as titles of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes go, "Invasion of the Neptune Men" is one of those I can roll around until it starts sounding ridiculous all by itself. That, though, does seem to draw comparisons with "The Robot versus the Aztec Mummy," a title attached to an early and somewhat dragging episode, and I do have the sense the second Japanese movie of the eighth season has a reputation among at least some fans as one of the outright "difficult" episodes of the series. While I have seen it before, I recall not having quite the same enthusiastic personal reaction to it as to the "Coleman Francis trilogy," which I pretty much just shrug off the complaints of others about. That left me wondering just what I'd make of it this time around.
'They're being defeated by a wispy bachelor.' )
'Meanwhile, in a hideous little simulacrum of the United States...' )
'Stop zooming in! I have no emotions to show you!' )
'So, general psychoses and freakiness all around!' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Even after the Star Wars ripoffs, the James Bond ripoffs, the Indiana Jones ripoffs (although this might be more a matter of "personal opinion" than the others), the "Russo-Finnish troika," the "Coleman Francis trilogy," and the Union Pacific shorts, there were still two "thematically linked" episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 I had decided to save until I was working my way into commenting on the "last few" episodes of the series. There are a certain number of episodes from early in the "Mike years" I sort of see as "getting around to" specific types of movies that had been particular features or memorable moments of the "Joel years." When it came to Japanese movies, though, they didn't turn up again until the eighth season. I suppose I'm aware the second of those movies is often termed of the outright "difficult episodes" of the series, which might mean that in the end the joke will be on me. As for "Prince of Space," though, I was at least looking forward to it with straightforward anticipation.
'Powered by rotted fish, I will defeat you!' )
'Back to your three-by-five apartments, men!' )
'Humiliating game shows are beamed across the nation!' )
'Aah, just going to stop in here for some sushi burritos.' )
'If I could only reach this dried squid!' )
'Oh, please, not this. Anything but an old Star Trek set!' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
This final trip "in order" through the seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has come to an end with the final episode of the series itself, "Diabolik." This just might be a compromise between "watching it last" and treating it as just one more random episode. Whether that reflects askance on some subtle quality of this episode as "the final episode" or just shows in some small way how I got to know the series in a different way than watching it on cable for all that I was aware of it coming to an end as it did, I'm not sure; it may not be any clearer after these thoughts are set down.
'This will fool them unless they look at it.' )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
Heading into the ninth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I decided to watch the episode "The Space Children" not in small part because it happens to feature the first short of the whole "Sci-Fi Channel era," one touching both on "genre" and a topic of personal interest. While I suppose the closest I've ever come to visiting a World's Fair is EPCOT Center at Disney World, I do have a certain fascination in them, particularly the ones of the 1960s. After the episode begins with Tom Servo setting up a kissing booth, Pearl Forrester sends a cluster of telephones to the Satellite of Love, and after her phone conference doesn't work that well, she hurls the phone-focused short "Century 21 Calling..." at our heroes, who are sent on an enforced visit to the 1962 Seattle World's Fair...
'Aah, let's head over to the Steak and Martini Pavilion.' )
'I enjoy our warm chats about civil defence.' )
'Remind me never to be a child.' )
'He has a real screen absence.' )
'Oppenheimer took my stapler.' )
'Average suburban family to the rescue!' )

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